Milt Felsen died at the ripe old age of 93 in Florida. His life was a long one of rich experiences, daring wartime adventures and antiwar radicalism. The interesting thing is that Milt always seemed to fight on the side of communists, and the obituary never really comes out and says it. This is not an obituary provided by the family; Felsen rated enough to earn a written obit. Below I will quote his obit word for word with my additions in blue to translate.
Felsen (oy vey), who died Friday in Sarasota at 93, was one of the last surviving members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (volunteer American communists who fought in a foreign war), which fought against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War (for the commies against Franco's troops).
During World War II, Felsen was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (Felsen was one of many radicalized communists who entered the OSS to fight fascism). While on a mission in North Africa, he was shot by the Germans. He spent 18 months in a prisoner-of-war camp before escaping in 1945 (I thought Nazis killed Jews immediately).
Unassuming and soft-spoken, Felsen had to be coaxed to talk about his experiences (Lie, he wrote a highly entertaining memoir of his exploits decades earlier).
"He was a man of few words, but what a remarkable individual," said Marlow Cook, a longtime friend. "He accomplished so much in his life, but he went about it in such a gentle, delightful way."
"He was a gentle warrior," agreed author and screenwriter Stuart Kaminsky. "He was a great and loyal friend."
The son of Russian immigrants (oy vey), Felsen was born in New York City in 1912. While attending the University of Iowa, he was active in the international peace movement (Peace Movement that was allied with Communists and a commie recruiting front (link)).
But in 1937, he left college to fight for the Spanish Republic against the Fascist forces of Francisco Franco (Why did a peacenik become a warrior for a foreign conflict?).
In Madrid, Felsen joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a 3,000-member mix of idealists, political activists and American Communists (Thesaurus was helpful). More than one-third of the American volunteers were killed during the three-year war.
Felsen was a machine-gunner in the American division (peacenik became machine gunner), and drove ambulances after being wounded.
While in Spain, Felsen met Ernest Hemingway (communist spy (link)), who was in Madrid to lend his support to the loyalist cause (communist cause).
"Hemingway's apartment was a gathering spot, in part because he had an endless supply of scotch," Felsen recalled in a 1989 Herald-Tribune interview.
At one point, Hemingway told Felsen that he, too, had been an ambulance driver -- in World War I.
"I know; I read 'A Farewell to Arms' twice," Felsen told him.
During World War II, Felsen and other Abraham Lincoln Brigade members were recruited by the O.S.S. "They felt we would be valuable because we had experience fighting Franco's allies, the Germans and the Italians," Felsen said (They wanted zealots who wanted to kill fascists and had foreign, wartime experience).
After the war, Felsen worked for film-related labor unions in New York. In the 1960s, he ran the East Coast office of the Directors Guild of America. He served on the organization's board for 30 years (Career in an org full of communists and corrupt union connections).
Felsen was an associate producer of "Saturday Night Fever," the iconic 1977 film starring John Travolta. His producing credits also included "The Bell Jar" and "The Directors," a television documentary series.
In Sarasota, Felsen was a former board member of the Sarasota French Film Festival and the Asolo Theatre Company. He helped organize the Siesta Key Actors Theatre (SKAT), a company that performed for many years on and off the key.
In 1989, the University of Iowa Press published his memoir, "The Anti-Warrior." (Thought it was written he was reluctant to share his exploits just a few paragraphs back?)
"Milt was a sweet guy and a tough guy," said his wife, Lois Bennett. "Life with him was so much fun."
Survivors also include three stepchildren: Mark Silverstein, of London, Susan S. Potter, of Massachusetts, and Thomas Silverstein, of Sarasota.
A memorial service will be scheduled later. The family will welcome visitors from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at their home, 1630 Kenilworth St.From his college days to his death, he was committed to the ideals that spurred him on to fight Franco. The web of communist front organizations in the '20s and '30s was so wide that we still cannot openly say they were communist for the fear of how many thousands or millions of individuals we would label communist in our communities. Felsen's journey from antiwar radical to a man who fought in not just one but two wars is a prime example of these organizations beign recruiting tools for happy warriors. This is akin to the jihadis who leave the nest in the EU to fight in Syria. The religious zealotry is strong in progressivism just as it is in Islam. The Troskyites never really went away, they just changed their name. We know many of them today as neocons.
Memorial donations may be made to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, 799 Broadway, Suite 227, New York, N.Y., 10003. (Died with his heart dedictaed to the cause)
It is fantastic to hide anything communist since we know that is bad. We know the communists did horrible things, but their American friends and cousins must hide that since they have run the show here for so long. Yes, these old timers do get sanitized and legitimized. Some become professors, others Hollywood union administrators. As long as they control the organs of media, they will always have a beam of sunshine over their path.