Linkes Bild: Spanelsko. Ilustrovany casopis. Organ vyboru pro pomoc demokratickemu Spanelsku Prag 1937. Fotografie von Gerda Taro Rechtes Bild: Die Volks-Illustrierte. Prag 1937.Fotografie von Gerda Taro
Linkes Bild: Spanelsko. Ilustrovany casopis. Organ vyboru pro pomoc demokratickemu Spanelsku Prag 1937. Fotografie von Gerda Taro Rechtes Bild: Die Volks-Illustrierte. Prag 1937.Fotografie von Gerda Taro

Spanish Civil War

The collection is composed of brochures, reports of personal experiences, literature, memoirs, propaganda material, non-fiction, studies, covert letters and periodicals from and on the Spanish Civil War from the milieu of the International Brigade, the European movements to support the Spanish republic, and contemporary witnesses. The publications came about primarily within the context of the publishing activity of the International Brigades as well as of the solidarity movements in Spain and in the countries where the exiles found refuge. These publications appeared in Spanish, English, and French as well as in Czech, Polish and Russian. They also appeared in Scandinavian languages or even in Esperanto. Furthermore, the collection contains photographs, films, music and music supplies and ephemera as well as well as digital copies and digital reproductions.

Examples from the Portfolio Spanish Civil War

“Primer of the trenches” – Literacy Training and ideological orientation

Cartilla escolar antifascista. Published by the Ministerio de Instruccion Publica y Bellas Artes. 23x16 cm. Valencia 1937. With an exercise book (picture 1), field post card and pencil stuck into a loop on the inner front pocket (picture 2). This is a completely preserved example of the first edition with a printing run of 25,000 copies. A revised and expanded edition with the supplement Cartilla Aritmética was published in October 1937 with a printing run of 100,000. The Cartilla escolar was also redesigned and developed along the lines desired by the Spanish Communist Party (PCE). The primer was not only an instrument in the fight against illiteracy, but also a component of the political orientation. The typography and the design was by Mauricio Amster (Lwów / Lemberg 1907 - Chile 1980). Amster studied typography and book design in Vienna at the Akademie der bildenden Künste and in Berlin from 1927-1930 at the Kunstgewerbeschule Reimann.
To find out more:

Picture 1: Cover and exercise book

Picture 2: Field postcard from the front and pencil put into a loop on the inner front pocket

Hermann Kesten, Die Kinder von Gernika. (The children of Gernika) Amsterdam, Verlag Allert de Lange 1939. 242 pp. 8°. Although Kesten was not in Spain during the war, this book is a highlight in the creation of a liberal pacifism. Ludwig Marcuse wrote in a review in 1939: “Kesten’s books are pure literature.” The novel could “compete with the best journalistic reporting from the authentic sites of the war.”

L'Espagne Revolutionnaire. Album edited by the Confederation Generale du Travail Syndicaliste Revolutionnaire. Published by the Section Francaise de L`AIT. Paris, 1937. 24 pp. Photo collage used as a propaganda surface to support the Republic.

Spain? Un Libro de Imagens sobre cuentros de Miedo y Calumnias Fascistas. Published by the C.N.T. - F.A.I. Oficina de Propaganda Exterior. Barcelona, Edicion de la Oficina de Information Exterior de la CNT Y FAI. 1938. 38 pp. Texts in Spanish, French, English, and Swedish. Already beginning in 1934 a number of German anarcho-syndicalists had emigrated to Spain and they became very active journalists, publishing a good deal. This brochure were most likely produced by the photographer Käthe Partos, who was a member of the photo agency of the CNT - FAI. Her photographs from the Civil War first became well known in the 1990s, when they were published under the name Katia Horn, which was her name later in life.

Einheit. (Unity). Magazine of the Internatinal Solidarity Movement. Special edition dedicated to the Spanish people. Paris, Editions Universelles 1937. 32 pp. Monthly magazine for international solidarity/Magazine of the international solidarity movement. There were 28 editions up through May 1938. It was also published in French.

Un Año de las Brigadas Internationales. Published by a committee: Peter Kast - Juanita - Turai. With an introduction by André Marty und Luigi Gallo. Madrid, Ediciones del Comisariado de las Brigadas Internacionales 1938. Illustrated book using photo montage 110(2) pp. Ill. Obrosch. Quer-4°. This is a very rare publication from the German language publishing activity of the Interbrigaden. There are dedications and notes from former Interbrigade activists on the occasion of a reunion organized by Erich Weinert in 1951 in Berlin. Peter Kast was one of the three editors and designers of the illustrated book: “Today, 18 July 1951, while visiting Erich Weinert, I celebrated a reunion with my work in Madrid from 1937/38.” Kast (1894-1959) was a member of the KPD and of the “Bund proletarisch-revolutionärer Schriftsteller” and from 1928 to 1932 he was a reporter for the KPD party newspapers Die rote Fahne. In Spain, Kast belonged to the publishing staff of the Interbrigade.

Le Volontaire de la Liberté. Deutsche Ausgabe. Barcelona, Madrid 1937-38
6 - 12 pp. Ewed. Nr. 64 from 1 February 1938: Ein Jahr "Volontaire de la Liberté"
The magazine of the International Brigade was published in English, French, and Italian; the articles were tailored for the different nationalities

Ludwig Renn: Telegram from Mexiko to Jack Brent. "Cable and Wireless" 1942. 1 p. 18,5 x 20 cm

"3. Aug.42W1255 MexicoDF 51 1 0830 NLT Jack Brent Holborn 144 London EC 1=Uhse Janka me join Committe International Brigade Stop Greetings to all Comrades Promise

Continue Struggle for Liberty Democracy until total Victory on Hitlerists Stop You may send Aid for Brigadiers confined Europe to Luise P Maya Foare Fifty Departamento Fourth = Ludwig Renn".

Lise Lindbaek - The Thälmann Bataillon 1937 – 1939

Lise Lindbaek, Bataljon Thälmann. Oslo, Tiden Norsk Förlag 1938. 224 pp. first edition.

Lise Lindbaek, Bataljon Thälmann. Stockholm 1939. 180 pp. The report about the Thälmann batallion. This is a Swedish translation of the original book, which had been published a year earlier in Oslo.

Photo: Guillermo Zúñiga (there is no further information about the photographs and the design of the book in the text.)


To find out more about the life and work of Guillermo Zúñiga:

Max Hodann, Die unbekannten Soldaten der Freiheit. (The unknown soldiers of freedom). In: Das Wort Heft 1/1938 pp.125-133. The book by Lise Lindbaek (1905-1961), “Die Geschichte des Batallions Ernst Thälmann,” which was reviewed by Hodann in this article, was never published.

La Vanguardia. El Entierro del Heroico Hans Beimler. 4 pp. 2°. Barcelona 8.12. 1936. A supplement in intaglio printing to the daily newspaper, which is still in print. This edition reported on the funeral of the Communist members of the German parliament who had died in battle on 1 December 1936 near Madrid. The circumstances surrounding their death were unexplained. During the Spanish Civil War the newspaper was an important institution of the Generalitat in Catalonia, and, after the Republican government was moved from Madrid to Barcelona, of the Republican government.

Etta Federn, Mi ideal de una escuela. In: Tiempos Nuevos. Revista de Sociologia, Arte y Economia. Ano IV, Num. 7 - 8. Barcelona, Tierra y Libertad 1937. Cover by “les,” that is Angel Lescarboura. On the back there is a photo montaga by Pere Catala Pic. Translated from Spanish by Marianne Kröger. In: Mitteilungen & Materialien. Zeitschrift für Museum und Bildung, Heft 53/2000, Weidler Buchverlag Berlin, pp. 117-122.

Schwarz-Rot-Buch. Dokumente über den Hitlerimperialismus. (Black-Red Book. Documents about Hitlerian imperialism). Published by the Gruppe Deutsche Anarcho Syndicalisten DAS (Group of German Anarcho-syndicalist). Barcelona, ASY-Verlag 1937, 332 pages.

El Nazismo al desnudo. Su intervención y ayuda a los facciosos españoes puesta al descubierto por sus propios documentos. Editado por el Comité Nacional de la C.N.T. Barcelona March 1938. 422 pages. This is the Spanish edition of the "Schwarz-Rot Buch". The content is identical with the German edition, and an introduction by José Viadiu has been added. English and French translations were planned but never appeared.
To find out more:

Die Soziale Revolution. Frontzeitung. (The social Revolution. Front-newspaper). Published by the German anarcho syndicalists and the Regionalkomitee Spanien der CNT – FAI. Edited by Helmut Rüdiger. Nr. 1 (1. Jan.) - Nr. 13 (June) 1937. 13 numbers, published three times a month.

Ernst Busch (1900 -1980) - in four creative periods a decade-long interaction with the Spanish Civil War: 1937 - 1940

Ernst Busch with members of the 11 international Brigade.

Gramplasttrest 1936. The first recordings by Ernst Busch with songs from the Spanish Civil War.

U.H.P. / Roja Bandera.

Recitation of the texts in Russian: W. Katschalow. Sung by Ernst Busch
Orchestra conducted by Manuel Ramps
Gramplastrest, Noginsk


There were numerous pressings in the two pressing facilities in Noginsk and Aprelvka with different labels put on by various record companies. The songs were sung in Spanish by Ernst Busch and were recorded in Moscow.


To find out more:

Barcelona - Madrid - Valencia - Paris 1937 - 1940

First edition of the Canciones de las Brigadas Internacionales with the title: Kampflieder der Internationalen Brigaden. (Battle songs of the International Brigades). Published by “Le Volontaire der la Liberte” (Magazine of the International Brigades). 48 pages and 16 songs. Valencia, April 1937.

Fifth edition of the Canciones de las Brigadas Internationales. 136 pages and 102 songs. Barcelona, June 1938.
To learn more about the genesis and development of the five editions of the Spanish song books, see Peter Deeg (with Carola Schramm and Christof Kugler), “Die fünf Auflagen des Spanienliederbuchs (1937-1938),” in: Eisler-Mitteilungen. Published by the Internationale Hanns Eisler Gesellschaft im Auftrag der Hanns und Steffy Eisler Stiftung, volume 62 (2016).

Discos de las Brigadas Internationales España. Discos Cantados en Aleman Por Ernst Busch - Coro de la XI. Brigada. Three shellac records in a Album with supplement 26x26,5 cm. Barcelona 1937. 800 copies were pressed.

1A Los Cuatro Generales, 1B Lied der Einheitsfront. Mit Aufkleber: "La impresion defectuosa de este disco es debida a las interrupciones de energia electrica durante un bombardo", 2A Lied der Inter-Brigaden, 2B Die Thälmannkolonne, 3A Hans Beimler, 3B Lied der Moorsoldaten.


“In the evenings we sat in the dark around the radio; in the olive grove, where we were hiding, light would draw the attention of the enemy. In the black, mild night - the tent was open, outside the leaves were rustling from a soft wind - we listened to the sharp, trained, metallic and clear voice of a German singer (his name was Ernst Busch), who sang to great effect the songs of the International Brigade; he was very good. “Home is far away, but we are ready!” called out the metallic voice, which was simultaneously intimate and cutting. “We are fighting for and we will be victorious for: free-dom.” The last word of the song was a scream of triumph, almost rattling with enthusiasm.” Klaus Mann, Der Wendepunkt. Ein Lebensbericht. Büchergilde Gutenberg 1989 pp.439 ff.

Record label of page 3B: Song of the Moorsoldaten. From a German concentration camp.

Record label of the “Song of the Moorsoldaten. From a German Concentration Camp.” This is a new recording from January 1940 of the six songs which had originally been released in Barcelona 1938. Three shellac records. 60 copies were pressed.

The supplement “Spain 1936-1939. The texts of the songs of the 11. international Brigade” was printed in 1939 in Belgium. (Antwerp. Drukker`J Excelsior. 16 pp. Ill. Obrosch. Kl.-8.). The records from the pressing and the supplements were never consolidated; the album which had been planned never came about. The records came through the war undamaged as they were stored in a Belgium customs office.

6 Songs for Democracy. Discos de las Brigadas Internacionales. The Music Room International Series - Set 101 - Released by Keynote Recordings, Inc., New York. Three shellac records in an album with a supplement. New York 1940. 26x31 cm.
This is a new release with the identical cut from the 1938 recordings, which were made in Barcelona.

Record label of the “Song of the Moorsoldaten” from the album 6 Songs for Democracy. New York 1940.

Second pressing of the album 6 Songs for Democracy with slightly different information concerning the name of the record company: The Keynote Recordings, INC. 522 Fifth Avenue New York, N.Y. Album 101. Otherwise, everything else is identical with the first pressing.

Supplement to the album 6 Songs for Democracy with an introduction by Paul Robeson. 12 pages.

Preface from the supplement by Erich Weinert (German/English) as well as the texts of the songs in German and English and an epilogue by Eric Bernay.

Advertisement for “6 songs for democracy,” the first publication of Keynote Records, a record company which was founded in 1940 by Eric Barley








To find out more:

Carl Einstein in Spain

Carl Einstein: Die Kolonne Durruti (The Column Durruti). In: Buenaventura Durruti. Barcelona. Deutscher Informationsdienst der CNT - FAI 1936. (German Informacion service of the CNT - FAI 1936)

Carl Einstein: Afrikanische Legenden. (African legends) Binding from G.E. Mathéy. Ernst Rowohlt Verlag - Berlin 1925.

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