Francisco Franco

Bombed by Nazi pilots, before WWII

Bombed by Nazi pilots, before WWII

A historical milestone was passed on Sunday, with the death of Delmer Berg at the age of 100. Berg, who lived in Columbia, Calif., in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, was the last known survivor of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, as the several units of American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War came to be called.

World War II has largely pushed that conflict out of our collective memory, but it was momentous for the people of Spain, and for the 40,000 volunteers from more than 50 countries, 2,800 of them American, who fought in it. Eighty years ago this July, a large group of right-wing army officers staged a coup against the democratically elected government of the...