"I want to add my endorsement of Almudena Cros and of her “Across Madrid” company and its Spanish Civil War tours. As others write, Almudena has encyclopaedic knowledge of Spain’s Second Republic and its heroic resistance to fascist treachery, as she leads her tours with passion and conviction.

Friends and Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (FFALB in the United States) have organized or inspired journeys that follow the paths of our elders in the Spanish Civil War to battlefields, to field hospitals, R&R villages and training grounds.

Almu was my guide in one such trip to a small village in the region of Madrid  in 2011. Our hope was to meet “Maria,” who as a small child, the story was told, had strong memories of being lifted to his shoulder by one of the most prominent American Brigaders during the defense of Madrid.  When Almu located her house in the village, Maria and her husband were reluctant to open their doors to strangers. Perhaps they did not wish to revisit the heartbreak of the civil war. But Almu was so gentle, sensitive and compassionate that she managed to convey to this couple the emotional importance that this trip held for us, relatives of brigaders.  We were accepted and welcomed as guests, and sent off with tears of gratitude.

I am lucky to be among those who traveled with a Lincoln Brigader, such as my father Clarence Kailin, on trips to Spain, when Spaniards filled stadiums in Madrid and Barcelona; when they rushed into the streets, threw themselves into the arms of the Internationals and wept. A new generation is coming forward in the U.S. who are only just now learning about, or coming to grips with their relatives’ experience in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Unfortunately, when those of you travel on your first trip of discovery with Almudena Cros, you will not have you dad or mom at your side, but you will feel Almu there as your parent’s alter ego. 

Almudena Cros is now president, one of a succession of outstanding historians, activists and interpreters, of the Madrid-based “Association of Friends of the International Brigades” [Asociación de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales—AABI]. AABI launched a movement in 1995 that still fights the impunity of Franco Spain from accountability for its crimes against humanity, and which led to today’s campaign to identify the remains of thousands and match them with their relatives.

Exploring Madrid with Almudena as she discusses the realities of the war and what ensued is a unique opportunity to find out what happened in this country from a genuine insider’s point of view.  As a native of the city, with her education and experience, and her family´s links to the Republic, she is your port of call if you want to understand the Spanish Civil War."

John Kailin, son of American Brigader Clarence Kailin, who fought  and was severely wounded at the Ebro and was the first American to accept full Spanish citizenship under the Law of Historical Memory.  Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania,U.S.A.