[PHOTO CHRONICLE OF THE 1936 EVENTS IN SPAIN] Ispaniia. T. 1: Do 18 iiulia 1936. T. 2: Grazhdanskaia voina, iiul’ - dekabr’ 1936 [i.e. Spain. Vol. 1: UHP. Before July 18, 1936. Vol. 2: No pasaran! The Civil War, July-December 1936]. I. Ehrenburg.
[PHOTO CHRONICLE OF THE 1936 EVENTS IN SPAIN] Ispaniia. T. 1: Do 18 iiulia 1936. T. 2: Grazhdanskaia voina, iiul’ - dekabr’ 1936 [i.e. Spain. Vol. 1: UHP. Before July 18, 1936. Vol. 2: No pasaran! The Civil War, July-December 1936]
[PHOTO CHRONICLE OF THE 1936 EVENTS IN SPAIN] Ispaniia. T. 1: Do 18 iiulia 1936. T. 2: Grazhdanskaia voina, iiul’ - dekabr’ 1936 [i.e. Spain. Vol. 1: UHP. Before July 18, 1936. Vol. 2: No pasaran! The Civil War, July-December 1936]

[PHOTO CHRONICLE OF THE 1936 EVENTS IN SPAIN] Ispaniia. T. 1: Do 18 iiulia 1936. T. 2: Grazhdanskaia voina, iiul’ - dekabr’ 1936 [i.e. Spain. Vol. 1: UHP. Before July 18, 1936. Vol. 2: No pasaran! The Civil War, July-December 1936]

Moscow: Izogiz, 1937. Item #1222

Vol. 1: 102 pp.: ill. Vol. 2: 151 pp.: ill. 31x23 cm. In original cloth with colored lettering and debossed design for Vol. 1, lettering and mounted illustration for Vol. 2. Restored, covers slightly soiled, small fragments of outer edge of p. 3-4 lost (Vol.2), spots occasionally, otherwise very good.

First and only edition. One of 15 000 copies. Rare as a complete set in this condition.
Two splendid albums devoted to Spanish people’s heroic struggle for their independence. The edition was compiled by Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967) in 1936 while he was serving as a correspondent for ‘Izvestia’ newspaper.
Evgeny Golyakhovsky, El Lissitzky and Sophie Lissitzky-Kuppers were involved in designing two books respectively. Golyakhovsky was close with avant-garde artists but mostly tended to the style of Mir Iskusstva in his book ornaments and bookplates. The design of this edition is simple and austere. There are no adornments at all and it visually intensifies the drama of events.
Together, the albums contain 185 photographs by Chim (David Seymour), Ehrenburg himself, Gopsani, Lotar, Makovskaia, Mayo, Namuth, Reisner, Capa, Casas, Oples. This extremely rich photographic material became a chronicle showing the Spanish workers’ struggle for independence and against fascism. Apart from photographs, the second volume includes John Hartfield’s photomontage and 23 posters produced and spread in Spain during this time.
This was not the first time Ehrenburg wrote about Spain. In 1932, Malik publishing house (Berlin) issued ‘Spanien heute’, a book of essays with a wonderful design by John Hartfield and a lot of photographs taken by Ehrenburg in 1931. In the USSR, his travel notes ‘Spain’ were published in 1932 but without a single photograph. Its second edition (1935) was signed for publication without illustrations as well. Since that time, the political situation seriously changed. In February 1936, the bloc of left-wing parties ‘Frente Popular’ won the elections and soon after that Ehrenburg received an order to go to Spain from ‘Izvestia’ newspaper.
The first album is titled ‘UHP’ as an abbreviation of Uníos Hermanos Proletarios [Union of Proletarian Brothers], an activist group in the Spanish province of Asturias. ‘United Proletarian Brothers’ became a battle cry of the revolutionary masses in Spain. The magazine ‘Soviet Photo’ echoed: “That Spain, which was in the past and as it is recorded in the first volume of Ilya Ehrenburg’s book, will no longer exist. There is no return to the past - poverty, hunger, exploitation”. Izogiz publishing house quickly decided to issue more than one album continuing with the book about events after July 18, 1936. Thus, the first volume was sent to printing in March 1937 and soon after that materials for the second book ‘No pasaran!’ were put into production.
Events in Spain were extensively covered in the Soviet press. Filmmakers B. Makaseev and R. Karmen were ordered by the Politburo to depart for Spain on 18 August 1936. Two days later, they sent 600 meters of exposed raw stock to Moscow. The first newsreel ‘One the Events in Spain’ debuted in large Soviet cities on 7 September. Soviet people were reading daily front-page accounts of the Spanish war and any visit to the cinema was likely to expose them to recent footage of the conflict. The Spanish war had been converted into a cause of enormous ideological and emotional importance for the workers of the USSR. (Getting It Wrong in Spain. P. 163)
Ilya Ehrenburg, unique among Soviet writers for having lived for long periods abroad, played a significant role in uniting forces of the creative intelligentsia in Europe against fascism. He was one of the organizers of the anti-fascist congress in Barcelona in 1938. His angry articles directed against fascism appeared constantly in the Soviet press, but his chief work was the two-volume ‘Spain’. Overall, he wrote 350 articles, essays and reports about this country between 1931-1939. (Karasik, M. The Soviet Photobook, 1920-1941. P. 596)
His next book ‘In Spain. 1936-1938’, after censorship cuts, was allowed to print in 1939, but soon the decision was changed and the set was scattered.

Worldcat shows the only copies in LoC and New York University.

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