Monday, 18 July 2016


          There has been a lot written about the volunteers that went to fight fascism in Spain, 1936/39, but I personally haven't read anything about the Chinese contingent, that may be due to my ignorance. So it was interesting to come across this article giving some details of this, small, but dedicated group of volunteers from a country, on the other side of the world, that was facing its own problems from imperialist Japan.

         In the autumn of 1937, Zhang Ruishu was enjoying a rare break from his 14-hour days on the frontline. One of very few, if not the only, Chinese in Madrid, he hadn’t asked for time off – there was so much to do – but his commander had insisted he take a break. The Spanish capital was decorated with defiant if raggedy banners reading No pasarán (“They shall not pass”) and Madrid será la tumba del fascismo (“Madrid will be the tomb of fascism”). Zhang had seen many such signs before. At a newsstand, however, a large promotional poster for Spanish news magazine Estampa caught his eye.
        The intriguing poster featured a man’s face in profile. It wasn’t a handsome face, but ruddy and weathered, with tightly cropped hair, hollow cheeks and a muddle of crooked teeth in a mouth set slightly agape – the face of a no-nonsense man who had known hardship. Suddenly, a crowd was gathering around Zhang; eyes were widening and fingers pointing. “That’s him!” they cried, lunging forward to shake the stranger’s hand.
Read the full article HERE:

         Xie Weijin (left) and Zhang Ji (right) with a fellow Chinese in Spain, in 1938. Photo: courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.
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1 comment:

  1. In this link you can see a video related to this issue.