By Regina Winkle-Bryan
If you’ve read Homage to Catalonia, then you know that George Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War, on the side of the Republic, which is to say, against Franco. His book on the experience is amazing and a must-read for those interested in Spanish history…it’s really well written, too!
It’s a little known fact but foreigners, many of them American and British, came to Spain to fight Franco and his badder Godfather, fascism, in the 1930′s. This is a facinating time in history, when Barcelona was run by anarchists and revolution was in the air.
As we all know, the Republic lost, Franco won, and a lot of good people died. With Franco over thirty years dead, Barcelona is a totally different place than it was but the atrocities committed during the war and in the years of dictatorship that followed are still not talked about much. What’s more, the folks who lived through it and have stories to tell are dying off. So it goes.
One excellent way to understand this complex and important time in recent Spanish history is on a tour with Alan Warren, who leads the George Orwell Tour around Barcelona. Alan is a fountain of information when it comes to Orwell, and all things related to the Civil War. Not only does he do tours in Barcelona, but also to Tarragona, in southern Catalonia, where many important battles were fought on the Ebro River. A trip with Alan to the Ebro would be an excellent way to learn about Catalan history and also see some authentic Catalan villages off the tourist track…way off!
To get in touch with Alan to book a tour go here:
RELATED POSTS ON THE SPAIN SCOOP: