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Ana María Eccles
WAIS welcomes Ana María Eccles (maiden name Martínez Catalan), now living in Florida. She was seven when the Spanish Civil War broke out, and her comfortable home in Sigüenza was comandeered first by Italian, then by German officers. Sigüenza is about half way between Madrid and Saragossa, and was close to the lines during he war. She has described the hardships of living there during the Civil War, when the city was badly damaged. I have been through it on the train, but have never visited it. I saw nearby Guadalajara just after the war, and the ruins were depressing.
Sigüenza is a historic town, praised by my friend Paul Guinard in his book L'Espagne; he regrets that it is little visited. It has a monumental cathedral, in the shade of which was Ana María home. The Spanish Civil War by WAIS Fellow Hugh Thomas has a series of maps showing the battle line at various stages of the war. Sigüenza was always close to it, but the Republicans failed to capture it. Franco's forces swept to the Mediterranean, cutting the Republican territory in two. Sigüenza was in the sector from which the Nationalist breakthrough began. Has Ana María written an account of those years? It would be interesting to know how the war affected a small child.
Ronald Hilton - 3/6/00