Constancia de la Mora: Vida y obra de una heroína controvertida/ Constancia de la Mora: The Life and Work of a Controversial Hero
Professor Liliana Dorado
Prior to the declaration of the Second Republic in 1931, Spain was a nation marked by social, cultural, and intellectual repression of women. The progressive Second Republic and the growing feminist movement introduced many reforms that improved the quality of life for the Spanish woman. Thus, when Franco and the nationalist forces threatened these newly gained freedoms with the initiation of the Civil War in 1936, many women dedicated themselves to fighting for the Republican cause. The majority of these women came from the working and middle classes. However, one of the most passionate – and unlikely – champions of the Republican cause came from an upper-class family: Constancia de la Mora. In contrast to her wealthy upbringing, de la Mora’s support for the cause of the working class of the Second Republic was highly controversial. During the Spanish Civil War, de la Mora served as the director of the Republican Foreign Press Office. In 1939, she moved to the United States to begin lobbying for the cause of the Spanish refugees. Later that year, to amplify those efforts, she published her perspective of the war and the refugee crisis in her autobiography, In Place of Splendor. Her work garnered attention for her cause, but it also stands out as one of the first autobiographies published by a Spanish woman. Although some have questioned the absolute truthfulness of the facts de la Mora reports in her book, her dedication to and actions on behalf of her people are undeniable. Today, in Spain and throughout the world, the concluding sentiment of her book continues to serve as a reminder of the essential nature of freedom: “¡Viva la República!”
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