The Spanish Civil War and Iconoclasm

Hello Reader! While doing some research on the web, I came across a recent article related to what was discussed in class today, the Spanish Civil War. More specifically, we discussed the destruction of key religious symbols and artifacts during this tumultuous time. The Spanish leftists keenly destroyed churches and symbols of religion. Meanwhile, the German Nazis did the same thing in Spain, a tactic which would continue well into WWII. There are likely many articles destroyed that are destroyed forever, badly crippling Spain’s cultural heritage.… Read the rest here

A Lesson in Charity

Hywel Davies’s book Fleeing Franco is a touching account of the lives of the Basque refugee children who were displaced from their homes during the Spanish Civil War and taken in by various humanitarian groups in Wales.  Although Davies does present pithy summaries of the political and social events surrounding the period, the text is primarily composed of several detailed vignettes that follow the lives of individual refugee children and the characteristics of the Welsh communities that came to their aid.  … Read the rest here

Bias in Fleeing Franco

Hywel Davies’ Fleeing Franco is a study of Spanish refugee children who were sheltered in Wales during the Spanish Civil War.  Davies examines how the cultural and geographic similarities between the Welsh and Basque people led to a connection that resulted in the Welsh providing more effort toward supporting the Republican army than the rest of Britain.  He also shows how the Welsh peoples’ more left leaning politics played a role in their willingness to provide aid.… Read the rest here

Basque and Wales during the Spanish Civil War

Wales and the Basque region of Spain have many similarities. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, bringing violence to the Basque lands, the Welsh felt a heighten sense of solidarity with the Basque people. In “Fleeing Franco” Hywel Davis examines how the Welsh showed their support for the Basque by sheltering Basque children during the war. He argues that many factors led to the Welsh taking in these children and that it was a result of the overall Welsh response to the Spanish Civil War.… Read the rest here

Fleeing Franco

Fleeing Franco is a book written by Welsh historian Hywel Davies in 2011. It deals with the Welsh repatriation of Basque children during the Spanish Civil War. While the book is well researched, and presents an uplifting thesis about the largely uniform acceptance of the Spanish children in an already poverty-stricken nation, Davies does seem to present a slightly biased view on the matter. For example, he makes a point of vilifying the leading Welsh politicians, by stating their pro-Fascist attitudes, in favor of returning the children to Spain after the War, while stressing his opinion that those working with the children were following a humanitarian call rather than a political opportunity.… Read the rest here

Spanish Children Refugees…Future of the Soviet Union?

In the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, Prats-de-Mollo_Children's_HomeStalin and the Soviet Union played an important role in supporting the Spanish Republic. Most directly, Stalin supported the relocation of 3,000 Spaniard children to the Soviet Union. Although this was a move to support the Spanish Republic, Stalin also did this for the benefit of the Soviet Union. By placing these children in the care of members of the Soviet Union, Soviet values were instilled in them, while still maintaining a veneer of their Spanish culture.… Read the rest here

Sovietization of Spanish Niños

During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, Stalin decided to test the influence of the Soviet state by providing some “assistance” to the warring nation. He did this in several military and political ways, but the focus of our class reading this week was on the nearly 3,000 Spanish children that the Soviet Union took in as refugees from the war.

There was an ulterior motive, however, that wasn’t too surprising given the Stalin’s history. While promoting Communist ideals in Spain itself via propaganda, Stalin saw these child refugees as tools.… Read the rest here

The Shift From Material to Psychological Humanitarian Efforts in Post-war Europe.

Tara Zahra’s book, The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II is a heartbreaking account of displaced and impoverished children lacking national identities. In the introduction and first chapter, parallels are drawn between both the physical reconstruction of post-war Europe and the reconstruction of childhood identity. These children were at the center of political conflicts and were the social problem that dominated Europe from the onset of World War I. The state of Europe’s children represented the civilization itself in chaos.… Read the rest here