Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Belchite (E)

This small town in the region of Aragon is best known for the battle that took place there during the Spanish Civil War, between August 24 and September 7, 1937. The International Brigades, which included a large number of Jewish volunteers, participated in the battle. The town changed hands several times, and in the end it was totally destroyed. After the war, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco decided to leave the town as it was, to remind people of the horrors of war (and the evil caused by his enemies, the Republican loyalists…). A new town was constructed adjacent to the old one, mainly with the forced labor of Republican prisoners.