Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)


Chronology of the War


Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


Els estranguladors del poble espanyol. Les veritables raons de la falsa neutralitat

[Stranglers of the Spanish people. The true reason behind the false neutrality.]. . Editat por la Comissaria de Propaganda de la Generalitat de Catalunya; Grafiques Bobes, Industrial Collectivizada, C.N.T.-U.G.T. Lithograph, 3 colors; 115 x 85 cm.

This poster argues that an international network of business interests is the cause of the policy of non-intervention practiced by the United States, France and England with regard to Republican Spain. The map depicts the network of connections between Spanish industries and various business or financial institutions in the United States, England, France, Germany and Switzerland. To further emphasize the isolation of Spain from Europe, this poster represents Europe with a channel separating Spain from France where the Pyrenees Mountains should be. The Iberian Peninsula, in this image, has become an island - a powerful representation of the failure of other European nations and the United States to come to the aid of Republican Spain.

The symbols on the map represent different industries and the black lines represent the connections between these industries and the various financial institutions both inside and outside of Spain. The caption at the bottom of the poster explains the scene further with the numbers in parentheses corresponding to specific icons on the poster. It reads:

They, [the lines], represent the international interests reverted to Spain Metallurgy (21) is controlled by Schneider (France), Metallgebells and A.G.B. (Germany), Credit Swiss (Switzerland), and Thomson (United States) - Spanish potassium (9) [Spanish Potassium] by Alais Troges of Camargue - Glass industries (12-13-14) by Saint-Gobain of France - the Mines of Penyarroya (28), Pirita de Huelva (34), Pena Copper (35), and M.Z.A. (26) by De Wendel, Mirabaud, Khulmann and Rothschild - the Tangiers Railroad (42) and Society of Tobaccos of Morocco (45) by the Bank of Paris and the State Bank of Portugal - the Mines of Tharsis (31), of Rio Tinto (33), and of Cooper Gul of Andalusia (32) by British capitalism - the Mines and Foundations of La Corunya by the General Society of Belgium - the Electronic Industries of Andalusia (38-39-40)n by Credit Sw[iss]...General Electric of Bilbao (8) and Electric Energy of Catalunya (22) by Morgan of the United States.

The title of the poster refers to the false neutrality of the "stranglers" of Spain. The attempt to outline the business connections between Spain and foreign businesses seems to making argument that the "false neutrality" refers to the fact the presence of foreign business interests means that these countries are not neutral parties in the conflict even if they are not directly contributing to the military effort. In this light, the image of making Spain into an island may be symbolic of an ideal of making Spain independent from foreign investment.

Business interests aside, the role of other countries in the Spanish Civil War was somewhat asymmetrical. From early on, General Franco and the Nationalists had the supported of Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy. Conversely, Republican Spain received little or no support from the official channels of the governments supposedly sympathetic to their cause such as France, England and the United States. Most of the aid from these countries came in the form of individuals, who came to Spain to fight either on their own initiative or through the channels of non-governmental aid organizations. In contrast to the Western European nations, the Soviet Union supported Republican Spain beginning in October 1937 out of a concern over the spread of fascism in Europe. In particular, Stalin was concerned that a fascist Spain would become a natural ally to fascist Germany and Italy.

The author of this poster is unknown.

Copyright UC Regents 1998, All rights reserved