Antifascist Chronicles

The Antifascist Chronicles of Aurelio Pego

"The antifascist may be a revolutionary, and because he is so, he is a sentimental man. Without sentiment, there is no revolution. Hence, the antifascist who becomes a poet acts logically and naturally. Unable to pour his sentiment into his profession, he pours it rhythmically onto the page. It dignifies a professional antifascist. Yes, friends, antifascism is the tears we hold back that become a rage." (Aurelio Pego "Doctor in Antifascism. "España Libre March 31, 1944).

España Libre and its predecessor, Frente Popular (1936-1939), were the longest-sustained bilingual periodicals devoted to their antifascist cause, mainly through workers’ organization and mutual aid. The journals were published by the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas (SHC), a confederation of about two hundred U.S. cultural and mutual assistance societies that grew to 65,000 members at its height in the 1940s.

Pego Joined España Libre in 1940 as a staff writer when he was already a renowned journalist. Castilla Morales praised Pego’s work and admitted that they were often the only two people editing the periodical. After his tenure as editor, Pego generously mentored other editors, and his popular satirical chronicles ran until the paper closed its doors in 1977. Pego’s rhetorical bombs unveiled the terror of the Franco regime, lampooned US diplomatic relations with Francisco Franco, and mocked the Spanish exiles’ unsuccessful efforts to liberate Spain from the dictator. Pego shared a militant antifascism with his readers and captivated them with his witty double meanings.

He moved to Puerto Rico in 1952 and was an executive member of Pro-Democracia Española (Pro-Spanish Democracy), an SHC-affiliated association that reported on antifascist activism in Puerto Rico. Federico de Onís joined him a few years later.


Listen to the English translation. Reader Tristan Velazquez 

Pego mocked the pillars of Spanish Fascism: the unique leader, the National Catholicism, and the Fascist State. In “The Ambassador of the Epitaphs” (13 July 1951), he imagines how difficult it must be for the US ambassador to Spain, Stanton Griffis. 

Click on the image to see the original, a transcription, and Montse Feu's translation.


Listen to the English translation. Reader Tristan Velazquez

Aurelio Pego’s sarcasm kept everyone on their toes. In ”Do we Resurrect her?”, the journalist writes his chronicle to commemorate the Spanish Second Republic proclaimed on 14 April 1931.

Click on the image to see the original, a transcription, and Montse Feu's translation.


Listen to the English translation. Reader Tristan Velazquez 

Aurelio Pego's chronicle on students' strikes in Barcelona. Pego created a literary alter ego, Roque Barca, who fought fascism no longer as a militia man would do in the 1930s but as a postmodern revolutionary: with fake news!

Click on the image to see the original, a transcription, and Montse Feu's translation.


Aurelio Pego's chronicle "Tonight, It's Christmas Eve" (1949) denounces food scarcity in Spain with culinary puns. See Recovery Blog Entry about the historical context of this chronicle.

How to cite: Montse Feu. "Aurelio Pego. Antifascist Chronicles" in Fighting Fascist Spain --The Exhibits. Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections. Accessed [DATE].
Feu, The Antifascist Chronicles of Aurelio Pego, Routledge, 2022.
Feu, “Sátira y denuncia política desde Nueva York: Lirón, Onuba y Aurelio Pego.” Manuel Aznar Soler y José Ramón López García (eds). El exilio republicano de 1939 y la segunda generación. Sevilla: Editorial Renacimiento, 2011. 931-8.