Théo Francos (1914-2012): An International Brigade hero

July 5, 2012

Théo Francos. Photo Sofía Moro.

Théo Francos in 1937.

Théo Francos, who died a couple of days ago (obit in El País here), may have been a French communist, but he was also a war hero, fighting in the international brigades and risking his life in the Spanish Civil War. Six years after an article about Francos was published in El Periódico de Aragón, it may now prove interesting and fruitful to revisit it. The article concernes Francos’ war experiences as a French communist (though he was born in Valladolid, Spain) in the international brigades during the war. Three times he was taken prisoner; three times he escaped. Francos’ experience as both a political fighter and activist began when he was just 14, when he joined the French Communist Youth party and began to harbor a passion for international affairs. In the midst of the Civil War in 1936 he became a political commissary in the Paris Comune, and joined the international brigades to help fight in Madrid, Guadalajara, and Toledo, among other places. In recounting his experiences to El Periódico de Aragón, Francos recounts such events as evading his guards as a prisoner of war, forming another brigade in 1938 when others were dissolving, and having to kill his friend at his own request in order to evade the nazis. Though Francos endured many hardships over the course of the war, he is only one of thousands of brave brigaders who were willing to sacrifice their lives to defend what they believed in.

Click here for the whole article.