The government on Friday granted citizenship to more than 600 surviving members of the storied International Brigades that fought on behalf of the Republic in the Spanish Civil War.
The government decree, which had the support of all political parties, fulfills a promise made by the Republic’s prime minister, Juan Negrin, during the 1936-39 civil war, won by Gen. Francisco Franco’s nationalist forces.
The survivors, now in their 80s and 90s, live in more than 20 countries.
Some 45,000 men and women enlisted in the International Brigades to fight Franco’s forces in a war that became a symbol of the struggle against fascism and in defense of democracy. More than 20,000 died in the war.