America and World Fascism: Human Rights from the Spanish Civil War to Nuremberg and Beyond
CONTENTS (quick links)
Introduction to ALBA
- Introduction to ALBA (YouTube – 13:56)
- The Volunteer, ALBA’s quarterly magazine: print edition, online edition
- ALBA Lesson Plans for Social Studies, Spanish, and English Language Arts
Module 1: To Intervene or Not Intervene? Intro to the Spanish Civil War
- The Good Fight, first 14 minutes (Vimeo Link, password: nopasaran)
- Does anything surprise you in this video?
- Would this work in your classroom? Would your students relate to Bill Bailey’s story?
- How would you need to prep your students before viewing, and what activity would you do with them after?
- The ALB and the Spanish Civil War (YouTube – 30:50)
- ALBA Video Resources (oral history and documentaries)
Module 2: Fascism, Anti-Fascism, and Human Rights: Definitions
- Frankson, Canute. “From Canute Frankson”. Madrid 1937: Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War. Cary Nelson and Jefferson Hendricks. New York/London: Routledge, 2014. 33-35. Print.
- Katz, Hyman. “From Hyman Katz”. Madrid 1937: Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the Spanish Civil War. Cary Nelson and Jefferson Hendricks. New York/London: Routledge, 2014. 31-33. Print.
- Excerpt from an Interview with Evelyn Hutchins. John Dollard Manuscript Collection, ALBA 122, Tamiment Library, NYU.
Questions for discussion:
- For each of these three texts, how does the author define fascism?
- How does the author translate this definition into a specific course of action?
- How does this course of action relate to the author’s own identity or community?
- Do these texts foresee the future (e.g., World War II)?
- Does the author implicitly look at the world through the lens of human rights?
- What is your working definition of fascism and its relation to human rights?
Relevant lesson plans:
- Spanish: Introduction to the Spanish Civil War
- Spanish: Diez lecciones para aprender español usando artefactos de la Guerra Civil
- Social Studies: African Americans in the Lincoln Brigade
- Social Studies: An American Soldier Reflects on Fascism and Slavery in a Letter from Spain
- Social Studies: Jewish Volunteers in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War
- Social Studies: Lesson Plan: Two Perspectives on the Spanish Civil War
- The Spanish Civil War: A 10-Minute Primer for Students (ALBA)
- Peter Carroll, The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994).
- Helen Graham: The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford UP: 2005).
- Adam Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016)
- Woyshner, (2010). Inquiry teaching with primary source documents: An iterative approach. Social Studies Research and Practice. 5(3), 36-45.
Module 3: Framing the Spanish Civil War: Narrative and The Power of the (Visual) Media
- How was the visual media used to propose a narrative frame or plotline for the Spanish Civil?
- What kind of activities can you imagine doing with your students based on visual sources?
- The Spanish Civil War and the Visual Media (YouTube, 28:15)
- SCW Photography (ALBA website, includes Power Points with poster images and photography)
- Faber, Memory Battles, chapter 1
- “Truth in the Making: The Never-Ending Saga of Capa’s Falling Soldier.” The Volunteer 4 (2009): 7-10.
Relevant lesson plans:
- Spanish: Imágenes de las Brigadas Internacionales
- Social Studies: Ambition, Militarism, War: SCW Posters
- Social Studies/English: Children’s Drawings of War
- Social Studies: Pictorial Narratives from Children in War
- Social Studies/English: Spanish Civil War Posters, Art & Propaganda
Further reading and viewing:
- Sebastiaan Faber, Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2018)
- Cynthia Young, ed. The Mexican Suitcase: Rediscovered Spanish Civil War Negatives by Capa, Chim, and Taro. 2 vols. (New York: ICP; Göttingen, Steidl, 2010)
- Robert Capa collection (International Center of Photography)
- Gerda Taro collection (International Center of Photography)
- David “Chim” Seymour collection (International Center of Photography)
- Kati Horna, online exhibit (Spanish Ministry of Culture)
- Visual Materials Relating to the Spanish Civil War (Library of Congress)
- David “Chim” Seymour collection (Library of Congress)
- Spanish Civil War News Photographs (Library of Congress)
Module 4: Human Rights Lessons from the Spanish Civil War
- Allen, Jay. “Hostages of Appeasement.” Survey Graphic 1939: n. 28, p. 679-82. Web. Excerpt.
- How does Jay Allen try to convince his readers that the United States should be helping the Spanish refugees? What arguments or concepts does he mobilize to that effect? Does he (implicitly) talk about human rights?
Module 5: Human Rights lessons from World War II
- Nuremberg Testimony. Edited transcript of testimony of William F. Walsh and Maria Claude Vaillant-Couturier, from The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 1945-46: A Documentary History, by Michael R. Marrus.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations Organization. Web.
- How would you need to prepare your students for the Nuremberg testimony?
- Would your students be surprised by any of the articles in the UN Declaration?
- Anti-Fascism and International Law (YouTube, 29:47)
- “Guilty Men” Army-Navy Screen Magazine #79 (1946) (YouTube, 10:22)
Relevant lesson plans:
- Social Studies: An American Soldier Writes Home From A Hospital in Spain
- Social Studies: Anti-War Responses to U.S. Intervention in Vietnam
- Social Studies: Bombing Civilians
- Social Studies: Changes to the Geneva Convention of 1929
- Social Studies: Courtroom Reenactment: Evidence of Genocide at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
Module 6: American Fascism and Human Rights: Lessons of the Home Front
- Wallace, Henry Agard. “Wallace Defines ‘American Fascism’” New York Times, April 9, 1944. Excerpts.
- How does Wallace define American fascism and what remedies does he propose?
- Do you see any connections with elements that, not much later, would be incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
- Do you see any connections with the last 25 years of U.S. history?
Module 7: Personal Values and Human Rights
- What themes come up in these clips and texts that connect with choices and dilemmas in your students’ lives?
- How would you use these clips and texts in your classroom?
Relevant lesson plans:
- Social Studies: Competing Loyalties and Difficult Decisions
- Social Studies: Citizens’ Reactions to U.S. Foreign Policy Between the Wars
- Social Studies: D.R.’s Quarantine Speech and Media Reaction
- Social Studies: For Whom the Bell Tolls: Can Isolationism Be Dangerous?
- Social Studies: Isolationism to Interventionism: Examining U.S. Policy Toward Spain
Module 8: Legacies from Spain: The Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement
- Wood, L. (July 7, 1950). “Barsky, 10 Others Imprisoned Apart.” New York Times.
- “Crawford Morgan 1954 Testimony.” African Americans in the Spanish Civil War: “This Ain’t Ethiopia, But It’ll Do”. Ed. Danny Duncan Collum and Victor A. Berch. New York: G.K. Hall, 1992. 175-182. Print.
- Durem, Ray. “Award.” Poems of Protest, Old and New: A Selection of Poetry. By Arnold Kenseth. New York: Macmillan, 1968. N. pag. Print.
- Why were Dr. Barsky’s efforts to save Spanish refugees considered subversive to the U.S. government?
- How does Crawford Morgan connect his volunteering for the Spanish Civil War to his experiences in the United States?
- How does Ray Durem’s poem reflect the intersection between the Red Scare and the Civil Rights movement?
- US Foreign Policy from the Spanish Civil War to the Postwar Period (YouTube, 24:06)
Module 9: Did Refugees Have Rights after World War II? Do They Do Now?
- Arendt, H. (1951). Excerpt from The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1979 [1st ed: 1951]), pp. 276-280.
- “Top rights expert questions ‘double standard’ on Ukraine’s war displaced.” UN News. July 28, 2022. Web.
- What problem does Arendt call our attention to?
- Does that problem still exist today and, if so, how can it be solved?
Module 10: History, the Far Right, and Human Rights Today: Spain and the United States
- Mzezewa, Tariro. “The Woman Who Took Down a Confederate Flag on What Came Next.” New York Times, June 14, 2020. Web.
- Jones, Sam. “Spain passes law to bring ‘justice’ to Franco-era victims.” The Guardian, Oct. 5, 2022. Web.
- What connections, if any, do you see between Spain and the United States?
- Are the battles over historical memory and symbols from the past related to human rights? In both places?
- Can you think of an activity to do with your students around these battles?
Further Reading and Viewing:
- ¿Cómo enseñar la Guerra Civil Española? Ideas para las clases de Español. (YouTube, 41:40)
- Las fosas del silencio (TV3), part 1 (YouTube, 53:46)
- Las fosas del silencio (TV3), part 2 (YouTube, 54:37)
- Faber, Sebastiaan. Exhuming Franco. Spain’s Second Transition (Nashville: Vanderbilt UP, 2021).