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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Fleeing Franco - How Wales Gave Shelter to Refugee Children from the Basque Country During the Spanish Civil War
Hywel Davies
ISBN: 9780708323366 (0708323367)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Mawrth 2011
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 217x139 mm, 192 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Ar gael Pris Llawn: £8.99 
Ein Pris: £4.99 
Rydych yn Arbed: £4.00 (44.5%) 
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Llyfr sy'n adrodd hanes plant o wlad y Basg a ddaeth i Gymru yn ystod Rhyfel Cartref Sbaen. Yn 1937, gyda rhyfel dychrynllyd yn Sbaen, ffodd 3,862 o blant Gwlad y Basg 3,862 o'u gwlad. Teithient yn eu heidiau o Bilbao gyfer Southampton, ac yn ystod yr haf, cawsant eu gwasgaru i wersylloedd ledled Prydain. Roedd wyth o'r gwersylloedd yng Nghymru.

This book tells the story of the Basque children who came to Wales during the Spanish Civil War. In 1937, with civil war raging in Spain, 3,862 Basque children fled their country. They were packed onto an old cruise liner that left Bilbao for Southampton. Throughout the summer children were dispersed to camps throughout Britain. Eight of those camps were in Wales.
The Welsh and Basques have reached out to each other for generations: artists and musicians, language activists and politicians, industrialists and trade unionists have all beaten a path to each other's doors, inspired by the convergences between our cultures. As Hywel Davies in this book reminds us, David Lloyd George once famously declared, ‘I am a Basque’, and Welsh writers, thinkers and opinion-formers including Harri Webb, Gwyn Alf Williams and Ned Thomas have been profoundly influenced by their experiences in and of Euskal Herria.

Fleeing Franco tells the stirring and inspiring tale of a brief epoch when ordinary people from these two small nations were thrown together in the face of violence and persecution. Children escaping the Fascist advance – the flames of Guernica, the trenches of Bilbao – arrived in Britain in 1937, and many were provided with succour, shelter, and often unconditional love here in Wales. Some were repatriated within a couple of years; others remained for life, or returned as adults. All were profoundly affected by their experiences here. Painstakingly researched and simply expressed, this book succeeds in re-creating the atmosphere and dynamics of a remarkable time.

Hywel Davies combines the careful contextualisation of an historian with an empathic concern for individual lives. The macro-history of national and international politics forms an illuminating backdrop to the personal stories – built up from face-to-face interviews, letters, articles from the children's own magazines and the wider press – of the traumatised young Basque refugees, and the adults who supported them. We come to recognise and admire the studious, determined Josephina and her younger brother Gerardo; the troubled but football-loving Alvaro and many others; as well as the generosity and commitment of teachers and supporters such as the young historian Christopher Hill, the romantic Plaid Cymru activist Cyril Cule, the Dowlais-born Spaniard Maria Fernandez and the Communist Party organiser Will Paynter. What a coming together!

Hywel Davies does not directly ask the question, ‘what have we lost in the decades since then?’, but his book does it for him. When you cannot turn around in Bilbao or Donostia today without seeing calls to support ‘brothers and sisters’ in Palestine or Haiti, when there are more refugees and homeless children world-wide than ever in human history – what has happened to that spirit of solidarity that inspired the Wales of miners’ libraries and chapel eisteddfodau? Will it ever return?

Meic Llewellyn

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Bywgraffiad Awdur:
Hywel Davies is a Deputy Head Teacher at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, Newcastle Emlyn and authority on the Basque Refugee Children to Wales during the Spanish Civil war; he has published several articles on the subject.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
This book focuses on the experiences of the young exiles who came to Wales where four Homes were established and includes several first-hand accounts from surviving refugees.

The welcome they received was a mixture of hostility and kindness. In Brechfa (Carmarthenshire) there was a notorious incident that confirmed the reluctance of many to accept exiles, while elsewhere in Wales, from Caerleon to Colwyn Bay there were many examples of great generosity.

In one camp unrest by some of the boys became headline news, but overwhelmingly the children's experiences were of generosity and solidarity from ordinary people, even though Wales was itself suffering from extreme poverty.
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer, hyd yma, i'r llyfr hwn.
 
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