Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Madrid, the "military" practice of the rebels. If you will tolerate this, your children will be next

[-]. . El Ministerio Lithograph, 2 colors; 66 x 50 cm.

Like poster 77, this poster uses the image of a dead child to motivate the population of Madrid to resist Nationalist forces and Franco. Behind the child, there is a picture of a squadron of airplanes in the sky. The image serves as an all-too-familiar reminder to viewers that the new practices of indiscriminate bombing of cities led to the death of many civilians particularly children. The Republican poster makers took full advantage of this gruesome result of the Nationalist military practices to demonize and criminalize Franco, the Nationalists, and the support they received from fascist Germany and Italy. The text on this poster is English; however, there was another version with French text. The poster was produced c. 1937.

Since the beginning of the Civil War when a Nationalist uprising was crushed, Madrid had been on the frontlines of the conflict with Franco and his troops coming close to conquering the city in 1937. After a particularly harrowing assault between November 15 and 20, during which Nationalist troops got closer to Madrid than another other time previously, the Republican fights were able to beat back Franco's troops. In response, Franco tried to break the city's morale through fear of aerial bombardment. Every night the city experienced thousands of civilian death from the bombardments until Madrid became nothing but a smoldering shell of its former self. Contrary to its goal of demoralization, the bombardments often had the opposite effect of steeling the resolve of those resisting Franco's insurgency. Ultimately, Republican Spain gave way to Franco's troops and a key element in the Nationalist victory was the superiority of air support that encompassed plans and pilots from Germany, Italy and Spain.

 
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