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A Black Communist in the Freedom StruggleThe Life of Harry Haywood$
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Harry Haywood and Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816679058

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679058.001.0001

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The Spanish Civil War: A Call to Arms

The Spanish Civil War: A Call to Arms

(p.228) 12 The Spanish Civil War: A Call to Arms
A Black Communist in the Freedom Struggle

Harry Haywood

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, Harry Haywood reflects on his participation in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 as a volunteer for the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), which supported the Spanish people’s front government against General Francisco Franco’s forces. The civil war was sparked by Franco’s rebellion in mid-1936 and became a focal point of the worldwide struggle to halt fascism and prevent World War II. The generals’ rebellion against Spain’s front government was backed by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, who poured in troops, tanks, planes, and supplies in an attempt to topple the progressive Republican government. For Haywood, as a Communist and a member of the CPUSA, Spain was the next logical step. Blacks have always faced the most brutal, racist oppression in the United States, but fascism would mean a great heightening of the terror and oppression. Haywood felt it was wrong to say that the conditions of Blacks “could not be worse under fascism.” It was through this understanding that he felt the strongest solidarity with the Spanish people.

Keywords:   fascism, Harry Haywood, Spanish Civil War, Communist Party of the United States, Francisco Franco, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Blacks, Spain

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