The International Brigades
The 1930s saw the spread of fascism and rightwing autoritraiansm across Europe. The Spanish Civil War represented a rallying cry for a generation that here the tide could perhaps be stopped. Over 35,000 volunteers from fifty-two countries came to defend the Spanish Republic against Franco and his allies. This virtual walk and talk takes you on a journey around the story of the International Brigades, visiting the bloody battlegrounds of Jarama, Belchite and the Ebro. We’ll talk about their cultural and political origins in the European diaspora. We’ll discuss how although their motivations may well have been complex, the overarching reason for their coming to fight for the Spanish Republic was anti-fascism. After Spain, those from Continental Europe faced an often grim fate in a universe of camps, while others played a very significant role in the partisan resistance movements. While British volunteers tended to be welcomed as heroes, American and Canadians faced the anti-communist backlash from their states. Conversely, in Eastern Europe many attained key roles in the new Stalinist states, above all in the GDR. These different forms of treatment means the legacy of the IBs varies significantly from country to country.
We have done done tours with large numbers of descendants of International Brigaders from around the world. In the photo fond memories of doing a tour in Barcelona 2018 with lovely people of Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland. We’re standing in front of Plaça del Milicià Desconegut with Republican flag and Gaelic words ‘Cairde na hÉireann de na Briogáidí Idirnáisiúnta”
In this video at the end of a tour Miguel whose Mexican American father Nicholas Ramírez fought in the Abraham Lincoln Battalion against Franco before wounded at Fuentes de Ebro. Here talking about his father’s motives and experiences.
- Englishman leads SCW tours in Barcelona (2012, The Volunteer – Founded by the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade)