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To Spain Without a Word

17 July 1938
Photo from the Collection Guerricabeitia, IISG
BG B31/354

"Antwerp, 17 July 1938
Dear parents, brothers and sisters, please forgive me, but I will have arrived in Spain by the time you receive this letter. It was too bad that I had to leave without a word, but if I had told you of my plan, the journey would have stranded, as you can imagine.”

Arend Haak left his parental home in the Dutch village of Emmer-Compascuum in order to join the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. He was wounded almost immediately and evacuated to a hospital in Barcelona. He wrote to his parents: “Don’t worry about me, I live here like a prince.”
No traces of Arend Haak have ever been found since. He probably died during the bombing of Barcelona towards the end of 1938.