Carinthian Volunteers in the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

  • Hellwig Valentin Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Institut für Geschichte, Abteilung Zeitgeschichte
Keywords: Spain, Austria, Carinthia, Civil War, International Brigades, volunteers


1400 Austrians took part in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), of these 61 were from Carinthia. Their decision for the enrolment in the International Brigades was fuelled by political and ideological motives as well as their poor economic situation. The Carinthians, who sided with the Spanish Republicans, fought at all the focal points of the Civil War. The conflicts claimed eleven casualties. After the Civil War the survivors were sent to French prisoner-of-war camps, and almost half of the former volunteers were subsequently deported to German concentration camps by the Gestapo, where another Carinthian member of the International Brigades lost his life. After the end of the Spanish Civil War, four Carinthians joined the French resistance movement. After 1945 the majority of the former volunteers returned to Carinthia, the last of them as late as in 1955, when he was released from a Spanish prison.