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The routes to exileFrance and the Spanish Civil War refugees, 1939-2009$
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Scott Soo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086915

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086915.001.0001

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Mobilisation, commemoration and return, 1944–55

Mobilisation, commemoration and return, 1944–55

Chapter:
(p.193) 6 Mobilisation, commemoration and return, 1944–55
Source:
The routes to exile
Author(s):

Scott Soo

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719086915.003.0007

The different ways in which the refugees responded to the possibility of returning to Spain are the focus of this chapter. The refugees’ aim of returning was not accompanied by a nostalgic discourse about an idyllic homeland, but rather justified by references to atrocious conditions in Spain, and the Spanish republicans’ participation in the Liberation of France and Europe. Expectations of an imminent return resulted in a mass incursion of Spanish republican guerrilla fighters into Spain, the re-appropriation of Spanish consulates in southwest France, and a prolific round of public meetings and commemorative activity designed to call attention to the Spanish republican cause. For the first time since their arrival, the refugees began mobilising a collective memory of exile in France as part of their strategy for returning to Spain. But as it became clear there would be no French and western intervention or support for overthrowing General Franco, the socio-political framework of exilic memory declined. This proto-commemorative culture of exile nevertheless established some of the central themes of the commemorative culture that gradually began to emerge during the 1970s.

Keywords:   Liberation, Franco, Cold War, Commemoration, France, Second World War, Resistance

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