Voice of Spain: a weekly summary of facts and comment. No.8
|Previous||1 of 4||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
Voice of Spain A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF FACTS AND COMMENT Incorporating The War In Spain EDITED BY CHARLES DUFF UNITED EDITORIAL LTD. No. 8 LONDON, 27th MAY, 1939 PRICE 2d. THE FRUITS OF VICTORY ON Friday, May 19th, Generalisimo Francisco Franco held his "Victory Parade" in Madrid. It was led by General Saliquet - a Spaniard - in an open car escorted by some lancers. He was followed by the Italian General Gambara and a part of the Italian Expeditionary Force, who were the substantial head of the column: 12,000 men. The Littorio, the Black Arrows, the Blue Arrows, and the Green Arrows, in their Italian olive-green uniforms, took nearly an hour and a half to march past the saluting point, where El Caudillo — the " Leader " — watched them with pride as he and the Italo-German Staff and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, including the British Ambassador, surveyed the imposing parade of mixed races and nationalities: Italians, Spaniards, Moors, and Germans — the " Nationalist " army ! Unfortunately for the final impressiveness of the occasion, it rained; and the Generalisimo's hand, held aloft in the Fascist salute, dripped water. The Grand Vizier of Spanish Morocco was grateful for the umbrella which was ordered to be held for him, while the crowds of Madrileños watched the ceremonial as they became steadily soaked. Nevertheless, it was a moving spectacle by all accounts. The following day General Franco, as a symbol of final victory, dedicated his sword to God in the church of Santa Barbara; in the presence of the Cardinal Primate and a score of bishops. It is reported that he wept with emotion as he left the church, and one is not surprised if one considers the Spain which now remains on his hands after this final "victory." Let us consider it for a moment. First, there is that terrible roll of death: 1,200,000 brave Spaniards rest in their graves. That is about 200,000 more dead than the whole British Commonwealth of Nations suffered in the European War in 1914-18: a terrible thought. The percentage of dead to wounded in Spain was higher than in France and Flanders; but one may reckon upon a total casualty list of at least 5,000,000 — one-fifth of the total population. There can hardly be a family that has not suffered bereavement, and add to that the numbers of families that have been uprooted, that have lost everything and are now penniless, hungry, and in grave want — to contemplate the ravages of this war (initiated by General Franco and his supporters at home and abroad) should cause a shudder of horror amongst the most callous. Then there is the million Spaniards who prefer exile and the beginning of life afresh to life in that Spain of the " Nationalists." The name of Generalisimo Francisco Franco will go down in history as that of the greatest devastator that has ever lived in Spain. The surprising feature of Saturday's ceremony in the church of Santa Barbara was that the Cardinal Primate did not seize the opportunity to voice the feelings of the majority of Spaniards and curse to eternity the cause of the present appalling cemetery and concentration camp that is Spain. A correspondent writing in The Times of May 19th gave some striking details of what that Spain is now that the " victory " has been celebrated. The " conquest " of Catalonia and subsequently of Southern Spain confronted the Nationalists with a problem which defies immediate solution, for clearly a victor who wishes to convince as well as to conquer (vencer y convencer) must begin his overtures upon the stomachs of the vanquished. That General Franco cannot do. He can spend the last halfpenny on palms and flowers for Italians and Moors to march over in a victory parade. But he cannot add one ounce to the bread ration of a starving population. Here, we begin to suspect eye-wash on a grandiose scale, and discover proof that the " Leader " is not such a grandiose Christian crusader as he would have the world believe. He cannot hide his incompetence — even from The Times ! It is a fact, for which all history has provided proof, that it is easier to destroy than to build. A great architect, backed with the necessary resources and either good will or the slave labour necessary can erect a magnificent building which might cost £1,000,000. An adventurous aviator in a modern bombing-plane can reduce it to ruins in less than half an hour. If the measure of greatness is destruction, General Franco is a great man. The Times correspondent should be a good enough witness of this. Under the heading of " Unhappy Cities " he records that now the streets are emptier than is usual in a Spanish town. Not a single shop is open, and the only crowds are those of food queues. No private cars circulate. "Every second or third tree has been cut down for firewood and its uttermost roots have been grubbed up. Here and there a house has disappeared altogether under an air raid, and its neighbours are twisted and dishevelled. ... It is reckoned that a third of Madrid has been completely destroyed and a third damaged by shell fire. . . . The port of Barcelona has been completely destroyed and many inland towns have been completely destroyed." By Spaniards ? Not at all !—by Germans and Italians. Very few factories are in a state to resume work. The money problem accounts for the closed shops and empty factories. In fact, Spain is a devastated country. And yet the Generalisimo has the cynical effrontery to celebrate all this in a "victory parade." The Roman Catholic hierarchy in Spain has the even more cynical effrontery to stand up and bless all this. It is impossible to believe that God, Christ, Vatican, or even the Devil himself can approve of what has happened. It is, perhaps, enough that millions of Spaniards who now suffer from it will not forget the fruits of Franco's "victory." The Times correspondent mentions education and, after pointing out that the large majority of university professors and schoolmasters, adherents of the Republican cause, are now either in exile or in gaol, says: "It seems as if education must fall back into the inadequate hands of the Church." Why inadequate ? Because when the Republic came in 1931, 12,000,000 Spaniards (or 52 per cent. of the population) were illiterate. For that the Church was responsible — entirely. The republic worked marvels in education. The 1931 budget for education was 14,000,000 pesetas; that of 1937 in attenuated republican territory was 142 9 million. Franco murdered by the score professors, teachers, and intellectuals — solely because they were republicans or liberals — that is, men and women who in England are 'education.' Education, as we understand it in England, is suppressed. In Nationalist Spain to-day, they have no educationalists. Nor do they want them. The Spain of Franco and the hierarchy prefers a nation of analfabétics — of men, women, and children without an alphabet. Literate Spain, the Spain of the poets and singers and enlightenment could not be tolerated by a little Spanish military man who had to rely upon a Foreign Legion, upon Moors, Italians and Germans to achieve what he imagines to be a victory. Generalisimo Franco has sown dragon's teeth in Spain — not only in Spain, but everywhere in the world to-day where a true Spanish heart beats. His régime may last about two years. It cannot last longer. It is not easy to dominate Spaniards; they are an intelligent, virile and — a very restless race. Spain may not yet have solved her political problems. The republican régime for a moment has been destroyed: by Germany and Italy, and not by Spaniards. Those facts must be faced. One of Franco's recent decrees imposes compulsory service on all Spaniards between the ages of 18 and 50: in other words, slavery. In the Mulud festivities in Morocco, the Calif stated on May 11th that Franco's victory was a Moorish victory. The Italians claim it as an Italian victory. It is also a German and a Vatican victory. But one thing it is not — a Spanish victory. One million Spaniards — the refugees who left Spain — are a living testimony of that fact. The Spain of to-day is more tragic than the Spain of any moment of her long history. For it is an unnatural Spain with all that imported saluting and kow-towing to symbols and ideas which are repugnant to the Spanish soul. The fruits of victory must spring from the dragon's teeth that have been sown there.
|Archive collection||Archives of the Trades Union Congress|
|Archive folder||Spanish Situation - Pamphlets, Leaflets, etc. 1936-1939|
|Document title||Voice of Spain: a weekly summary of facts and comment. No.8|
|Document date||27 May 1939|