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Hugo Oehler collection

Identifier: 11-MWalB02500

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters of correspondence, both to and from Hugo Oehler; reports on the Spanish Civil War with the majority written by either Hugo Oehler or Russell Blackwell; a translation of the Boletin Interior; and numerous periodical materials including newspaper clippings. The materials in this collection were created between 1935 and 1965, with the majority being created during the Spanish Civil War, from 1936-1938.


  • 1936-1965, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish materials from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. All requests for copying of material must be submitted to the Special Collections Librarian or the Director of Archives & Special Collections for approval. Please consult the Special Collections Librarian for further information.

Biographical or Historical Information

Hugo Oehler, born in 1903, was an American Communist leader. In the 1920s, Oehler worked as a successful trade union organizer of textile workers in the South and of mine workers in Colorado. After becoming a declared Trotskyist in 1930, Oehler was elected to the National Committee of the United States Trotskyists in 1931. He was later expelled from the organization for criticizing the “French Turn,” or the entering of Trotskyists into the Socialist Party. Oehler soon became a co-founder of the Revolutionary Workers League, or RWL. In 1937, Oehler went to Spain to observe, evaluate, and direct the efforts of radical left-wing parties in the Spanish Civil War. During his time in Spain, he was instrumental in establishing communication between the RWL and Spanish revolutionaries. His pamphlet, Barricades in Barcelona describes the armed clashes in May 1937 between the Barcelona police and the revolutionaries and workers. The pamphlet urges the Spanish left to develop a unified and informed Marxist party in order to advance the proletarian revolution.  After the May struggles, Oehler was arrested and expelled from the country. After WWII, the RWL declined and disappeared by the 1950s. Throughout the rest of his life, Oehler faded from politics and died in 1983 at the age of 80.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Hugo Oehler, 1972.

Bonnie M. McBride
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections