From Munich to Paris (1938-1940). From the Spanish Civil War to the German New Europe

International Conference
  • On the occasion of the commemoration of the 80 years of the end of the Civil War, several memorialist organizations and universities organize an international seminar about the internationalization of the so-called ‘War of Spain’;
  • The three-day seminar will discuss the role of the Spanish Civil War in the constitution of the new European scene of 1939, dominated by totalitarian and undemocratic powers;
  • Throughout the various presentations, participants will be invited to discuss the rise of fascisms, the so-called ‘European civil war’, Nazi Germany, Franco’s Spain, the attitudes of the winners of the Civil War in Catalonia, and the role played by the international board in other countries such as France, Italy, the United States and the Soviet Union;
  • The speakers will review this recent past from a historiographic point of view, but also with the will to contribute to generate knowledge and reflect on some issues that challenge the democratic quality and the full guarantee of human rights nowadays, such as the boom of totalitarianism, populisms, and fears to others;
  • The seminar will take place at the Memorial Museum of Exile (MUME) in La Jonquera, and is co-organized by the MUME, the Democratic Memorial, the Carles Pi i Sunyer Foundation, the UOC and the EUROM in collaboration with the Walter Benjamin Chair of the University of Girona and the GREF-CEDID of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Cover photo: Entry of German troops in Paris on 22nd June 1940. German flag on the Arc de Triomphe at the center of Charles de Gaulle Square formally named Place de l’Étoile.

« […] I felt the drama of Barcelona and Guernica intensely, and I knew that after Munich the Republican defeat would soon come and that after this Spanish Republican defeat would come, in turn, the entrance of Germans in Prague and Italians in Tirana. Two sentences were forever engraved in my spirit. One of them was said by a Spanish Republican officer on the Portús border, in full withdrawal, in response to a French officer who had treated him with pride and contempt: “I wish you will endure as much as us.” During the French disarray of May-June 1940, this phrase never left my mind. As a result of this same disarray, in a burning town, a Spaniard from one of the battalions of pick and shovel told me with simplicity: “Now it is your turn” ».

Pierre Vilar, L’historiador i les guerres, Vic: Eumo, 1991, pp. 11-12

Between September 1938 and June 1940, Europe imploded in a new continental war stirred by fascisms and Nazism and facilitated by the mistakes and fears of Western democracies. Spain had just lived through the criminal war imposed by the grand counterrevolutionary coalition led by General Francisco Franco in July 1936 against the constitutional power of the Second Republic. Meanwhile, in Europe Italian Fascism and Nazism carried out, step by step, their expansionist and aggressive plans, and France and Great Britain went from the appeasement of these fascisms – “Before Hitler than Stalin” – to the urgency of trying to close an alliance with the Soviet Union to put an end to German and Italian belligerence.

It was all useless. Fascism, in its Spanish version, made of Catholic integrity, radical nationalism and Falangism, won the war in March 1939. A double process of brutal repression and mass exile began immediately. Catalonia suffered singular consequences. Prague and Tirana fell in the spring of 1939 to the hands of European fascists. The Soviet Union opted for its survival. The United States watched from afar. Nothing or anybody could, or wanted to, stop the new European war. On September 3 the conflict was already official. On June 20, 1940, the Third French Republic disappeared from the continental map.

Eighty years after the beginning of the conflict, we invite you to revisit, reread and remember this chapter on the European History.


The languages of the conferences will be those of the speakers with simultaneous translation from French and English into Catalan and from Catalan and Spanish into French and English.

Further information and registration

Museu Memorial de l’Exili
[email protected]

Fundació Carles Pi i Sunyer
[email protected]



May 30 - June 01, 2019


Other Institutions Involved

  • Càtedra Walter Benjamin-Universitat de Girona
  • Diputació de Girona

Other partners

  • Museu Memorial de l’Exili
  • Fundació Carles Pi i Sunyer
  • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) – Dictatorships and Democraties (Journal of History and Culture)
  • Memorial Democràtic – Generalitat de Catalunya


Share This
Skip to content