Milton 'Milt' Wolff (nicknamed El Lobo) (October 7, 1915 – January 14, 2008) was born into a working class Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Wolff concluded that as a Jew he should be at the forefront of the fight against Fascism. In early 1937, he joined the Lincoln Brigade fighting for the Spanish Republicans. Originally a pacifist, he served as a medic, but after earlier commanders were killed in the fierce fighting, he was elevated to command in 1938. He soon gained a reputation as a capable and courageous leader, admired by the volunteer soldiers under his command as well as by his Spanish Republican allies, and was highly praised in the reports of Ernest Hemingway from Spain. Wolff led the Lincoln Brigade during the Battle of the Ebro, the Republic's last-ditch effort to survive. After the Republican defeat in that battle, Wolff, along with other international volunteers, was evacuated from Spain in November 1938. During World War II, he continued his struggle against Fascism, working with partisans and guerrillas in occupied Europe on behalf of the British Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services. In later life he was involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the US and in opposing the Vietnam War and South AfricanApartheid.
Milton Wolff commanded the Lincoln Brigade during the crucial Battle of the Ebro. When the Germaninvasion of Czechoslovakia caused the outbreak of a general European war, Wolff and the volunteer soldiers under his command were able to make good use of the sudden flow of munitions from France, but as the war widened, Wolff commanded a brigade stationed on a deadlocked front which was largely forgotten in the wider world. Having gone virtually unscathed through several years of very fierce fighting, Milton Wolff was severely wounded in a chance skirmish in 1939. Chaim Weinberg was involved in saving Wolff's life and getting him to urgent medical treatment. The wounding of the famous "El Lobo" was a blow to not only to the Lincoln Brigade, but to the Republican Cause as a whole.