SEARCHING FOR TIMMINS HEROES OF SPANISH WAR:
ANGUS AND MUSEUM PUT OUT CALL FOR STORIES
September 26th, 2013 - 11:44am
They were the first to stand up to the Nazi war machine and they have all but been forgotten. Nearly 2,000 young Canadians fought to stop the fascist takeover of Spain in the 1930s and many came from the Timmins area. Charlie Angus and the TimminsMuseum are putting out a call for stories, memories and photographs of the extraordinary young men who put their lives on the line during the brutal Spanish Civil War.
Angus, who has published six books on northern history says he became fascinated by the Timmins connection when he heard the story of the legendary Niilo Makela who led a Finnish-Canadian machine gun company through some of the most dangerous battles of the Spanish Civil War.
“Canada was a country with a small population that made an extraordinary impact in Spain. The volunteers from the north were on the front line in some of the heaviest battles against Hitler’s Condor legions. Many, like Makela, never came home again. It is worth knowing who these young men were and why they put their lives on the line to help the Spanish people.”
Karen Bachman says by gathering the stories of the Spanish Civil War volunteers, it will help build a fuller picture of the rich history of the Porcupine.
“Timmins was a centre of organizing for volunteers to fight in this war. We are asking people whose uncles or Dads went to Spain to share with us their stories so we can begin to reclaim some of our shared history.”
The Museum is looking to gather stories and photographs to help build on the hidden history of the Porcupine’s contribution to the Spanish Civil War.