This is the epic story of those tens of thousands of communists exiled from Spain after Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War. With their iron discipline and fervent dedication to Stalin's cause, they did not hesitate, when the moment came in the Second World War, to throw themselves again into the struggle against fascism. In the Service of Stalin is the first full scholarly study of their experiences.
David Wingeate Pike examines the contribution of the Spanish communists to the resistance in France and recounts their sufferings in Mauthausen, the concentration camp in Austria to which most who were captured were consigned. He also traces the experiences of those thousands who were admitted into the Soviet Union, where they fought in the Red Army or languished and perished in the prisons and slave camps of the Gulag.
Professor Pike's unparalleled access to the archives, many previously unexplored, and the information derived from his interviews with survivors combine to make this both an important addition to our knowledge of the Second World War and an enthralling, often moving account of the experiences of some of its participants.
'This is a work of obsessive scholarship, evident in ninety-odd pages of notes ... his character sketches are excellent, his description of suffering deeply moving, his sense of drama acute ... Wingeate Pike has combed all available sources to present a picture of the bestial brutality of the SS officers, most of them lifted out of obscurity.'
Times Literary Supplement
'This is an admirably documented study of some of the roles played by the more politically active Spanish exiles during the second world war ... there are such gems of information, and such valuable discussions of sources, that the book will be highly significant for all readers interested in the history of world communism and in Spanish and French resistance to the Nazi occupation of France.'
Gabriel Jackson, The Guardian
'Pike writes with great scholarly care and with considerable sympathy for his subjects. A valuable contribution to understanding Spanish and European history.'
Choice Apr '94
'a most valuable contribution to the recuperation of the social experience of those who refused to accept Franco's peace terms ... Pike has produced a masterful evocation of the spirit of sacrifice and solidarity amonst communist émigrés as they were relentlessly pursued by their enemies and repeatedly betrayed by their supposed allies within the official communist movement ... meticulously researched study.'
Chris Ealham, University of London, Tesserae 1 (1994-95)
`a wideranging and often moving account of the activities of Spanish Communists in France and elsewhere during the Second World War. Based on exhaustive research into an impressive array of written and oral sources, its span is remarkable. ... His deeply felt work is a significant contribution to many aspects of the history of the Second World War... Pike's spin-chilling accounts of the bestial atrocities committed during the Nazi oppression in France and
in the concentration camps are profoundly disturbing yet written with both deep humanity and a passion which is revealed in an investigation into the subsequent fate of some of the killers and torturersamong the camp guards... Superbly written'
English Historical Review
|List of Plates|
|Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Portmanteau Words|
|Introduction: The Spanish Republicans in Their Defeat||p. 1|
|The Communists in Isolation||p. 11|
|In the Shadow of the Pact||p. 21|
|Arrival in Russia and America||p. 32|
|In the Hands of the Nazis||p. 55|
|Birth of the Spanish Resistance in France||p. 84|
|Mauthausen, Subsidiary of Hell||p. 108|
|In Russia, from Honeymoon to Holy War||p. 149|
|In France, Inside the Two Camps||p. 167|
|War to the Knife||p. 192|
|The Liberation of the South-West||p. 208|
|Survival and Liberation at Mauthausen||p. 236|
|Epilogue: Rendezvous in Toulouse||p. 279|
|A Glossary of the Principal Spanish Characters||p. 376|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 474
Published: 23rd September 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.1
Weight (kg): 0.91