Archive/Michael Sidorvich

Tags: Jewish Young Communist League Battle For Teruel Aragon Front Alcoi Levante Front Stuyvesant

Researcher: Michael Mardirossian, Stuyvesant '21

Michael Sidorvich was born on July 6, 1916. He grew up and lived in New York City to a Jewish family, both of his parents being immigrants to America. He lived at 341 East 19th St in Gramercy Park, a neighborhood on the south end of Midtown. He attended Seward Park High School for an undetermined number of years, then transferred to Stuyvesant High School, an all-boys technical high school at the time, and underwent engineering training there. During his time at Seward Park, he became acquainted with a man named Julius Rosenberg. In 1934, Sidorovich became a member of the Young Communist League, an organization that taught its members about the ideas of Marx and about the ideology of communism as a whole. Rosenberg also joined the League, and rose to a higher position within the organization, choosing to spread the ideals of communism at home in America, while Sidorovich decided his efforts would be better served abroad.On October 23, 1937, Sidorovich left New York on the Champlain to Spain along with the rest of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which had been training and fighting for months at that point. He landed in Spain on November 9, fighting in the 4th group, 35th battery of the Brigade, which was the anti-tank division. His division commander was Nathan Budish, an engineer from Minnesota who had served as an artillery officer in the US army reserves. The 35th Battery would see heavy fighting in Teruel, with Earnest Hemmingway himself there to report on it. The division would then fight in the Retreats through Aragon, and end up in Alcoi, a small outpost near Valencia. They saw intense combat defending the Levante Front, and managed to hold off the Nationalists during their offensive. Sidorovich returned to the US on February 4, 1939 aboard the President Harding after Barcelona fell and the war was hopeless. Years later, Sidorovich married Ann Sidorovich, who was a dressmaker and daughter of a Communist Party member Mikhail Tkach, who edited a Ukranian newspaper. The Sidorovichs lived at 10 Monroe Street in Knickerbocker Village, a group of apartments on the Lower East side between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, in the same building as his old friend Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel. In 1939, Sidorovich and Rosenberg would work at Williams Aeronautical Corporation, a company started by fellow Spanish Civil War veteran Paul Williams.Williams was born in Ohio, and became the only black pilot in the area for himself, had connections to the Soviet government, and became under investigation in the famous Rosenberg Trial, in which Julius and Ethel would be executed. time. After a few failed attempts to design and sell a plane to the government, he went to Spain to see if he could put his talents to work there – only to be told the army didn’t need more pilots. He returned to the US after three months, and began teaching aviation courses under the umbrella of a communist aligned organization called the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians. Michael and Ann Sidorovich, and Julius Rosenberg, all attended his classes and began working for him. The company, as well as Rosenberg himself.


Sources

Ink, Social. “Michael Sidorovich.” The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, alba-valb.org/volunteers/michael-sidorovich/ . “Lincoln Battalion.” Wikipedia

 

Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Battalion#4th_Group,_35th_Battery

 

“Blast from the Past: Artillery Series.” The Volunteer, 11 Feb. 2018, albavolunteer.org/2015/07/blast-from-the-past-artillery-series/.Ink, Social. 

 

“Budish, Nathan Norman.” The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, 28 Apr. 2020, alba-valb.org/volunteers/nathan-norman-budish/.Ballela, David. 

 

“Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Michael and Ann Sidorovich.” Knickerbocker Village, 1 Jan. 1970, knickerbockervillage.blogspot.com/2012/07/whos-who-in-knickerbocker-village_5137.html.Ink, Social. 

 

“Williams, Paul Elisha.” The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, 28 Apr. 2020, alba-valb.org/volunteers/paul-elisha-williams/.

 

Haynes, John Earl., et al. Spies: the Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. Yale University Press, 2010.Trenear-Harvey, Glenmore S. Historical Dictionary of Atomic Espionage. Scarecrow Press, 2011.


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