International Brigades

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International Brigades


international military units that fought on the side of the Spanish Republic during the National Revolutionary War of 1936–39. The units were made up of communists, socialists, and antifascists of various political tendencies who came to Spain from 54 countries.

There were seven international brigades in the struggle against fascism, the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th 15th, 129th, and 150th. The first brigade (the 11th) was organized in late October 1936 and the last one (the 129th) in late 1937. In all, there were approximately 35,000 brigade members. The brigades were organized essentially along national lines. Within the brigades the battalions bore the names of such outstanding revolutionaries, participants in the national-liberation movement, and democratic figures as Garibaldi, Thälmann, Mickiewicz, Dabrowski (Dom-browski), Henri Barbusse, Lincoln, and Dimitrov. The international brigades took part in the defense of Madrid and in other major battles. Among the many famous antifascists who fought in the international brigades were the Italians L. Longo (pseudonym, Gallo), F. de Rosa, and P. Nenni, the Pole K. Swierczew-ski (Walter), the Hungarians Mate Zalka (Lukács) and F. Münnich, the German H. Beimler, the Englishman R. Fox, the Yugoslav B. Parovic, and the Austrians J. Deutsch and M. Stern (Kleber). An important role in organizing the international brigades was played by P. Togliatti. In October 1938, by a decision of the Republican government, the international brigades were evacuated from Spain.

The activities of the international brigades, which rendered substantial assistance to the Spanish people, constituted a remarkable example of international solidarity among democratic antifascist forces.


Internaisional’naia brigada. Moscow, 1937.
Longo, L. International’nye brigady v Ispanii. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Italian.)
Eisner, A. “Dvenadtsataia International’naia.” Novyi mir, 1968, no. 6.
Garcia, J. “International’nye brigady v Ispanii (1936–1938).” Voprosy istorii, 1956, no. 7.
Epopée d’Espagne: Brigades internationales 1936–1939 [2nd ed.]. [Paris, 1957.]


References in periodicals archive ?
8) As the cause of the International Brigaders began to fail, their official publication for International Brigade volunteers, The Volunteer for Liberty, set about seeking photographs, poems, and memoirs that would record the memory of those lost in Spain, but it characterized those who fought with POUM only as "Trotskyist Traitors.
It was also the place to create the core of what he hoped would become an international military force to spread the revolution around the world: the International Brigades.
He notes that, "the natural irreverence of the Canadian volunteers put them at odds with their commanders," and devotes two groundbreaking chapters to "Discipline in the International Brigades.
Paul Finnegan, regional secretary of Unite, added: "I feel it only fitting that the International Brigades memorial plaque to honour the brave men of Merseyside is being rededicated at the newly refurbished Unite building in Liverpool appropriately named Jack Jones House.
Summary: UK: The last surviving British-based member of the International Brigades who fought in the Spanish .
As for the people of South Wales supporting the fascists, most who got into the civil war in Spain joined the International Brigade against Franco's fascists.
BORO'S international brigade endured mixed fortunes at the weekend.
At one point International Brigade command established a "cadre service" for the Canadians in Albacete, Spain.
CHELSEA'S Dutch winger Boudewijn Zenden has joined the international brigade at Middlesbrough, writes GRAHAM ROBINSON
But then came his deadly double, which was set up by a couple of Derby's international brigade.
A TRIO of specially brewed ales will salute the Sky Blues' international brigade at Coventry's beer festival this month.
Even though he had been badly shell-shocked in the First World War, the novelist Gustav Regler had set aside his pacifist convictions, taken part in the November fighting, and become commissar of the XIIth International Brigade which included the famous Thelmann Battalion of anti-Nazi refugees.

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