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By James W. Cortada

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Additional info for A City in war: American views on Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39

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2 Anarchist violence had become an important feature of Barcelona's political life by 1936 and seemed to be the one characteristic of the city most remembered by foreign newspaper reporters and tourists. With the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic in April 1931, political violence increased in Barcelona as various factions vied for power. Police vigilance against anarchist hostilities weakened on orders from Companys, then the local civil governor. Stanley Payne aptly described the policy of the local government during 1931 as Jacobin, reflecting both political concessions to the strong CNT "but also a genuine expression of the ideological" mood of the Republican left.

It was a time known as the Red Terror throughout Cataluña. By the spring of 1937, a casualty of the violence of the preceding nine months was Barcelona's healthy and active bourgeoisie, managers and merchants, intellectuals and teachesall of whom either were killed or left Cataluña in fear of their lives.

3 Barcelona is especially useful to historians of modern European history. Many of the events that took place in this Spanish community presaged similar trauma throughout Europe during World War II. Its political life was frenetic; its economic condition changed radically; and it was bombed, crowded with refugees, attacked, and occupied. Bombing of major urban centers was perfected by Italian and German air units during the Civil War, and one of their major targets was Barcelona. The use of combat troop transportation and the implementation of improved technologies in weaponry and logistical support 1For a discussion of this effort see James W.

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