During the Spanish Civil War, Merriman was the commanding officer of the Lincoln Battalion, which consisted of over 3,000 American volunteers. He disappeared after a battle in April 1938, presumably executed by General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces. Merriman was also notably the inspiration for Robert Jordan, the protagonist of Ernest Hemingway's famous novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.
While attending Cal shortly before leaving for Spain, Merriman lived in an apartment just north of campus at 2517 Virginia Street. I found this address in both the official 1933 Register of Students and a memoir by Marion Merriman, Robert's wife and then-roommate. After visiting the building in person, I have confirmed that it perfectly matches Marion's vivid description.
I think a plaque outside this building is certainly in order to commemorate one of the most heroic Berkeley residents in history. Both the property owner and the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project have agreed to assist with the project and have estimated that the plaque will cost between $950-$1000 to manufacture and install.
- Jeff Magnin
- Mark Steen
- Rickard Jorgensen
- David Prado
- Raymond Hoff
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more