Efter Spanien: De svenska spanienfrivilligas återkomst

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The contribution of the more than 500 hundred Spanienkämpar (“Spain fighters”), as the Swedish volunteers in theInternational Brigades were called in Sweden, has been analysed in quite a number of Swedish
publications, most of which are unfortunately hardly known in Spain, where the subject has only sporadically been present in historical studies. This paper is based on a chapter about the Swedish volunteers in the Spanish civil war within the author’s forthcoming doctoral thesis on Swedish-Spanish relations in the 1930s. It deals with
one of the less studied aspects in the subject, namely the reception in Sweden of these volunteers in late 1938. The attitude adopted by the Swedish authorities – restraining from the application of the
Parliament Act whereby participation in the Spanish civil war had been banned for Swedish nationals – and that of the Swedish people – mostly sympathetic with the efforts in favour of the Spanish Republic – is analysed.Following a general view of the reception ceremonies which were held in Sweden at the return of the volunteers, the paper focuses on their activities in the years that followed, with a special reference to their antifascist ideals and their work in favour of democracy in Spain. Furthermore,the participation of some of them in the Second World War and the control they were subjected to by the Swedish police authorities, as well as the post-war role of the organisations founded by them on their return, are highlighted.
The papers shows that the Swedish volunteers in the Spanish civil war, unlike most of their fellow mates from other European countries, were generally given a warm welcome in Sweden after their return. The Swedish labour movement organisations, in particular, welcomed them as heroes. On the other hand, the effect of these welcoming ceremonies did not last long and their return to a normal life was not easy. They were also subjected to control by the Swedish police authorities and
Intelligence services. The reason for this opposition was not mainly their direct participation in the Spanish civil war, but instead the fact – the paper concludes – of their engagement with, and
commitment to, international communism, which in Swedish government circles was considered at the time as one of the greatest dangers to peace and democracy. The volunteers themselves
remained faithful to their antifascist ideals, as was shown by the presence of quite a number of them
in the allied armies in WW2 and in their engagement in protest actions against the Franco regime.


  • Benito Peix Geldart
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Historia


Sidor (från-till)10-16
TidskriftArbetarhistoria: meddelande från arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek
StatusPublished - 2012
Peer review utfördJa