A Certain Party I Love

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Introducing Leon and Elly

Leon Rosenberg and Elinora Garfinkle met in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1939. Leon pursued Elly fiercely from the day they met, wooing her romantically while persuading her (and her sister) to adopt his political leanings as a member of the Communist Party. After roughly a year of dating, he moved to Washington, DC, in September 1940 to take a temporary job with the 1940 US Census to save up money for their marriage. He wrote to Elly almost every day they were apart, excluding only the few weeks in December 1940 when he returned to Cleveland to make their “understanding” official with an engagement ring.

Elly joined him in DC after their wedding in May 1941, at which point his letters stop. They start up again just a year later when Leon volunteered to fight in World War II rather than wait to be drafted. He bounced among stateside postings for months, writing to his wife whenever possible, before being sent to France in 1943. The letters end at that point.