Personal papers of the British communist journalist Sam Russell have been deposited in the Bishopsgate Institute Library and are available for research (further details here)
There are 45 boxes of papers including correspondence, articles, newspaper cuttings, notebooks, publications, reports, photographs and ephemera relating to the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and the International Brigade Association; press cuttings of articles by Russell for the Daily Worker and Morning Star; Russell’s reports from socialist countries (USSR, Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas); Second World War, specifically the relationship between the UK and the USSR; Soviet Union, Stalinism and the Cold War; Communist Party of Great Britain, including policies and campaign material; Daily Worker and Morning Star; Correspondence from colleagues, contacts, friends and family, (1938-2010)
Sam Russell (pen-name of Sam Lesser, né Manassah Lesser or Manasseh Lesser) was born in Hackney on 19 March 1915, joined the Communist Party in 1935, fought in the International Brigades and for many years worked on the Daily Worker/Morning Star. In the course of his time at the paper, he reported a number of significant events from around the world. Based in Moscow from 1955 to 1959, he reported on the process of de-Stalinisation and befriended the Cambridge spies Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess. Russell also reported from Budapest during the suppression of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956, Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 (at which time he interviewed Ché Guevara), and from Chile during Pinochet’s coup in 1973.
For Russell’s own recollections of some of these events, see also his ‘Moscow-Havana-Prague: recollections of a communist foreign correspondent’ in Twentieth Century Communism, 3, 2011, 148-74