by Nick Wright
Legend has it that while Picasso was living in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II, a visiting German officer asked him, upon seeing a photo of the painting Guernica in his apartment, “Did you do that?” Picasso responded, “No, you did.”
As the veterans of the International Brigades breathe their last a new generation is recovering the significance of their heroism and of the Spanish tragedy.
Defence of the Spanish Republic was the defining issue of the late Thirties. Britain’s ruling elite favoured accommodation with nazi Germany and fascist Italy while the democratic Spanish republic counted on the support of the Soviet Union and enormous international popular movement of solidarity.
In every country this took the the traditional form of political action and demonstration. And in Britain against the government’s so-called ‘non-intervention’ policy which turned a blind eye to Hitler and Mussolini’s shameless supply of military aid…
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