for the Spain they believed to be better: in Barcelona, monument David and Goliath by Roy Schifrin. Annual memorial ceremony organized by the Amical de les Brigades Internacionals de Catalunya
According to Barcelona City Council “When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed in 1931, fascism was spreading throughout Europe. A failed coup d’état in July 1936 that intended to put and end to the Republic signaled the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Thousands of men and women from all over the world saw an opportunity to keep fascism at bay by defending the Spanish Republic against the rebel troops led by General Franco, who enjoyed active military support from the armed forces of Hitler and Mussolini. A situation that made Spain the first testing ground for the Second World War.
In September 1936 the International Brigades began to be organized. These were military units made up mainly of anti-fascist men and women from across the globe. Nearly 35.000 people from over 50 different nations enlisted in them over the course of the war and some 10.000 lost their lives in combat. Despite the large presence of intellectuals and professionals, including nurses, writers and doctors, most of the volunteers came from the working class.
Two years later, the League of Nations forced the Brigades to be withdrawn. On 28 October 1938, the Republican government organized a huge, emotive farewell ceremony in Barcelona with a parade of international soldiers.
Fifty years later, on 28 October 1988, a monument by the sculptor Roy Schifrin entitled “David and Goliath” was enveilled as a tribute to the International Brigades, on the initiative of the North American Spanish Civil War Historical Society. The base bears an excerpt from the farewall speech that Dolores Ibarruri, “La Passionaria”, dedicated to the Brigades.
The Horta-Guinardó district, in collaboration with Amical de les Brigades Internacionals de Catalunya, pays tribute to them in an annual ceremony held in front of the monument every October. It is one of the activities designed to keep the democratic memory alive and is attended by former fighters and their family members, as well as several associations, Memorial Democràtic and Barcelona City Council.”
These photos were taken on 26tn October 2019 during the annual memorial ceremony organized by the Amical de les Brigades Internacionals de Catalunya in collaboration with the Associació Catalana d’Expresos Polítics del Franquisme, the Memorial Democràtic, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Horta-Guinardó district.
The ceremony was attended by the representatives of several associations and institutions as Carles Vallejo on behalf of the Associació Catalana d’Expresos Polítics del Franquisme, Jordi Font on behalf of the Memorial Democràtic and the Mayor Ada Volau on behalf of Barcelona City Council.
During the ceremony a minute of silence was kept in memory of Lluís Martí Bielsa, died on 6th October 2019. Lluís Martí Bielsa, born in 1921, was a republican combatant and member of the French resistance. He had been the president of Amical de les Brigades Internacionals de Catalunya and the secretary of the Associació Catalana d’Expresos Polítics del Franquisme.
One of the photos shows the Mayor Ada Colau joined by Teresa Alonso (Donostia / San Sebastian, 1925), one of the Children of Russia, who witnessed the bombings of Guernika and Leningrad / Saint Petersburg.