TO DIE IN MADRID. THE MAN WHO KILLED DURRUTI — José Manzana; the person responsible, Federica Montseny

 Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on TO DIE IN MADRID. THE MAN WHO KILLED DURRUTI — José Manzana; the person responsible, Federica Montseny
Nov 202016
 
durrutikiller

Above left: Durruti’s Generalidad-appointed military adviser, Sergeant José Manzana (circled), a professional soldier, was a drill sergeant in the Corps of Artillery and an Olympic-standard pistol-shooting champion. On the morning of 19 July he escaped from the besieged Barcelona Dockyard to join the Confederal militias. From that time on he accompanied Durruti everywhere, and was at his side on the Aragón front where he became his military adviser following Captain Enrique Pérez-Farrás recall to Barcelona by the Generalitat to head up the Mossos d’Escuadra. After Durruti’s death Manzana returned to the Aragón front to reorganize the remainder of the Durruti Column and prepare it for militarisation while Ricardo Sanz assumed command of the column in Madrid. Militarisation of the column was finally completed on 28 April 1937, less than a week before the Stalinist coup of May 3-8. Above right: Sergeant José Manzana, wearing a militiaman’s cap, his wounded right arm in a sling, is in the first line of mourners. On his left is the grieving widow, Emilienne Morin, whose features bear all the emotion evoked by the death of her compañero. Holding her other arm is Miguel Yoldi’s wife.

Madrid, 20 November 1936: Today is the 80th anniversary of the mysterious death of the anarchist Buenaventura Durruti.

November 1936 was a milestone in the civil war. Having surrounded Madrid, the mutinous fascist army was making a supreme effort to over-run the capital. On 4 November 1936 the ‘notable leaders’* of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT and anarchist FAI Peninsular Committee finally and completely abandoned the Confederation’s apolitical stance by taking it upon themselves to accept four nominal ministries in the central government of Largo Caballero. Many believed this was a cynical move on the part of Caballero to facilitate the government’s flight to Valencia and to pre-empt any criticism, or, presumably, any revolutionary initiatives from the anarcho-syndicalist rank and file. Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences!), two days later, on 6 November, Largo Caballero and his cabinet, including his newly appointed anarchist ministers, fled to Valencia — while the people of Madrid rallied to the city’s defence to cries of ‘Long Live Madrid Without Government!’

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August 1944. Spaniards in the Liberation of Paris. One Spanish Anarchist’s Testimony. Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz (1916-2000), aka ‘Manuel Lozano’ Translated by Paul Sharkey

 Spanish anarchism, World War II  Comments Off on August 1944. Spaniards in the Liberation of Paris. One Spanish Anarchist’s Testimony. Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz (1916-2000), aka ‘Manuel Lozano’ Translated by Paul Sharkey
Oct 222016
 
'Manuel Lozano', Hôtel de Ville, 24 August 1944

‘Manuel Lozano’, Hôtel de Ville, 24 August 1944

Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz, better known by his alias ‘Manuel Lozano’, was born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz) on 14-4-1916. The son of an anarchist barber (shot by the Francoists), he lost his mother at an early age and from a tender age worked in a distillery and in various vineyards around Jerez. In 1932, the year he learned to read and write, he joined the CNT (wine-cellar workers’ section) and the anarchist Libertarian Youth.

When the civil war erupted in 1936 and after Jerez fell into rebel hands he fled to the republican zone, serving on a number of fronts: Malaga, Granada, Marbella, Almeria, Murcia and Alicante — right up until the fighting ended.

In March 1939 he escaped to Oran but scarcely had he arrived when he was arrested by the French police and locked up in a concentration camp. He passed through five such camps in Algeria and Morocco, until November 1942 when the Allied armies overran North Africa. He then joined the Corps Franc d’Afrique (second armoured division) and, in April 1943, took part in the capture of Bizerta. In May 1944 he was brought to England and from August 1944 saw action in France with the Leclerc Division — 3rd Regiment, Company No 9 — in the battles of Normandy and Alençon.

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THE LIFE, TRIAL, AND DEATH OF FRANCISCO FERRER I GUARDIA by William Archer. Edited and Introduced by Dave Poole. eBook eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchist ideas, Barcelona, CNT, Obituaries, Reportage, Spanish anarchism  Comments Off on THE LIFE, TRIAL, AND DEATH OF FRANCISCO FERRER I GUARDIA by William Archer. Edited and Introduced by Dave Poole. eBook eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Oct 102016
 

The Life, Trial and Death of Francisco Ferrer GuardiaWilliam Archer (Edited and Introduced by Dave Poole) (ISBN 978-1-873976-02-9), First published in 1977 by Cienfuegos Press, Over the Water, Sanday, Orkney,  eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

FerrerMontjuich

Francisco Ferrer y Guardia (1859 –1909), anarchist, internationally renowned educationalist and founder of the rationalist ‘Modern School’ (La Escuela Moderna), was arrested in September 1909 in the wake of the popular and violent protests in Catalonia against Spain’s highly unpopular war against Moroccan tribesmen. The events of that week in July 1909 came to be known as the ‘Tragic Week’ (La Semana Tragica) for which the Spanish government and Catholic Church selected their most hated enemy, Francisco Ferrer, as the scapegoat — ‘the author in chief of the popular rebellion”. Within a month he had faced a mock military trial – a drumhead court martial – and on October 13 he was escorted to the ‘ditch of many sighs’ in Montjuich Castle and executed by a firing squad.

FerrerCover2This account of the life and death of Francisco Ferrer Guardia was written by William Archer for the October and November issues of McClure’s Magazine for 1910. Archer, a freelance journalist, had been commissioned by the magazine editor to go to Spain to find new material on the Ferrer case, as public interest in the affair had been revived. During his stay in Spain, Archer was able to interview Ferrer’s family and friends, as well as his opponents. He was also able to consult the many new books on the Tragic Week that had, at the time, just been published, and the official trial report, Juicio Ordinario Seguido … contra Francisco Ferrer Guardia. It is therefore to Archer’s credit, that on his return from Spain, he was able to write a very fine and well-documented article.

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NOTES ON LA FELGUERA IN THE ASTURIAN REVOLUTION OF OCTOBER 1934 (by a prominent participant in the October events) — with a commentary on the life and death of death of José Maria Martinez, Gijón CNT leader in 1934 (translated by Paul Sharkey)

 Anarchism in Asturias, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on NOTES ON LA FELGUERA IN THE ASTURIAN REVOLUTION OF OCTOBER 1934 (by a prominent participant in the October events) — with a commentary on the life and death of death of José Maria Martinez, Gijón CNT leader in 1934 (translated by Paul Sharkey)
Oct 052016
 

Octubre 34Calm and courageous from the outset, the handsome gladiator who is to scatter the seeds of a new society of active producers who shall live without masters and without tyrants, in perfect harmony with other producers and other villages where other guerrillas gladiators as handsome and courageous as himself, will have established Libertarian Communism as a superior arrangement for a life of justice and dignity

Published by the Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne/Acracia Publications, October 2013

By Way of a Preamble

 “One of the best known CNT and FAI militants in La Felguera (Asturias), the leading steel town in the province, sent us the following account of what he witnessed during the October 1934 Asturian uprising. We think that these brief jottings will help shed light on matters that deserve to be known.”

Introduction by the original publishers of Cultura Proletaria (New York), republished as a CNT document in late 1973 by the Fomento de Cultura Libertaria (Paris). From exile, October 2013

******

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The enigmatic Juan Negrín y López. Stalin’s ‘Golden Boy’, visionary, crook, or man of straw?

 Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on The enigmatic Juan Negrín y López. Stalin’s ‘Golden Boy’, visionary, crook, or man of straw?
Jul 182016
 
ultimo_secreto_Negrin

Juan Negrín y López (1892 – 1956)

At this eightieth anniversary of the Spanish Revolution that thwarted, initially at least, the fascist coup of 18 July 1936, it is worthwhile focusing on the character of one of the key players responsible for the suppression of that revolution and the subsequent defeat of the Republic: Juan Negrín López, the last president of the Second Spanish Republic.

Unfortunately, there is a vindicative trend in mainstream social-democrat historical circles1 to exalt Negrín’s ‘visionary’ right-wing, counter-revolutionary, ‘socialist’ premiership while calumnifying and denigrating the role of the Defence Committee of the CNT-FAI for the Central Region and the Madrid Defence Junta that on March 5 1939 ousted the compromised President Negrín: Eduardo Val Bescós, Manuel Salgado Moreira, and José García Pradas —supported by Cipriano Mera Sanz, commander of the IVth Army Corps, and others — to prevent a Communist Party coup and to try to avoid needless further bloodshed when the Republic was clearly defeated.

Dr Juan Negrín López (1892–1956), a middle-class physician and Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) member from 1929, was appointed finance minister (proposed by Indalecio Prieto without any experience in setting fiscal policy) in the Republican government headed by Francisco Largo Caballero in September 1936. In this role he quickly set about building up the strength of the carabineros (armed, highly mobile customs guards) to around 20,000 men, primarily to retake control of the French border posts from CNT members who had seized them after the defeated military coup of 18 July. The following month, in October 1936, he transferred 510 tonnes of Spain’s gold reserves — 72.7 per cent of the total! — to the Soviet Union in return for Stalin’s promise of arms and other war materials to continue the war against the fascists.

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THE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War Gerald Brenan eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain, Spain, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on THE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War Gerald Brenan eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Jul 012016
 

SpanLabyrinthsmallTHE SPANISH LABYRINTH An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo

Written during the Spanish Civil War, published in 1943, revised in 1950 and republished in paperback in1960, The Spanish Labyrinth assesses the social and political background of the war, not the war itself. Brenan a middle-class, liberal, Anglo-Irish expatriate who lived in Spain from 1919 until 1936, returning in 1953 — wrote comprehensively about the political and religious divisions in Spain from the 16th to the 20th centuries: the church, the tensions with Liberalism, the ‘patria chica’ and the main autonomous regions, Carlism, industrialisation, the agrarian question, communal life, the Republic, the Constituent Cortes, class struggle, etc. — not forgetting the important role of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism in Spanish politics. And although his attitude to the Spanish anarchist–anarcho-syndicalist movement and working class in general is patronising and condescending, it is to an extent understandable given his middle-class upbringing, prejudices and friendship circles.

Brenan swallowed, uncritically, contemporary hysterical, calumnious and propagandistic accounts of ‘irresponsible’, ‘ruthless’ and ‘typical’ acts of mass terrorism allegedly ‘carried out by the Durruti column in Aragón, and by the militia in Madrid on their way to the front’. Describing them as ‘the counterpart of the September Massacres of 1792’, he goes on to compare Durruti to the fanatical ultra-Catholic Carlist general Ramón Cabrera, and refers to the FAI (Iberian Anarchist Federation) as a ‘secret society’, which it most definitely was not (see my We, the Anarchists. A Study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927—1937). He also states as fact (and without adducing any evidence) that the advent of the FAI brought with it an increasingly noticeable trend in Spanish anarchism: ‘the inclusion within its ranks of professional criminals — thieves and gunmen who certainly would not have been accepted by any other working class party — together with idealists of the purest and most selfless kind.’

In spite of Brenan’s shortcomings as an historian and his ambivalence toward the Spanish anarchist movement, as a personal insight The Spanish Labyrinth remains a highly readable, comprehensive and valuable account of social and political life in Spain in the years leading up to the Civil War.

REVIEW OF THE SPANISH LABYRINTH BY MARIE LOUISE BERNERI, an editor of War Commentary and 
later Freedom, until her death at the age of 31 in 1949. She was the
 author of Journey Through Utopia (Routledge) and Neither East Nor
 West (Freedom Press). Her article was originally written for Now! in
 1944 as a review of the original edition of Brenan’s book:

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HISTORIA DEL ANARCOSINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL. Epílogo hasta nuestros días: La España del éxodo y del llanto Juan Gómez Casas. eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 CNT, Spanish anarchism  Comments Off on HISTORIA DEL ANARCOSINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL. Epílogo hasta nuestros días: La España del éxodo y del llanto Juan Gómez Casas. eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
May 082016
 

historiaelanarcosindicalismsmalleBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf ). Also available from Kindle and Kobo

HISTORIA DEL ANARCOSINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL llega en nuestra editorial a la 4a Edición. Hace ya tiempo, cuando la dictadura estaba en pleno apogeo, este libro fue uno de los primeros elementos de análisis que tuvimos de la verdadera historia de nuestro pueblo. En ella el «anarco» —como familiarmente se le llamaba— llenaba la tremenda laguna y el total desconocimiento de uno de los movimientos populares y obreros más arraigados en nuestro pueblo: el anarcosindicalismo. A muchos este libro nos ha servido para comenzar y buscar un compromiso con nuestra historia y con la realidad de explotación de la sociedad establecida.

El anarcosindicalismo español ha estado íntimamente ligado a la historia española desde los primeros balbuceos de organización y asociación en el movimiento obrero hasta la máxima aportación confederad en la guerra española que llevó a la colectivización de las tierras, servicios e industrias.

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EL ECO DE LOS PASOS. Juan García Oliver. El anarcosindicalismo en la calle, en el Comité de Milicias, en el gobierno, en el exilio.(/strong> eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Spain, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on EL ECO DE LOS PASOS. Juan García Oliver. El anarcosindicalismo en la calle, en el Comité de Milicias, en el gobierno, en el exilio.(/strong> eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Jan 282016
 

EcodeLosPasossmallEL ECO DE LOS PASOS. Juan García Oliver. El anarcosindicalismo en la calle, en el Comité de Milicias, en el gobierno, en el exilio.  eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

La autobiografía extraordinaria de Juan García Oliver, escrita a sus 71 años desde el exilio en México y publicada originalmente por Ruedo Ibérico. En ella se narran, con prosa ágil y hasta frenética en este extraordinario testimonio, los acontecimientos de su extraordinaria vida, desde sus precoces actividades sindicales, participaciones en huelgas y encarcelaciones, hasta su nombramiento como Ministro de Justicia y su doloroso periplo de exiliado por medio mundo.

Tras muchos años de silencio y de huir de todo tipo de protagonismo histórico, desde su exilio mexicano Juan García Oliver da a la publicidad sus Memorias. Anarcosindicalista de la primera hora, hombre bregado en huelgas y luchas revolucionarias, este antiguo camarero, huésped asiduo de los más duros penales de la dictadura primorriverista, había de convertirse en una de las figuras políticas claves del bando republicano. Su intervención resultó decisiva para la continuidad de la legalidad republiblicana en Catalunya tras la derrota de las fuerzas insurrectas y más tarde, siendo ya ministro de Justicia, había de convertirse en hombre-puente a quien confiar el allanamiento y suavización de los antagonismos que enfrentaban a las fuerzas en el seno de la República.

De sí mismo, Juan García Oliver ha dicho: “Mi muerte será gris y posiblemente llegue con demasiado retraso.” Más de medio siglo de actividad militante hacen imposible una biografía sucinta, a la manera clásica, que mar- que los hitos más importantes de su vida. Lo importante en García Oliver es el hilo conductor, la coherencia íntima de sus actos.

A modo de introducción

Este no será un libro completo. Tampoco será una obra lograda. Sobre la CNT -CNT igual a anarcosindicalismo- se ha escrito bastante. Y se ha escrito por haberse revelado como la única fuerza capaz de hacer frente a los militares españoles sublevados contra el pueblo. Fue la CNT -los anarcosindicalistas- la que impidió, por primera vez en la historia, que un ejército de casta se apoderase de una nación mediante el golpe de Estado militar. Hasta entonces, y aún después, nadie se opuso a los militares cuando en la calle y al frente de sus soldados asestaban a su pueblo un golpe de Estado. La sublevación de julio de 1936 era de carácter fascista y al fascismo europeo, en la calle y frente a frente, ningún partido ni organización había osado enfrentarlo. La CNT -los anarcosindicalistas- no logró hacer escuela en las formaciones proletarias del mundo entero. Otros golpes de Estado han sido realizados después por militares. El de Chile, por ejemplo, frente a casi los mismos componentes que en España -socialistas, comunistas, marxistas-, pero sin anarcosindicalistas, fue para los militares un paseo. Tal como se está explicando lo ocurrido en Chile, la lección para los trabajadores será nula. Porque no fueron los militares quienes mataron a Allende, sino la soledad en que lo dejaron. Algo muy parecido le ocurrió al presidente de la Generalidad de Cataluña, Luis Companys, en el movimiento de octubre de 1934. Entonces, como ahora, predominaba en Europa una manifestación del comunismo, gritón, llorón, dado a difamar a cuantos no se doblegan al peso de sus consignas. Bueno, sí, para organizar desfiles aparatosos en Madrid, en Barcelona, en Santiago, en Berlín. Pero, al trepar al poder Hitler en Alemania, solamente el anarquista individualista holandés Van der Lubbe tuvo el arranque de pegarle fuego al Parlamento, desafiando las iras de quien se creía más poderoso que los dioses. Aquel fuego purificador alumbró la sordidez del mundo comunista, pagado de sus periódicos, de sus desfiles, de sus manifestaciones, pero que, carente de la chispa insurreccional de los anarcos, siempre dejó libre el paso a los enemigos de la libertad. No amando la libertad, no son aptos para defenderla.

La CNT tuvo excelentes luchadores, hombres y mujeres capaces de llenar páginas de Historia. Pero careció de intelectuales capaces de describir y de teorizar nuestras gestas.

Durante años he vivido en la duda de si debía eternizarse nuestras luchas en narraciones veraces. El final de Allende, asesinado por la soledad en que lo dejaron sus partidarios, me ha convencido de que convenía que el mundo obrero conociera lo que éramos colectivamente, y no solamente a través de la imagen de un hombre y de un nombre. La CNT dio vida a muchos héroes. En la medida de lo posible deben irse aportando ya los materiales de la verdadera historia del anarcosindicalismo en su aspecto humano, más importante que las manifestaciones burocráticas, que tanto se han prodigado. Solamente la veracidad puede dar la verdadera dimensión de lo que fuimos.

La verdad, la bella verdad, sólo puede ser apreciada si, junto a ella, como parte de ella misma, está también la fea cara de la verdad. — Juan García Oliver

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Autopsia de una impostura Jesús F. SALGADO AMOR NUÑO Y LA CNT Revisado por Freddy GÓMEZ

 repression, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on Autopsia de una impostura Jesús F. SALGADO AMOR NUÑO Y LA CNT Revisado por Freddy GÓMEZ
Dec 062015
 

AmorNunoJesús F. SALGADO AMOR NUÑO Y LA CNT Crónicas de vida y muerte, Madrid, Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo, 2014, ill., 624 p.

Si, en el campo de la historia, ninguna verdad queda jamás establecida – basta con que surja finalmente un documento para que las ópticas cambien –, la Guerra Civil española, sujeto de estudio inagotable por razones que vamos a tratar de dilucidar, sigue siendo un campo de batalla siempre fértil en reinterpretaciones. También es necesario que el tal documento sea autentificado e incuestionable. En el caso que nos interesa – y sobre el cual Jesús F. Salgado ha llevado a cabo una destacable investigación –, la utilización de un falso periodístico, legitimado por un representante notorio de la casta de los historiadores, ha sido finalmente suficiente para trastocar, de buenas a primeras, una perspectiva bastante ampliamente admitida hasta ahora sobre las prácticas represivas del bloque estalinista-socialista-republicano a cargo efectivo del control del orden público en un Madrid sitiado donde las fuerzas libertarias, lejos de ser mayoritarias, jugaron más bien un papel de elemento moderador.

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EL SINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL ANTES DE LA GUERRA CIVIL. Los Hijos del Trabajo por Ricardo Sanz. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain, CNT, Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on EL SINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL ANTES DE LA GUERRA CIVIL. Los Hijos del Trabajo por Ricardo Sanz. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Jan 312015
 

SanzCoverEL SINDICALISMO ESPAÑOL ANTES DE LA GUERRA CIVIL. Los Hijos Del Trabajo por RICARDO SANZ. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

 SANZ GARCÍA, Ricardo: Canals (Valencia), 5-11-1898 / Toulouse (Francia), 25-10-1986. Hijo de obreros agrícolas, desde muy joven trabajó en una fábrica de harinas hasta su marcha a Barcelona (1916), donde ingresa en CNT, sección tintoreros del textil (su oficio por entonces), y amiga con el luego asesinado Sabater — el Tero. A partir de 1920 su activismo se acelera: conoce a Ascaso, mitinea por la comarca barcelonesa, participa en las actividades de Los Solidarios e ingresa en la cárcel (1920) durante cerca de dos años. Apenas liberado, se traslada a Zaragoza (juicio contra Torres Escartín por el caso Soldevila) y seguidamente a Francia por Barcelona para evitar nueva detención (en 1924, caídos Suberviola y Campo, es el eje del comité revolucionario en Barcelona). En París permanece poco tiempo porque no le gustó el ambiente del destierro y porque se le encargó comprar mil fusiles en Eibar-Guernica, cruza la frontera por Vera y se le detiene en San Sebastián (dos años de prisión en Madrid, donde conoce a Bajatierra, Romero, Inestal y otros). Liberado, vive en Barcelona, trabaja en la construcción (presidente del Sindicato del ramo en 1930-1931) y sufre frecuentes encierros.
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