The Nurses No-One Remembers: Looking for Spanish Nurses in Accounts of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

TitleThe Nurses No-One Remembers: Looking for Spanish Nurses in Accounts of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGalbany-Estragués, Paola, Gloria Gallego-Caminero, and Sioban Nelson
JournalNursing History Review
Volume28
Issue1
Pagination63-92
Abstract

Accounts of Spanish nursing and nurses during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) that appear in the memoirs and correspondence of International Brigade volunteers, and are subsequently repeated in the secondary literature on the war, give little indication of the existence of trained nurses in country. The authors set out to examine this apparent erasure of the long tradition of skilled nursing in Spain and the invisibility of thousands of Spanish nurses engaged in the war effort. Their article explores two questions: How can we understand the narrative thrust of the international volunteer accounts and subsequent historiography? And what was the state of nursing in Spain on the Republican side during the war as presented by Spanish participants and historians? They argue that the narrative erasure of Spanish professional nursing prior to the Civil War was the result of the politicization of nursing under the Second Republic, its repression and reengineering under the Franco dictatorship, and the subsequent national policy of “oblivion” or forgetting that dominated the country during the transition to democracy. This policy silenced the stories of veteran nurses and prevented an examination of the impact of the Civil War on the Spanish nursing profession.

URLhttps://connect.springerpub.com/content/sgrnhr/28/1/63
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