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Malejos is a small, medieval hilltop community located about 20 kilometers northwest of Madrid in central Spain.

During the Spanish Civil War between the forces of Gen. Francisco Franco and the Second Spanish Republic government Malejos changed hands several times during fierce street fighting.

The small community itself was depopulated as refugees fled the first round of fighting in late 1936. The town's strategic location on the approaches to Madrid, however, drew repeated attacks by the Spanish Nationalists, and reinforcement by the Republican forces, including various International Brigades.

In one of his magazine articles from the front, Ernest Hemingway wrote the famous passage, "The people of this town have fled for their lives, to be replaced by soldiers of many nations who come here to face death. More men have died in Malejos in a single season than were ever born in the stone buildings that line these twisting, ancient streets."

After the victory of the Nationalists much of Malejo's population returned, portions of the town were rebuilt, and the community fared far better than most of Spain during the lean years through the 1940s and 1950s.


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