Hand-finished map of Spanish Civil War


A hand finished map that came from the effects of Russell Blackwell after his death. Russell apparently took a page from a Catalan text with a map showing school locations in Barcelona. The side showing “Escoles de la Generalitat” is colored in by hand in various shades with the handwritten explanation: “Barcelona May 3-7, 1937. – controlled by CNT + POUM forces – controlled by Generalitat Police + Stalinists.”

Blackwell, Russell (Rosalio Negrete). Spanish Civil War Map (Barcelona) – May 3-7th, 1937. [Not published]
9 3/4 x 7 inches. Two minuscule chips on top edge and slight tear at fold (not affecting text).

Russell Blackwell, aka Rosalio Negrete (1904-1969) was a lifetong revolutionary and anarchist. Caught up in the excitement of the Russian Revolution, he joined the Communist Party in the early 1920s. Moving to Mexico, he became an official of the Communist youth group and one of the founders on the Communist Party of Honduras. Becoming disenchanted with communists, he drifted toward Trotskyism. During the Spanish Civil War he went to Spain to fight with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Drifting further to the left, he worked with the POUM and later the anarchist CNT-FAI. He was wounded in action, arrested twice by the communists and tortured by the NKVD. Finally released, he returned to the U.S. a thoroughly revolutionary and strongly anti-communist activist. Early May of 1937 was a chaotic period even for the Spanish Civil War during which all the various factions fought – especially in Catalonia.

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