chapter  12
14 Pages

Dashing Families Against the Rocks

The pervasive misery of post-war Spain meant that simply scraping a living presented a huge challenge for the vast majority of the population. However, for paroled Republicans, just getting by proved especially arduous because of the very particular discrimination and harassment they faced. In this sense, the suffering they shared with the general population formed the start of their tribulations. For even as late as 1945, real wages for farm labourers stood at 50% of their 1936 level for all agricultural workers.3 From the crippling poverty that such meagre earnings produced, for those who could secure employment, emerged the scourge of hunger. Indeed, across Spain over 200,000 people perished from starvation in the early 1940s.4 The all-pervasive hunger grew so bad that the ‘famished poor’ began to steal cats and dogs for their own consumption.5