There’s a Valley in Spain called Jarama,
It’s a place that we all know so well,
It is there that we gave of our manhood,
And so many of our brave comrades fell.
The news of the last living member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade’s death came to me not to long ago. The death of Delmer Berg was quite, and thus nearly forgotten fighting force against fascism fades even more. In what seems like a forgotten time to the many younger generations, there was once a fight for Spain’s future. In the midst of the fight was the International Brigades. These were voluntary fighting brigades that had been organized to fight the outbreak of fascism in the Second Spanish Republic.
The idea was put together by the Soviet Union, ComIntern and sponsored by various communist parties. According to History of the Three Internationals, a compilation of writings gathered by former CPUSA Chairman William Z Foster:
“ComIntern proposed to the Second International that a world united front be established in behalf of the Republican Spain. Negotiations were held, but nothing came of them. The communist parties all over Europe and America called upon the workers to volunteer to fight in Spain.
The International Brigades, thus raised, consisted not only of communists, but of left socialists and other fighters. They amounted to some 30,000 to 40,000 men.”
It was also during this time communists and other freedom loving people like my great-cousin Carl Geiser joined the fight for an independent Spain. But the Capitalists wanted a fascist Spain, much like they wanted a fascist Germany. Whilst making legal agreements to not interfere with Spanish affairs was only a ploy to cut off support to the Republic. Most notably, my gracious Uncle Sam giving oil so the fascists could drive their tanks. It wouldn’t help that other “leftist” forces such as social-democrats went along with this treachery to the working class.
It is noted that José Maria Doussinague, who served in the Spanish Foreign Ministry praised Yankee help for the Francoist army:
“without American petroleum and American trucks, and American credit, we could never have won the Civil War.”
Ergo the battles of the Lincoln Brigade were hard fought, vastly helping the people of Spain. Throughout the civil war they fought valiantly, most notably in Jarama Vally. It was here the Lincoln Brigade took heavy casualties and a six battalion fighting group was reduced to four battalions. But all things must end, and no invincible armies exist. Franco having the the support of every important bourgeois nation, and mindless Anarchists attacking a viable ally lead to the collapse of Madrid on March 28th 1939.
But we should never forget those who fell in the fight against fascism. The many who fought for the idea of a free nation, able to have the right to self-determination. May we as communists take inspiration from these people who sacrificed themselves for the idea of a free nation!