Free Society: A German exile in revolutionary Spain by Werner Droescher [Book Review]

This handy thirty page pamphlet consists of an introduction by Farrell Cleary which gives the reader an insight into the life of this extraordinary man; a selection of material from Werner’s unpublished English autobiography which covers his time in Spain, “The Spanish Civil War and the Anarchists” and the Aragon Front. It also includes a series of notes that were published in the Wellington University Student newspaper, Salient, in New Zealand on the 23rd February 1963 (page 3) “Spanish Anarchists Made Ideas Work” which summarises a talk he gave at the Victorian University of Wellington for the Anarchist Association in 1963.

Werner, a teacher, born in Germany in 1911 died aged 67 in New Zealand in 1978. Werner spent almost half of his life in New Zealand and Australia. Buoyed by his Spanish revolutionary experiences he remained an anarchist to the day he died. The five pages devoted to his involvement in the Aragon front during the Spanish revolution are, in my opinion, some of the most inspiring material I’ve come across about the Spanish revolution.

Werner Droescher’s firsthand experience of the Spanish revolution gave his New Zealand comrades the practical dimension they needed to work towards making that new world in their heart a reality. I have no hesitation in recommending you get hold of this handy little introduction to Werner Droescher. The pamphlet is available from Kate Sharpley Library, And Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement, PO Box 6837, Te Aro, Wellington 6141 New Zealand

From: Anarchist Age Weekly Review number 966, 20th January-26th February 2012.