Freedom Peace Honour
International Brigade Association
115 SHAFTESBURY AVENUE, LONDON, W.C.2
Sir Walter Citrine,
March 15th, 1940
Dear Sir Walter Citrine,
We understand that you have recently returned from Finland where you have had friendly conversation with several members of the Finnish Government. Consequently we feel that you would be in the best position to help us in a matter which is of much importance to us and to everyone who values liberty.
In the XVth Brigade of the Spanish Republican army, of which the British Battallion was a part, there was a section largely compose of Finns. In command of this section was a man named Gunnar Ebb, a Finn, who proved himself to be a magnificent fighter, a sincere lover of freedom, and an ardent and heroic anti-fascist. He was a man most worthy of the title of defender of democracy.
Ebb left Spain at the end of 1938 when the International Brigades were withdrawn, and attempted to go back to Canada, in which country he had been residing for some years before joining the International Brigades. He was refused admission, and after a period was deported from France to Finland, from which country he had been a refugee owing to his family's support of the Finnish People's Government which was set up, and later destroyed by armed intervention, in 1918.
On arrival in Finland, Ebb was immediately imprisoned and sentenced to ten years in gaol. His crime was having fought for the Spanish Republican Government, whose cause, you may remember you supported.
It is an unspeakable thing that a man who defended democracy, offering his life, should thus be treated as a criminal in any country which pretends to democracy and liberty. I am sure that you will be anxious to see that this grave injustice is immediately remedied, and will help us by making representations to the Finnish delegates in London, with whom I am sure you have considerable influence, owing to your close association with their government, which imprisoned Ebb.
Alan W. Gilchrist
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