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SPAIN: Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Richard Scwartz is angry at the common image of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as defenders of American-style democracy:

"The Spanish Civil War was over before I was born, but I remember one thing about it. During my engineering career in the aerospace/defense industry I had to have security clearance, and on the application form was a list of organizations. If you belonged to any of those, you had a lot of explaining to do. Some of those organizations were understandable, like the Nazis and Communists. One of those was... the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of the Spanish Civil War. When it came down to the push and shove of WW II, it was Franco the fascist who protected several members of my family from Nazi extermination. I don't get it. What were those idiots thinking?"

My comment: "Some of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade" were "useful idiots", others were Stalinists. I assume that Richard's family escaped to Spain from Nazi Europe and that Franco rejected pressure, similar to that Hitler put on Mussolini, to carry out a purge of Jews. I would like to have more details from Richard and comments from WAISer specialists in Spanish affairs.

Ronald Hilton - 4/3/02