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 Spain as part of 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 a Chilean diplomat, wrote one of his greatest poems: “Explico Algunas Cosas.” Ultimately, the poorly armed Republican forces were defeated. At least half a million people died in the war, many were driven into exile. The repressive Franco dictatorship lasted until his death in 1975. This informative program with testimony from a direct participant also features great songs of the period: “Los Cuatro Generales,” “Viva La Quince Brigada” and “El Quinto Regimiento.”
Recorded at KGNU.
Interviewed by David Barsamian.
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 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 helped deliver 20 ambulances to the Nicaraguan government when the Reagan administration was supporting the Contras against it. He never stopped defying authority. He died in 2008.