BFIS and George Orwell
At some point during the Spanish Civil War (Jul 17, 1936 – Apr 1, 1939) the BFIS Main Building became a hospital (Sanatorio Maurin) run by the POUM (Workers' Party of Marxist Unification). The building belonged to a family of the Catalan upper-class who fled during the civil war. The POUM turned the house into a hospital for those fallen at the service of the revolution. The famous English writer George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) was its most celebrated patient. He was hospitalized in Sanatorio Maurin after he was shot in the front, near Huesca in 1937.
Since 2013 members of the Orwell Society visit our campus before going to the sites of the trenches in Aragon. The visiting group is always led by Mr. Richard Blair, George Orwell's adoptive son, and Mr. Quentin Kopp, son of Georges Kopp, Commander of the International Brigades who battled with George Orwell at the Aragon Front, and with whom the novelist became great friends. Since that very first visit of the group to BFIS in May 2013 we refer to our Main Building as the Orwell Building.
We feel honored to received Mr. Blair and Mr. Kopp 's visits and to have the chance to talk to them about their fathers' experiences during a time of huge political turbulence in the streets of Barcelona. We look forward to meeting them again very soon