A Call to Mark the 80th Anniversary of the Founding of the International Brigades to Defend the Spanish Republic

We, participants in the annual international conference of the association “Fighters and Friends of the Spanish Republic 1936-1939” (KFSR), have met in Berlin with representatives of befriended anti-fascist and international partner organizations in order to discuss how, in the year 2016, we can adequately honor the fighters for the freedom of the Spanish people. Eighty years ago a putsch headed by General Franco was launched against the democratically elected government of the Spanish people and their intention to win social improvements for their country. Countless anti-fascists from over 50 countries  – people differing in religion, views, political parties and skin color – embarked on an often very difficult journey to Spain to fight at the side of the people in defense of their Second Spanish Republic against the fascist forces of Franco, Germany and Italy.

For many, including the German anti-fascists, this represented a continuation of the anti-fascist struggle they had been forced to conduct in illegality in their own country or in exile.

October 2016 will mark the 80th anniversary of the founding of the International Brigades.

Their slogans were “Viva la república!” and “No pasarán!” The goals of the fighters in those years have remained similar for us today: freedom, peace, human rights and human dignity, social justice, anti-fascism, international solidarity.

Let us keep alive those bonds of Interbrigadistas which traversed all national borders for our struggles in the present day!

This means utilizing historical experience for our present-day international activities. It also means maintaining our solidarity with the people of Spain, in their recollections of the past as well as in their present-day social struggles. 

We, relatives and friends of the fighters for the Spanish Republic, feel it our obligation to pass on the memories of the Interbrigaders in Spain and in the following fight to win the Second World War to future generations. We must reach the widest possible audience in telling about the men and women who went to Spain and what it was that motivated them. We must increase knowledge about them and preserve the monuments to them. This means cooperating with scientists and historians and also making our own contributions on the subject of Spain. It is in this spirit that we hope to further utilize the potential strength of international cooperation in a series of joint projects.

We appeal to everyone whose activities relate to the ideals of the Interbrigaders: Let us consider ourselves a sector of the internationalist, antifascist movements – and in this way honoring the fighters of those years with their hopes and aspirations.

Only if we are able to work together can we adequately participate in moving toward a more humane society.

Their struggle is still continuing! La lucha continua – as we strive towards the goal – Pasaremos!

Participants in the annual conference of the KFSR e.V.        Berlin, October 18 2015

Contact address: info@spanienkaempfer.de