'Stalin's Spaniards', by Daniel Arasa

'Stalin's Spaniards', by Daniel Arasa

Daniel Arasa enter in 'Stalin's Spaniards‘, A somewhat unknown and imprecise history in our country and rescues from oblivion the Spanish participation of the Russian side in the WWII. The author starts from the assumption that Spaniards who have at least some knowledge of the conflict, have a very westernized vision of the war: Normandy, the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk, the African and Italian fronts ... they are some of the most related names with the contest that we know, leaving aside the main opponent in the East.

We know the relation of Stalingrad or Kursk to this warBut we are totally unaware of the Korshum-Shevchenko battles, the Dnieper or Oder passes, the offensives of Belarus and Leningrad or the Kuban bridgehead. Thus, Daniel Arasa has tried to rescue the memory of these Spaniards who were forgotten.

Exiles or Republicans in their great majority, whether they belonged to the PSUC or the PCE, they did not hesitate to go to the Soviet call as soon as the German forces invaded Russian territory. Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, then a member of the Southwest Front Military Council, then described these combatants as “great people"And recommended to the colonel who brought him the news that"take advantage of the experience of those men”.

Still, it is not as beautiful as they paint it, since the help they received was tinged with ideology: although they will fight for Stalin and for Mother Russia, the great majority fought for the defense of proletarian internationalism and Bolshevik Russia. Not everyone who came thought the same thing, anyway. There were also those who disagreed with Stalinist ideas, who were later purged or sent to Syberia.

The communist commanders welcomed the Spaniards, since Spain at that time had good relations with Russia, recalling the wars against Napoleon or the participation of Russian soldiers in the Civil War.

The author also does not leave out the hundreds of anonymous Spaniards who worked hard in a dangerous situation for the land that had seen them born, working in the Siberian taigas, the weapons factories or building the impregnable defenses of Moscow. Fascist and anti-fascist mentalities they were now and leaving their lives on Russian soil.

However, it seems the story of those Spaniards who led the soldiers of the Blue Division and the memory of their participation would have been lost among the thousands of pages that have recorded this period of history.

For this reason, Daniel Arasa wanted to reflect on the events with Stalin's Spaniards, looking from a window practically closed by our memory.

Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in all that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.

Video: Joseph Stalin, Leader of the Soviet Union 1878-1953