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Gaston Leval and (Spanish) anarchism

Rudolf de Jong | IISG
Time period: 1921-1939
Number of interviews: 1 (1 person)
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: none
Period of interviews: 16 April 1973

Type interview: scientific

This interview can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision under “Stichting film en wetenschap” en/of “Gaston Leval (Ps. Pierre Piller), Franse anarchist”

There also exists a transcription of an interview with the interviewer Rudolf de Jonge


Medium: 3 audio tapes

Rudolf de Jong interviewed Gaston Leval (1895-1978) about the Spanish Civil War, Spanish anarchism, collectivizations and Leval’s trip to the Soviet Union in 1921. Leval (also pseudonym Pierre Piller) was the son of a communard and proofreader by profession. In 1915, as a French conscientious objector, he went to Spain, where he joined the anarcho-syndicalist trade union movement, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT).


After spending several months in the Soviet Union as a delegate of the CNT in 1921, he settled in Argentina in 1924. In 1934 he returned to Spain where he experienced the Spanish Civil War as an active member of the CNT. Back in France in 1938, he was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for conscientious objection. He escaped in 1940 and fled to the countryside. Throughout the rest of his life he remained committed to the anarchist cause in word and writing. He published a large number of articles, brochures and books in French, Spanish and Italian.


The interviewer wrote an academic paper on the subject called “Triomf en tragiek in Spanje over de CNT en het anarchosyndicalisme” See page 55 of this document

Dutch SS men

Seelen, J., Stichting Zuidenwind Filmprodukties
Time period: from the pre-war period until the post-war period
Number of interviews: 8
Accessibility: not available yet

During the Second World War, between 22,000 and 25,000 Dutchmen served in Waffen-SS formations. Despite their relatively large number, they hardly went public after the war, which is why little is known about the wartime experiences of this group that was generally regarded as traitors. Their personal stories have made their way into the history books only sparsely. But this group of Dutch people, who collaborated with the Germans, is also part of the war history and in order to obtain a complete picture of the past, it is important that their stories are not lost either.


In this interview project, former Dutch SS members talk about the pre-war period, their origins and their motives for joining the Waffen-SS. They also discuss their wartime experiences. The interviews show how strong the attraction was that National Socialism exerted on some people. They also provide insight into the social consequences of their collaboration.