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10 The May Events of 1937

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Chapter Summary

The seemingly irrational events of May 1937, describing what was essentially a mini-war within the broader Civil War, became more comprehensible when considered in their national and international context and their basis in class conflict. The chronology of the 'May events' is well documented. The official version of events states that Rodríguez Salas's objective was 'to give the delegate appointed by the government possession of his charge' and that, in response, he and his forces were greeted by gunfire from the building. Peace did return eventually to the streets of Barcelona, although there were still a few isolated casualties. The fighting was bloodiest in Barcelona, with more than two hundred killed, but other Catalan cities and towns had similar May events. There were nearly three hundred deaths during the painful days of early May, but there might have been more if the milicianos had not remained at the front.

Keywords: Barcelona; Catalan cities; Civil war; May Events



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