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Categories of return among Spanish refugees and other migrants 1950s-1990s: Hypotheses and early observations

Alicia Pozo-Gutierrez et Scott Soo

Résumés

Que ce soit pour des motifs idéologiques ou pour des circonstances matérielles, l’émigration a représenté une expérience déterminante de l’Espagne du XXe siècle. Alors que les études sur les migrations ont été surtout centrées sur l’expérience, les problèmes et les défis rencontrés par les migrants dans les différents pays d’accueil, une lacune demeure concernant les retours. Cet article se focalise précisément sur un projet pilote consacré aux retours en Espagne des exilés et des émigrés durant les décennies 1950-1990, cherchant à analyser leurs motivations, expériences et mémoires du retour. L’article a pour objectifs d’explorer la migration de retour en tant que phénomène pluridimensionnel, de questionner la croyance selon laquelle le désir de retour, combiné à l’impossibilité de l’accomplir, conduirait à une forme de nostalgie paralysante pour le migrants, enfin de tenter de dépasser la tendance des discours publics de ne prendre en compte que la mémoire de « l’intégration » pour se consacrer à des phase moins connues du cycle migratoire.

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1During the twentieth century, both Great Britain and France played a key role in receiving Spanish migrants. Following the Nationalist Occupation of the Basque county in 1937, close to 4,000 Basque children were evacuated to Great Britain and were followed by a smaller number of intellectuals and political personalities of the Spanish Republic. France, on the other hand, was the prime destination for refugees from the Spanish civil war, who numbered close to half a million at the start of 1939. From the 1950s onwards, both countries also began receiving so-called ‘economic’ migrants. While questions of the reception and adaptation of Spanish refugees and so-called ‘economic’ migrants in France and Great Britain have been studied, less is known about the motivations, experiences and memories of returning to Spain.

  • 1  We would like to thank: the University of Southampton for financing this pilot project with the ‘A (...)

2This article primarily seeks to establish a comparative framework for studying the diversity of return migration to Spain from Great Britain and France1. In particular, there are several aims: firstly, to explore return as a plural phenomenon in order to fully account for the multiple ways in which returning to Spain affected the returnees’ lives and subjectivities; secondly, to call into question the view that the desire but inability to return resulted in a paralysing form of nostalgia; and thirdly, to shift attention away from a tendency of public discourses in France and Great Britain to eulogise the memory of ‘integration’ by focusing on a less publicised phase of the migration cycle which has equally shaped the lives of migrants over the long term. The preliminary reflections contained in this article represent part of a wider project that principally investigates the return of refugees and other migrants from the Spanish diaspora, but which also raises questions about the suitability of the traditional political-economic dichotomy in accounting for the full diversity of migration. As with all work in progress, this article invariably provokes as many questions as it provides answers, and is meant to provide simply an outline of our preliminary reflections and findings. But we hope, rather than anticipate, that this will be of interest to scholars working on other episodes of return migration.

Locating return migration

3During the months which followed the Retirada of 1939, hundreds of thousands of refugees returned to Spain. In the following couple of decades, the exile population in France and Great Britain remained relatively constant, but began to see some refugees returning to Spain from the 1950s onwards. It is axiomatic to state that refugees were confronted with the issue of repression when returning to Spain. They had good reason to fear persecution. Before Franco even announced the ‘official’ end to the Civil War the dictatorship had created a law aimed at repressing people for having defended the Second Spanish Republic. The February 1939 decree of political responsibilities effectively rendered supporters of the Second Spanish Republic guilty of a crime. This remained effective until the end of March 1969 when the regime considered ‘infringements’ committed during the Civil War to have lapsed. Although the law of responsibilities effectively applied to all refugees, the regime began authorising refugees to visit Spain for a limited period of time from 1954, provided they obtained a passport from a Spanish consulate. From March 1969 the need for consular passport provision was removed. Despite the administrative obstacles and potential dangers of returning to Spain, the mid 1950s marks a period when some refugees began to return for short periods of time to visit families, and notably when relatives in Spain were ill or had died.

  • 2  Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand, ‘Returning from an Exodus or Exile? The Diversity of Returns and the Spa (...)
  • 3  Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos (De exilios y migraciones), Madrid, Fundación F. Largo Ca (...)
  • 4  Rose Duroux, ‘El Retorno y sus Retóricas’, in Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos..., op. cit(...)
  • 5  Florence Guilhem, L'obsession du retour : les Républicains espagnols, 1939-1975, Toulouse, Presses (...)
  • 6  Alicia Alted Vigil, ‘Repatriaciones y retornos’, in La voz de los vencidos: El exilio republicano (...)

4An overall picture of returning refugees has yet to be established. As Alicia Alted and Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand have recently underlined, we still do not know the exact number of refugees who returned to Spain, or the conditions and circumstances of their departure and arrival2. What were the various motivations for returning? How were returning refugees received by the nationalist authorities in Spain? How did the refugees re-adapt to Spanish society? Although many questions remain, several studies have provided some initial and interesting insights. The texts brought together by Josefina Cuesta Bustillo represent an early foray into return territory, and are suggestive of the complexity of return3. In particular, the chapter by Rose Duroux is of notable interest by suggesting that whilst common themes emerge from people’s narratives of return, each return is nonetheless a highly individualised phenomenon4. More recently, Florence Guilhem’s looks at how refugees’ experiences of returning to Spain were often out of kilter with their memories of the Spain of the Second Spanish Republic5. Finally, Alicia Alted’s wide-ranging study has not only provided fascinating details about the return of well known personalities of the Spanish exile, it also draws a distinction between repatriation and return6.

  • 7  ‘Return Migration and Regional Economic Development. An Overview’, in King (ed.), Return Migration (...)
  • 8 Ibid.

5With regards to so-called ‘economic migrants’, existing literature on return tends to be located within the disciplines of sociology and human geography. Seminal in this respect is the work of Cerase, who proposes one of the most interesting conceptualisations of return from the perspective of the country of destination. He distinguishes five different categories closely related to the migration cycle: failed return, within less than 5 years from migration; return of conservatism, occurring within 5-10 years; return of innovation, within 10-20 years; retirement return, after 20 years; and non-return. Russell King on his part7, also draws on the migratory cycle to account for different forms of return migration, but he widens the scope of analysis to include other issues: the level of development in the home and host country; marginal forms of return, such as pilgrimage, ancestral returns (e.g. Pieds-Noirs, Jews return to Israel) or circular return; brain return; retirement return; duration of return (occasional, periodic, temporary, permanent); and the dichotomy between the intention to return and its actual materialisation. A key idea highlighted by King, which will be revisited in this article, is the concept of ‘myth’ or ‘ideology of return’ as a constant factor that marks and determines the behaviour of migrants8.

  • 9  See for example: V. Rodríguez, C. Egea, and J. A. Nieto, ‘Return Migration in Andalucía, Spain’, I (...)
  • 10  J. R. Valero Escandell, ‘El retorno de emigrantes a la provincia de Alicante’, Estudios Geográfico (...)
  • 11  Alvarez Silvar, ‘Las asociaciones de retornados en Galicia’, Migraciones, 2, 2002, p. 213.
  • 12  Ana Fernández Asperilla, ‘“Que treinta años no es nada”... Entre la exclusión y la fragilidad soci (...)

6The return of economic migrants who left Spain during the Franco regime, has been the subject of studies that have tended to focus on motivations for return and on the patterns of resettlement on particular regions. For example, Carmen Egea Jiménez and Vicente Rodríguez have compiled tables of objective and subjective factors that seek to explain the motivations for returning and non-returning to Andalusia9, whereas Valero Escandell has looked at the return of migrants to Alicante drawing on quantitative data10. The phenomenon of ‘returnee associations’ has been studied by Alvarez Silvar who has adopted a regional focus by exploring the case of Galicia11. Ana Fernández Asperilla for her part has focused on the social, economic and adaptation problems of Spanish elderly returnees, and the situations of vulnerability and marginality often face upon return12.

Approaches

  • 13  See appendix 1 with map of returnee associations in Spain.

7For our pilot project, we have began consulting British, French and Spanish national and local archives to gauge the results of Franco’s various amnesties aimed at encouraging certain groups of refugees to return. In the main, though, we have adopted a life history approach, which in combination with ethnographic observations of the context surrounding the interviews, provided valuable insights into the ways in which individual migrants recall, interpret and reconstruct their migration and return trajectories from the day-to-day perspective of their present lives. This method granted us access to material evidence that was just as telling of migration and return as the oral data. When interviews took place in the informants’ homes, they were often enriched by the presence of photographs, ornaments, or objects that had accompanied in their journeys. The joint exploration of these objects between the interviewer and the interviewee often yielded invaluable data that enhanced the meanings of the life stories themselves. Similarly, some of the interviews took place in returnee associations in Andalusia, the very existence of which evidenced the need experienced by some migrants to forge some kind of collective space of identification around the very experience of return13.

Questions and categories

8Drawing from this theoretical framework, our project is based on three sets of inter-related questions. In the first place we are interested in the influences motivating the decision to return: to what extent did discrimination in the host countries play a part in returning? To what extent was the return of Spanish exiles and refugees influenced by the Francoist amnesties? How significant were factors such as age, children, family considerations, and gender? The second set of questions explore the logistics of returning: how was the journey of return organised? What expectations and images of Spain did migrants harbour before returning? How important were economic, family, social and/or political, networks in facilitating or hindering return and resettlement? The third focus is on emotions: what emotions did return elicit amongst migrants? How did post-returnees remember their former host countries? To what extent did returnees feel enriched or disadvantaged by the migration experience?

  • 14  C. B. Brettel,‘Emigrar para voltar: A Portuguese ideology of return migration’, Papers in Anthropo (...)

9We are interested both in the objective aspects of return as in its more subjective facets, such as the ‘ideology of return’ that not only King but others scholars have identified14. In this sense, we do not regard return as the necessary final phase of the migratory cycle but as a wider set of complex social and cultural dynamics. Our initial reflections and preliminary results point towards the conception of return as a process and a plural phenomenon, and in this respect we have identified five categories which support findings of the migration studies cited earlier in this article, and which stem from the perspective of physical and geographical movement: permanent, failed, involuntary, clandestine and temporary returns. In addition, we have identified a further, and symbolically-charged, category which has been absent from the study of return migration to Spain.

1. Permanent returns

  • 15  Interview with Emilio, Miralbueno, Zaragoza, 27 March 2008.

10A permanent return took place when migrants returned permanently to Spain. In the case of non-politically motivated migrations the motivations could stem from the accomplishment of a migration objective, e.g. having gathered sufficient savings or work skills, or having completed a course of studies. For instance, Emilio returned in 1969 following nine years in France, having originally departed to take up the offer of a job. Work in France allowed him to save money with a view to buying a home in France. While there is a strong sense of an accomplished project, stemming from a clear strategy of economic improvement for a life in Spain, his permanent return was also shaped by a series of temporary returns to Spain for family visits, one of which led to him meeting his future wife and the desire to start a family15.

  • 16  Interview with Carmelo, Zaragoza, 27 March 2008.

11Emilio recalled his stay in France positively, becoming aware of political freedoms which were absent in Spain, and without references to any challenges of adaptation to French society. On the contrary, his recollection emphasises his experience as one of cultural accommodation amongst fellow Spanish workers, rather than a profound immersion into French everyday culture and networks. Conversely, for another migrant, Carmelo, who lived in Britain between 1969 and 1982, return to Spain was a highly unsettling experience, arising from his, along with his daughter Cristina’s, acculturation of practices in Britain stemming from work but also the social, cultural and linguistic realms16. On the other hand, negative experiences of life in France and Great Britain could be important influences for other migrants, such as obstacles associated with adapting to daily life, ranging from discrimination to homesickness. This latter point is polyvalent and could relate to questions of culture, and the absence of close friends and relatives.

  • 17  HO 213/911 Limited Amnesty for Spanish Republicans, 1946. A limited amnesty was circulated to Span (...)
  • 18  AD Gironde, versement 1239, liasse 42: Groupement Étrangers.

12More specific factors relating to refugees and the permanent return consist of the opportunities created in relation to Franco’s various amnesties and guarantees, and from the social and political context following the dictator’s death. The long period of time covered requires a nuanced exploration of time and space, especially in relation to how the refugees were treated by the authorities on return. In this respect, conditions for returnees in the first decades of the dictatorship were certainly precarious. Following news of a limited amnesty for Spanish Republicans one refugee returned to Spain from Gibraltar some time towards the end of 1945, start of 1946. According to British Foreign Office reports, this person was immediately ‘received’ by the superintendent of the police station in La Línea de la Concepción, just over the border from Gibraltar. The superintendent warned the refugee that his life in Spain would be free from repression on condition that he reported on the exiles’ activities in Gibraltar and ensure that no anti-francoist propaganda appeared in La Línea17. In the early 1950s, the dictatorship began issuing amnesties aimed at specific groups in exile. The 1950 amnesty aimed at former civil servants of the Spanish railway raised interest in a hundred refugees in Bordeaux tempted by the prospect of employment and a pension, whereas the 1952 offer of the repatriation and care of refugees disabled during the Civil War raised no interest whatsoever due to the support structures developed by the various organisations in exile18. A particular challenge for our project is to understand the dynamics behind refugees’ responses to these amnesties over the long duration and also to see exactly how returnees were treated on return.

2. Failed returns19

  • 19  The reflections for this category stem from our initial impressions of the life history interviews

13Not all migrants who returned to stay permanently managed to do so, giving rise to the phenomenon of failed returns. This resulted in re-emigration to France, Britain or indeed to a third country. The decision to re-emigrate could arise from a mismatch of expectations and realities encountered on arrival. It could equally stem from difficulties in resettling back to the culture and society of origin, and more specifically, in the case of former refugees from discrimination and repression.

3. Involuntary returns

  • 20  AD Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 1031W 237. Circular nº 78 marked secret from the Minister of the Interior (...)
  • 21  See for instance the editorial article ‘El problema del retorno forzoso’, Emigrante − Boletín del (...)

14The strategies of governments in Spain, France and Great Britain resulted in involuntary returns where migrants were given little choice in returning to Spain. Numerous examples occurred before the 1950s: the French authorities’ coercion of refugees to return following the exodus of 1939; the repatriation of evacuee children orchestrated by the Francoist authorities after the end of the Civil War, when the parents’ were pressurised into requesting the return of their children from exile; and the extradition of high-profile figures from France during the Vichy era. However, the French authorities re-instituted, albeit for a short period, a coercive practice of ‘return or the Foreign Legion’ at the start of 1950. Male refugees trying to cross the border clandestinely were threatened with return if they refused to join the French Foreign Legion20. Involuntary return was not, though, solely related to refugees. During the international economic crisis of 1973-74 the government of France, Great Britain, and most other West-European countries restricted their immigration policies effectively resulting in many economic migrants having to return to Spain21. To be sure, involuntary returns cover a range of very different contexts with extremely different scales of experience, the more repressive of which should not be minimised or under-emphasised. The aim of comparison is to highlight more generally the power of nation-state’s to compromise individuals’ fundamental rights and the resulting effects for the people concerned.

4. Temporary returns

15From the mid 1950s, refugees and other categories of migrants could be found returning to Spain for limited periods of time to see family and friends. What were the exact motivations at work? The decision may often have been linked to the illness or death of a relative in Spain, but may also have been driven by other factors. Can these trips be conceived of in terms of leisure and in relation to the emergence of Spain as a European tourist destination? To what extent did a temporary return become a stepping stone towards a subsequent permanent return to Spain? Or conversely, could temporary returns enable the migrant to live with the possibility of never returning permanently to Spain?

16A clear difference between a refugee’s experiences and memories, as opposed to other migrants undertaking a temporary return, relates to the anxiety and fear of the Francoist authorities. To be sure, this was dependent on questions of time (and perhaps space). An individual’s anxiety may have reduced in conjunction with further return trips to Spain. Furthermore, a refugee travelling for the first time to Spain in 1955 may not have experienced the same level of concern as a refugee returning for the first time in the late 1970s.

  • 22  Interview with Antonia, Bordeaux, 7 May, 14 August and 13 September 2002.

17The dilemmas confronted by refugees are exemplified by the recollections of Antonia22. Antonia was born in Tarrasa, Catalonia, in 1925.  Her exile began in 1939 when she crossed the Pyrenees only to be interned in the camp of Argelès-sur-mer along with her mother. Both of Antonia’s parents were members of the anarco-syndical Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and she considered herself to be a libertarian. She returned to Spain for the first time in 1961 to see her gravely ill husband who had returned beforehand to spend the rest of his life with his parents.

  • 23  For a classic and in-depth study into the telescoping of two different events see Alessandro Porte (...)

18Antonia’s recollection of returning to Spain was double edged. She recalled how she felt without voice in Spain, a process which started in France during the visit to the Spanish consulate to obtain a passport. The officials obliged her to change the name of two of her children for the passport Amor and Exilio thus became Federico and Manuel. Just after describing how she felt without a voice Antonia recalled how vibrant, lively and noisy Spanish culture was. This could pose a problem if our aim was restricted to understanding the experience of return. From a life history perspective, however, we can see that Antonia had in fact telescoped, or combined two or even more different return journeys into one recollection23. The reason for this stems from effects of two traumatic aspects of her personal exile: the illness and separation of her husband leading to her first return visit, and the discrimination suffered in France leading Antonia to describe her country of origin in opposition to French culture.

5. Clandestine returns

19Another form of temporary return, but of a completely different nature relates to clandestine return border-crossings. These journeys were mostly made by refugees or their descendants who returned for trade-union and political activities and the wider combat against the Franco dictatorship. How were these journeys organised? To what extent was knowledge about secret crossing points in the Pyrenees handed down from generation to generation? While anti-francoism represented the overriding drive for many people, there were also other considerations such as the desire to see relatives and re-visit places of origin. This latter point opens up an inter-related and overlapping category arising from refugees who returned under their real identities and with the permission of the regime, ostensibly or indeed with the principal aim of visiting relatives, but who engaged in anti-francoist activities whilst in Spain.

  • 24  Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand, L'Exil des Républicains espagnols en France : De la Guerre civile à la m (...)

20The radicalisation of a new generation of exiles in the 1960s also merits exploring in depth. How did their motivations differ from the previous generation of anti-francoist returnees? As with all clandestine and subversive activities, it is more difficult to gather information about the dynamics of clandestine returnees. The stakes for those involved were extremely high and could prove deadly, as was the case of the young libertarians Joaquín Delgado and Francisco Granados, who were in Spain for clandestine activities in 1963 but wrongly accused of planting a bomb. The regime staged a summary trial and executed the pair by garrotte a fortnight after the bomb attack24.

6. Imagined returns or strategies of non-return?

21The final category relates to the realm of the imagined and symbolic, which manifests itself in social and cultural practices. What happens when a permanent return becomes impossible? In such cases do migrants recreate an environment of the home country through everyday cultural practices or through participation in political, trade-union, or socio-cultural associations? If so what are the precise reasons for the creation of these environments?

  • 25 Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos..., op. cit.

22Josefina Bustillo’s insightful notion of a ‘culture of return’ refers to the activities of Spanish Republican refugees, and in particular to an ensemble of different forms of sociability fed by or ‘anchored in’ a repertoire of Spanish cultural traits and behaviours25. For the Spanish refugees in France a veritable culture of return developed during at least two distinct periods. From the end of the Second World War to the 1950s, and perhaps following Franco’s death, lively and frequent debates about returning to Spain possessed a sense of immediacy. In the intervening period even though the exiles’ parties and trade-union organisations organised clandestine returns, and generally kept the idea of a great return alive, there was nowhere near the same intensity of public meetings and events aimed at retuning to Spain as was the case in the late 1940s. For this reason it is difficult to speak of a culture of return for the decades of the fifties, sixties and early seventies.

  • 26  This raises interesting questions about Pierre Nora’s view that ‘there are realms of memory becaus (...)

23The notion of a culture of return is also limited in explanatory power in relation to activities within the private space. More generally, it does not account for the rituals and human-object relations inside the homes of exiles who have accepted the impossibility of a permanent return but who wish to construct an atmosphere which they perceive to be Spanish. To some extent, this phenomenon can be described as substitution of the desire to re-create the home in Spain by the desire to recreate Spain in the home, and has been somewhat linked, in France at least, to the lack of opportunities for the expression of memorial practices in the public space26. Though it may seem tempting to regard this as an example of an ‘imagined return’, it would be misleading to assume that the ‘memory environment’ of the home stems from an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and desire to recreate a lost past. Creating a perceptibly Spanish environment has often been a reaction against discrimination in the host society, an attempt to create a refuge, and had significantly occurred with the realisation that a permanent return to Spain can never be achieved. In this way, it is more appropriate to refer to a ‘strategy of non return’.

  • 27  Florence Guilhem, L'obsession du retour, op. cit., p. 121.
  • 28  David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

24To be sure, the notion of ‘strategies of non-return’ does not necessarily imply the absence of nostalgia or the idea of migrants reaching back to the past as a way of dealing with the present. Florence Guilhem has noted how exile from a geographical space can be accompanied by, or be transformed into, a form of exile from time, or temporal exile27. The participation of some members of the ‘Basque Children of '37 Association UK’ results from an ongoing feeling of a definitive rupture from a place and time. The preoccupation with an estrangement from time by former refugees not only lends an additional twist to David Lowenthal’s work of The Past is a Foreign Country28, but has also led Spanish Republicans to research local histories in the UK and to reflect critically about contemporary Spain.

Categories of migrants

25These reflections on the plurality of return migration to Spain have led us to also consider typologies of migrants. In particular, the classical categorisations based on the political-economic dichotomy, which have been dominant in historical narratives of migration during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime, cannot account for the wide range of individual motivations that shaped migration. The evidence suggests the existence of a far more complex and diverse range of typologies:

  • Spanish Republican refugees: those who left due to reasons directly related to their connection with the Second Spanish Republic and who were unable to return until there was a change of regime.

  • Other refugees: those who had supported the nationalist cause but who were unable to fully support Franco’s dictatorship. This group included monarchists and people such as José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones who had initially sided with the nationalist camp.

  • Child evacuees: The question of generational difference is important given that children evacuated during the Civil War tended to have little say in the decision to leave and little choice with the question of repatriation.

  • Internal exiles: Those who, given their compromising political ideologies, occupation, social position or role within their communities, decided to go into voluntary exile by hiding themselves for years (e.g. the so called topos). A secondary form of internal exile could apply to those who without having to physically hide, felt forced to repress their ideas and existence prior to the war. Whilst their country was transformed by a new dictatorial regime, from an existential perspective, they became foreigners and exiles - exiles of the imagination.

  • Voluntary exiles of the dictatorship: Those who left Spain voluntarily and legally, but with the intention of engaging in political activities against Franco’s regime, and who did not return permanently until after the end of the dictatorship.

  • Economic migrants: Those who left Spain for economic reasons, with or without the support of the assisted emigration apparatus that the Franco regime put in place from 1956 with the creation of the Instituto de Emigración Española (IEE). These migrants had a clear economic strategy e.g. save enough money to buy or build a house in Spain or start a business.

  • The disenchanted, curious and adventure-seeking migrants: Those who left Spain due to the disenchantment felt during the dictatorship. They may not have been necessarily engaged in politics, but they sought to evade the oppression of the regime and the restrictions imposed by its social and moral values. In this group we would also find young motivated people who simply wanted to see the world and benefit from opportunities for personal and professional development that were not available for them in Spain at the time.

In conclusion

  • 29  In 1992, Madrid was European Capital of Culture, Barcelona held the Olympic Games, and Seville was (...)

26In 1981 Spanish refugees in France lost their refugee status as the so-called transition to democracy occurred in Spain. Five years later Spain was formally admitted to the European Economic Community (EEC), and in 1992 the free circulation of Spanish workers came into force. Various institutions sought to make 1992 an unforgettable year during which the new post-francoist Spain celebrated its modernity and recovered European identity29. At the same time all Spaniards living in the EEC countries ceased to be considered as migrants, at least according to Spanish official regulations and discourses. Instead, they became ‘workers moving within the free European economic space’. If the official changes in terminology did away with the migratory status of those Spaniards that during the Franco regime left in search of better prospects, to see the world or to experience the individual freedoms that Spain had deprived them of, 1992 by no means put an end to long trajectories of migration. Neither did 1992 mark an end to the painful memories of the Spanish Republicans whose permanent return to Spain had become increasingly improbable with each passing decade. Return, even for a temporary period, had never been an option for many of the Spanish Republicans, whilst for some refugees and other migrants a variety of options for return existed. The work in progress, on which this article is based, has argued that return migration cannot be fully understood as a single narrative. For sure, in order to fully demonstrate how the typologies of return functioned according to questions of time and space, much work remains to be done. In the meantime, we hope this article represents a further, if tentative, step in understanding the complexities of return migration to Spain.

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Notes

1  We would like to thank: the University of Southampton for financing this pilot project with the ‘Adventures in Research’ grant; our Research Fellow Darren Paffey; and also Marie-Pierre Gibert for her helpful comments on a draft version of this paper.

2  Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand, ‘Returning from an Exodus or Exile? The Diversity of Returns and the Spanish Civil War.’ Alicia Alted Vigil, ‘Repatriation or Return? The Conflictive Homecoming of the Spanish Exiles of the Civil War, 1936-1939.’ Both papers were presented at the conference ‘Coming Home? Conflict and Return Migration in Twentieth-Century Europe’ which took place at the University of Southampton, 1-3 April 2009.

3  Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos (De exilios y migraciones), Madrid, Fundación F. Largo Caballero, 1999.

4  Rose Duroux, ‘El Retorno y sus Retóricas’, in Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos..., op. cit.

5  Florence Guilhem, L'obsession du retour : les Républicains espagnols, 1939-1975, Toulouse, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2005.

6  Alicia Alted Vigil, ‘Repatriaciones y retornos’, in La voz de los vencidos: El exilio republicano de 1939, Madrid,  Aguilar, 2005.

7  ‘Return Migration and Regional Economic Development. An Overview’, in King (ed.), Return Migration and Regional Economic Problems, Kent, Croom Helm, 1986.

8 Ibid.

9  See for example: V. Rodríguez, C. Egea, and J. A. Nieto, ‘Return Migration in Andalucía, Spain’, International Journal of Population Geography, 8, 2002, p. 233-254; C. Egea and V. Rodríguez, ‘Determinants of migration in the province of Jaén, Andalucía’, Espaces, Populations, Sociétés,1-2, 2002, p. 109-124.

10  J. R. Valero Escandell, ‘El retorno de emigrantes a la provincia de Alicante’, Estudios Geográficos, 203, 1991, p. 313-332.

11  Alvarez Silvar, ‘Las asociaciones de retornados en Galicia’, Migraciones, 2, 2002, p. 213.

12  Ana Fernández Asperilla, ‘“Que treinta años no es nada”... Entre la exclusión y la fragilidad social: los inmigrantes españoles de tercera edad retornados’, in Situaciones de exclusión de los emigrantes españoles ancianos en Europa, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, 2000, p. 217-263.

13  See appendix 1 with map of returnee associations in Spain.

14  C. B. Brettel,‘Emigrar para voltar: A Portuguese ideology of return migration’, Papers in Anthropology, 20, n° 1, 1979, p. 1-20.

15  Interview with Emilio, Miralbueno, Zaragoza, 27 March 2008.

16  Interview with Carmelo, Zaragoza, 27 March 2008.

17  HO 213/911 Limited Amnesty for Spanish Republicans, 1946. A limited amnesty was circulated to Spanish embassies and consulates in April 1945.

18  AD Gironde, versement 1239, liasse 42: Groupement Étrangers.

19  The reflections for this category stem from our initial impressions of the life history interviews.

20  AD Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 1031W 237. Circular nº 78 marked secret from the Minister of the Interior to Prefects, 28 February 1951.

21  See for instance the editorial article ‘El problema del retorno forzoso’, Emigrante − Boletín del Trabajador Español en Inglaterra, London, 8-9, Julio-Agosto 1974, p. 3. Fondo Adolfo y Tina López, Centro de Documentación de las Migraciones, Fundación 1 de Mayo, Madrid.

22  Interview with Antonia, Bordeaux, 7 May, 14 August and 13 September 2002.

23  For a classic and in-depth study into the telescoping of two different events see Alessandro Portelli, The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Life Stories, New York, 1981.

24  Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand, L'Exil des Républicains espagnols en France : De la Guerre civile à la mort de Franco, Paris, Albin Michel, 1999, p. 317.

25 Josefina Bustillo Cuesta (ed.), Retornos..., op. cit.

26  This raises interesting questions about Pierre Nora’s view that ‘there are realms of memory because there are no more memory environments’. For a discussion of this issue see Scott Soo, 'Between boundaries: The remembrance practices of Spanish exiles in the south-west of France', in Henrice Altink and Sharif Gemie eds., At the Border: Margins and Peripheries in Modern France, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2008, p. 96-116.

27  Florence Guilhem, L'obsession du retour, op. cit., p. 121.

28  David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

29  In 1992, Madrid was European Capital of Culture, Barcelona held the Olympic Games, and Seville was host to the Universal Exhibition. The polemical commemorations of Spain’s ‘Discovery’ of the Americas also occurred in the same year.

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Alicia Pozo-Gutierrez et Scott Soo, « Categories of return among Spanish refugees and other migrants 1950s-1990s: Hypotheses and early observations », Les Cahiers de Framespa [En ligne], 5 | 2010, mis en ligne le 12 mai 2010, consulté le 20 septembre 2017. URL : http://framespa.revues.org/92 ; DOI : 10.4000/framespa.92

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Alicia Pozo-Gutierrez

University of Southampton (Royaume-Uni)

Scott Soo

University of Southampton (Royaume-Uni)

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Les Cahiers de Framespa sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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