Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for February 21st, 2019

Celebrating Chaves Nogales

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 21st February, 2019

Chaves Nogales bookManuel Chaves Nogales (1897-1944) was witness to many of the catastrophic events of the first half of the 20th century, from the turmoil that followed the Bolshevik Revolution in the USSR to the rise of Fascism, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, which saw the loss of millions of lives. Though opposed to General Franco Chaves Nogales was also disenchanted with the reality of the Republican government in Madrid. Instead he dreamed of a “third Spain”, as outlined in his 1937 book A Sangre y Fuego. A self-described Liberal petit bourgois, he acknowledged that he was at risk of being shot by both sides in the Spanish Civil War, so went into exile in Paris, where he worked on the book. Much of his professional life he spent as a journalist and editor, interviewing, among others, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels — dismissing him as “ridiculous, grotesque, with his tiny raincoat; the most dangerous man in Germany.” As the Third Reich cast its shadow over the continent of Europe, Chaves Nogales moved to London, where he set up a news agency in Fleet Street, did some work for the BBC and mixed with other Spanish exiles. He died in 1944, thus missing the end of the War that he longed for, and he is buried in North Sheen cemetery in Richmond-upon-Thames. His legacy has not been forgotten, however, and there is currently a very informative and attractive exhibition about his life and work in the 12 Star Gallery at Europe House in Smith Square, Westminster. It runs until 1st. March (10am to 6pm) and is a thought-provoking reminder of darker times which ultimately led to the creation of the European Union as a guarantor of “never again”.

Chaves Nogales material

 

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