Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Socorro Rojo Internacional. La bestia fascista, asesina, destruye. El S.R.I. ampara, ayuda

[International Red Aid. The fascist beast murders and destroys. The International Red Aid brings hope and assistance]. FCT. de la sección Artes Plásticas. A.I.D.C. Socorro Rojo Internacional. Gráficas Valencia, Intervenido U.G.T. C.N.T. Lithograph, 3 colors; 69 x 50 cm.

The large hand that splits this poster diagonally represents Socorro Rojo Internacional, and serves two important purposes. First, the hand acts as a barrier that shields the frightened boy and girl in the lower left corner from the fascist bomber and the damage it inflicts. Second, the hand, arranged in an non-menacing way, offers the children comfort and peace. The poster dramatically conveys the message that while the fascists bring death and destruction, International Red Aid protects and helps Spain's children.

This poster was published in Valencia by a lithography firm jointly collectivized by the CNT and the UGT, probably in late 1936. At that time many of the local chapters of these two unions collaborated in their collectivization experiments. The poster was designed for International Red Aid and commissioned by the Fine Arts division of the Asociación Intelectual para la Defensa de la Cultura (Intellectuals' Association for the Defense of Culture). This organization, which included artists and writers, was formed in Barcelona in January 1936 and committed itself to aiding anti-fascist forces in whatever way possible. Providing comfort and safety had long been the central purpose of International Red Aid. The charity organization affiliated with the Communist International first made its appearance in Spain after the worker's revolt of October 1934, and attempted to provide comfort, food, and other assistance to those imprisoned for their role in the rebellion. During the Civil War, the Spanish section of International Red Aid expanded its activities to include the building of transportation networks between hospitals and the front, the transformation of various buildings into makeshift hospitals and clinics, the conversion of palaces into orphanages and schools, and the creation of numerous soup kitchens and refugee shelters throughout the Republican zone. Much of the assistance provided by the organization was designed specifically for children. In Madrid, for example, International Red Aid ran the Escuela Nacional para Niños Anormales (National School for Mentally Disabled Children), which brought humane care and attention to 150 children. SRI also offered soldiers in the Fifth Regiment, a communist dominated military unit, the opportunity to send their children to youth homes while they fought the war. International Red Aid's Children's Park at the outskirts of Madrid, housed an additional 150 children away from the front. Much of the food and money that International Red Aid accumulated during its donation campaigns went directly to its programs for children.

 
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