p. 29

The Spanish Civil War

p. 31

Second lieutenant Otto Polenz writes on July 7, 1938:

«... I was a witness of the fact that some bombs destroyed about five houses. I have hope that this war will take soon an end and commit myself not to come again as a soldier to Spain.»

The pilot Tonollo writes on the same day:

«... I consider it more correct, if the Spanish people regulates its affairs alone, and I acknowledge that I will not come a second time to Spain. War is always a misfortune...»

After healing of his lever the flight engineer Leo Siegmund wrote:

«... today I saw in Barcelona about seven or eight destroyed houses. The destruction is due to an air raid. During this attack several persons died. I consider an air raid against open cities and unprotected population as barbarian.»

The better insight does not always come to the ordered «volunteers» when taken prisoners. From the Italian invasion troops in the battles at Guadalajara and at the Ebro hundreds deserted.

On July 29, 1938 an Italian combat aircraft escaped during an air combat behind the catalonian front and landed in republican area.

The pilot, Italian officer Giovanni Spelzi, explained that he had left the camp of the rebels because of his anti-fascist convictions. He was commander of a combat squadron, whose major task was shooting at the republicans on free field. Spelzi reported that at this time 150 Italian fighters were used in Spain. The bomber aircraft are usually of German origin.

In the German army also the resistance against the spainish adventure grows. In the last months more than one hundred German soldiers went abroad, because they did not want to be sent to Spain nor to take part in the threatening war against the Czechoslovakian people.

In the barracks one discusses. From a tank section in Berlin 15 soldiers have been sent to Spain. Five are already dead. When the message of the sixth death arrived, one of his friends said: «What has he now from the nice cash. He cannot even buy a coffin...»

In a first time, the killed soldiers were returned in zinc coffins. Today zinc is no more released. The journey from Cadiz to Hamburg goes in putrifying wood coffins. In order not to smell the odor of decomposition, raw cattle skins are packed between the coffins

On the cemetery of Gotha the number of crosses of those returning home is growing,


Last change: 22 Jun 2000