Spanish Civil War – Esperanto

Popola Fronto: informa bulteno internacia pri Hispana lukto kontraŭ la faŝismo [People’s front: an international informational bulletin for the Spanish fight against fascism], vols. I–III, nos. 1, 5—28, 30—42, 44 (of 44 published).

Valencia: Eldono de Grupo Laborista Esperantista, 1936–1939. Quartos (31 × 21.8 cm). Contemporary quarter cloth over marbled boards; 4–8 pp. per issue. Occasionally illustrated from photographs, drawings, and caricatures. About very good.

Nearly complete run, lacking only six issues, of the rare Esperanto journal published in Valencia during the Spanish Civil War, which appears to have been the most prominent periodical of its kind. Spain had a flourishing Esperanto movement by the early twentieth century, and its use was often tied into nationalist aspirations, as in the case of Catalan Esperantists, who embraced the maxim “Catalan first, Esperanto second” while marginalizing Spanish. During the Civil War, Franco’s forces “more or less indiscriminately identified the Esperantists with the enemy camp… The rebellion of Francisco Franco’s troops against the government of the People's Front in July 1936 limited and, after the rebellion’s success, cut off all opportunities for action throughout the entire Spanish Esperanto movement. Examination of the contents of a number of Esperanto-language periodicals makes it easy to establish on which side most Esperantists found themselves during the bloody Civil War. The best known of these periodicals was a journal published by the 'Grupo Laborista Esperantista' in Valencia, Popola Fronto. In the period of a little more than two years during which the journal was published, it sought to galvanize its readers in Spain and beyond, using a style of Esperanto unprecedented in its bellicose language. In addition, press releases from the Catalan government appeared in Esperanto, along with the anarchist Informa Bulteno and other more short-lived periodicals, illustrating the heterogeneous composition of the anti-fascist camp by arguing energetically among themselves.” (Ulrich Lins, Dangerous Language: Esperanto under Hitler and Stalin, 138–139).

Beginning in 1937–38, some of the issues also appeared in Dutch translation in The Hague, under the same title. As of March 2022, KVK, OCLC show no holdings in North America of the original periodical.

Book ID: 51890

Price: $4,500.00