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

The Nurses No-One Remembers: Looking for Spanish Nurses in Accounts of the Spanish Civil War... <p>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 existence of trained nurses in country. We 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. We ask 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? We put the case 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.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

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

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.28.63
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<p>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 existence of trained nurses in country. We 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. We ask 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? We put the case 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.</p>

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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