The Ongoing Legacy of the Spanish Civil War for One Family


  • Andrea Angulo Menasse


dimensiones simboliccas y politicas de los problemas de enfermedad


This paper examines the health consequences of the Spanish Civil War for a family of Repub-lican militiamen who defended the socialist project in a divided Spain between 1936 and 1939. The consequences of the Civil War are traced in their children and grandchildren. Interviews with members of a family of socialist political exiles revealed how the war against Spanish fascism affected their lives and their bodies. As children, the adults had been forced to flee Spain for their very lives, accompanying their parents first to France and later to America. Once the war was over, those who remained in Spain were enveloped in a wave of terror which forced them to hide and then escape across the border. As socialist families in resistance, they were under constant threat of death. Based on the testimony of various generations, this paper traces the messages transmitted from grandparents to parents, from parents to children, and from grandparents to grandchildren, focusing on how those messages affected their mental health. This evidence supports my hypothesis that, in the context of war, it is not necessary to have been on the front lines to suffer the trauma caused by the material conditions of terror and persecution. Nor was it necessary to have personally suffered the experiences of exile and the persecution in 1939 to carry the burden of what the Civil War meant in terms of the loss and failure of a utopian political project. The violence was like a tattoo engraved on all generations of the family, even - and perhaps especially - on those born in the country of refuge.






Original Research