The end of the Civil War entailed the diaspora of hundreds of thousands of Spaniards who had remained loyal to the legally established government of the Second Republic. The fate of those defeated in the war was to take the path of exile. Many went to France and other European countries, others to North Africa, and many others to sister countries in Latin America.
The refugee ships on which the Spanish exiles embarked were the silent witnesses to this colossal exodus. The hazardous and adventurous trajectory of these boats ran parallel to that of the Spaniards who had to seek a new life, both personal and professional, far from Spain. José Gaos called them the "transterrados".
These maritime expeditions were organised by bodies set up by the government of the Second Republic, such as the SERE and the JARE , and had the invaluable support and collaboration of diplomats and politicians from various countries, especially Mexico. They took place in the context of the Spanish Republican Exile .
Apart from Mexico, SERE organised expeditions to other countries, such as the Winnipeg expedition to Chile, which was promoted by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda , during his time as Chilean consul in Paris.
Refugee boats also arrived in the Dominican Republic. There was no ideological affinity with the dictator Trujillo, but he wanted to alleviate the demographic deficit with the arrival of Spaniards. The expeditions of the Flandre and the three expeditions of the ship Lasalle were the most important.
The evacuation of Spanish Republicans to America resulted in the transfer of more than 20,000 exiles, including those who arrived by ship in the ports of Mexico, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
Let's sail the seas to find out a little more about these ships, on which our compatriots left, some of whom were able to return to Spain with the establishment of democracy .