DECADES after Spain tore itself apart in a civil war the pain lingers on. The Ley de la Memoria Histórica, a recently enacted law, aims to heal some of the old wounds but has only succeeded in exacerbating the fierce debate.
Passions are still fierce, not just about the war itself but about the repression that followed during the long years of dictatorship. The country has yet to come to terms with events that occurred more than 50 years ago, not least those of a desperate guerrilla conflict which raged in the 1940s.
Thus, Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras could not be more timely. This important book throws fresh light on a struggle which — thanks to strict censorship — went largely unreported both in Spain or in the rest of the world.
Author David Baird has scoured official archives from Barcelona to Washington and interviewed scores of survivors to dig out the true story behind the anti-Franco resistance movement.
Years of research lie behind this account of what happens when humble country folk find themselves in the front line in a secret war. Leading the guerrillas against Franco’s Civil Guard was a legendary figure, Roberto, a veteran of the Civil War and the French Resistance, charismatic but doomed.
Guerrilleros, villagers, Civil Guards give a moving account of bloodshed and betrayal, courage and heroism. Little did they know that as the guerrilla war raged, politicians as far apart as London and Moscow were pulling the strings.
In the words of noted British historian Paul Preston: “As exciting as any thriller, yet deeply moving, it deserves to be read by everyone concerned with the history of contemporary Spain.”
See the pages of this Maroma Press website for more details and how to order this fascinating and significant book.