How Neutral Can You Be? — The Case of Catalonia in the First World War

A free public talk about the role of Catalonia in the First World War, hosted by Marçal Sanmarti, Catalonian staff member at The Great War Exhibition and member of the Catalonian New Zealand Association.

Please rsvp by booking here.

6-7pm, 9 November 2018 

How neutral is neutral?

Discover what went on behind the scenes in Catalonia — a story of spies, economic interests and political turmoil. This presentation includes experiences and objects from Marçal Sanmarti’s family.

Although Spain was declared neutral in the First World War, there was division within the country. Catalonia, which borders France and had a semi-autonomous government, had many citizens who sympathised with the allies and even fought at the Western Front in the French Foreign Legion.

As the manufacturing powerhouse of Spain, Catalonia — and Barcelona, in particular — became a nest of spies as conflicting powers tried to wipe out entrepreneurs who were sending supplies to the war effort. Many fortunes were made and lost as business owners made the most — or experienced the worst — of the war.

Our presenter Marçal will bring the Catalonian experience to life by sharing some of his family’s personal experiences during the First World War and a range of images from the Museu d’Història de Catalunya, (The Museum of Catalan History).

Hear about the wartime history of the Catalonian region during this 1-hour free public talk, hosted at The Great War Exhibition on 9th of November 2018 from 6-7pm. Please rsvp by booking here.

Catalonia in the First World War - A Public Talk at The Great War Exhibition 9 Nov 2018
Catalan and Spanish journalists and politicians visiting Reims-Verdun, November 1917
Catalonia in the First World War - A Public Talk at The Great War Exhibition 9 Nov 2018
Medal, in honor of the Catalan Volunteers, 1920
Catalonia in the First World War - A Public Talk at The Great War Exhibition 9 Nov 2018
Catalan flag in honor of French heroism in Verdun, 1916
Catalonia in the First World War - A Public Talk at The Great War Exhibition 9 Nov 2018
Pro Allies postcard, April 1916
Catalonia in the First World War - A Public Talk at The Great War Exhibition 9 Nov 2018
Mass in memory of the Catalan volunteers card, 14 February 1918
Catalonia in First World War
The magazine celebrating the fraternity between Spain & Germany, published in Barcelona 1915.

Images courtesy of the Museu d’Història de Catalunya, (The Museum of Catalan History).