“And now, return to your homes. Spanish Republicans in the French Resistance (Y ahora, volved a vuestras casas. Republicanos españoles en la Resistencia francesa by Evelyn Mesquida (Ediciones B)

In a work of painstaking research, Evelyn Mesquida has been looking into the hundreds of Spanish republican veterans, male and female, who came to the defence of freedom through the French Resistance. A book that complements her last book, La Nueve. (Translated by Paul Sharkey)

Following publication of La Nueve, Evelyn Mesquida now offers us the heroic and tragic tale of those Spanish republicans who, following defeat in the Civil War, put up a stunning fight against the Nazi foe from within the French Resistance.

Like the many Spaniards who served in the French army and fought in the Second World War, those refugees who took part in the French Resistance were also overlooked by the history books. But they were there.” Since their arrival in France in 1939, most of them had had to live in barracks in concentration camps, huts in the labour camps, shacks and caves in the mountains and in the forests throughout the country. Which is where they were still living when, in September 1944, in an anxious and crass moment, General de Gaulle asked them to return to their homes, following the crucial battles they had fought.

The author, Evelyn Mesquida is a journalist and for many years the Paris correspondent of the magazine Tiempo. She spent a decade working on La Nueve, having interviewed many of the survivors and published several articles on the topic.

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Defensa Interior. The Final Curtain for Libertarian Violence by Ángel Herrerín López (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia — Centro de Investigaciones de le Democracia Española). Translated by Paul Sharkey

Defensa Interior (DI) was a clandestine anarchist organisation, founded in September 1961 by the congress of the Movimiento Libertario Español (Spanish Libertarian Movement: CNT, FAI, FIJL, Mujeres Libres) and disbanded by their 1965 congress. The objective of the DI was to revitalise and co-ordinate international resistance against the Francoist State, and to organise the assassination of General Franco. It quickly became clear, however, that it was, primarily, the new generation of young libertarians (FIJL) who demonstrated the political will to relaunch the armed struggle against Franco, a strategy that in reality had long since been abandoned — and actively sabotaged! — by the Toulouse-based leadership of the CNT-FAI (principally Federica Montseny, Germinal Esgleas and Vicente Llansola. My personal preferred explanation [i.e. SC]  for Esgleas’ and Montseny’s behaviour — which is outlined in Pistoleros 3 —  is that they had been seriously compromised by their collaboration with the Gestapo during the Occupation, which explains why they were never handed over to Franco, as occurred with most other prominent Spanish Republican exiles.  After the war the Gestapo’s archives fell into the hands of the Soviets, which would have provided the Communists with leverage over the CNT/MLE in exile, thus ensuring the CNT’s passivity and allowing the PCE free rein as the principal opposition to the Franco regime. The Gestapo’s information was also more than likely available to the Spanish police and security services). It was to be the last time the CNT, the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist labour union in exile, created a defence structure and funded the formation of action/defence groups.

ÁNGEL HERRERÍN LÓPEZ, is the author of the highly recommended: La CNT durante el franquismo. Clandestinidad y exilio (1939-1975),


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Octavio Alberola, interviewed by Agustín Guillamón in November 2016

Octavio Alberola Suriñach (Alaior, Menorca, 1928), anarcho-syndicalist and Franco’s public enemy No. 1 from 1962 to 1975. Exiled with his parents to Mexico in 1939, Alberola studied civil engineering and theoretical physics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he became involved with the Libertarian Youth and the CNT in exile. He also worked, from 1956, with the exiled Cubans of the July 26 Movement and the Student Revolutionary Directory until the fall of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. In 1962 the Defense Committee of the Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE) formed the clandestine Interior Defence (Defensa Interior) Committee, to which Alberola was delegated as a representative of the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (FIJL). Consequently, Alberola moved to France to coordinate the DI’s harrying, propagandist and solidarity actions across Europe, including inside Spain. These actions included an assassination attempt against Francisco Franco in San Sebastián in the summer of 1962, the first of a number of attentats. The San Sebastian attempt failed due to technical problems with the triggering device — and because Franco arrived later than expected.

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ANARCHISTS AND BASQUES IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR. 4. FOR THE FALLEN. Cazafortines – 2016. Translated by Paul Sharkey

Part Four: Contents

  1. Remembrance of the Battle of Medoc
  2. Anarchist Losses
  3. Libertad Battalion Combatants – Spanish Anarchist Guerrillas in the Dordogne – A Short list of Libertad Battalion Combatants
  4. The Enigma of Capdevila (aka Caraquemada)
  5. The Traces of the Battle


The names of all the troops (French, colonial and foreign) who featured and perished in the Medoc offensive are engraved on the Memorial erected in the town of Soulac-sur-Mer. Beside the dunes of the Atlantic shore-line, a thick wall pays tribute to the lives cut short in the Battle for Pointe de Grave and the Liberation of the Medoc (1945).

Photo: The Memorial to the Battle for the Medoc and the Pointe de Grave Front

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ANARCHISTS AND BASQUES IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR. 3. THE MEDOC FRONT. Cazafortines – 2016. Translated by Paul Sharkey


  1. Bound for the Medoc Front
  2. The German Stronghold- Festung South Gironde – Defences-Defenders-Supplies
  3. The Battle for the Medoc – The Libertad Battalion with the FFI – The Carnot Brgade – 1st Foreign Volunteer Battalion
  4. The Medoc Offensive – The Fighting
  5. The Medoc Offensive – After the Fighting Ended
  6. The Medoc Offensive and the Exile Press
  7. The Libertad Battalion: The Views of Other Protagonists

Having severed its ties to the UNE in Sauveterre-de-Bearn in the winter of 1944, in January 1945, Ordoki’s unit moved to fresh quarters in a French army camp in Le Bouscat near Bordeaux (Gironde), in which city on 26 February 1945, its members signed on as volunteers with the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). Weeks later, they were transferred to the Macau camp on the battle-front, there to join the 8th RMME, only to be transferred again on 22 March 1945 to the western sector of the Medoc peninsula on the Atlantic coast.

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