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USSR and the Spanish Civil War
The recent Spanish elections have been exemplary. From the Aznar government to the Communists, the debate has been courteous, informative, and dignified. Spaniards have reason to be proud. The glaring exception has been ETA and its adherents, who are poorly-educated, foul-mouthed criminals.
The reason for this triumph of order and reason is that, although not discussed in speeches, Spaniards have grim memories of the Civil War and realize that the chaos of the republic facilitated the intrigue which led to it. Soviet intervention, albeit less well known than that of Germany and Italy, played an important role. In Madrid in 1933 I had dinner with the first Pravda correspondent there.
Soviet documents about this intervention are among the many now coming to light. Yale University Press has just published Dimitrov and Stalin, 1934-1943 (pp. 278) edited by Alexander Dallin and F.I Firsov, the former head of the Comintern research group of the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History. Dimitrov was Secretary General of the Comintern. Chapter three is devoted to Spain and the Spanish Civil War. Anyone interested in the history of modern Spain would do well to consul this volume.
Ronald Hilton - 3/21/00