Las alas de la República

Barcelona, Spain, 2010

The story the Spanish Republican aviators has never been told because these men were on the losing side in the Spanish Civil War and many spent nearly forty year in exile. Between 1939 and 1975 they were forced to live abroad and find jobs there. Those who did not escape received long prison sentences with hard labour. They were also banned from flying and this is what they found most difficult. After the death of Franco they were reunited. Today, they are able to meet twice a week in the offices of the Republican Aviators Association in the Raval district of Barcelona.

They are not young men anymore but they still believe in the value of freedom, the same freedom that motivated them to enlist, to fly, and to fight for a democratically elected government. The association obtained legal status in 1984 and, since then, it has helped its members to have their qualifications recognised once more and their pensions reinstated. Above all, it has helped them to regain their pride.