Friday, November 13, 2009

Americans in the Spanish Civil War





Opinions?? Comments??

10 comments:

Esteban Matthews said...

Each documentary clip made me feel sympathetic towards the Republicans and hatred towards the Nationalist. Confused with how emotional I became, I wanted to remove myself from the environment o f an American citizen and ask what materials were causing my pain. I pondered whether it was the horrific murders committed by the Nationalist, yet I knew the Republican did the same. More importantly to me it did not matter who struck first, because I follow the belief of Mahatma Gandi, “An eye for an eye and the world would go blind.” Next I wondered if it was about the people of Spain, yet I knew Spain’s population was divided almost equally between Republicans and Nationalists. Within Spain, there was not a majority of people fighting for one side or the other. Each represented a specific belief and each held ideals that millions could rationalize. Then what caused my pain????
It hit me like a bullet hitting glass. I was angry because I am an American and for no other reason can my simplistic brain manage to justify otherwise. I was born into the glory of freedom through a democracy, but does that mean a democracy should rule the world. Is it right to fight and kill in the name of my democracy? If my democracy was superior, why did half the population of Spain not want it? With confidence I would argue then as I do now that there is a better way of living life. However, as of now and forever I will not live the life of everyone; and for that reason I can say with confidence that to stand with these brave men and women would not be for an objective cause of bettering Spain, but instead for a subjective ideal.

Andrew said...

What I find most intriguing is how large of an impact seemingly infinitesimal aspects of the Spanish Civil War had on America’s path through the century. I find that this is highlighted by the service of African American men and women in the war. Seeing their plight in America magnified by the suffering of those under the heel of an elite upper class, they came to Spain to fight. Interestingly, this experience only inflamed their passions for freedom and equality, as it allowed them to see the quality of life they were missing in the states (more accurately the South, as many traveled to the North first before venturing to Europe). It can be theorized that participation in this conflict was the impetus to the African American community collectively desiring change at any cost. This desire would eventually lead to the Civil Rights movement, and alter our history forever.

William Suttles said...

The amount of compassion involved with the Spanish Civil War is overwhelming. Not only were the Republicans fighting the Nationalists in the name of The Second Republic, but there were various other groups fighting either against Fascism or for the simple idea of Democracy. I never knew the extent of the Negro-American involvement in the war. But, I think it points to the far stretching implications of The Spanish Civil War. The Negro-Americans wished to fight for the freedom which democracy is supposed to ensure and that they didn't currently have. Perhaps this event contributed more to the civil rights movement in the US than for which it is given credit. The name "The Little World War" makes more sense to me now as well. The involvement of so many nations, whether condoned by government or via volunteers amplifies the importance of the war and the implications of its results.

Kandace said...

I found the amount of anger expressed by the volunteers...well, not surprising, but incredibly strong. Anger mingled with a fight for ideals seemed to be a large theme in these women's speeches. You know what they say, one of the deepest circles of hell is reserved for those who stay neutral in a time of need. Inaction is an action, which was clearly demonstrated by the 'three democracies' mentioned in the videos.

I can recognize the video as being inherently biased -- clearly, there are no fascist sympathists featured in this video, although they volunteered and died for a country that was not their own as well -- however, I agree with Stephen: I was filled with such pride watching these images that these women, our American women, were giving so much of themselves to help create a "better world". It is true: the people who make the food, who make it hot and edible, who ensure that soldiers can have the strength to fight for freedom... well, they are true heroes.

Kassidy Benson said...

Everyones emotions are very sentimental but we have to understand that the Fascists were fighting for a cause they believed in just as strongly as the Republicans. Fascism meant stability, family, and a culture rooted in faith.

The international brigades were the forward thinkers of the day. Fighting for another a cause rather then a nation? That is a revolutionary idea. Ironically its fitting because they were fighting against Nationalism. The international brigades of Hitler and Mussolini became involved for selfish reason. The prompted up Franco to further their own nation ideas.

Geethi Abraham said...

In these videos, Republicanism vs. Fascism is equated with Good vs. Evil. Fascism was explicitly or implicitly associated with immorality, oppression, destruction, and terror. This was exemplified by the parallel drawn between Fascist oppression in Europe to oppression of African American in the United States. Fascism, from the perspective of these people, was representative of all that was wrong in the world.

I too agree that these videos are very emotionally provocative. I felt inspired by the courage of these American men and women, who seemingly put the needs of strangers in front of their own. Like Will said, the name "The Little World" makes a lot more sense to me now. I didn't really comprehend the extent of foreign involvement in the War before watching these videos.

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