In 1918 Barcelona saw the first establishment of a Jewish Congregation in Spain after 500 years
after the expelling of the Jewish Communities in 1492. We will talk about the origins of these
families and the convulsed period they had to live in a revolutionary city within a traditional
Catholic society; the new Spanish laws that offered the Spanish citizenship to Sephardic Jews
living in Turkey and Greece, due to the consequences of the war between these two countries.
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the involvement of the local Jewish Community in the conflict; the closing of the Synagogues when Franco, the fascist dictator, took the power. What happened with the Jewish Community then?
Spain remained isolated during the II World War, as a neutral country, even though recent researches proved that Franco collaborated with Hitler, and not only concerning the Jewish issue...
However, some Spanish diplomats, such Angel Sanz Briz in Hungary saved the life of thousands of Jews against the orders provided by the Government in Madrid. In Barcelona, the Joint Distribution Committee helped hundreds of families that arrived from France, crossing the Pirinees, running away from terror and death. Barcelona was their temporary home, their port of departure towards the USA or Palestine.
We will tell you the history of some of these families that lived in Barcelona, or passed by looking for a better future overseas and will point on some of the places related to this period of the history.