International Brigade Association
Freedom Peace Honour
SAM WILD (President I.B.A.) Commander British Battalion
MALCOLM DUNBAR (Vice-President I.B.A.) Chief of Staff, 15th Brigade
JACK BRENT (Secretary I.B.A.)
144 HOLBORN. E.C.11 (Entrance in Brooke street)
Date as Postmark,
We have just received information from America that forty International Brigaders have arrived in Mexico from internment camps in unoccupied France. Release of further 75 is expected if French exit permits are granted to them. These releases have been made possible through the work of American refugee organisations.
The greatest difficulty in getting men released from the French camps is that of obtaining Exit Permits from the Vichy authorities, especially for those men in whom the Gestapo and the Ovra are interested. This applies primarily to the Commissars and Officers of the German section of the International Brigades - Franz Dahlem, Heinrich Rau and Siegfried Raedel - (all three of whom are former German parliamentarians), and to Luigo Longo (Gallo) who was Inspector of Commissars for the International Brigades and a well-known Italian anti-fascist. These four men are now in permanent danger of being handed over to their enemies.
Another difficulty in our work arises from the obstructions the French authorities put up against the distribution of relief which we are sending to unoccupied France in accordance with the Trading with the Enemy Regulations through the services of the Red Cross Society and the Society of Friends To assist us in our work of saving and helping the International Brigaders who fought on Spanish soil the first battle of the present struggle against fascism, we would ask you to write to the Foreign Secretary asking him to approach the American Government for their intervention with Vichy on the following points:-
1) To stop extradition of former members of the International Brigades to Germany, German-occupied countries and Italy,
2) To grant French exit permits to former International Brigaders .
3) To permit the distribution of relief to International Brigaders in French and Spanish internment camps by the accredited relief organisations in France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.
We would also ask you to approach the T.U.C. to enlist their support on behalf of our comrades.
If you are able to do anything we would be glad to know.
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