International award for IBMT

Post date: 10/11/2022

The important work carried out by the IBMT has been lauded by the main historical memory association in the city of Lleida in Catalonia. 

The IBMT is this year’s winner of the Premi2N international award bestowed by the Ateneu Cooperatiu La Baula. Judges praised the Trust for successfully bringing the story of the International Brigades and the fight against fascism in Spain to new and wider audiences.

At the ceremony on 4 November, IBMT Chair Jim Jump said it was an honour for the Trust to be chosen for the award, especially given its previous recipients. These included the ANPI Italian partisan memorial group, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo who campaign for justice for the ‘disappeared’ during the Argentine military dictatorship of 1976 to 1983, and the Amical de Mauthausen memorial group for the Spanish Republicans sent to the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen.

Jump spoke about the extent of support for the cause of the Spanish Republic in Britain during the Spanish Civil War, saying that the Republic had been a beacon of hope for many in the 1930s. The International Brigade volunteers came from around the world not only to fight fascism but also to defend the progressive values of the Republic’s Popular Front government.

In Britain it was ordinary people who rallied to support the Republic, whether by joining the International Brigades or by helping refugees. Meanwhile, their government, while pretending to be neutral in Spain’s war, betrayed a fellow democracy by actively facilitating Franco’s victory.

Jump went on: ‘So, when speaking justifiably of “Albion’s treachery” in the Spanish Civil War, we must at the same time remember that there was another Albion, one of solidarity and generosity, where a great effort and a blood sacrifice were made to defend the values ​​of the Republic.’

He concluded: ‘This spirit and these values we keep alive in the IBMT so that they can provide inspiration for new generations of activists and campaigners for social justice.’ 

The ‘2N’ in the name of the award refers to the date of 2 November 1937, when Mussolini’s Aviazione Legionaria bombed Lleida, killing more than 250 people. They included 50 children at the Liceu Escolar, a school founded by Republican educationalists. The award itself is a representation of the school’s facade.

Jim Jump (left) is presented with the award by Sabin Ibazeta of the Gernika Batzordea historical memory association in Spain’s Basque Country, which is a previous recipient of the award.
Jim Jump addresses the audience inside the former 12th century church of Sant Martí, which is now part of Lleida Museum.
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