Melchor Rodríguez García (also known as El Ángel Rojo - Red Angel; 1893, —February 14, 1972), was a Spanish politician, a notable anarcho-syndicalist, and the head of prison authorities in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. Paul Preston in his book "The Spanish Holocaust" describes Melchor Rodríguez García as having been a bullfighter until he was gored. No details are given. He was the last Mayor of Madrid before the francoist forces took over the city.
Born in Seville, he started his career as a worker. During the times of the Second Spanish Republic he joined the Agrupación Anarquista union and became the head of one of its trade unions. After the outbreak of the Civil War, on December 5, 1936, Juan García Oliver appointed Rodríguez García director of the prisonsof Madrid, as one of the anarchists to be accepted into the government for their support of the republicans. At that post, he was responsible not only for the upkeep of the prisoners and prevention of escapes, but - more importantly - for prevention of lynching, proposed by numerous members of various militias. During the first months of the war, the problem of extra-legal execution of prisoners was serious and quite common.
The militias and other armed groups were driven by the desire to eliminate the enemies of the Republic at all cost, and the execution of political opponents was quite common. Also, the society of besieged Madrid often reacted with violence towards the imprisoned nationalists after particularly bloody bombardments or after the press reporting of the nationalist treatment of captured republicans. The fact that the Spanish government was weak during the opening stages of the civil war did not help either. The most notable of such massacres happened after the air raid on Alcalá de Henares air base. A group of protesters, some of whom were armed, arrived at one of Madrid's prisons, stormed the gates and demanded that the cells be opened and the nationalist prisoners be handed to the crowd. Rodríguez appeared in the prison, ordered the crowd to disperse and even announced that he would rather give arms to the prisoners than hand them over to the mob. Among the saved prisoners were rightist General Valentín Gallarza, notable football player Ricardo Zamora, politician Ramón Serrano Súñer, Rafael Sánchez Mazas and Raimundo Fernández-Cuesta.
During his term in office, Melchor Rodríguez García also revealed that José Cazorla Maure, a counsellor of state security of the Council of Defence of Madrid organized a net of private, illegal prisons run by the Communist Party of Spain.Later in the war he became one of Madrid's counsellors himself, on behalf of the Iberian Anarchist Federation. After the fall of Madrid in 1939, he officially passed the office to the new Francoist authorities.
After the fall of the republic, Melchor Rodríguez was tried for his war-time past by the victorious nationalists. However, due to the favourable testimony of many former prisoners, he was only imprisoned, while the majority of his colleagues were either exiled or executed. He lived the rest of his life in Madrid.
José Buenaventura Durruti Dumange was a Spanish insurrectionary, anarcho-syndicalist militant involved with the CNT, FAI and other anarchist organisations during the period leading up to and including the Spanish Civil War. Durruti played an influential role during the Spanish Revolution and is remembered as a hero in the anarchist movement.
Diego Abad de Santillán, born Sinesio Vaudilio García Fernández, was an anarcho-syndicalist activist, economist, author, and a leading figure in the Spanish and Argentine anarchist movements.
Miguel García García (1908–1981) was a Spanish anarchist and writer. He was a political prisoner during the Franco era.
The Durruti Column, with about 6,000 people, was the largest anarchist column formed during the Spanish Civil War. During the first months of the war, it became the most recognized and popular military organisation fighting against Franco, and it is a symbol of the Spanish anarchist movement and its struggle to create an egalitarian society with elements of individualism and collectivism. The column included people from all over the world. Philosopher Simone Weil fought alongside Buenaventura Durruti in the Durruti Column, and her memories and experiences from the war can be found in her book, Écrits historiques et politiques. The Durruti Column was militarised in 1937, becoming part of the 26th Division on 28 April.
Mohammed ben Mizzian was a Moroccan general from Beni Ensar. He was one of the sons of local Moroccan leader Mohammed Ameziane, also known in Spanish as El Mizzian, and was the only Moroccan to ever become a general in Spain.
The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth, sometimes abbreviated as Libertarian Youth, is a libertarian socialist organisation created in 1932 in Madrid. It exists to this day.
The Siege of Madrid was a 2 1⁄2-year siege of the Spanish capital city of Madrid, during the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. The city, besieged from October 1936, eventually fell to the Francoist armies on 28 March 1939. Madrid was held by various forces loyal to the Spanish Republic and was besieged and subject to aerial bombardment by the rebel faction under General Francisco Franco. The Battle of Madrid in November 1936 saw the most intense fighting in and around the city when the Nationalists made their most determined attempt to take the Republican capital.
In the history of Spain, the White Terror describes the political repression, including executions and rapes, which were carried out by the Nationalist faction during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), as well as during the first nine years of the regime of General Francisco Franco. In the 1936–45 period, Francoist Spain had many official enemies: Loyalists to the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39), Liberals, socialists of different stripes, Protestants, atheists, intellectuals, homosexuals, Freemasons, and Basque, Catalan, and Galician nationalists.
The Spanish Civil War was a civil war in Spain fought from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with anarchists, of the communist and syndicalist variety, fought against a revolt by the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, monarchists, conservatives and Catholics, led by a military group among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets and was variously viewed as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, and between fascism and communism. It has been frequently called the "dress rehearsal" for World War II. The Nationalists won the war, which ended in early 1939, and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.
Luís Andrés Edo was a militant and historian of Spain's anarchosyndicalist movement the CNT.
The Paracuellos massacres were a series of mass killings of civilians and soldiers by the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War. It took place before and during the Battle for Madrid during the early stages of the war. The death toll remains the subject of debate and controversy.
In Francoist Spain between 1936 and 1947, concentration camps were created and coordinated by the Servicio de Colonias Penitenciarias Militarizadas. The first concentration camp was created by Francisco Franco on July 20 1936 and was located in the castle of El Hecho in Ceuta. The last concentration camp, located at Miranda de Ebro, was closed in 1947.
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José Cazorla Maure was a Spanish communist leader during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39). He was one of the leaders of the Unified Socialist Youth. For several months in 1936–37 he was a member of the Madrid Defense Council in charge of public order. He was ruthless in weeding out sabotage or subversion, and earned the hostility of the anarchists and Trotskyites. Later he was made governor of the province of Albacete and then of Guadalajara. He remained in Spain after the war, and was arrested and executed by firing squad.
Libertarian possibilism was a political current within the early 20th century Spanish anarchist movement which advocated achieving the anarchist ends of ending the state and capitalism with participation inside structures of contemporary parliamentary democracy. The name of this political position appeared for the first time between 1922 and 1923 within the discourse of catalan anarcho-syndicalist Salvador Segui when he said: "We have to intervene in politics in order to take over the positions of the bourgeoisie".
Antonia Pérez Padín was a Spanish feminist and communist active during the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War in Ceuta. A member of the International Red Aid's Ceuta branch and Partido Comunista de España, she supported striking port workers and fish factory workers by hosting meetings in her home and providing food to striking workers.
Ramón Rufat Llop (1916–1993) was a Spanish anarcho-syndicalist, agent of the Republican secret services, and anti-Franco fighter.
Women prisoners in Francoist Spain were often there because of specific repression aimed at women. During the Civil War, many women were in prison because family members had Republican sympathies or the authorities wanted to lure out male Republican affiliated relatives; it was not a result of anything the women did themselves. The Law of Political Responsibilities, adopted on 13 February 1939, made such repression easier and was not formally removed from the Criminal Code until 1966. Prisoners and people in concentration camps, both male and female, would total over three quarters of a million by the end of the Spanish Civil War. Of these, 14,000 women were held in Las Ventas Model prison in Madrid.
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Women in CNT in Francoist Spain were persecuted as part of state organized efforts to eliminate remaining leftist elements. Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) was formed in 1910, and from the onset it did not treat women equally to men inside the organization. This continued during the Second Spanish Republic, the Spanish Civil War and into Francoist Spain.
Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 . Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-303765-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)