Spanish Civil War Tour Endorsements
''We, the Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland, endorse the tours provided by Dr. Almudena Cros on the subject of the Spanish Civil War in Madrid, as well as the tours led by Severiano Montero to the battlefields of Jarama and Brunete. The excellent educational value provided by these tours help maintain alive the memory of the International Brigades. The committment and dedication shown by both Almudena and Severiano through the years is appreciated by our Association, and we hereby endorse and recommend their work.
They are the first port of call for anybody with an interest in the International Brigades and the Spanish Civil War.''
Eddie O'Neill, Secretary, Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland
We hereby state that Professor Almudena Cros has demonstrated a great competence in the subject of the Spanish Civil War, particularly in the field of the military and historical aspects of the defence of Madrid.
We therefore endorse and recommend her as a reliable guide for visits dedicated to this subject.
Although I know Madrid well and have a good knowledge of the Spanish Civil War history, I want my students to learn from someone who has a deeper connection to the war than I have and who knows Madrid like the back of her hand. Before I even met her, I knew through our e-mail correspondence that I had found that person in Almudena Cros. After arranging everything via e-mail, we met for the first time (promptly and exactly as planned) in the Puerta del Sol.
As soon as we start the itinerary, Almudena opens a folder from which she pulls, as we stroll, large-scale reproductions of photographs from the period or newspaper covers that show the very places we are looking at thorugh the city centre, taking us back to those years when these images were captured. It is a way of reclaiming the recent memory of this city in a visual way, through a kind of photographic archaeology: we revisit the sites where bombs hit right in the heart of the city, the now disappeared Hotel Florida, or the profusion of banners encouraging the madrileños to resist the fascist attack.
Friends and Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (FFALB in the United States) have organized or inspired journeys that follow the paths of our elders in the Spanish Civil War to battlefields, to field hospitals, R&R villages and training grounds.
Almu was my guide in one such trip to a small village in the region of Madrid in 2011. Our hope was to meet “Maria,” who as a small child, the story was told, had strong memories of being lifted to his shoulder by one of the most prominent American Brigaders during the defense of Madrid. When Almu located her house in the village, Maria and her husband were reluctant to open their doors to strangers. Perhaps they did not wish to revisit the heartbreak of the civil war. But Almu was so gentle, sensitive and compassionate that she managed to convey to this couple the emotional importance that this trip held for us, relatives of brigaders. We were accepted and welcomed as guests, and sent off with tears of gratitude.
I have taught, administered, and advised on, law in four continents, ‘retiring’ in 1993 from Monash University, Melbourne.
My latest book is titled The Last Great Cause - Volunteers from Australia and Emilia-Romagna in defence of the Spanish Republic, 1936-1939 (Sydney 2010). It took me several years to complete the work.
To research my book, Hell and Good Company, my wife and I traveled to Spain for two weeks to walk the ground. In and around Madrid, the historian Almudena Cros served as my adviser and guide.
It is no exaggeration to say that Almudena's co-operation has been essential to the progress of my documentary about the making of the Spanish Civil War classic film The Spanish Earth, by filmmaker Joris Ivens and Ernest Hemingway. Her assistance in research, translation, and interviewing has been invaluable.
Under Almudena's guidance, Hemingway biographer Alex Vernon and myself have tracked down Civil War sites in Madrid, and tramped some of the battlefields. She has readily offered her close knowledge of the nuances of the Spanish Civil War, and her perfect knowledge of English has made everything accessible to someone like myself whose Spanish is less than perfect.
It is a pleasure to watch Almudena reacting with people in the process of interviewing for my film; she has the rare ability to charm our people into responding with absolute candour to her questions. She brings an enthusiasm to everything she does that is infectious. As well as translator, researcher, interviewer, she has readily earned the title of associate producer. I look forward to profiting from her knowledge and skills well into the future. And to the sheer pleasure of her company."
Peter Davis, Award winning documentary director and founder of Villon Films, Canada.
It is a pleasure to be able to recommend Almudena Cros' tours to those coming over to Spain to seek a better understanding of the Spanish Civil War. Almudena combines outstanding scholarship and an engaging, easy to understand delivery with a passionate commitment to the anti-fascist values we uphold. Whether you are learning about the Spanish Civil War for the first time or honoring a friend or family member's connection to Spain, her tours will enhance your travel experience.
Dr. Cros is a true educator, uncovering and preserving her country's history, and that of the International Brigades. Touring with Almudena will also help you to understand the current issues in Spain such as the movement for the reclamation of historical memory. She is literally, and figuratively, tireless in her efforts to provide a tour which will inspire and enlighten!''
Nancy Wallach, on behalf of the Friends and Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.