The Natalia Benjamin Conference on Basque Child Refugees

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London School of Economics

Houghton Street

London

WC2A 2AE

United Kingdom

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In a watershed moment for British refugee history, in May 1937, nearly 4000 children were evacuated from Bilbao and the dangers of the Spanish Civil War to the United Kingdom. This conference explores the contrasting history of the evacuated youngsters and the children who remained in Spain, or were repatriated to Spain, and came under the rule of General Franco. In the United Kingdom refugee workers tried to keep alive the goals of progressive education and democracy. In Spain the dictatorship endeavoured to “recover for God” and “for Spain” children believed to have been poisoned by years of anti-Catholic and anti-patriotic intoxification.

Our speakers are:

Dr Peter Anderson: ’Repatriated: from refuge in the United Kingdom to life under Franco’;

Dr Stephanie Wright: ‘Gender-based violence during and after the Spanish Civil War.’

Joshua Burns: ‘Refugee children’s agency and political activism in Britain.’

and

Dr Ed Packard: ‘The Basque colonies at Ipswich and Langham: education, entertainment, and empathy.’

The conference is jointly organised by the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies and the Association for the Basque Children of the UK (BCA’37UK). The BCA’37UK was co-founded in 2002 by Natalia Benjamin who was its founding secretary. She is now the current Honorary President but has retired from an active role in the Association. We are honouring her achievements in recovering the history and preserving the memory of the Basque Children.

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London School of Economics

Houghton Street

London

WC2A 2AE

United Kingdom

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