November 18

Today’s Christmas cards in wartime come to you from the Spanish Civil War, a nasty fratricidal struggle waged from 1936-1939, pitting the forces of right-wing rebels (backed by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy) against the left-wing republican government  (backed by the Soviet Union and an army of foreign volunteers called the International Brigades.)

Thousands of Marxist sympathizers from the United States (the Lincoln-Washington Battalion), Canada (the McKenzie-Papineau Battalion), Germany (the Ernst Thälmann Battalion), Italians (Garibaldi Battalion), etc., fought and died in battles against Francoist armies. Theirs is a tragic story, full of misunderstanding and hostility in their own countries and of betrayal by the Comintern, with moments of genuine heroism. 

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