This post is indebted to my friend Kellie Strom, whose art you can view here.

I have been digging around the Galeria d’Imatges site, a Catalan blog about graphic design, and found all sorts of wonders. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I hope they don’t mind me publicising them by pasting some of their images here. Please click on the images to go to the original posts.

Socors Roig. Ajut de reraguarda. POUM. Barcelona, 1936. Litografia a 3 tintes (Groc, negre i verd). Il·lustració Casals.



[Panait] Istrati shared the leftist ideals of [Romain] Rolland, and, as much as his mentor, placed his hopes in the Bolshevik vision. In 1927 he visited the Soviet Union on the anniversary of the October Revolution. He was joined in Moscow by his future close friend, Nikos Kazantzakis. In 1928-29, after a tumultuous stay in Greece (were he was engaged in fights with the police and invited to leave the country), he went again to the Soviet Union. Through extended visits in more remote places, Istrati learned the full truth of Joseph Stalin’s communist dictatorship, out of which experience he wrote his famous book, The Confession of a Loser, the first in the succession of disenchantments expressed by intellectuals such as Arthur Koestler, André Gide and George Orwell. Istrati came back to Romania ill and demoralized, was treated for tuberculosis in Nice, then returned to Bucharest. In fact, the political opinions Istrati expressed after his split with Bolshevism are rather ambiguous. He was still closely watched by the Romanian secret police (Siguranţa Statului), and he had written an article (dated April 8, 1933) in the French magazine Les Nouvelles Littéraires, aptly titled L’homme qui n’adhère à rien (The man who will adhere to nothing).”

The cover above is of The Thistles of the Bărăgan, whose 1957 Romanian cover can be seen here.


HERNÁNDEZ, JESÚS. Yo fuí un ministro de Stalin. Mèxic, Editorial América, 1953. Il·lustració de Ramón Pontones (23 x 17 cm.)

Jesus Hernández was born in Spain in 1906. He held left-wing political views and in his youth he joined the Communist Party (PCE). Hernández was later to admit that he took part in a failed assassination attempt on the life [of] Indalecio Prieto, one of the leaders of the Socialist Party (PSOE).

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Hernández was editor of the [C]ommunist newspaper, Mundo Obrero. In September 1936, President Manuel Azaña appointed the left-wing socialist, Francisco Largo Caballero as prime minister. Largo Caballero brought into his government two [C]ommunists [including] Hernández (Education).

Hernández, a strong opponent of the anarchists, spent the next few months trying to persuade Largo Caballero to bring the Anarchist Brigades under the control of the Nationalist Army. During the May Riots in Barcelona Hernández argued that Worker’s Party (POUM) should be outlawed. When Largo Caballero refused, he helped to force the prime minister to resign.

[…] In 1939 Hernández fled to the Soviet Union and became an executive member of Comintern. He soon became disillusioned with the rule of Joseph Stalin and went to live in Mexico.

In his memoirs published in 1953, Hernández admitted that he was following orders from Stalin to oust Francisco Largo Caballero and to get him replaced by Juan Negrin. He also claimed that Stalin did not really care about the Republicans winning the Spanish Civil War and was more concerned with blocking German influence in the country. Jesus Hernández died in 1966.”

A related project is Piscolabis librorum. Here is a cover image there of a book on the Stalinist purges in Civil War Barcelona.
And this is from a post about anti-fascist cards after the May Days.
[…] Entre una edició i una altra, però, hi ha vàries pàgines que canvien totalment de contingut i no només de matisos. Això està relacionat amb els fets de maig del 1937. Les pagines més significatives són, doncs, les que corresponen a Largo Caballero (PSOE), president de Govern que dimití arran d’aquests fets i que en la segona edició és substituït per Pablo Iglesias, fundador del PSOE i la UGT però, alhora, l’introductor del marxisme a Espanya. D’aquesta manera, el líder socialista del moment és substituït per un difunt cosa que marca un cert allunyament d’un tarannà partidista tan marcat. El mateix passa amb el fotomuntatge de Los sindicatos deben apoyar al gobierno en el qual els emblemes de la UGT i la CNT tenien un gran preponderància en la primera edició. Aquest fotomuntatge fou substituït -hàbilment i sense cap sigla partidista- per un altre de referit a un difunt il·lustre: Durruti (Durruti murió luchando por la libertad), líder anarquista però de qui la propaganda republicana es va apropiar i el va convertir en una espècie de Ché Guevara avant-la-lettre, de manera que tothom que era d’esquerres podia identificar-s’hi. El dors d’aquests fotomuntatges continuen tenint les mateixes consignes i sil·labari en la segona edició que en la primera, la qual cosa demostra aquesta substitució intencionada d’algunes pàgines concretes.[…]
If you lke this post, you’ll like El Gabinet NegreBibliofilia novohispana and 50 Watts.

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  1. […] Archivalien unter „Sozialistika“ und im Download-Archiv … weitere Hinweise bei Poumista, auf MIA ein Text von Ron “Slim” Washington zur Geschichte der Revolutionary Workers League […]

  2. […] spanish civil war posters […]

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