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 a must for those interested in Spanish history, and is an all around good read. It’s a little known fact that foreigners like Orwell, many of them American and British, came to Spain to fight Franco and fascism in the 1930s. This was a fascinating 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 now 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, their small patch in history’s quilt soon to be lost forever. So it goes.
One excellent way to gain understanding about this complex and important time in recent Spanish history is on a tour with Alan Warren, who leads George Orwell Tours around Barcelona. Alan an expert 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 a unique way to learn about Catalan history and also visit some authentic Catalan villages way off the tourist track. While we did enjoy the Barcelona-based tour, we’ve not been to Tarragona with Alan.
To get in touch with Alan to book a tour go here:
http://pdlhistoria.wordpress.com/ or call +34 933-376-319