Matti Mattson, Citizen of Spain

January 18, 2010

On August 26, 2009, Matti Mattson became the third surviving Lincoln vet to take advantage of one of the key provisions of Spain’s controversial ‘Law of Historical Memory,’ which allows veterans of the International Brigades to acquire Spanish citizenship without renouncing their other nationality.
In becoming a citizen of democratic Spain, Mattson joins the ranks of his comrades Clarence Kailin (who recently passed away) and John Hovan.

At a ceremony in the private office of Fernando Villalonga, Spainís Consul General in New York, Mattson accepted the honor ‘not only for the guys that are buried here, but also for the guys that are buried in Spain. And there’s a lot of them.’

Matti Mattson (seated) at the consulate proceedings. Photo by Nicole Tung/New York Times (

Matti Mattsonís big day was covered by The New York Times, which published a significant article the next day. The article can be seen here.

ALBA and James D. Fernández produced a five-minute video reportage of the day, which can be viewed below:


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One Response to “ Matti Mattson, Citizen of Spain ”

  1. J.L.I Solozabal on March 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thanks a lot from Eibar (Basque Country or ‘Euskal Herria’ in our native language) an ‘historical republican city’. Here was stopped, during six months, the General Mola’s fascist bloody campaign over our land . I’m very proud of all of you and all the people like you, that leaved his (far) country and gave their AIMS, for an universal cause called ‘justice’.

    I will never forget you.Long live to the ALBA’s Antifascist Spirit.

    Me ha gustado mucho la dignidad de éste (y otros muchos como él) señor.
    En esta zona tenemos el recuerdo vivo de la Guerra Civil ya que el la ofensiva fascista del General Mola en el Frente de guerra del Norte se paró aqui durante 6 meses, y en recuerdo a todos los Gudaris (Soldados Republicanos Vascos) y combatientes republicanos (anarquistas, socialistas, etc..) muertos en esos meses, se celebran actos conmemorativos en el monte ‘Intxorta’ en la localidad de Elgeta,Gipuzkoa, que fue un lugar donde cayeron cientos de nuestros hermanos antifascistas.
    Para ustedes, mi más sincero (y de todo corazón) apoyo y ánimo.
    Ahora el fascismo se viste(disfraza) de Bonos-Basura,Burbujas Inmobiliarias, Fraudes Bancarios etc, etc etc ….

    Eibar 27 de Marzo del 2010