THE Benissan-born daughter of Austrian Brigadistas Dora Hait and Hans Kaiser returned to the Marina Alta last week as the municipality paid homage to the International Brigades.
The International Brigades were paramilitary units set up to assist the Popular Front government of the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War.
The organisation existed for two years, from 1936 until 1938. It is estimated that during the entire war, between 32,000 and 35,000 members served in the International Brigades, including 15,000 who died in combat.
The International Brigades represented Communist International and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet UnionJoseph Stalin’s commitment to provide assistance to the Spanish Republican cause, just as Italy, Portugal and Germany were providing assistance to the opposing Nationalist insurgency.
The largest number of volunteers came from France (where the French Communist Party had many members) and communist exiles from Italy and Germany. A large number of Jews from the English-speaking world and Eastern Europe also participated
Juanita Kaiser’s parents worked in the military hospital in Benissa between September 1937 and April 1938.
She took to the stage at SEU Unviersity in La Nucia as Renee Lugschitz presented ‘From Vienna to Benissa. International solidarity and anti-fascist commitment of the Brigadistas Hans Kaiser and Dora Haut’.
Benissa Mayor Abel Cardona dedicated the municipality’s new square to Juanita’s parents last Saturday before a day of remembrance was held on the Sunday.