SPANISH GUERRILLAS IN THE RESISTANCE AND LIBERATION by Louis Stein

22 August 1944: Spanish Republican guerrillas liberate Toulouse

GENERAL CHARLES DE GAULLE was fond of asking Maquis how long they had been in the Resistance. Since the question was ritual in nature, he wanted and expected a ritual response: “Since June 18, 1940, General,” the date of his famous appeal to the French nation to continue the struggle against Hitler. In Limoges, in September 1944, the General asked the question of a colonel of the Francs Tireurs et Partisans (FTP). “With all respect, General,” came the reply, “before you.” Seeing de Gaulle’s surprised reaction the colonel continued, Yes, I fought against the Germans during the war in Spain.”1

Perhaps the fact that the FTP was the communist arm of the Resistance motivated the Colonel’s reply, but the Spanish saw the war against the fascists as a continuing struggle dating from July 1936. It was true, as General de Gaulle said on another occasion, that the participation and sufferings of Spanish refugees in the Resistance had made them heroes of France and Spain.2 The sense of solidarity felt by Spaniards with Frenchmen in the common combat was expressed by Cristino Garcia Grandas, an outstanding Spanish guerrilla, when he noted that men and women of both nations had fought together for four years. “If I am proud of being a son of Spain I am not less proud of having helped in the liberation of France.” Cristino Garcia’s own career gave powerful affirmation to the basic Spanish idea that the war against fascism would not end until the victorious Allies helped the Spanish Republicans oust Francisco Franco. After the defeat of Ger-many, Cristino Garcia returned to Spain to organize a guerrilla campaign to achieve this end. He was captured and executed by the nationalist government.3

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THE COMMON PEOPLE 1746-1946 by G.D.H. Cole and Raymond Postgate — eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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First published in 1938 and updated and rewritten in 1946, G D H Cole and Raymond Postgate’s ‘The Common People. 1746-1946’ is a classic study of British working class history from the defeat of the Jacobite cause at Culloden in 1746 through to the end of WWII in 1946. Its 714 pages provide a comprehensive overview of British working class life from a libertarian socialist perspective from the end of the Jacobite rebellion to 1946: eighteenth century social and political movements; the Industrial Revolution and the French War; the post-Napoleonic Peace (including Peterloo and the rise of the trade union movement); England under the Reform Act; working class life during the so-called ‘Great Victorian Age’; Imperialism and Socialism; everyday life in the run-up to the First World War; the First World War itself; the inter-war period; Britain in 1939; the Second World War; plus a list of recommended books and a useful chronology of important dates

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LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM — the lost ballads of John Olday

Olday
John Olday: left – in Australia, 1957; right, at the piano with one of his illustrations behind him, at an Anarchist Black Cross cabaret evening at the Centro Iberico, Haverstock Hill, in the early 1970s.

Don Pedelty, veteran Syndicalist Workers’ Federation (SWF) activist of the 1950s and ’60s, author of THE GREAT DECEPTION How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the Workers and THE WRITER AND THE REALITY. Jane Austen and Her World and close friend and comrade of cabaret- and graphic artist John Olday (the Scots-German anarchist involved with Hilda Monte – his wife – and Georg Elser in the unsuccessful 1939 Munich Löwenbräu Bierkellar plot to kill Hitler) has just sent me copies of the six records (78s) John made, privately, at the HMV studios in 1954, shortly before sailing to Australia (11 March 1954). Sadly, the tapes Don made of John’s memorable Anarchist Black Cross cabaret evening at the Centro Iberico in the early 1970s, shortly after John’s return from Australia were lost when  his tape recorder was stolen during a break-in. However, hearing John’s hauntingly melodious voice again today — which reminds me of that of Tino Rossi! — has brought back lots of cheery memories… 1. ‘Rose rot, Rose weiß (a lyric poem written by Hermann Löns, a popular early 20th century author, written in hochdeutsch, high or standard German, and set to music by Haydn. 2: ‘Dat du min leevsten büst’, ein plattdeutsches Volkslied (a low German folksong), a night-visiting song in which the girl tells the boy how to find her without waking her parents. 3: ‘Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten Bronnen’, a song of the Landsknecht, the mercenary soldiers who fought in the armies of the Holy Roman Emperor in Flanders. 4. Dar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ’, also in North German dialect, tells of how a young country maiden (Buurdeern) courted by two young men (twee Jungs), one of whom is just a labourer (Schipper = digger), then other the son of a man with a position, perhaps a bailiff (Amtmann) asks her mother (Moder) which of them she should marry. Take the Amtmann’s son she tells her, and the Devil (Düwel) can take the Schipper. The Devil comes in and flies around and out of the chimney, presumably taking the Schipper with him.

Rose Rot, Rose weißDat du min leevsten büst Unsere liebe Frauen vom kalten BronnenDar weer een mal ‘ne luttge Buurdeern ; Once I was single …  ; Molly Malone ; The Cuckoo ; Dance, dance… The Nightingale…  ; The Cherry Tree  ; When all is dark and quiet   ;  Forget-me-not     and as a special treat German Folk Songs 1: Martha Schlamme and Pete SeegerGerman Folk Songs 2: Martha Schlamme and Pete Seeger

Illustrations (John Olday)

Olday Home Office File 1 (Contains a facsimile of Olday’s ‘The March to Death’)

Olday Home Office File 2

Olday Home Office File 3

 

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CONDITION OF SCOTLAND FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY From History of Civilisation in England Vol. III (1862) by H. T. Buckle. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

HTBuckleCoversmallCONDITION OF SCOTLAND FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY by Henry Thomas Buckle.

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English historian Henry Thomas Buckle’s (1821–62) plan was to write a fourteen-volume history of civilisation, putting historiography on a more scientific basis, comparing and contrasting the intellectual, political, religious and social histories of certain nations. Unfortunately, his death at the age of 41 meant only three volumes were completed: I — a General Introduction as to his methodology and philosophical premises; II — France and Spain, and III — Scotland . The present eBook consists of the first part of Vol. III; the second part of which, ‘An Examination of Scotch Intellect in the 17th and 18th Centuries’, will follow shortly.

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DEFENSA INTERIOR’ (EL DI) Y LA RESISTENCIA CONTRA EL FRANQUISMO Octavio Alberola. With a background paper, in English. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

DefensaCoverDEFENSA INTERIOR’ (EL DI) Y LA RESISTENCIA CONTRA EL FRANQUISMO por Octavio Alberola

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Por razones generalmente partidistas, la resistencia libertaria contra el franquismo ha sido frecuentemente olvidada en la historiografía del antifranquismo. Pero este “olvido” es aún más notorio en el caso de la resistencia libertaria de los años sesenta, por ser en esos años cuando los libertarios intentaron organizar y poner en marcha su proyecto resistencial más consecuente, el DI (“Defensa Interior”), y cuando sus acciones obtuvieron mayor repercusión internacional. Efectivamente, al reactualizar la lucha activa contra el franquismo y la presencia del anarquismo, el DI fue el blanco de todos los que, inclusive entre los libertarios, no veían con buenos ojos una reactualización que ponía en evidencia su inmovilismo o que contrariaba sus planes y objetivos politicos.

No es de extrañar pues que coincidieran tantos intereses en ocultar la historia del DI y que por ello ésta sea hoy en día, hasta en los propios medios libertarios, tan poco conocida. Un desconocimiento que, gracias a la reactualización del caso Granado-Delgado en el marco del actual proceso de recuperación de la memoria histórica, está comenzando a ser paliado. No sólo porque al hablar de este caso se ha tenido necesariamente que hablar del DI, sino también porque las nuevas generaciones de militantes y de historiadores están demostrando un gran interés por descubrir la resistencia libertaria de esos años, que tantos intereses coincidieron en ocultarla. Este interés exige pues un deber de información de parte de los que podemos aportarla. Y esto es lo que me han pedido hacer hoy aquí; pero, antes de hacerlo me parece necesario hacer algunas puntualizaciones sobre el franquismo y el antifranquismo, desde el final de la guerra hasta 1960.

Background paper:
“DEFENSA INTERIOR (DI) was the clandestine planning and resistance organisation set up at the Limoges Congress in France, in late 1961, by the Defence Commission of the recently reunited three organisations of the exiled Spanish libertarian movement (MLE) — the CNT, the Spanish anarchist trade union; the FAI, the Iberian Anarchist Federation, and the FIJL, the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth.
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