Cultural activities

"The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain. Taking, Losing, and Fighting for Children, 1926-1945", by Dr Peter Anderson

"The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain. Taking, Losing, and Fighting for Children, 1926-1945", by Dr Peter Anderson Nick Chaffe

The Instituto Cervantes in Manchester and Leeds collaborate with the Centre for the History of Ibero-America (CHIA) from the University of Leeds in the presentation of the new publication by the historian and director of CHIA, Dr Peter Anderson, entitled The Age of Mass Child Removal in Spain: Taking, Losing, and Fighting for Children, 1926-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2021). In the event, Peter Anderson will share ideas in a conversation with the Hispanist and journalist from The Guardian Giles Tremlett and the editor of the Academic History section of Oxford University Press, Cathryn Steele.

Media revelations that during and shortly after the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 the Franco regime removed tens of thousands of children from political opponents and placed them in care homes or with families loyal to the regime where they were educated to despise their parents’ beliefs sparked vigorous debate in Spain. To understand these ‘lost children of Francoism’, Peter Anderson’s new book examines the rise from the nineteenth century of ideas of the ‘dangerous parent’ and the growing power of the state to remove children. It explores the removal of children before and during the early Franco regime and asks who lost children, how, and why. The book also links removal practices in Spain to other countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States, all of which face uncomfortable questions about their mass child-removal policies: Spanish practices help us understand these cases too.

Dr Peter Anderson is Associate Professor of Twentieth-Century History in the School of History at the University of Leeds. He is co-editor of European History Quarterly and has published widely on the Franco regime. His co-edited book Franco's Famine: Malnutrition, Disease and Starvation in Post-Civil War Spain, was published by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Giles Tremlett is a member of the Cañada Blanch Centre at the London School of Economics, as well as a journalist for The Guardian with opinion pieces and international articles. His publications include Ghosts of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Catherine of Aragon. He won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography in 2018.

Cathryn Steele is the Senior Assistant Commissioning Editor for Academic History at Oxford University Press.