Stephen Schwartz: “Post-Franco and post-Soviet archival research and new directions in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War.”

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2010. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 323-338

This article will analyze the impact of the death of the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, and subsequent political developments, on archival research and historiographical trends regarding the Spanish Civil War. With the death of Franco, the Spanish government began to prepare the opening of the state archives on the conflict. These included an extraordinary number of files seized by Franco’s forces at the end of the war from offices of the former Republican government.
Spanish archival standards are high and nearly every document was preserved, organized and, in the late 1980s, opened to historians. Disclosures included notes on the Soviet pursuit of the British author George Orwell in Catalonia in 1937. In the 1990s, the temporary opening of former Soviet archives led to the publication of significant documentary holdings on the war. Spanish and Soviet archival materials, as well as memoirs and analytical works, have produced a “revolution” in Spanish and Catalan historiography on the war, with old debates reopened, new debates inaugurated, and an unquestionable change in basic views on the war. This article will also examine a limited number of non-Spanish works, by American, British and other historians.

Über den Autor

Stephen Schwartz, geb. 1948, Publizist, Executive Director des Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D. C. Veröffentlichungen u. a. in: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard und The Spectator. Buchveröffentlichungen u. a.: Brotherhood of the Sea: A History of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, New Brunswick, NJ 1986; Spanish Marxism vs. Soviet Communism: A History of the POUM (hg. und überarb. mit Víctor Alba), New Brunswick, NJ 1988; Kosovo: Background to a War, London 2000; The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa’ud from Tradition to Terror, New York 2002; The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony, New York 2008.