Dionisio EROLES BATLLÓ por Agustín Guillamón (Publicado en catalán en el núm.194 del Catalunya (CGT), julio-agosto de 2017)

Left to right: Josep Xena, Dionisio Eroles Batlló (1900-1940), and an unidentified journalist in the grounds of the Generalitat Palace waiting to be received by President Companys during the talks to solve the government crisis of 1937. Photo: Josep Maria de Segarra.

Nació en Barcelona el 2 de noviembre de 1900. Valentín, su padre, había nacido en el pueblecito de Pla de Sant Tirs, en la comarca del Alt Urgell, de donde había emigrado a la ciudad de Barcelona. Su madre era barcelonesa, nacida en el barrio de Sants. Dionisio nació en el domicilio familiar, en la calle Manso número 35, quinto piso.

Empezó a trabajar con solo 8 años en una fábrica de vidrio, ingresando muy joven en la Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT). Fue encarcelado en agosto de 1919, y también en mayo y noviembre de 1920. El 30 de noviembre de 1920 fue desterrado a la fortaleza de la Mola, en Mahón, donde permaneció hasta octubre de 1922.

El barco Giralda salió del puerto de Barcelona con 35 militantes anarcosindicalistas y el concejal del Ayuntamiento barcelonés, Lluís Companys. Esos 35 sindicalistas eran la élite cenetista del momento, y habían sido condenados por su intervención en la huelga de la Canadiense en 1919: Salvador Seguí Rubinat, Manuel Salvador Serrano, Camilo Piñón Orihuela, Francisco Comas Pagès, Vicenç Botella Moya, Narcís Vidal Cucurella, Josep Vidal Cucurella, Eusebio Manzanares Barrera, Martín Barrera Maresma, Miguel Abós Serena, Antoni Soler Cuadrado, Josep Viadiu Valls, Enrique Rueda López, Aniceto López Dalmau, Emilio Albaricias Alorda, Jaime Albaricias Descarga, Manuel Núñez García, Saturnino Meca González, Dionisio Eroles Batlló, Antonio Ocaña Martín, Josep Soler Guillemat, Manuel Castarienas Domingo, José Francàs Jarquín, Josep Roigé Redondo, Guillermo Vales Bruguera, Daniel Rebull Cabré, José Antonio Gómez Vicente, Eusebio Jorge Sánchez, Salvador Pascual Mascaró, Antonio Calomarte Costa, Salvador Caracena Díaz, Ramón Recasens Miret, Francisco Arsia Simón, Jesús Vega Fernández y Antonio Amador Obón.

Al día siguiente, cuando el barco llegó a Mahón, uno de los oficiales de la tripulación comunicó a los deportados que el abogado laboralista Francesc Layret había sido asesinado en Barcelona.

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THE GOLPISTA SLAUGHTER OF ANARCHO-SYNDICALISTS IN CADIZ (1936-1937) by José Luis Gutiérrez Molina (Translated by Paul Sharkey)

JOSE BONAT ORTEGA (Cádiz, 1890 – 1936)

In July 1936, the coup-makers (golpistas) were clear that their success would be bought at the cost of the physical elimination of the leading members of the republican and workers’ political parties, as well as of the trade unions. In addition to members or organisations like the freemasons which were held to be hostile to the golpistas’ clericalism and unreconstructed version of Catholicism. This repressive approach resulted in a policy of extermination once the golpistas woke up to the fact that their coup attempt had failed across the country. So that during the summer and the months that followed there occurred in the occupied territories what has been described as “Francoism’s foundational massacre” or “the Spanish Holocaust”.

The rebels were trying to stop the changes in economic relations and in in Spanish society as a whole, these having gathered pace after the proclamation of the Second Republic in April 1931. Both the moderate changes pushed by the republican groups and the more far-reaching changes pushed by anarcho-syndicalism. The defeat of the coup was a boost to the spread of the revolution which it was supposed to have been meant to prevent. The number one enemies to be eliminated were those who represented the greatest radicalism: the libertarians.

This essay means to describe how the policy of extermination was applied to the anarcho-syndicalist constituency in Cadiz. A city where the main economic sectors – metalworking, transport and construction – were dominated by the CNT. I shall focus upon a few of the more prominent militants, whilst not forgetting that the repression encompassed the bulk of the city’s anarcho-syndicalists.

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THE ANARCHIST COLLECTIVES Workers’ Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936-1939 by Sam Dolgoff (Editor) — eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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Sam Dolgoff, editor of the best anthology of Bakunin’s writings, has now produced an excellent documentary history of the Anarchist collectives in Spain. Although there is a vast literature on the Spanish Civil War, this is [was] the first book in English that is devoted to the experiments in workers’ self-management, both urban and rural, which constituted one of the most remarkable social revolutions in modern history. —Paul Avrich

Lenin once identified “the sum total of the conditions necessary for socialism” as large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organization subordinated to a Soviet state, that is, a “proletarian dictatorship” ruled by a vanguard party. The eyewitness reports and commentary presented in this highly important study reveal a very different understanding of the nature of socialism and the means for achieving it.

Libertarian communism, as it was realised during the Spanish revolution, was truly the creation of workers and peasants. It was a “spontaneous” creation—for which, in fact, the groundwork had been laid by decades of struggle and education, experiment and thought.

Varied, complex, often inspiring, the achievement of the people of Spain is unique in the history of 20th century revolution. It should be carefully studied, not merely as the record of a remarkable human accomplishment, but also for the insight it provides into the problems of constructing a social order that is just and humane, committed to freedom from exploitation and oppression, whether by a capitalist autocracy or an authoritarian state apparatus.

For a brief period, the Spanish people offered the world a glimpse of a future that differs by orders of magnitude from the tendencies inherent in the state capitalist and state socialist societies that exist today. —Noam Chomsky

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July 19, 1936: Republic or revolution? A review of Hugh Thomas’s ‘masterpiece of the historian’s art’ by Vernon Richards. ‘Anarchy’, Vol 1, No. 5, July 1961

Although the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 was followed by a far-reaching social revolution in the anti-Franco camp—more profound in some respects than the Bolshevik Revolution in its early stages—millions of discerning people outside Spain were kept in ignorance, not only of its depth and range, but even of its existence, by virtue of a policy of duplicity and dissimulation of which there is no parallel in history.

—BURNETT BOLLOTEN, in “The Grand Camouflage”.

IN THE PREFACE TO The Spanish Labyrinth Gerald Brenan quotes Karl Marx’s observation that the knowledge of Spanish history in his time was altogether inadequate. Marx went on the explain that this was because historians ‘instead of viewing the strength and resources of these people in their provincial and local organisation have drawn at the source of their court histories’. Paraphrasing Marx one could say that the inadequacy of Mr. Hugh Thomas’ The Spanish Civil War 1 lies in the fact that he is so fascinated by the personalities of politicians and military men, so carried away by considerations of military strategy and international political intrigues that he more or less overlooks the chief actors—the revolutionary workers—in a struggle that held the world’s attention for nearly three years. The military insurrection in July 1936 would have been one more coup d’état with which we are all only too familiar, for the Spanish government deprived of its real source of authority could only hope to save its skin by either arming the people or seeking to negotiate with the rebel generals. And in July 1936, the government of Casares Quiroga pinned its hopes on the latter. Indeed the socialist journalist Julian Zugazagoitia asserts2 that Quiroga not only refused to arm the people but also announced that anyone who gave arms to the workers without his orders would be shot. Mr. Thomas writes:

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Antonio Martín Escudero (Belvís de Monroy, Cáceres, 1895 —Bellver de Cerdanya, Lérida, Cataluña, 27 April 1937)

Antonio Martín Escudero, better known by the derogatory nickname “El Cojo de Málaga” (‘The Malaga Gimp’), was born in Belvis de Monroy (Cáceres). He was the son of Celestino Martín Muñoz, farmer, and Ascensión Escudero Jara, “her sex being her trade”. Both were 26 years old at the time Antonio was born. The limp from which he suffered was due to a wound sustained during the revolutionary events of Tragic Week in Barcelona (1909). Other sources put the limp down to osteitis.

As a smuggler he, along with Cosme Paules, specialised in the smuggling of weapons across the border for the CNT’s defence groups. By 1922 he and Paules were regular active collaborators with the Los Solidarios group to which they belonged. Between 1924 and 1934 Antonio was in exile in France. He ran a tiny little shoe repair stand in a yard adjacent to an Auvergne coal-yard on the Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris. In 1927, being resident in Aubervilliers, he had a daughter by the name of Florida Martín Sanmartín (she outlived him after he was killed in 1937): The mother’s name is not known to us. In Aubervilliers he worked, first, in construction and later in a garage.

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