Marina Garde, the Executive of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, confirmed Delmer Berg’s death to the New York Times. The brigade was a group of 3,000 American volunteers that fought General Francisco Franco’s Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War almost 80 years ago.
Though America stayed neutral officially, many soldiers enlisted to join a battalion within the XV International Brigade, which opposed Franco’s Italian- and German-backed forces. Delmer Berg was 21 years old when he saw a billboard about the brigade and volunteered for service, the Times reports.
“I was a worker,” said Berg to The Modesto Bee last year. “I was a farmer. I was in support of the Spanish working people, and I wanted to go to Spain to help them.”
He shipped off to France and crossed into Spain by 1938, where he fought at the Battle of the Ebro, the war’s largest battle. Later on, he was wounded by shrapnel that embedded in his liver for life.
Berg eventually left Spain after the Munich Pact in 1939. Franco and the rebel forces won the war that year, and the general created a dictatorship in Spain that lasted for decades.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Write to Julia Zorthian at firstname.lastname@example.org