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Call for information on Spanish Civil War time Socorro Rojo

The Gibraltar Garrison Library has called on the public for any information on the Socorro Rojo Internacional which was established in 1922.

The group was established by the Communist International as a non-governmental organisation that functioned along the same format as the Red Cross albeit as an independent and secular organisation.

The Spanish Socorro Rojo was established some years later, in 1934, following the October Revolution in Asturias, which occurred that same year and which was part of the general strike sweeping Spain at that time.

However, it was during the Spanish Civil War, that the see the Spanish Socorro Rojo was providing food and clothing for children in Republican zones as well as supporting soldiers with libraries and hospitals.

The Gibraltar committee of the Socorro Rojo followed these similar initiatives by collecting donations of food and clothing from the local community to provide aid to Republican children and families in the immediate Spanish hinterland.

A small postcard with the headshot of Manuel Azaña, the President of the Republic, would be handed to these donors in return.

Women were mostly involved in taking any supplies donated across the border into Spain, as their likelihood of being searched was less than for their male counterparts.

Michael Netto, who is researching into aspects of the Spanish Civil War, recently brought some photographs of the Socorro Rojo Gibraltar Committee, to the Gibraltar Garrison Library, in the hope that the Library held some further details on the work carried out by this committee.

“There is some suggestion that the Gibraltar committee had a collection office close to the Gibraltar Garrison Library, possibly by the printworks and, therefore, not immediately visible from Town Range,” the Government said.

“Still, there is no clear indication of the actual location of their office, and details on the work of the Socorro Rojo at Gibraltar remains very limited.”

“It may be that someone in Gibraltar can assist in populating the remaining gaps, which include helping to identify the names of the committee members.”

Anyone with any details about the Socorro Rojo please contact the Gibraltar Garrison Library on 200 77418 or on email: chris.tavares@gibraltargarrisonlibrary.gi

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