The Hispanic Institute Between the Wars: The Making of Cultural Networks

Politics: The Hispanic Institute in Spanish Civil War and WWII

365th Iberian Night's Entertainment. flyer recto

Event flyer commemorating the first anniversary of the American Hospitals in Spain

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The appearance of political factors in the history of the Institute became especially visible with the establishment of the Spanish Second Republic (1931), the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the Second World War (1939-1945). With the tragic fate of German teachers during World War I still fresh in memory, Spanish and foreign language schools in the United States feared that taking a political position would damage the academic prestige they had achieved. For this reason, they chose to enhance the cultural value of their content and do everything possible to keep politics out of the classroom. The Hispanic Institute was no exception. A Spain at war was in open contradiction with the idea of Ibero-American unity and harmony that the Institute celebrated every year in its various activities and with special emphasis through the Fiesta de la Lengua.

Although not organized by the Institute, but by the American Medical Bureau, this benefit evening is an example of various events in support of the Spanish Republic that were held in New York during the Spanish Civil War. The AMB was a humanitarian aid institution associated with the Lincoln Battalion, providing medical services and lodging to Republican fighters who had been wounded in battle.

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