My name is Francisco J. Gonzalez, and I am part of a committee that is organizing a conference on the Spanish Civil War, sponsored by two local higher-education institutions here in south-central Minnesota: Gustavus Adolphus College (private, St. Peter, MN) and Mankato State University (public, Mankato, MN). We are right now on the planning stages, with a tentative date for our conference of October 29 and 30.
The conference will consist of showing of documentaries relating to the war, workshops on different aspects of the war (political, ideological, influences in arts & culture). The main event will be a lecture/presentation by 3 surviving veterans of the Abraham Lincoln battalion (XVth International Brigade): Clarence Kailin (Madison, Wisconsin), Clarence Forrester (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Martin Maki (Annandale , Minnesota). Gustavus Adolphus College and Mankato State University will present the veterans with commemorative plaques thanking them for their idealism, sacrifice and heroism in defense of democracy against Fascism.
We have contacted the Veterans of the A. Lincoln Brigade, in New York; and the Archives of the A. Lincoln Brigade in Brandais University, as well as other interested individuals around the country. We will like to promote this conference as widely as possible and, if you are interested, we will appreciate if you can mention our activity in your web page. I will update you on the specific times, locations and workshops, as well as on any changes, as our plans progress.
I will like to conclude on a personal note: my mother was a refugee of the war when she was a child. I grew up listening to the stories of the Moors entering her little town of Don Benito (province of Badajoz in Extremadura); of the tall, blond "Internacionales" that fought so bravely on behalf of the Spanish Republic, and of the hardships she endured living under Franco's dictatorship. For me, this conference allows the opportunity to say "thank you" to the veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade for standing up in support of the Spanish people at a time when the world community turned its' back on their fledging democracy.
Francisco J. Gonzalez
P. O. Box 3526
Mankato, MN 56002
ph. (507) 389-8147
Last modified: Thursday, 31-May-2007 09:41:41 EDT