El País in English
The letters from Mexico that reveal interrupted Republican lives


In anticipation of an imminent end to the Spanish conflict, the Mexican government of General Lázaro Cárdenas had launched what is probably the greatest operation of international solidarity ever conducted. Mexico was willing to provide a home, food and work to people who could never again find peace or forgiveness in Franco’s Spain because of their Republican past.

In the darkness of the overcrowded, disease-ridden French barracks, hungry and desolate Spaniards who had lost their families, friends, jobs and stations in life saw Mexico as a bright and alluring land of dreams.


Even though the exiles were mostly professionals and qualified technicians, many letters were written in a surprisingly literary style: “We desire no gift for our lives. We ask for warmth for our aspirations;” or “Mexico, liberal emblem of Hispanic America, on this day we offer you the promise of our sacrifice;” or “...who had to flee their land before the black reactionary ghost, which was backed by the military perjurers, sons of those merchants of the sword who, in the remote past, had no other occupation than theft, murder and mockery of your customs on their colonial adventures.”


article in full here

A letter requesting the evacuation of a 16 year old orphan