Football, Franco and Atatürk


Photographs were not that common in the 1930s Mandate Palestine press. Two newspapers that did feature them were the Christian-owned Filastin, in print since 1911, and the Muslim-owned al-Difa’, in print since 1935.

These Jaffa-based dailies had some of the highest circulation rates of the locally produced Arabic press at the time, and were competing for readership. They both featured photographs of world news events for their readers on their back page. Here is a little selection from Filastin’s 16th November 1938 edition (more to come in future posts):

1.  The Spanish General Franco’s personal Moroccan guard (above). Tens of thousands of Moroccans fought for Franco during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War. Franco recruited the troops in what was then a Spanish protectorate in northern Morocco, where he launched his attack on the Spanish government.


2. The body of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founder and first president of the republic of Turkey, lying in state ahead of his burial in Ankara. He died on 10th November 1938 of cirrhosis of the liver.


3. The site of the New London School explosion in New London, Texas. Hundreds of students and teachers died in the incident on 18th March 1937,  which was caused by a natural gas leak. It is not clear why Filastin featured the image in November 1938.


4. A football match between Germany and France, which took place somewhere in France, on a date unspecified by Filastin. I can’t make out the place from the caption. I can’t make out the score either, but it says that Germany won, and the French score was nil. The World Cup took place in June that year, so this may have been taken there.

(Photographs from microfilm of Filastin at the National Library of Israel)

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1 Response to Football, Franco and Atatürk

  1. Pingback: Pope Pius XI, strikes and petrol fires: Pictures from around the 1938 world | The Paper Dispatch

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