Women from Madrid in a refugee centre in Velet Rubio, 1937 Kati Horna © all rights reserved 2010
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was a deeply divisive conflict which still resonates in Spain. The uprising by the Nationalists under Franco against the Republic in 1936 resulted in bloodshed, cruelty, persecution and dictatorship. The international community actively chose sides and many intellectuals, workers and artists came to Spain to fight for the Republic in the International Brigades. Remedios Varo’s lover, Benjamin Peret, Kati and José Horna worked for the Republican cause, among many others.
The outbreak of the Second World War brought even more mayhem. Carrington lost her lover, Max Ernst, in a Vichy internment camp in France and escaped via Spain and Portugal. The Hornas fled the Nazi occupation months before the invasion of France and Peret and Varo got out of Marseille with the help of the Emergency Rescue Committee headed by the American, Varian Fry.