A memorial service for Clarence Kailin will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive.
Kailin, who died recently at 95, was one of the first Americans to take up arms against the fascist forces that swept across Europe in the years before World War II. He was one of 2,800 American volunteers who fought from 1936 to 1939 as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in defense of the elected Spanish government against a coup engineered by Generalissimo Francisco Franco with the backing of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini. His role in “the good fight” gave Kailin, a scrawny kid from Madison’s multi-ethnic Greenbush neighborhood, a place in an essential chapter of 20th century history.
The service will feature talks, music and video presentations recalling Kailin’s service in Spain and his lifetime of campaigning for civil rights, trade unionism and international solidarity.