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The False Baron von König
The False Baron von König
The so-called ‘Baron von König’ has been of interest to historians of the Spanish anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movements since 1918, mainly because of his relationship with Superintendent Manuel Bravo Portillo, head of Barcelona’s Special Services Brigade (the then Brigada Politico-Social); that and the fact that on the latter’s death at the hands of a CNT (the anarcho-syndicalist labour union) defence group in September 1919, von König, a French secret service agent, took over as head of the pistoleros, the anti-union death squads funded by the Patronal, the Catalan employers’ confederation. Von König’s role as the killers’ gangmaster was explored in some detail in the three-volume work ‘¡Pistoleros! — The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg’, but little was known about his activities pre- and post-Spain 1914-1920. Raymond Batkin has prepared the following dossier on ‘von König’s’ background following the publication of French author Éric Maillard’s biography (in French), Rudolf Stallmann alias Baron von König - Rodolfe Lemoine alias Rex; it is the first book based on the life of Rudolf Stallmann (his birth name) from his early years in Berlin through to his death in a French military prison in 1946.
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MORAL COERCION
MORAL COERCION
Galician-born surveyor Ricardo Mella (1861-1925) is regarded by many as one of the major theorists of anarchism in Spain. His moderate tone and outlook set the keynote for fellow-anarchists in Galicia and Asturias as he oposed jacobinism, regionalism, political socialism and extremism of any hue. While many embraced Ferrer's rationalist educational methods, Mella campaigned for "neutral" education. Himself an anarcho-collectivist by inclination, he was one of those who brought Spanish anarchism out of the ghetto and into the workplace. His wide reading, incisive mind and preparedness to tackle the big subjects without going for extremist position has left a lasting imprint on the libertarian movement in Spain. In this work he considers the question — Can society really cope without law and government? What is the nature of moral coercion? How does it manifest itself in human relationships? What is its role in a free and egalitarian society? and how modern capitalist society turns moral coercion on its head.
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The International Brigades and the Comintern in the Spanish Civil War
The International Brigades and the Comintern in the Spanish Civil War
With the UK’s Foreign Recruitment Act making enlistment in a foreign army illegal, the British authorities became increasingly rigorous in their attempts to enforce non-intervention and implement the law, so Brigaders were recruited discretely through the Communist Party network by local cadres and ‘Spanish Aid Committee‘ organisers who took it on themselves to vet all volunteers, especially non-party members. Politically, around sixty per cent of the Scottish IB volunteers were paid-up CPGB members with twenty per cent or so drawn from the Labour Party, with, perhaps, a scattering of ILP, Scottish Socialist Party or Scottish Workers‘ Republican Party members. The remaining twenty per cent claimed to have no formal political allegiances. These figures were more or less the same for the whole of the British Battalion the the XVth International Brigade, although it’s impossible to say how many of the 110 Labour Party members were also — as Lewis Clive was — covert CP members. The British Battalion appears to have had at least seven ILP volunteers which to me was unusual given that the ILP line was close to that of the CNT defence committees: that the social revolution was inseparable from the war. It was for this reason that most of the I75 ILPers who fought in Spain did so with the anarcho-syndicalist militias or, like George Orwell, with the anti-Stalinist Marxist POUM. Few British workers had passports in those days so the usual practice was for the volunteers to make their way across the Channel on special weekend returns — which didn't require passports — and then travel down to Spain with the help of the efficient and well-disciplined French Communist Party— and the French authorities mostly turning a blind eye. The first batch of foreign volunteers to arrive in Spain in the autumn of I936 were obliged to surrender their passports to the ‘Foreigners’ Bureau of the Catalan Communist Party, the PSUC, then controlled by the NKVD, Stalin‘s secret police. Later the International Brigade established its own ‘Control and Security Service’ headed by Alexander Orlov, chief of NKVD operations in Spain. Their passports were never returned and were used in covert NKVD and GRU clandestine operations. There was also an IB ‘Cadre Commission‘ set up in Albacete in February 1937 to monitor and assess the ‘trustworthiness’ of volunteers and to expose 'fascist' spies and 'Trotskyist-anarchist provocateurs. A cadre report on the British Battalion, for example, listed 363 British volunteers, half of them CPers, and described forty-one them as ‘cadres', 142 as reliable, and I33 — of whom forty were Party members — as ‘weak or bad’. . .
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HOW LABOUR GOVERNED 1945-1951
HOW LABOUR GOVERNED 1945-1951
How the Labour Party governed between the years 1945 and 1951, examining their relationship with the working class and how "socialist" it really was. “I look around my colleagues and I see landlords, capitalists and lawyers. We are a cross-section of the national life and this is something that has never happened before.” — Arthur Greenwood, Labour Lord Privy Seal, Hansard, August 17, 1945.
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REPORTER IN SPAIN
REPORTER IN SPAIN
In 1936, Harry Pollitt, the then General Secretary of the Communist Party, asked CPGB member CLAUD COCKBURN (1904-1981) to cover the Spanish Civil War for the Daily Worker. In Spain, under the assumed name of Frank Pitcairn and endorsed by the CPGB, he joined the Fifth Regiment (formed by the Communist-led Antifascist Worker and Peasant Militias — Milicias Antifascistas Obreras y Campesinas — commanded by Enrique Castro Delgado) to report on the war as an ordinary soldier. The result, Reporter in Spain, was published in October 1936 by the Communist Party of Great Britain’s commercial publishing house, Lawrence & Wishart. In Homage to Catalonia (April 1938) George Orwell attacked Cockburn’s Daily Worker reports from Spain, accusing him of serving the ideological interests of the Soviet Union — particularly with regard to his partisan account of the Barcelona May Days of 1937, views that were reflected in his Soviet sponsored newsletter, ‘The Week’ (1933-1941).
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FEUDAL SOCIETY II. Social Classes and Political Organisation
FEUDAL SOCIETY II. Social Classes and Political Organisation
Feudal Society is a great work of historical synthesis in the finest French tradition. The author treats feudalism as a living and vitalising force in the society of Western Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century. After surveying the social and intellectual conditions in which feudalism developed, Bloch examines the nature of the bond of kinship both as a predecessor and as a concomitant of vassalage. The core of the book is a masterly account of the creation of ties of dependence and of relations of lord and vassal, and the origins and nature of the fief. The nobility and their way of life, knighthood and chivalry, the clergy and other forces in society are also portrayed, and the work concludes with a discussion on feudalism as a type of society. Throughout the author treats history as a living organism and endless process of creative evolution. “Here is one of those rare books of impeccable scholarship (superbly translated by Mr Manyon) which no intelligent person could possibly read without pleasure and interest and excitement. What Bloch’s book gives us is the anatomy of an age. Some would call it sociology rather than history, or at any rate historical sociology. If so, it adds a new dimension which most historical writing lacks.”—
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SPANISH INTELLECT From the Fifth to the Nineteenth Century
SPANISH INTELLECT From the Fifth to the Nineteenth Century
It is in the history of Spain and of Scotland that he (Buckle) now seeks illustrations of these cardinal propositions. Spain and Scotland exemplify more palpably than any other modern peoples the baleful action of the protective spirit of Church and State; and the use to which he turns the history of those two countries is analogous to the value which the anatomist finds in morbid manifestations for the illustration of natural conditions. Spain is the country where the fundamental conditions of national improvement have been most flagrantly violated, and hence the country where the penalty paid for the violation has been most heavy, and where, therefore, it is most instructive to ascertain how far the prevalence of certain opinions causes the decay of the people among whom they predominate. If Spain illustrates the evil results of loyalty and superstition combined, Scotland exemplifies the evil results of superstition, but at the same time manifests how those evil results may be in part neutralized by the absence of the spirit of loyalty. It is to the elucidation of these considerations that Mr. BUCKLE has devoted the present volume, of which we shall, as a preliminary, try to give a running analysis:
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Extracts— THE CNT AT THE CROSSROADS. The Adventures of an Anarchist Heterodox
Extracts— THE CNT AT THE CROSSROADS. The Adventures of an Anarchist Heterodox
Translated extracts from the memoirs of Luis Andrés Edo, an anarchist activist whose life was dedicated to the ‘Idea’ and the struggle for liberty. Throughout his life Luis Andrés Edo remained always both an untiring activist and an intellectual dynamo of the international libertarian movement, constantly provoking thought and developing new anti-authoritarian ideas. His was the voice — the conscience if you like — of what he was proud to call ‘the Apache sector’, defending the anarchist principles of the CNT and fighting untiringly for the restoration of the union’s property and assets seized by the Francoists in 1939, and for justice for the victims of Francoism, particularly the cases of Delgado and Granado the two young anarchists garrotted in 1963 for a crime of which they were innocent. And for at least two generations of young Spanish anarchists who came into contact with him, Luis Andrés Edo was undoubtedly the inspirational role model of the post-Francoist era. From the 1950s until his death in 2009, Edo was to the libertarian movement what Jean Moulin was to the French Resistance. We have only translated four chapters, but should our financial circumstance improve we’ll translate the whole book — a unique and compelling insight into the activities (and shortcomings) of the CNT-in-exile and the wider Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE). Chapter 1 — Arrival in Barcelona: Can Comte, My Childhood Haunt; From Can Comte to Los Campanarios Chapter 2 — The War/Revolution: The CENU; The Battle of Barcelona; The Barricade as Revolutionary Structure; May ’37; Historical notes; The Iron Column; The “Ortiz Case”; The Fall of Barcelona Chapter 4: — Exile: My First Time Deserting from the Army; Sombernon: The Great Electrical Transformer; First Contact with José Cano Flores; On the Building Squad with Miguel ‘Ferrer’ (Miguel García García); House-building in Épinal (Vosges); Moscardó in Paris and the Big Crackdown in Barcelona (October 1949); The Lyon Station Hold-up; I Join the Big ‘Gillette-Thaon’ Concern; First Clandestine Trip to Barcelona (1951); Arrested on the Figueres to Gerona Leg (1952); A Prisoner in Figueres Castle; Deserting the Army a Second Time (1954) Chapter 5 — Arrival in Paris: I Discover the Laureano Cerrada ‘Affair’; First Contacts with the Libertarian Youth and with Lucio Urtubia; Assemblyism: I Discover the Mediterranean in Paris; Launching the Clichy Local Libertarian Youth Federation; Contacts with Quico; Contacts with Laureano Cerrada; The End of Quico and his Group; Pascual Palacios: A “Fourth Dimension”; The ‘Sinking’ Operation Coordinated by Pascual Palacios; The Congress of Limoges, 1960
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LA CNT En La Encrucijada: Aventuras De Un heterodoxo
LA CNT En La Encrucijada: Aventuras De Un heterodoxo
Sin título académico alguno, Luis Andrés Edo es producto, experimental e intelectual, del asambleísmo de la CNT, de la Asamblea más importante de la historia del Exilio: La Asamblea de París, que se mantuvo funcionando durante 40 años. Luis Andrés Edo descubrió dicha Asamblea tras su segunda deserción del Ejercito en 1954 como asiduo participante, todos los domingos, hasta 1966, cuando fue capturado en Madrid por la Unidad Móvil de la Brigada Político Social. A esa formación asamblearia debe añadirse otra fase complementaria: sus diversos y prolongados pasajes (por un total de diez años) cumplidos en prisiones franquistas, donde puso a prueba toda su capacidad analítica adquirida en aquel auténtico Magisterio Asambleario citado más arriba, y se tradujo en innumerables informes sobre la situación carcelaria de aquellos años (a los que se hace referencia en este libro) y en un hecho histórico sin precedentes de las cárceles españolas, durante el franquismo: La ausencia de debates entre las diversas tendencias políticas de los presos se rompe en el Penal de Soria en 1967-68, de cuyas discusiones Luis Andrés Edo elaboró clandestinamente su libro La Corriente, de la que hace ahora una amplia referencia. Todas estas consecuencias están precedidas de los momentos históricos que se vivieron a partir del 19 de julio de 1936, en Barcelona, donde residía a sus diez años de edad, y sobre todo por la influencia del proyecto pedagógico del laicismo en la Escuela Primaria que para los niños fue como descubrir un nuevo “planeta”: el Consell de l’Escola Nova Unificada (CENU) cuya experiencia le marcaría para toda su vida. Con estas diversas, y distintas, dinámicas afrontará situaciones límites, como los interrogatorios policiales, y los acontecimientos penitenciarios, entre los que cabe destacar el primer motín de la cárcel Modelo de Barcelona (antes de la muerte de Franco), en octubre de 1975.
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MY DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA
MY DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA
Deported American anarchist Emma Goldman travels to Russia for the first time in 30 years. She provides a revealing picture on the rampant oportunism throughout the Soviet government and its steady roots throughout the bureacracy. In addition she focuses on how the Soviet government began to open its arms after the Civil War to those who once had fought against it: the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and even the old tsarists. While these forces of the right were now coming into cooperation with the Soviet government, those on the extreme left saw an utter betrayal of revolutionary principles. At the one hand, during the Civil War, the Bolsheviks were much to brutal to the rightists, now they were much to nice. The extreme left then began to adamantly push for the overthrow of the Soviet government. Goldman explains life in Soviet Russia from the viewpoint of the extreme left revolutionaries, and charts the undemocratic injustices that occur to them as a result. Goldman was dismayed when she discovered that Doubleday, Page & Company had, without informing her, changed the title of her work from “My Two Years in Russia” to “My Disillusionment in Russia.” Even worse, the publisher cut the last twelve chapters of the manuscript (starting with Chapter 22: Odessa), omitting her account of crucial events such as the Kronstadt rebellion and the afterword in which she reflected on the trajectory of the revolution after the Bolsheviks seized power. At Goldman’s insistence, the omitted chapters were published as a separate volume: My Further Disillusionment in Russia (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1924). The complete text in one volume, with an introduction by Rebecca West, appeared the following year: My Disillusionment in Russia (London: C. W. Daniel Company, 1925).
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MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONIST
MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONIST
Peter Kropotkin’s (1842-1921) account of his journey from privileged childhood, through military service and two years in prison to anarchist thinker and activist was originally serialised in The Atlantic Monthly from September 1898 to September 1899. It provides a fascinating account of his intellectual development and radicalisation, of life under tsarist rule, and of the early European socialist movement.
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WITHOUT A GLIMMER OF REMORSE. The remarkable story of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle’s chauffeur
WITHOUT A GLIMMER OF REMORSE. The remarkable story of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle’s chauffeur
When in 1910 Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, engaged Jules Bonnot as his chauffeur in London he could hardly have realized that here was a character every bit as colourful as one of his own inventions. Returning to France at the end of that year, Bonnot went to go on to become Paris's public enemy number one, an inspired bandit leader of a group of anarchists who struck terror into bourgeois pre-WWI France and triggered a ferocious anti-proletarian crackdown. Bonnot's gang consisted of a group of French anarchists associated with the magazine L'Anarchie. The founder of the group, Raymond Callemin (nicknamed Raymond la Science), regarded Mikhail Bakunin and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon as his role models. Bonnot joined them in December 1911, and that month their first robbery took place at the Société Générale Bank in Paris, netting them booty equal to 5126 Francs, with more in securities. They have the dubious honour of being the first to use an automobile to flee the scene of a crime – the getaway car was a stolen Delaunay-Belleville — presaging by over twenty years the methods of John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde. The French central police were determined to catch the gang; using the registry of anarchist organizations they managed to arrest one man as well as many of the gang’s supporters. In March 1912, gang member Octave Garnier sent a mocking letter to the Sûreté Nationale – with his fingerprints. The French police did not yet use fingerprinting. Sûreté chief Xavier Guichard took the matter personally. Politicians became concerned, increasing police funding by 800,000 francs. Banks began to prepare for forthcoming robberies and many cashiers armed themselves. The Société Générale promised a reward of 100,000 francs for information leading to arrests. On April 28, police tracked Bonnot to a house in a Paris suburb. They besieged the place with 500 armed policemen, soldiers, firemen, military engineers and private gun-owners. By noon, after sporadic shooting from both sides, Paris police chief Lépine sent three policemen to put a dynamite charge under the house. The explosion demolished the front of the building. Bonnot, hiding in a mattress, returned fire until Lépine shot him in the head. Two weeks later 300 policemen and gendarmes and 800 soldiers began another siege in another Paris suburb. The firing from both sides was intense, and an explosion again decided things in favour of the Sûreté chief, when the remnants of Bonnot’s gang of robbers were blown up once and for all. Pino Cacucci offers us an affectionate, fast-paced but accurate account of the life of the extraordinary Jules Bonnot — car enthusiast, chauffeur, worker, soldier, bank robber — a man with a long-cherished dream of absolute freedom; an anarchist who felt it his duty to challenge bourgeois society, staking his all. A tragically romantic hero, Jules Bonnot
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THE BUTCHER OF LES HURLUS
THE BUTCHER OF LES HURLUS
Jean Amila (Jean Meckert, 1910-1995), libertarian author and son of an anarchist and a deserter, wrote twenty-one thrillers, in most of which he revealed his anarchist, anti-militarist, anti-statist and anti-clerical sympathies. Following the publication of his 1971 novel ‘La vierge et le taureau’ (The Virgin and the Bull)— which dealt with highly immoral French nuclear and bacteriological experiments in the South Pacific (presaging the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior and the murder of photographer Fernando Pereira in Auckland harbour in 1985)— he was brutally attacked, probably by French government agents, and left for dead. ‘The Butcher of Les Hurlus’ (Le Boucher des Hurlus ) is the story of Michou, the eight-year-old son of a soldier shot for mutiny in WWI. His mother, ridiculed and harassed by her neighbours as the wife of a mutineer, is interned and Michou sent to an orphanage where he and three young companions decide to take their revenge. With the ‘Spanish Flu’ decimating the towns and villages of France, they head for the front line to kill one of the architects of theirs and France’s misfortunes, divisional general Des Gringues….
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ANARCHISM (Kropotkin)
ANARCHISM (Kropotkin)
Kropotkin's entry on 'anarchism' for the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910). Anarchism is "the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being."
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ANARCHY (Élisée Reclus)
ANARCHY (Élisée Reclus)
The anarchist ideas of renowned French geographer, writer and activist Élisée Reclus (5 March 1830 – 4 July 1905) who produced his 19-volume masterwork, La Nouvelle Géographie universelle, la terre et les hommes ("Universal Geography"), over a period of nearly 20 years (1875–1894). In 1892 he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the Paris Geographical Society for this work, despite having been banished from France because of his role in the Paris Commune of 1871. The text is based on a talk originally delivered to the Brussels Masonic Lodge ,“The Philanthropic Friends,” on June 18, 1894. It was later published as l’Anarchie in Les Temps Nouveaux 18 (May 25-June 1,1895).
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THE SPANISH COCKPIT. An Eye-Witness Account of the Political and Social Conflicts of the Spanish Civil War
THE SPANISH COCKPIT. An Eye-Witness Account of the Political and Social Conflicts of the Spanish Civil War
Austrian sociologist and disillusioned former Comintern official Franz Borkenau visited Republican Spain between August and September 1936, and again in January-February 1937. The account of his first-hand experiences as an independent socialist observer in revolutionary Spain,‘The Spanish Cockpit’, was published in the early summer of 1937, when it impressed and influenced the recently-returned POUM miliciano George Orwell who recommended it (in a letter dated 1 August 1937) as ‘an excellent book’ for anyone wishing to understand Spanish affairs. “The amount of expropriation in the few days since 19 July is almost incredible. The largest hotels, with one or two exceptions, have all been requisitioned by working class organisations (not burnt, as had been reported in many newspapers). So were most of the larger stores. Many of the banks are closed, the others bear inscriptions declaring them under the control of the Generalitat. Practically all the factory-owners we were told, had either fled or been killed, and their factories taken over by the workers. Everywhere large posters at the front of impressive buildings proclaim the fact of expropriation... All the churches had been burnt. “ (The Spanish Cockpit, pp 70-71)
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LA NUEVE 24 August, 1944 The Spaniards Who Liberated Paris
LA NUEVE 24 August, 1944 The Spaniards Who Liberated Paris
The magnificent heroes from a hidden page of history, the soldiers of La Nueve, No 9 company of General Leclerc’s renowned 2nd Armoured Division (DB). According to the history books, the liberation of Paris began on 25 August 1944 when Leclerc’s 2e Division Blindée (2e DB)?entered the city via the Porte d’Orléans. In fact, Leclerc began the push earlier, on 24 August, when he ordered Captain Dronne, commander of No 9 Company to enter Paris without delay. Dronne thrust towards the city centre via the Porte d’Italie at the head of two sections from No 9 Company, better known as La Nueve. The first vehicle from La Nueve reached the Place d l’Hôtel de Ville shortly after 8.00 p.m., “German time”on 24 August 1944. Amado Granell – Paris’s very first liberator! – climbed down from his half-track to be greeted inside the city hall by Jean Moulin’s successor, Georges Bidault, president of the National Resistance Council. Granell, like 146 out of the La Nueve’s 160 men, was a Spanish republican! The Battle of Paris cost the 2nd Armoured Division the lives of 71 men and 225 wounded. Material losses included 35 tanks, six self-propelled guns, and 111 vehicles. On 26 August, General De Gaulle strode down the Champs Élysées accompanied by four vehicles from La Nueve acting as his escort and protection detail. The procession was led by Amado Granell and his armoured car. Survivors of the civil war against Franco, having enlisted in the Free French army, the Spanish republicans of La Nueve — anarchists, socialists, communists and republicans — went on to liberate Alsace and Lorraine and saw action in Germany. Of the 146 men who landed in Normandy, only 16 survived to be the first to enter Hitler’s Berchtesgaden Eagle’s Nest.
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CIPRIANO MERA — GUERRA, EXILIO Y CÁRCEL DE UN ANARCOSINDICALISTA
CIPRIANO MERA — GUERRA, EXILIO Y CÁRCEL DE UN ANARCOSINDICALISTA
Cipriano Mera Sanz nació en Madrid, el 4 de noviembre de 1897. Su padre, peón de albañil, era también, a ratos perdidos, cazador furtivo. A los once años, en vez de ir a la escuela, tuvo que empezar a ganarse la vida, de modo que, según las estaciones del año, salía de madrugada al campo para coger setas, níspolas, zarzamoras, bellotas o romero —que vendía luego en el barrio— y algunas tardes trabajaba en los tejares. A los dieciséis años entró como pinche en la construcción, y su padre le afilió a la Sociedad de Albañiles «El Trabajo», adherida a la UGT. Llegó a los veinte años sin conocer apenas las primeras letras. Entonces se inscribió en una academia y asistió durante ocho meses a clases nocturnas. Parejamente, empezaron a preocuparle las cuestiones sociales, extrañándose de la pasividad que caracterizaba a la Sociedad de Albañiles, cuya relación con sus afiliados solía limitarse a la de unos recaudadores que visitaban regularmente los domicilios de aquéllos. Su primer contacto con anarquistas se produjo en 1920, cuando conoció a Juan Barceló, Moisés López y Santiago Fernández. Estas relaciones se hicieron fraternales a raíz del atentado y muerte —el 8 de marzo de 1921— del presidente del Consejo de ministros, Eduardo Dato. Ya en el periodo de la Dictadura formó parte de un grupo anarquista que se desenvolvía dentro de la Sociedad de Albañiles, y con él intervino en la conspiración contra Primo de Rivera, sobre todo en la llamada Sanjuanada. En la UGT fue tres veces delegado de obras, funciones que contribuyeron a afirmar en él la conciencia sindical. Considerando más efectiva su práctica militante, sostuvo las aspiraciones de la CNT y abrazó el anarcosindicalismo como fundamento de la sociedad sin clases. Una vez caída la Dictadura y organizado en Madrid el Ramo de la Construcción adscrito a la CNT llegó a ser su presidente. Intervino en la organización de los Grupos de Defensa Confederal y formó parte con Buenaventura Durruti del Comité revolucionario constituído en 1933, por lo que, como en otras varias ocasiones, fue encarcelado. Alternó esas actividades con las de cargos más modestos, como el de delegado de obra cada vez que fue elegido para ello por sus compañeros. En el verano de 1936, la huelga de la construcción había paralizado a más de 100.000 trabajadores. A principios de julio, Cipriano Mera fue encarcelado nuevamente junto con otros delegados del Comité de Huelga de la construcción. La huelga de la construcción proseguía el 18 de julio, al estallar la guerra civil. Al día siguiente, Mera fue liberado de la Cárcel Modelo de Madrid, y tras participar en la derrota de los sublevados del Cuartel de la Montaña de Madrid, rápidamente organiza, junto a David Antona, una columna anarquista que se une a la del teniente coronel republicano Ildefonso Puigdendolas, que el 21 de julio tomaría Alcalá de Henares y al día siguiente la ciudad de Guadalajara. La columna anarquista de Mera se separó entonces hacia Sacedón y la provincia de Cuenca, ocupando la capital provincial, que se hallaba sublevada y en manos de la Guardia Civil. Sus soldados le apodaron El Viejo, porque tenía 40 años y mandaba sobre milicianos jóvenes. Más tarde, tras la creación del Ejército Popular Republicano, la columna de Mera se transformó en la 14ª División, de la que fue nombrado comandante. Esta división intervino fundamentalmente en la defensa de Madrid, en noviembre de 1936, y en la Batalla de Guadalajara, en marzo de 1937, que ganó a los italianos del CTV. Fue jefe del IV Cuerpo de Ejército. En 1938, ya ascendido a teniente coronel, emplazó su cuartel general en Alcohete (Guadalajara), lugar cercano a la villa de Horche y desde donde protegía todo el sector oriental de la capital. Apoyó el golpe de Estado del coronel Segismundo Casado el 5 de marzo de 1939 y la formación del Consejo Nacional de Defensa. Aunque el gobierno de Negrín abandona España al día siguiente, la situación del recién formado Consejo es crítica en Madrid durante los días 7, 8 y 9, ante la reacción de parte de los tres Cuerpos del Ejército (integrados por oficiales, soldados y milicianos comunistas) que defienden la capital. Pero entonces Mera lanzó su IV Cuerpo de Ejército desde Guadalajara y logró salvar al Consejo después de una serie de encarnizados combates por las carreteras de acceso y las mismas calles de Madrid. Ocupado Madrid por los franquistas, Mera se traslada a Valencia, exiliándose más tarde en Orán, donde fue internado en un campo de concentración. Una vez liberado, marcha al Marruecos francés, donde se gana la vida como peón de la construcción. Tras la caída de Francia en manos de los nazis, las autoridades franquistas solicitan la entrega de los refugiados españoles en territorio francés. En febrero de 1942, Cipriano Mera es entregado por el Gobierno de Vichy a las autoridades franquistas. Condenado a muerte, la pena le fue conmutada por 30 años de prisión. Tras un indulto en 1946 se exilió en Francia, donde retornó al activismo anarquista y trabajó como albañil y siguió militando en la CNT y cumpliendo cuantas funciones le fueron encomendadas, sin dejar por ello de trabajar en su duro oficio de albañil hasta que sus fuerzas, a los 72 años de edad, se lo impidieron. Miembro de la Federación local (CNT) de París, fue uno de los fundadores de Frente Libertario y de Defensa Interior. Ya en curso la impresión de este libro, falleció en Saint-Cloud el 24 de octubre de 1975 y recibió sepultura en el cementerio de Boulogne-sur-Seine.
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BENDING THE BARS
BENDING THE BARS
John Barker was arrested in 1971 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment at the Old Bailey for his part in the ‘Angry Brigade’ conspiracy trial, the longest trial in English legal history. Barker was released in 1978. ‘Bending the Bars’ is his account of those seven years imprisonment. This book is a memoir of life in British maximum security prisons between 1971 and 1978. John Barker went in at 23 and came out at thirty. It is in the form of stories written towards the end of his sentence and finished soon after his release.
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FEUDAL SOCIETY Vol 1
FEUDAL SOCIETY Vol 1
Feudal Society. Vol I — The Growth of Ties of Dependence, Marc Bloch (Translated by L. A. Manyon) Feudal Society is a great work of historical synthesis in the finest French tradition. The author treats feudalism as a living and vitalising force in the society of Western Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century. After surveying the social and intellectual conditions in which feudalism developed, Bloch examines the nature of the bond of kinship both as a predecessor and as a concomitant of vassalage. The core of the book is a masterly account of the creation of ties of dependence and of relations of lord and vassal, and the origins and nature of the fief. The nobility and their way of life, knighthood and chivalry, the clergy and other forces in society are also portrayed, and the work concludes with a discussion on feudalism as a type of society. Throughout the author treats history as a living organism and endless process of creative evolution. “Here is one of those rare books of impeccable scholarship (superbly translated by Mr Manyon) which no intelligent person could possibly read without pleasure and interest and excitement. What Bloch’s book gives us is the anatomy of an age. Some would call it sociology rather than history, or at any rate historical sociology. If so, it adds a new dimension which most historical writing lacks.”—GEOFFREY BARRACLOUGH, The Observer “This is not only a scholar's book for other scholars, or a mine of information for students, though it happens to be both these things as well, it is a book for every intelligent reader interested in the living past of Europe.” —C. V. WEDGWOOD, The Daily Telegraph THE AUTHOR Marc Bloch, one of the great historians of our time, was born at Lyons in 1886 and educated at the École Normale in Paris. He was for many years Professor of Medieval History in the University of Strasbourg before being called in 1936 to the Chair of Economic History at the Sorbonne. In the war he joined the Resistance, but was caught by the Gestapo, tortured, and shot near Lyons in June 1944. Though his other writings had won him international reputation among historians, Feudal Society is generally regarded as his masterpiece.
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 Posted by at 1:33 pm