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Guide to the Spanish Exile of 1939 in the State Archives

In the Ibero-American Year of Archives (2019) Nueva ventana, the Subdirectorate General for State Archives presents this Guide to Spanish Exile in the Spanish Civil War. A significant number of our compatriots who had to leave after 1939 chose the Ibero-American countries as their new home. In the words of José Gaos Nueva ventana, they did feel as if their homeland of origin had been transferred to the asylum country.

This work represents a contribution and tribute from the State Archives of the Ministry of Culture and Sport on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish exile in 1939 Nueva ventana.

Five years later, in the framework of the 85th anniversary of the exile, and in collaboration with the Archive and Traces of Migration Proyect (AToM) Nueva ventana, the guide has been translated into English for international dissemination.

The Guide is structured in the following thematic blocks:

The first section, Archivists and Librarians in Exile, is dedicated to highlighting the figures of some members of the Body of Archivists, Librarians, and Archaeologists. These members defended historical heritage during the Second Republic and the Civil War, and went into exile after the war. In their new countries of destination, they tried to continue their professional work.

In the second section, we provide evidence of the main refugee ships that took Spanish exiles to those countries that offered them help to restart a new life. In some cases, they did not find a place to live and had to re-emigrate to third countries by making new crossings by boat.

The third presents some humanitarian aid organisations created by the government of the Second Republic to organise the mass exodus of Spaniards after the fall of Catalonia at the beginning of 1939. Their work was only possible thanks to the cooperation of Latin American politicians, diplomats, and writers such as Lázaro Cárdenas, Narciso Bassols and Pablo Neruda, among others.

The fourth block recalls the evacuation and repatriation of minors, the temporary exile - or in some cases the definitive exile - of those known as the "Children of War".

The fifth block is devoted to the refugee camps that France set up in 1939 to intern Spaniards who crossed the border to escape Franco's repression.

Finally, we offer a last block of information, documentary and bibliographic resources, for all those who want to go deeper into the subject and know where they can find more information.

"Exile is a living heritage open to those who want to approach it and learn to value it"

(Luisa Capella).

We are going to approach and learn from this legacy from here Nueva ventana.

NIPO 822-19-046-4

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