Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Drama in Archives (2)

Archives are rarely dull; all that is needed is enough perception to see the drama of the whole human condition, the romance even, lying hidden in the documents. And nowadays, with many IISH archives digitized and accessible online, any interested observer can experience this from the comfort of their favourite armchair.
For instance, anyone can find the picture postcard written on 25 March 1939 by the Italian anarchist Ernesto Bonomini, who was interned in the Rieucros concentration camp in Lozère (France) :

Postcard from Ernesto Bonomini, Luigi Bertoni Papers no 107Postcard from Ernesto Bonomini, Luigi Bertoni Papers no 107Bonomini is second from right (click to enlarge)

"A scene from the life of the convicts in the first labour camp of the Grand Democracy France, created by his excellency Sarraut to extinguish the Love of Freedom fostered by the exiles...May the revolutionaries of this land keep this in mind. "
Ernesto Bonomini (1903-1986) went to fight in the Spanish Civil War and worked for the anarcho-syndicalist federation FAI. After Franco's victory, he was interned with some 200 other Italian comrades in France. The labour camp at Rieucros was created by the minister of the Interior Albert Sarraut. The document, along with other letters concerning this horrible episode in the history of France, can be found in the archive of Luigi Bertoni (inventory no 107). In April 1939, Bonomini managed to escape from the camp. In the end he worked as a paperhanger in Hollywood, USA.

Other archives recently digitized and made available online as part of the 'Centrale' Digitization Project:
Alexander Atabekian - Otto Bauer - August Bebel - Alexander Goldenweiser - James Guillaume - Wolfgang Heine - Marie Juchacz - Leon Kashnor - Boris Kol'cov-Ginzburg - Leonid Krasin - Bernhard Mayer - Constantin Pecqueur - Hermann Schlüter - Georg Weerth - Jean Wintsch - French Revolutions and Revolutionaries

Memorial of the Rieucros Camp, FranceMemorial to the Rieucros Camp (wikipedia)

21 July 2015