Aug 232014
 

AnodelaVictoriaEL ANO DE LA VICTORIA. Memorias de la Guerra Civil Española 1936-39 por Eduardo de Guzmán. (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.47  READ INSIDE!

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Nacido en Villada (Palencia) en 1909 pero residente en Madrid hace medio siglo, Eduardo de Guzmán inicía muy joven sus actividades profesionales trabajando en diversos periódicos. En 1930 es nombrado redactor jefe del diario madrileño «La Tierra», cargo que desempeña durante cinco años. En 1935 pasa a «La Libertad» como editorialista y redactor político. En febrero de 1937 se le designa director del periódico matutino «Castilla Libre», órgano de la C.N T en la capital de España.

THE YEAR OF VICTORY is the second volume (in Spanish) of Eduardo de Guzmán’s riveting memoir, telling the story of Spain’s social revolution and Civil War, and the aftermath of the Francoist victory. It gives an unputdownable first-hand account of the tragic fate of defeated republican prisoners detained at the port of Alicante on 1 April 1939. Guzmán’s richly descriptive story of their gruelling three-month odyssey which took them, from Alicante, through the horrors of the Los Almendros and Albatera concentration camps, to their ultimate destination, a sinister Falangist building in Madrid’s Calle de Almargo. The book exposes the entire repressive apparatus of Francoist bloodlust in the aftermath of ‘victory’.

The author was editor of the Madrid-based Castilla Libre, the daily newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ union, the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), between February 1937 and March 1939. For me he is the Spanish Solzhenitsyn – the chronicler and indicter of one of Europe’s most enduring and bloodsoaked fascist regimes, one that killed more Spaniards than Hitler killed Germans. Guzmán’s insights and painstaking descriptions of his fellow prisoners, guards, conditions of confinement – the whole world of captivity – had me gripped all the way, from the fall of Alicante until the moment he and his comrades are delivered into the hands of the triumphalist, spiteful secret police and Falangist captors. My personal memories date from 24 years after the events described here — and are nowhere near as dramatic — but all the same I recognise each and every one of the situations and characters — oppressors and victims — and empathise with the latter every step of the way. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich exposed the brutalities of Stalin’s faraway prison system, Guzmán’s The Year of Victory does the same for Franco’s ignored gulag archipelago just the other side of the Pyrenees. The pity is that this three-volume Civil War masterpiece — La muerte de la esperanza (1973); El año de la victoria (1974) and Nosotros los asesinos: memorias de la guerra de España (1976) — remains more or less unrecognised in the very country whose history, vast areas of which still remain suppressed today — albeit more subtly — he tells so movingly.

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May 222014
 

Since 2005 Mari Carmen España has been fighting to exhume the mass grave at Puebla de Cazalla in Andalusia where her grandfather’s remains lie buried under a dump. Her tireless battle with the authorities is recorded in this ‘road movie’ documentary which has been screened in Germany, Sweden and Norway. It tells how two Swedish journalists, travelling through Spain, seek to understand how Spaniards of today relate to their country’s bloody history. They find it difficult to understand how the instigator of these mass murders is honoured, daily, with a Mass in the Valley of the Fallen, while across the length and breadth of the country the remains of the countless victims of the terror he unleashed still lie in their original death pits, unrecognised, unacknowledged — their murderers having escaped justice


Mari Carmen España – The End of Silence by tystnadensslut

 

Mar 282014
 

FrancoCoverGENERAL FRANCO MADE ME A TERRORIST. The Christie File: part 2, 1964-1967 (The interesting years abroad of a West of Scotland ‘Baby-boomer’) Stuart Christie ISBN 1 873976 19 4 (Kindle edition).  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  — £2.50/€2.99/$4.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! UK : £2.50 ; USA : $4.00 ; Germany : €2.99 ; France :  €2.99 ; Spain:  €2.99 ; Italy:  €2.99 ; Japan: ¥ 409 ; India: R244 : Canada: CDN$ 4.49 ; Brazil: R$9.30 ; Mexico: $52.93 ; Australia: $4.40

‘This volume picks up where the last one ended, namely his leaving Britain to take part in an anarchist plan to assassinate Franco. Christie, however, was arrested by Franco’s secret police long before he completed his mission to give the explosives he smuggled into Spain to those who were planning the assassination. Christie recounts his experiences being arrested and his time in various Spanish prisons with assurance, humanity and wit. He is not afraid to talk about the failures and cock-ups, the bickering and the surreal along with the bravery and dedication. As such, it is a real treat to read, giving the human side which history books never really manage to do. His account of the characters he met and the life of political prisoners in Franco’s regime is engrossing. Flag Blackened

Jan 112014
 

CoverGrannywebMy Granny Made me an Anarchist: The Christie File: Part 1, 1946-1964. First published by ChristieBooks in 2002 in a limited edition of 100 copies, this fully revised, updated, unabridged eBook (Kindle edition, 2014) is published by Christie(e)Books  —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.51/€3.03/$4.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

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“This fascinating personal account offers a remarkable picture of the late-20th century, seen through sensitive eyes and interpreted by a compassionate, searching soul.” Noam Chomsky

“Stuart Christie’s granny might well disagree, given the chance, but her qualities of honesty and self-respect in a hard life were part of his development from flash Glaswegian teenager — the haircut at 15 is terrific — to the 18-year old who sets off to Spain at the end of the book as part of a plan to assassinate the Spanish dictator Franco. In the meanwhile we get a vivid picture of 1950s and early 1960s Glasgow, its cinemas, coffee bars and dance halls as well as the politics of the city, a politics informed by a whole tradition of Scottish radicalism. Not just Glasgow, because Stuart was all over Scotland living with different parts of his family, and in these chapters of the book there is a lyrical tone to the writing amplified by a sense of history of each different place. When we reach the 1960s we get a flavour of that explosion of working class creativity and talent that marked the time, as well as the real fear of nuclear war and the bold tactics used against nuclear weapons bases. It is through this period of cultural shake-up that Stuart clambers through the obstructive wreckage of labour and Bolshevik politics, and finds a still extant politics of libertarian communism that better fitted the mood of those times. Now, in 2002,it is Stuart who finds himself quoted in an Earth First pamphlet as the new generation of activists for Global Justice by-pass the dead hand of Trotskyist parties and renew the libertarian tradition.” John Barker

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Nov 022013
 

IBBookCoverThe International Brigades and the Comintern in the Spanish Civil War by Stuart Christie. Published in 2013 by ChristieBooks, Hastings, East Sussex UK —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.05/€1.24/$1.65  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

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” … 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 175 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’…”

Jun 052013
 

Cover of first (and only) print edition (1972)

Miggers1FRANCO’S PRISONER. Anarchists against the Dictatorship by Miguel García García and annotated by José Ignacio Alvarez Fernandez ISBN 978-1-873976-52-4, ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.71/€3,17/$4.12 READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!  Fully annotated by José Ignacio Alvarez Fernandez, Department of Foreign Languages, Emmanuel College, Boston

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Miguel García García was born in Barcelona in 1908, the seventh of nine children. He became a newspaper-seller at the age of nine, and an apprentice printer at twelve; he was a lifelong member of the CNT, the anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Spain.

Miguel García García fought for nearly forty years for the freedoms we take for granted. A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Miguel then put his experience as a printer to good use — forging documents and printing pamphlets for the Resistance.

On 21 October 1949, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death together with eight comrades. He spent thirty-eight days in the condemned cell until his sentence was commuted to thirty years’ imprisonment. Four of his comrades were executed.

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Apr 192013
 
Retzinger

Pope Benedict XVI (C) blesses faithful flanked by Vatican secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone (L) and Santiago’s archbishop Julian Barrio at the Santiago de Compostela cathedral, on November 6, 2010 during his two-day visit in Spain.

During Joseph Ratzinger’s 2010 visit to Compostela and Barcelona we were regaled with his protest against heightened opposition to religion and how he was able to compare today’s situation with the 1930s. In the same vein, the Asociación Estatal de Abogados Cristianos/State Association of Christian Lawyers (AEAC) has notified the United Nations (no less)  of 150 alleged instances of religious persecution in Spain over recent months. Victim-ism has been and remains a constant in proselytisation, Vatican-style. Conducting themselves continually as hangmen does not stop them from propaganda heavily laden with words like peace and tolerance. Hypocrisy has always been their strong suit and the case in hand is no different.

Just like today, in the years preceding and during the conflict that gave rise to the social revolution of 1936, the Catholic Church kept its left hand raised high with calls for peace and respect whilst its right was used to deliver deadly blows to the working class.

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Feb 182013
 

GomezPelaez2Santiago Carrillo – or history falsified by Fernando Gómez Peláez

(Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles)

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With the death last year (18 September 2012) of Santiago Carrillo, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) (1960-1982), we can expect a few biographies of the ‘father of Eurocommunism’ over the coming year or so. As a matter of record and in the interests of, as they say, ‘balance’, we have republished an extensive review — by ‘Frente Libertario’ editor, Fernando Gómez Peláez — of ‘Dialogue on Spain. Santiago Carrillo in interview with Regis Debray and Max Gallo’ (Lawrence & Wishart, London 1976). The review appeared, originally, in the Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review (No, 4, Sanday, Orkney, 1978). Further information on Santiago Carrillo’s role in the Spanish Civil War— and subsequently — is available here:

-  La venganza mortífera sobre camaradas de partido:
http://blocs.tinet.cat/lt/blog/victor-garcia-g.-estanillo-el-brasileno/p

- Exiliados y maquis asesinados por el PCE:
http://angelmanuel-gonzalezfernandez.blogspot.com.es/2010/11/exiliados-y

- El protagonismo de Santiago Carrillo en la “Operación Reconquista de España”:
http://www.panzertruppen.org/heer/infanteria/armas/matadero.html

- La entrega de Julián Grimau a la policía:
http://www.elotropais.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=184&

- Desbancamiento de Fernando Claudín y Jorge Semprún en la lucha por el poder en el partido:
http://www.intereconomia.com/noticias-gaceta/opinion/cuando-carrillo-pur

- Desaparición gubernamental de sumarios judiliales que ponían en evidencia la política de Santiago Carrillo:
http://www.lasprovincias.es/valencia/20090215/valenciana/gobierno-hizo-d

Check also
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_Carrillo
http://www.izquierdareaccionaria.com/2011/05/por-fin-el-libro-sobre-carrillo/

Constructive reviews of Paul Preston’s new biography of Carrillo — El Zorro Rojo. La vida de Santiago Carrillo

EL PAIS ; LA VANGUARDIA ; EL CONFIDENCIAL

 

 

Feb 032013
 
unamuno

MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO Y JUGO (1864-1936)

Spain’s most eminent poet, philosopher, novelist and essayist of modern times, Don MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO Y JUGO, Professor of Greek at Salamanca University, became its rector in 1901, but was removed in 1914 for political reasons (in the 1920s the dictator Primo de Rivera exiled him to the Canary Islands). Re-elected in 1931 with the advent of the Republic he was  made rector for life in 1934, and in 1936 he entered the Cortes as an independent republican.

Astray1

General Millán Astray (1879-1954)

The oldest of the “generation of 98” (the new wave in literature and politics that emerged in the aftermath of the Cuban War) he described himself as a “sower of doubt and an agitator of consciences”. Disillusioned with the republic, the military coup of July 1936 found him in Salamanca, the heart of nationalist territory. Initially, a supporter of the military revolt, believing it to be an attempt to “restore order”, within three months he had come to realise the true nature of Franco’s New Order. As an admirer of some of the young Falangists, he had contributed money to the rising, but by 12 October his view had changed. He had become, as he said later, ‘terrified by the character that this civil war was taking, really horrible, due to a collective mental illness, an epidemic of madness, with a pathological substratum’.

When the great National Festival of 12 October was celebrated in Salamanca University  — within a hundred yards of Franco’s headquarters (recently established in the bishop’s palace in Salamanca, on the prelate’s invitation) — it was supposed he was another captive intellectual . . .

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Sep 262012
 

‘Click’ para bajar pdf …

¿Qué le ha sucedido al criterio editorial del TLS (Times Literary Supplement)? ¿Qué diantre llevó al editor a encargar como reseña de El holocausto español de Paul Preston la patochada condescendientemente insultante de un apologeta profranquista como Michael Seidman?

Aparte de quejarse sobre el “descrédito hacia el capital moral de los nacionales” de Preston, la objeción principal de Seidman parece ser el uso del término “holocausto” para describir la carnicería provocada por los “oficiales rebeldes, pronto ayudados por Hitler y Mussolini” (implicando que ninguno de sus regimenes habrían sido cómplices de sus planes para derrocar a la República). Esta objeción al vocablo holocausto es, o bien una pedantería académica, o bien un medido intento político por parte de Seidman de apropiarse de manera excluyente e incontestable del término para su aplicación exclusiva a las víctimas judías del antisemitismo nazi — a costa de los otros 5, 6, o 7 millones de víctimas de la máquinaria asesina nazi: antifascistas (judíos y gentiles), intelectuales, socialistas, anarquistas, comunistas, liberales, testigo de Jehová, gitanos, disminuidos psíquicos o físicos, etc… entre enero de 1933 y mayo de 1945.

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