The Spanish Civil War: Communist Influence

Spanish Civil War Communists
Figure 1.--The Communists were an important, but not dominant part of the support for the Republic from an early point. Here are Young Pioneers, the Communist youth movement, demonstrating in Madrid during 1936. The press caption read, "Madrid children parade in hispital fund campaign: Young members of the 'Pioneros' parading in the streets of Madrid during the campaign to raise funds for the military hospitals of the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. The photograph being carried is of 'La Pasionaria', famous woman leader of the Loyalist ??????." La Pacionaria, Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez (1895-1989) was the brilliant public speaker known as 'La Pasionaria', a Communist politican who fought for the Republic. She is best known for the slogan 'ˇNo Pasarán!' (They Shall Not Pass). She enthusiarically followed the Moscow line and supported the supression of left-wing groups that Stalin could not control. As the Republic was falling, she escaped to France and was taken in by Stalin.

Unable to get arms from the Democracies, the Republic turned to Stalin and the Soviet Union. Only the Soviets aided the Republic. Soviet support increased the influence od the Spanish Communist Party, the leftist party under Soviet control. They were not the most important left-wing party in Spain before the Civil War. The two most important leftist parties in the Republic were the Independent Marxist Party (POUM) and the Anarchists. Historians debate the the character of the Republic before the War and where it was headed. Some argue that the Republic was dominated by moderate left-wing reformers. Other say that the Communists and their allies were on the way to creatinge a Communist dictatorship. While historians stll argue about this and is largely unknowable. What we do know is that the Comuntern (Moscow controlled) Communists and even more radical leftists became dominant as the War progressed. The growing influence of the Communist Party on the Republican Government in Madrid in the end doomed the Republic. Republican officials reaching the conclusin that Franco's military forces could not be defeated, decided that if they supressed the POUM and Anarchist forces most committed to radical social reform that Franco would accept the Republic. Stalin's NKVD agents also were active to destroy elements in the ledtisytbparties sympthetic to Trotsky. The Communists and the Republican Government forces proceeded to attack the anarchist revolution in Catalonia and Barcelona. Communist Party commissars and Soviet military advisors seized control of the army. There were pitched battles in the final days of the Civil War between the Anarchists and the Communist-controlled Republican army. Ironically, World War II War almost mirrored the Spanish Civil War. With the German victory in the West, the War eventually became a fight between the two brutal totalutarian powers. Only Britain and the Dominions along with America saved the precious heritage of Western civilization.


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Created: 1:00 AM 4/15/2014
Last updated: 1:00 AM 4/15/2014