ISSN: 2038-0925

10/ “Spain is fighting for us”. Representations of the Spanish Civil War by the German left in exil

di Claudia ROESCH
Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea, N. 7, 3|2011
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ABSTRACT TESTO INTEGRALE L’AUTORE CITAZIONE LICENZA

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"Monument for the German Interbrigadists in the Spanish civil war", by pimgmx on flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

"Monument for the German Interbrigadists in the Spanish civil war", by pimgmx on flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

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Italiano


Nell’articolo viene analizzata la copertura della Guerra Civile Spagnola offerta da quattro periodici tedeschi pubblicati in esilio, cercando di approfondire i motivi che spinsero la sinistra tedesca all’estero ad interessarsi tanto al conflitto e il tipo di relazioni che vennero rilevate tra gli eventi in Spagna e la situazione in patria. Utilizzando i tropi narrativi di Hayden White, l’articolo mostra come le rappresentazioni delle vicende spagnole passarono da una narrativa di tipo romantico ad una di carattere tragico, ritraducendo tale spazio immaginato da simbolo di speranza a simbolo di apprensione e di disperazione. L’attenzione sarà concentrata su tre eventi: lo scoppio della guerra, il bombardamento di Guernica e il fallimento del Comitato di non intervento.
Nel considerare quanto la Spagna, come campo di battaglia ideologico internazionale, fosse sempre stata collegata dai tedeschi in esilio alla situazione in patria, l’articolo dimostra quanto essi non fossero in realtà interessati né agli eventi in Spagna in quanto tali, né alla dimensione internazionale della guerra. Vedevano, invece, la Guerra civile spagnola come un’arena internazionale utile per perseguire i propri obiettivi: sconfiggere il nazionalsocialismo e fare rientro in Germania.

Parole chiave: esilio, scoppio della guerra civile, dimensione internazionale, Guernica, non-intervento

English

In this article, the press coverage of the Spanish Civil War by four German exile papers will be studied, raising the questions why the German left in exile was so much concerned with the conflict and how they connected the events in Spain with their own situation. Using Hayden White’s concept of narrative tropes, this article demonstrates how the representations of Spain shifted from a romantic narrative to a tragic narrative, thus rendering Spain, as an imagined space, from a symbol of hope to a symbol of warning and despair. The focus will be put on the exile press coverage of three events: the outbreak of the war, the bombing of Guernica and the failure of the non-intervention committee. Arguing that Spain, as a battleground of international ideologies, was always connected by the Germans in exile to their own circumstances, the article shows that the exile writers were not concerned with the events in Spain as such, nor with the international dimensions of the war. Instead, they defined the Spanish Civil War as an international arena to pursue their own goals: to beat National Socialism and return to Germany.

Keywords: exile, outbreak of war, international dimension, Guernica, Non-Intervention.



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Claudia Roesch is a junior researcher at the Department of History of University of Münster, Germany, working in the Emmy Noether Research Group “Family Values and Social Change- The US American Family in the 20th Century“ on a project about Mexican immigrant families. She has received her master’s degree at Humboldt-University of Berlin in 2009 with a master thesis: „Spanien kämpft für uns – Die Bedeutung des Spanischen Bürgerkriegs für die deutsche Linke im Exil 1936-1939“ [Spain is fighting for us – the significance of the Spanish Civil War for the German left in exile]. Research interests are studies of modernism, migration and exile history in an Ibero-American realm. URL: < http://www.uni-muenster.de/Geschichte/hist-sem/NwG-ZG/Mitarbeiter/croesch/index.html >

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ROESCH, Claudia, «“Spain is fighting for us”. Representations of the Spanish Civil War by the German left in exil», Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea, N. 7, 3|2011,
URL:<http://www.studistorici.com/2011/071/29/roesch
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Creative Commons License«“Spain is fighting for us”. Representations of the Spanish Civil War by the German left in exil» by Claudia ROESCH/ Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione 2.5 Italia License.
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