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Foreign FightersTransnational Identity in Civic Conflicts$
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David Malet

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199939459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199939459.001.0001

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The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

(p.92) 4 The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
Foreign Fighters

David Malet

Oxford University Press

The Spanish Civil War was a pre-World War II proving ground for combat between the Axis Powers and their enemies, and presents a case of foreign fighters being recruited purely on the strength of ideological affiliations. After a fascist military coup against a leftist coalition government, members of the Communist International in Western countries began to pressure the Soviet Union to assist the Republicans of Spain. Instead, Stalin directed the Comintern to recruit non-Communists in Western countries to fight as anti-fascists in the International Brigades under the threat that a fascist victory would threaten their various communities (democrats, leftists, Jews, Black, union, etc.) The transitory success of the foreign fighters led to an anti-communist counter-recruitment drive by the Nationalists, who portrayed the Catholic Church under threat by advancing Marxists.

Keywords:   Spanish civil war, International Brigades, comintern, Abraham Lincoln Brigade, fascist

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