Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Socorro Rojo Internacional. Está donde precisa

[International Red Aid. It is there were it is needed]. . Comisión Nacional de Sanidad. S.R.I. Gráficas Valencia, Intervenido U.G.T. C.N.T. Lithograph, 3 colors; 69 x 50 cm.

At the center of this poster is a member of the Socorro Rojo Internacional (International Red Aid) studying a map of Spain. He appears to be considering how to distribute various medical and food supplies to the Andalusian front. The figure is wearing the traditional blue boiler suit that had become a type of uniform for members of the popular militias after the outbreak of the Civil War. Behind the soldier is the insignia of SRI which consisted of a handkerchief with an "S" for Socorro (Aid) poking through prison cell bars. The handkerchief was a symbol of "relief and comfort" during a time of suffering and need. The truck that the soldier holds is on a different plane from the map, but it appears that it will be positioned above the city of Málaga, which fell to the Nationalist troops in January 1937. This suggests that the poster was released shortly before that date, in which case it is an appeal for the support of the resistance. However, since SRI also covertly aided communist sympathizers trapped in the Nationalist zone to make their escape to the Republican zone, the poster may have been issued after the Nationalist victory at Málaga. To the right of the figure are numerous crates each inscribed with the organization's acronym (SRI) and various types of aid: milk (leche), coats (abrigos), cotton (algodón), medications (medicamientos), sanitation (sanidad), clothes (ropas), blankets (mantas), foodstuffs (víveres) and a hospital (sanatorio).

The International Red Aid was affiliated with the Comintern in Moscow, and it made its first appearance in Spain in 1934 in connection with the aftermath of the workers' rebellions of October 1934. SRI's pre-Civil War activities were to "aid thousand of prisoners, defenseless women and children," and "organize amnesty campaigns for prisoners which saved many from certain death at the hands of the fascists." During the Civil War, the Spanish section of International Red Aid expanded its activities in many different areas. Among the important services that SRI offered were its sanitation and medical works, which included the hygienic transportation of injured and dead soldiers from the front to one of the SRI's 275 hospitals, the transportation of medical assistants, and the conversion of convents and churches into blood banks throughout Republican Spain. International Red Aid also set up an Orthodontics Clinic and College, led proper dental hygiene campaigns, arranged for the mobilization of dentists to the front, and provided an ambulance service. One of the most effective contributions that SRI made was in the area of provisions: the organization directed charity drives that led to the donation of 365,000 coats, boots, mattresses, and slickers; 13,500 fowl; and over one million kilos of rice, sugar, eggs, and other foodstuffs in 1937.

 
Copyright UC Regents 1998, All rights reserved