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Article

Spanish Republicans’ Struggle and Its Impact on the Soviet Wartime Generation

Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. 2020. Vol. 21. No. 2. P. 327-346.

This article analyzes the responses of Soviet schoolchildren to the Civil War in
Spain and to the arrival of the children of Spanish Republicans. Perceived from the
idea of “world revolution”, the struggle of the Spanish Republicans engendered a
variety of actions of solidarity on by Soviet children and adolescents, starting with
attempts to run off to Spain and ending with the self-organization of paramilitary
units with the purpose of joining international detachments. These activities of
Soviet adolescents are considered against the backdrop of the transformation of
children’s games in countries that underwent a process of militarization.
Developing their relations with their Spanish peers evacuated to the Soviet Union,
Soviet schoolchildren tried to turn them into their allies in the world’s
revolutionary reformation.
Despite its tragic end, the struggle of the Spanish Republicans enabled Soviet
youth to make observations and come to meaningful conclusions that ultimately
contributed to the cultivation of the moral and psychological strength before the
trial of the 1941–1945 war.