Nueva York (6): Networks and Barbed Wire

April 7, 2011

More heart-wrenching clippings from New York’s Spanish-language press, this time from the Brooklyn-based paper, Frente Popular.  The war is over, and the international network of Spanish Republican immigrants and exiles is abuzz with desperate attempts to locate loved ones.  Spaniards fleeing from Franco  have been corralled into horrific concentration camps in southern France, and from behind the barbed wire, anxiously plead for assistance from friends in the international network of solidarity in the US and Mexico.  After the Nazi occupation of France, thousands of these Spaniards would  be sent to Nazi death camps, like Mauthausen and Buchenwald.

“Searching for family and friends…. Jose A. García Gomez is in the concentration camps and wants to get in touch with Alonso Sánchez Martínez, Lamford, Pa… Manuel Ramirez Poley is in the camps and is seeking news from Regina Gisbert Peidro, 912 Second Avenue, NYC…  Antonio Villanueva Acosta is in the camps, and wants to establish contact with José Moro, 116th St, N.Y.C…”

Imagine coming across this news item in your local paper, as you sip a café con leche in your neighborhood hang-out  on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, or on 14th Street in Little Spain, or on 116th St. in El Barrio, on a day just like today, in the Spring of 1939.