Leopold Alfred Amery


Image of Leopold Alfred Amery. Image is for aesthetic purposes only.


Leopold Alfred Amery


Because of the assembled nature of this collection, copyright status varies across the collection. Copyrights held by original creators of individual items in the collection are expected to pass into the public domain 70 years after the creator’s death. Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), were transferred to New York University in November 2000 by the ALBA Board of Governors. Permission to publish or reproduce ALBA materials must be secured from the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. For more information, contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or 212-998-2630.


Moving Image


Manny Harriman


September 2, 1986


Interview with Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran Alfred Amery.
Alfred Amery was born in 1909 in Newton, Massachusetts. He joined the Navy at the age of 17. In 1927, he spent three years in Monterey, California, where he was a member of a U.S. Cavalry unit. In 1930, he returned to Massachusetts to care for his mother and re-joined the army in 1932. During the Depression, Amery was introduced to the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin and developed a left-wing political outlook. Since there was little work to be had and his only training was in the military, he decided to go to Spain and fight for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War.

As a volunteer in the International Briagde, he was a commanding officer and fought at Fuentes de Ebro, Teruel, Seguro de los Banos, and the first battles of the retreats. During the retreats, he became disillusioned and discouraged with the leadership of the Brigades and the war and managed to leave Spain by stowing away on a British ship. He eventually made it back to the United States and married Priscilla Wright in 1941. Wright operated a preschool and daycare center in Pepperell, Massachusetts, while Amery worked as a carpenter at a paper mill where he helped organize a union.

He wrote poetry on both personal and political themes and two autobiographical typescripts about his experience in the armed forces during the 1920s and 1930s, his service in the MacKenzie-Papineau Battalion during the Spanish Civil War and his introduction to Communist politics. Even though he deserted from the war and had never been a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALB), he maintained rather cordial relations with some ALB veterans was active in the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Amery died in 2004 and his headstone reads "Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade."




Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archive




ALBA V 48-007 (Mixed Materials)
Box 1


The Manny Harriman Papers (ALBA 048) contain project files related to these oral histories, including completed personal history questionnaires for many of the veterans interviewed.

Bibliographic Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Manny Harriman Video Oral History Collection; ALBA VIDEO 048; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Item sets