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 ?
The early files in these Mac-Pap records acquired by the National Archives deal with matters of the International Brigades (especially the XVth "English-Speaking" Brigade) in general, and provide the context in which the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion operated.
But unemployment had fanned his Communist sympathies and he quit a Ministry of Labour scheme in a steelworks to enlist with the International Brigades, leaving for Spain without telling his mother.
In October 1938, the International Brigades were withdrawn.
In December 1938, the International Brigades left Spain, having lost the war.
On the morning of November 8, led by Arne and his comrades of the 1st Edgar Andre Battalion (named for the Communist leader murdered by Hitler), the International Brigade marched through Madrid to the deafening cheers of enormous throngs.
Some 40,000 young people served with the International Brigades - 2,400 British, 526 of whom died.
From the 1930s Paul Robeson maintained a close relationship with Wales, performing miners' benefits and commemorating members of the International Brigades killed in Spain.
THE last surviving Scottish member of the International Brigades - who fought in the Spanish Civil War - has died.
Mr Jones joined the International Brigades in June, 1937, and fought in the Spanish Civil War until being seriously wounded at Ebro in July, 1938.
George Orwell was among the volunteers who went to Spain, 2,500 from Britain to form the International Brigades.
One of the last surviving Welsh members of the International Brigades who fought against fascism in Spain in the 1930s has died aged 93.
ONE of the last Scottish veterans of the International Brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War has died, aged 99.

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