The project

The start of an atrocious strategy

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the military rebels against the Republic were supported by various branches of the Italian and German armies, as well as state-of-the-art military technology sent by the dictators of both countries, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. The Spanish conflict served as an experimental ground for testing new armaments and, above all, for the practice of the latest destruction strategies and tactics.

The project 1939 Spain exports air terror to Europe studies and disseminates the relationship between the end of the conflict in Spain and the beginning of the Second World War, focusing on the origin of the air attacks on the civilian population. An atrocious strategy, tested by German and Italian aviation on Spanish citizens, which was “exported” by its creators to other countries at the start of the European conflict in September 1939. The city of Madrid is one of the fundamental axes of the project, as it was the first major European capital to suffer the horror of bombing on its rooftops, a tactic that raised international rejection, with demonstrations in Paris, London, Stockholm, New York and other cities.

Multidisciplinary and multinational
The Anastasio de Gracia Foundation is leading this project in which the Fotodoc Research Group of the Complutense University of Madrid, the Pablo Iglesias Foundation, the Gramsci Foundation, the Italian General Confederation of Labour and the Memory, Responsibility and Future Foundation are participating. It also has funding from the European Commission’s European Executive Agency for Education and Culture, through the European Memory line of the Europe for Citizens programme, awarded in 2019.

Por lastly, 1939 Spain exports air terror to Europe has been designed in a multidisciplinary and multinational way, in line with the general objectives of the European programme, among which are, “to contribute to the understanding of the common European history”. as well as “to raise awareness of the memory, history and common values of the European Union based on the promotion of peace and the well-being of its peoples, stimulating debate and reflection”.


The specific objectives of the project are: