Spanish civil war and revolution photo gallery, 1936-39

Anarchist workers in the Spanish revolution

Photo gallery of anarchists and other workers who attempted a social revolution after the military uprising of the right-wing General Francisco Franco in July 1936. Thanks to for supplying some of the pictures.

Posted By

Feb 20 2012 13:30


Attached files


Feb 20 2012 13:47


Feb 20 2012 14:50

awesome stuff. i am writing a book on militant antifascism and have just started the spanish chapter (eeek!) do you know who owns copyright on these at all?

Feb 20 2012 14:51

also great to see so many women in the pix too!

Feb 20 2012 19:23

Fantastic photos and a reminder of a heroic era .As stated above the photos emphasise the pivotal role of the female comrades played in the struggle.

Feb 21 2012 06:35

what's with the black dude (fifth row from the top, second column from the left)?

Feb 21 2012 11:45
wojtek wrote:
lwhat's with the black dude (fifth row from the top, second column from the left)?

Spanish quest to identify black soldier who fought against fascism in civil war

Feb 22 2012 11:53

I've added another photo of African-Americans in the Spanish Civil War, third row from bottom, second from left, who were part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as well

Feb 22 2012 12:02

Related to this, what do people think about adding photos of the International Brigades? I was torn on this because obviously their intentions were good (understatement) but in the end they served largely as functionaries for the Communist Party who ultimately killed the revolution..

That said, not putting them in loses the international aspect of the civil war.. what do people think?

Feb 22 2012 12:10

I would stick in a couple, you could always add a bit of critical text in the title box

Feb 24 2012 22:28

Ed wrote:

Related to this, what do people think about adding photos of the International Brigades? I was torn on this because obviously their intentions were good (understatement) but in the end they served largely as functionaries for the Communist Party who ultimately killed the revolution..

I bought a copy of the book 'Britons in Spain' by William Rust after I heard the song 'Viva la Quince Brigada' by Christie Moore (renamed from the original and incorrect 'Viva la Quinta Brigada'). I didn't know when I bought the book that Rust was the Spanish correspondent for the Daily Worker. It is one of the most amazing pieces of 'journalism' I've ever read, maintaining right up to the Ebro offensive that the Republic was winning and that every single action was another nail in the coffin of Spanish fascism. There is an almost ludicrous section on why saluting officers is necessary for morale in the People's Army ("almost ludricous" only because it was so blatantly hierarchical it can't actually be ludicrous). As late as September 1938 Rust wrote:

"The Republican Army, now one million strong and yet to reach full strength, has broken the offensive power of Franco's forces and ... is preparing for further advances".

It is Communist doublespeak written in Boy's Own language. It concentrates on the British Battalion, who lost 500 dead, 1200 wounded. The International Brigades were renowned for their bravery and it hardly needs to be said that the vast majority went to Spain with high ideals, but those overwhelmingly working-class idealists were used shamelessly by the Communist hierarchy and its bourgeois partners. The worker-soldiers of the International Brigades were betrayed by the Stalinists just as surely as the CNT and POUM were betrayed and the revolution was betrayed. It is heart-rending to read about the personal sacrifices of those men with the benefit of hindsight where we can see the duplicity of Stalin and his henchmen and the power-obsessed machinations of the socialists.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I would add their photos. They may have been misguided (in my eyes) in their party allegiances but they often gave their lives and I can almost guarantee they would have stood by their anarchist comrades given different leadership. Communists they may have been but they were working men who fought for an ideal which, but for the nuances of left-wing ideology, we nearly share and which had a common enemy.

Feb 24 2012 22:40

Ed, I'd love to have a copy of the photo of the crowd in the bullring to blow up to poster size. Do you know if there's any way of getting hold of a hi-res image?

Feb 25 2012 14:35

Some great pics. Am I being daft or is it not possible to save these images? Right click - save as only gives the option to save as an HTML file?

Feb 25 2012 19:15

If you want to save the images right click on the thumbnail and click "save target as"

Feb 25 2012 23:39
Anatta wrote:
Am I being daft

Yes you are embarrassed

Mar 27 2012 00:00

New photos added..

Mar 27 2012 09:31

Thanks so much for this impressive photo gallery!

Joseph Kay
Sep 12 2012 10:00

Saw this on facebook (Women working in a hemp factory collectivised by the CNT-FAI in Barcelona, 1936). I can't crop the caption atm, so posting here as a reminder to add it.

May 2 2013 05:48

In this war, more than 6,800 Catholic clergy were slaughtered, including 13 bishops, more than 2,360 monks and friars, 4,172 diocesan priests and seminarians, as well as 283 nuns were killed! Thousands of churches were destroyed, not to mention the laity who were bullied and harassed by militia men and women who invaded their homes and either confiscated property or who just outright murdered them!
Most of the intense killing occurred in the first six months of the conflict, but by the end of the war about 20% of the nation’s Catholic clergy was dead.
I’m not a fascist but I would say that Franco treated the Communists to their own murderous methods - they received a taste of their own medicine!

May 2 2013 18:03

another catholic "victim". i thought i'd gotten away from that on a board like this.

May 2 2013 20:55

This war also victimized 500,000 lay people. You just don't want to face the facts. I hope you "liberals" and "free-thinkers" (really? seriously?) are happy with all the oppression and bloodshed that your ancestors heaped upon over 100,000,000 innocent people within one generation-more bloodshed committed than by any other regime in the history of mankind.
Hitler may have murdered 6,000,000 people, this is true. But Communism is responsible for over 100,000,000 deaths!
You fight for freedom and liberty, but the crimes committed by your ancestors belie these concepts!
And thanks very much for selling my father's beloved Poland to the Russkies, hence depriving my people of their cherished freedoms! Way to go!
You liberals are such hypocrites!

Black Badger
May 2 2013 22:54

Personally I am not a Communist, a liberal, or a free-thinker. I do not think anyone on this forum supports the antics of Stalinists anywhere or at any time; nor do I think anyone on this forum could be justifiably considered a liberal in the delightfully vague manner in which you use the term.

The Catholic Church in general, and its Spanish franchise in particular, has a nearly two thousand year-long history of murder, sexual predation, property confiscation, deliberate obfuscating control of virtually all education, and an unapologetic alignment with the rich and politically powerful. If you really want to play the numbers game to decide just how awful any particular ideology is, you should do a tally of the estimates of the following impeccably mainstream Catholic antics: The Crusades (including the annihilationist Abligensian adventure, and the nearly complete destruction of Rhineland Jewish settlements) -- and don't forget all their fellow-Christian Eastern Church folks killed in the Byzantine Empire who had the audacity not to follow the Pope); the Inquisition(s), the witch-hunts, the blessings of various national armies about to slaughter each other on the battlefields of Europe, Asia, and Africa, including the butcheries of WWI and WWII. And since the Church never did excommunicate Hitler and his followers, you'll have to include the Holocaust in that number as well. Your Church doesn't look so good in that numbers game now, does it? Regardless, I'm not a humanist either, so the numbers game is unimpressive.

But since you're into the numbers game, let's look at the record of the Spanish conflict. By all accounts, the raw number of people killed in the Republican zone dwarfs the number killed in the Nationalist zone, especially in the indiscriminate but deliberate targeting of civilians. The first major air bombardments of urban areas took place under the auspices of the Italian military in Spain. Then there was the bombing of Gernika by the Condor Legion, the Badajoz bullring massacre, and all the other events during the three-year conflict. That number could be increased quite a bit if you accept the post-1939 judicial murders carried out until 1975 (to which you would naturally reply that if the Communists and liberals and free-thinkers had won, they would have executed at least the same number, being the incarnation of evil and all).

I love trolls when it's my day off. But only when it's my day off. Tomorrow I'll ignore your massively ignorant provocations.

May 3 2013 01:00

You may say that nobody on this forum supports the antics of Stalinists; well, I don't want to judge every individual, maybe there are different political persuasions across the board. But the photos shown in this forum, I notice, are of militia men and women who, during this war, would pillage churches and set them on fire; invade convents and monasteries and drag priests, nuns and monks to their deaths; burn priests' and nuns' residences; invade private homes and confiscate contraband items (like religious items) and arrest and kill innocent civilians by the thousands. And because of them, Madrid, or anywhere in the Red Zone, would become a mighty bloodbath and conflagration. (And all this for the cause of Freedom and Liberty? Explain.)

Regarding what you mentioned about Hitler, I suggest you read a book by Rabbi (yes, Rabbi) David G. Dalin, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope." It describes how Pope Pius XII rescued many thousands of Jews from the Nazis.
-The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Zolle, considered the Pope his hero, and thus converted to the Catholic Faith.
-Catholic Poland was very instrumental in underground work to save Jews. Those laity, nuns and priests who were discovered were either imprisoned, murdered or both.
-Why would the Church excommunicate Hitler? He wasn't even Catholic. In fact, he and his followers practiced the occult.
-Russian Communist aggression was responsible for the slaughter of many Polish soldiers in the Katyn forest.
-I'm not anti-semitic, but would it be true that the Spanish Civil War was aided by Hollywood Jews? (Just asking. I only read this).
-Hitler's rabid policy of genocide affected nearly half of Catholic Poland. Even young Polish children were destined either for germanization or extermination. Their crime? They were Catholic Poles. Any slavic race was considered half dog or half pig and half human. Slavic Catholics are included in the 6,000,000 figure. (Edith Stein, though a Catholic nun, was nevertheless Jewish in race; given that, she was still gassed at Auschwitz).
-The Inquisiton and the Crusades pale in comparison to Communist attrocities. (Do some apologetic research).
-They also pale in comparison to the historical bloodthirsty maneuverings of Islam (mostly against Christianity). Not to mention Islam's oppressive regime.
-The Catholic Church's history of various forms of humanitarianism: education, hospitals, orphanages, charitable organizations (like the St. Vincent de Paul Society,etc), missionary work to help end poverty in third world nations (where the Faith is growing), medical centers, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, shelters for abused women, absolutely overrules your litany of attrocities you mentioned. Read the history of all our charitable organizations.
-In fact, if you were to study the entire history of the Church, you would find some sour grapes in our ranks, true, but that's because we're human. But apart from that, you would find that the Church has suffered everything from Roman persecutions, to Vandals, to Huns, to Barbarians, to the horrors of the French Revolution, to Socilaism, Nazism, Communism, bloody Islamic takeovers, ad infinitum. You would then see that whatever sour grapes we had in our history pale in comparison.

Black Badger
May 3 2013 00:24

You are funny to the point of self-parody.

May 3 2013 01:13

OK. So? Don't just tell me I'm funny, I mean, I already KNOW what I am, given I'm a Theater Arts major. Back your comment up. Show me where I am funny or misleading in the historical facts I present.

May 3 2013 03:02

thanks Black Badger. i just couldn't. i've been there and left it all behind.

May 3 2013 04:14

No matter what you guys say, just remember that most Europeans immigrated to the US to escape the type of regimes and ideologies you guys applaud. And thanks to our American soldiers (and disabled veterans) and the military might of this country, your freedoms have been preserved-----including your freedom to embrace Socialism, Communism, Liberalism or what have you.

May 3 2013 09:23
Malyuta wrote:
No matter what you guys say, just remember that most Europeans immigrated to the US to escape the type of regimes and ideologies you guys applaud. And thanks to our American soldiers (and disabled veterans) and the military might of this country, your freedoms have been preserved

There is so much wrong even just in this one paragraph that it's hard to know where to start..

First of all, 'regimes that we applaud'.. no one here supports Stalin or Stalinist-type regimes anywhere, in the past or now.. in fact, the pictures of the militamen and women above are mostly anarchists, who themselves were persecuted by the Stalinists, both in Spain and abroad.. so why you keep going on about what Stalinist Russia did here or there is really just confusing, and makes you look like a bizarre obsessive..

Secondly, sure, atrocities happened on both sides, innocent civilians were killed. Terrible things happen in war. But undoubtedly, as would be supported by non-radical writers like Anthony Beevor and Jason Webster, the biggest atrocities during the war were committed on the fascist side.. Guernica being the most obvious (remember how your brave Catholics stood up to the Nazis there?) but also in places like Badajoz City, where 1,500 were massacred after a battle and the General encouraged the rape of anti-fascists.. in fact, rape of political enemies was used systematically by fascists. And this is all still during the war, not counting the massacres and mass graves which happened afterwards..

On just a pure numbers game, even the most conservative estimates show that fascists killed at least double that of the anti-fascists; and that when fascist atrocities occured, it was done on the order of generals, unlike when they happened on the anti-fascist side and it was due to a breakdown in order.

And all the while that these atrocities were happening, and being ordered by fascist authorities, the Catholic Church still supported them.. top guys..

And yes, your American soldiers 'preserving freedoms', where exactly? By training contras and death squads across central America? Supporting the Khmer Rouge coz they were anti-Vietnamese, or the Thai monarchy in committing massacres and boiling rural peasants alive? Please, read some of these articles and come back here afterwards to talking about the freedoms the American govt have preserved.

May 3 2013 09:57

From Paul Preston’s ‘The Spanish Holocaust’ (Harper Press, 2012):

‘In the case of the military rebels, a programme of terror and extermination was central to their planning and preparations. Because of the numerical superiority of the urban and rural working classes, they believed that the immediate imposition of a reign of terror was crucial.’
(Prologue, page xiv)

‘…the huge amount of research that has been carried out makes it possible to state that, broadly speaking, the repression by the rebels was about three times greater than that which took place in the Republican zone.’
(Prologue, pages xvii-xviii)

May 3 2013 10:32

Exactly Auld-bod, whereas on the anti-fascist side atrocities happened, they happened as a side effect of the terrible things that happen in war, on the fascist side it was part of their strategy to terrorise a population into submission.

Also, extra-irony-lol for Malyuta celebrating the 'American preservation of democracy' while defending the Catholic Church in the Spanish Civil War (when it was on the side of a fascist coup against a democratic republic).. wink

May 3 2013 13:35

Imagine having as little understanding of anything as Malyuta does. The mind boggles.