On Feb. 8, 1937, some 150,000 Spanish civilians fled Málaga
and General Francisco Franco’s closing Nationalist forces.
Confined to a narrow coastal road, the refugees
soon met Canadian doctor Norman Bethune
Norman Bethune, the 46-year-old former chief of thoracic surgery at Montreal’s Sacré-Cœur Hospital, arrived in Spain on Nov. 3, 1936, as the head of a medical unit dispatched by the Canadian Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. Bethune was convinced that international fascism sought to dominate the world.
“They’ve begun in Germany, in Japan, now in Spain and they’re coming out in the open everywhere. If we don’t stop them in Spain while we can, they’ll turn the world into a slaughterhouse,” he predicted.
After touring the battlefront, Bethune realized that many of the ...