Hugo Oehler collection
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
- Oehler, Hugo (Person)
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
Source of Acquisition
Acquired from Hugo Oehler, 1972.
- Communism -- Spain Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Communism -- United States -- History -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Labor unions -- Political Activity -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939 Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Bonnie M. McBride
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