The Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was a prelude to WWII. German and Italian forces backed General Francisco Franco.Anti-fascist Americans volunteered to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The Luftwaffe bombing of Guernica inspired the Picasso masterpiece. Orwell, who fought with the Republic wrote Homage to Catalonia. Neruda, who was there as part of the Chilean diplomatic corps, wrote one of his greatest poems: “Explico Algunas Cosas.” Ultimately, the poorly armed Republican forces lost to Franco. At least half a million people died in the war. It was followed by the repressive Franco dictatorship which lasted until his death in 1975. This informative program with testimony from a participant also features great songs of the period: “Los Cuatro Generales,” “Viva La Quince Brigada” and “El Quinto Regimiento.”
Milt Wolff was the last commander of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the American volunteers who fought against Franco in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War. He never stopped defying authority. He helped lead the fight against U.S. support of Franco’s government and battled for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. In the 1980s he personally delivered 20 ambulances to the Nicaraguan government when the Reagan administration was supporting the Contras against it. He died in 2008. Interviewed by David Barsamian.