Martina Lemoine: Dr. Angel Pulido and the Sephardic Cause
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What was “the Sephardic cause” that Dr. Pulido championed?
Angel Pulido was a Spanish doctor and politician at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. In spite of the fact that his parents were modest shopkeepers who had emigrated to Madrid from the north of Spain, he was able to study medicine and became prominent in that field. On a trip to the Balkans, he first came into contact with Sephardic Jews. Although he was a deeply religious Catholic, he became sympathetic to the communities that were descendents of the Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. He worked to establish a cultural and economic relationship between Spain and these communities, and published several articles and books about them, with special emphasis on defending the importance of preserving their culture and languages. Pulido’s achievements were officially recognized in 1954, with the dedication of a monument to him in Madrid’s Retiro Park. (You can read an excerpt of one of his books here, in English.)
Dr. Martina Lemoine received her PhD in Hispanic Studies from the Sorbonne in Paris. Her dissertation was about Dr. Pulido, and a book based on her research, El Dr. Pulido y su época: La causa sefardí (Dr. Pulido and his Era: The Sephardic Cause) was recently published in Spain. Dr. Lemoine spoke with us about Pulido and his work.