International Brigades

The international brigades Memorial opened October 2000 and work of the artist José Luis Terraza.

In this sculpture noble, natural materials have been used, such as iron and stone. Natural stone from the place where they occurred the events that led to the creation of the international brigades; and it is in the center of this place, the "Poble Vell' Corbera de Ebro, where this monument, honoring the birth, performance and purpose of these brigades, it was none other than solidarity with the Spanish people in defense of its democratic institutions.

Around of 50,000 volunteers from fifty countries around the world are enlisted to assist in the defense of Republican democracy from October 1936. Its varied provenance joins its differentiated professional profile, although all joined them the ideal fight fascism that would end up destroying the brief democratic Spanish Republican experience.

The withdrawal of the international brigades took place on the night of 23 to 24 September 1938. September 23 was the day of the last battle and the sealed with dignity its legendary history of struggle for freedom of the Spanish people and all peoples of the world, threatened by the fascist barbarism.

The five iron columns symbolize the five continents who were the men and women who took part in the international brigades. Columns, in the same way these men and women, born of the earth and its spirit is projected to the universe recreating its philosophy and its purpose in the new youth making solidarity a movement perpetual and infinite; This symbolized by the ball of iron that comes from the earth, passing through the column, recreates in it and continues on its way toward eternity.

Plate in Corbera de Ebro to the British battalion of the XV BI

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 was inaugurated a plaque to the British battalion. It is located next to the ancient church of Corbera de Ebro, destroyed during the battle of the Ebro, and looking at the area of the last fighting of the XV BI.

The text of the plate reads - in English, catalan and Spanish - as follows:

The September 21, 1938, the Government of the Republic announced its decision to withdraw its army to all international volunteers. The British Battalion of the XV Brigade fought for the last time with this road, between two and three miles east of Corbera d'Ebre before being withdrawn from the front on 24 September. In those last three days of fighting killed 23 British volunteers, along with more than 175 Spanish comrades of this Battalion.

Beyond the abandoned olive groves,
farthest from the earth hill,
we call a country that was ours,
and here will be recovered.

More information:

Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938)

Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938) was a mythical character in the International Brigades. He was born in Nevada, in a family of Scottish origin. He studied economics at the prestigious University of Berkeley, where he also worked as a professor. He spent some years in the Soviet Union, investigating the communist agricultural policy, but left everything to join the International Brigades. It participated in hard combats of the civil war, like the battle of the Jarama or the one of Brunete, where the brigadistas suffered many losses. He was wounded in the battle of Belchite and after these combats was appointed Chief of Staff of the XV Brigade..

Its end is very confusing. Disappeared in the withdrawal from the Aragon front. He could have died in combat in the area of ​​Corbera d'Ebre, but he could also have surrendered and been executed that same night by the Francoist troops (who often killed the brigadistas, and especially the officers). The most widespread version is that he was taken prisoner in Corbera d'Ebre and shot on April 2, 1938.

An interdisciplinary team made up of researchers, archaeologists and local scholars, coordinated by DIDPATRI, has tried to locate the remains of Robert Hale Merriman. They tried to find the corpse of the commander, taking advantage of the testimony of a neighbor of the town that had collaborated in the excavation of pits, but they did not manage to locate the body.

They say that he was a friend of Ernest Hemingway, and that he served as inspiration when building the character of Robert Jordan, in the novel "For whom the bell tolls".

The plaque is placed, in memory of Merriman and all the fighters of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion, work of the sculptor Mar H. Pongiluppi.