The lives of a young couple, idealistic and politically active, will be showcased on Friday, January 28, at 7:15 p.m. when New York University’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, located at 53 Washington Square South, presents “George & Ruth: Songs and Letters of the Spanish Civil War.” This event, which features folksinger Tony Saletan, is free and open to the public; for further information, call 212.998.3950 or visit www.nyu.edu/kjc .
Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War when the International Brigades were formed from many different countries, including the U.S., to combat the spread of fascism in Spain, the story evokes parallels with today’s international crises. Two young people are caught up in the crisis, when George joins the International Brigades. Ruth, working at home in New York City, organizes public opinion to favor U.S. involvement in Spain and canvases friends to send care packages to the soldiers in the trenches.
The tale unfolds through songs sung in Spanish, English, German, French, and Yiddish. Saletan will perform the songs, with banjo and keyboard, and excerpts of letters will be read by Daniel Lynn Watt and Mary Lynn Watt (Daniel is George’s son, and Mary is Ruth’s daughter-in-law). Many of the original songs were popularized later by Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, The Weavers, and others.
This event is sponsored in collaboration with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA).