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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

Keywords: civil war; communism; cult; East Germany; fascism; memory; Spain; Zionism

Abstract

The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 aroused strong responses in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine. The support for the Spanish Republic—prevalent in the Zionist left as well as among the Communists—resulted in young Jews and Arabs volunteering to fight in Spain. These volunteers, primarily Jewish Communists, became part of a cult created around the war by the Communist Party. This article will examine the content of this cult while relating it to parallel groups in the West and in East Germany. Through this analysis, the ideological elements, heroes, modes of memory, and dissemination of the memory of the war will be explored.

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