Call to Arms: Communist Ephemerao of Madrid During the Spanish Civil War

Target Audiences: Women, Youths, Workers and Soldiers

| Women | Youths | Soldiers | Workers |

Although the majority of the documents in the collection are targeted to the general population, quite a few are directed towards specific subgroups of the residents of Madrid. The two major target audiences were women and youths. In addition, there are a smaller number of items addressed to workers and soldiers.

In general, the ephemera both directed towards women and produced by women's groups address the same themes as those items addressed to the general population. Both unity and mobilization factor as major themes. Regarding mobilization, the handbills and broadsides addressed to women place more emphasis women contributing to the labor force, such as working in factories, and the rearguard rather than volunteering for combat positions. Compared to items addressed to the general population, ephemera asking women to volunteer for actual combat positions are rare. This does not mean that women did not serve in combat positions or were not solicited for combat. It may simply be a feature of this particular group of ephemera.

Concurrent with the emphasis on women taking part in workforce is an attempt to allay men's fears that women may be future competition for jobs previously held by men. Many ephemera are careful to point that women are taking on their role in the factories as means to keep production high and allow additional men to join the army. Items of special interest in this section are those rare ephemera that stress the equality of women and urge them to become educated. Both equality and education of women appear to be specific reforms that some groups hoped would become part of the "new" Spain that would result from a Republican victory.

Like women, youths, mostly young men, were also an important pool of laborers for the workforce. Not surprisingly, the major theme of the ephemera directed specifically towards youths is their participation in the work to be done in the factories. Yet, unlike women, youths were more actively solicited to join volunteer combat brigades. Education is also an important theme in this subset of the communist ephemera. Several of the documents stress access to education as one of the key reasons why youths should become involved in the war effort. Finally, youth organizations, like Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas, often hosted their own meetings and festivals to recruit youths and boost morale.

Lastly, this section of the exhibit includes the few examples of documents addressed to workers, an obvious target for the PCE which stressed the importance of an international proletariat revolution, and to soldiers.