Friday, June 20, 2008

Madrid In The Civil War....El Archivo Rojo

The Spanish Ministry of Culture has made available on the web an amazing collection of photographs from the Spanish Civil War. This collection, known as the Archivo Rojo, is mainly focused on Madrid and the surrounding region. The images were originally used by the Republican government to show the effects of the war on the city and its population and how the Republic organised its resistance. Later, after Franco's victory, it became another tool for repression as those identified in the photographs faced reprisals from the new regime. Many of the sites shown in these images will be familiar to those who know Madrid well, even though many of the wrecked buildings displayed no longer exist. Here is one example of a photograph of the Puerta del Sol.


Neil said...

Thanks for letting us know about that - great background stuff for my current book "The Spanish Civil War" by Hugh Thomas (anyone know of a book written in Spanish that is as insightful as this one? I've yet to find one...)

PS: Those of a more delicate disposition might like to know that there are some very grim photographs in El Archivo Rojo.

david said...

Hugh Thomas?


...try "The Spanish Cockpit", by Franz Borkenau, instead.

Tom said...

David - I haven't read either but I believe that Hugh Thomas's book is generally held in high regard precisely for its insight, along with its balance and gripping style. "The Spanish Cockpit" sounds fascinating - does it not get too 'involved', though, given the historical proximity of its writing to its subject matter?

dave said...

try also Spanish Labyrinth by Gerald Brennan, Blood of Spain By Ronald Fraser, Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. also the CNT in the spanish civil war think this still only available in Spanish, but check out their web site