Espionage’s tortured legacy. The ‘Banda Negra’s’ pistolerismo in Barcelona From ‘Nidos de Espías: España, Francia y la Primera Guerra Mundial 1914-1919 by Eduardo González Calleja and Paul Aubert, Alianza Editorial, 2014

 Anarchism in Barcelona, Barcelona  Comments Off on Espionage’s tortured legacy. The ‘Banda Negra’s’ pistolerismo in Barcelona From ‘Nidos de Espías: España, Francia y la Primera Guerra Mundial 1914-1919 by Eduardo González Calleja and Paul Aubert, Alianza Editorial, 2014
Nov 272016
 

Although Spain remained neutral in World War I, Madrid, Barcelona and the country’s ports were nonetheless clandestine proxy battlefields for the espionage services of the Allied and Central Powers. Here the belligerents waged a ruthless war of terror, sabotage and black propaganda in which agents of each country pursued their national interests no matter what the cost. This desperate secret struggle involved the subornation of the trade unions, the police and security services, murder, intimidation, gangsterism, sabotage, port and maritime blockades, submarine warfare, the supply of bellicose materiel, the spreading of insidious rumour and lies,etc., etc. Of particular interest to ChristieBooks in this story — because of their activities targeting the anarcho-syndicalist CNT on behalf of the Catalan employers’ associations — are the roles of police inspector Manuel Bravo Portillo of the Social Brigade, who was an asset of German Intelligence, and of the false Baron de König (referred to here as Baron Koening), a crook, boulevardier and agent of the French intelligence services until his death in mysterious circumstances in the immediate aftermath of WWII. The careers of these lowlifes we have explored at length previously in the three volumes of Pistoleros! The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg (1 ; 2 ; 3 ) and The False Baron von König by Raymond Batkin

nidos-de-espiasThe clandestine ‘dirty war’ fought on the streets of Barcelona in the immediate post-WWI years by the belligerent European powers was directly connected with the aggravated social and industrial tensions in the Catalan capital. Nor is there any doubt that some CNT union leaders, sponsored by the German secret service, actively targeted Allied interests,  justifying their activities in the name of class struggle.

In an audience with Thierry, King Alfonso remarked on the venality of some CNT leaders:

“[…] once the libertarian syndicalists and French anarchists have broken and bewildered the labouring mass sufficiently, the Germans move in, taking over and orchestrating sabotage, or bringing to a standstill the industries that are working for you people.”

The French consul in Barcelona was more nuanced:

“Since the war I have seen a significant role ascribed to German propaganda across the various labour movements in the peninsula. I am not denying this is the case, but I do not regard it as decisive […] our enemies have bought many ‘leaders’ in Catalonia; their subsidies are behind many of the strikes that have led to such extensive disruption of the delivery of goods intended for the Allies.”

 

Continue reading »

EL PISTOLERISMO EN BARCELONA. Los Archivos del Terrorismo Blanco. El Fichero Lasarte. 1910-1930 por Pere Foix. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain  Comments Off on EL PISTOLERISMO EN BARCELONA. Los Archivos del Terrorismo Blanco. El Fichero Lasarte. 1910-1930 por Pere Foix. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Jan 172015
 

LibroBlancoEL PISTOLERISMO EN BARCELONA. Los Archivos del Terrorismo Blanco. El Fichero Lasarte. 1910-1930 por PERE FOIXeBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

Mucho ante de 1909-1910 se habían sembrado, en los ambientes de las autoridades políticas y militares de Barcelona, las semillas de una acción violenta, de exterminio contra los anarquistas v sindicalistas, semillas que florecieron con todo vigor en los años de 1919 a 1923 dejando un incontable tendal de asesinatos, hechos salvajes que tampoco cedieron después.

Cuando se proclamó la segunda República en 1931, fueron descubiertos los ficheros secretos de Lasarte, y Pere Foix, antiguo militante obrero, buen conocedor de las tragedias proletarias catalanas, se dedicó a recoger algunos de los documentos de esos ficheros y reprodujo en el diario L’Opiniò de Barcelona los documentos que formaron luego el libro Los archivos del terrorismo blanco, que vio la luz en 1931, con una segunda edición en 1932. Desde entonces esas páginas habían quedado semiolvidadas hasta que vuelven a la luz en esta edición. El período trágico de 1910 a 1930 tiene en estas páginas una valiosa documentación, que resultará de alto interés para los historiadores y para los estudiosos.

Continue reading »

Dec 282010
 

Ojo por Ojo (An Eye for an Eye) Pistolerismo in Barcelona 1919-1923

Spanish TV mini-series on the years of ‘pistolerismo‘ (employer/state death squads) in post WW1 Barcelona (during which over 200 unionists were murdered). The story of a young man, Enric Serra, who joins an anarchist action group to defend his class interests and his union (the anarcho-syndicalist CNT) in the face of a vicious, murderous anti-working class repression by the employers’ organisation (the patronal), their ‘yellow’ unions (the sindicatos libres),  Barcelona’s ruling class under Martinez Anido,  and the Spanish state of Alfonso XIII. A través de la situación de los trabajadores de una fábrica textil ‘Ojo por ojo’ recrea la lucha obrera de la época por la mejora de las condiciones laborales. Enric Serra es un joven obrero que trabaja en una fábrica textil. Su hermano lidera una huelga que hará perder mucho dinero a la familia Torrents. A la salida de la fábrica, Enric contempla con impotencia cómo su hermano es asesinado. Sabe que el responsable de la muerte es el Sr. Torrents y decide unirse a un grupo de acción anarquista para vengarse…

See FILMSOjo por Ojo 1, Ojo por Ojo 2, 1919, La verdad sobre el caso Savolta, El honor de las injurias …

See also Pistoleros! (The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg)