“Joan Miró i Trepat, the patron of pistoleros and president of Pavimientos y Construcciones S.A., one of the country’s biggest building ﬁrms, was the wealthiest, most inﬂuential and reactionary of Catalonia’s employers. Tall and distinguished looking with his wide brimmed Panama and his gold fob watch with its heavy chain which hung in an arc between the two pockets of his mustard coloured waistcoat, Miró i Treat’s trademark accoutrements were a small gold Sacred Heart of Jesus pin on his jacket lapel, a silver handled walking stick in one hand, and a Romeo y Juliet cigar in the other.
“He was also a man fired by a sense of mission, an almost hysterical obsession to restore to Spain and Europe the spiritual and temporal hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church — and in light of Germany’s defeat, the fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the likelihood of apocalyptic terror and world revolution, that mission was now urgent. A hard-line, paranoid integrist who clung, barnacle-like, to the Tridentine traditions of Holy Mother Church, his life and enormous fortune were dedicated to advancing the cause of Rome. In his worldview, the Church—in its perfect sixteenth century manifestation — was the only institution of spiritual and temporal power by which the unity and glory of Europe could be restored to what it had been during Charlemagne’s Reich, the Holy Roman Empire.
La naturaleza del franquismo ha suscitado múltiples discusiones que, en mi opinión, pueden aclararse bastante si partimos del análisis del Estado español entre 1939 y 1975.1
Es sabido que un Estado soberano necesita una serie de medios cuyas características varían según el servicio que hayan de prestar y de las condiciones históricas en que se encuadren. Ha de contar con un territorio, base geográfica del poder, delimitado por unas fronteras militares y por unas barreras económicas —las aduanas—que sirven para defender, y controlar, a los nacionales y a los extranjeros. Debe tener, asimismo, un gobierno y una administración; el grado de participación de los gobernados en estos organismos y la distribución social de los beneficios nacionales sirven para definir al Estado como autocrático o democrático. Finalmente, la autoridad considerada no sólo como ejecutivo, sino también como cuerpo teórico que configura toda la organización, puede proceder de una situación de hecho o de derecho, y autodefinirse de forma más o menos democrática.
In Jewish mythology every generation has thirty-six righteous men, extraordinarily noble individuals, “Tzadikim” or “Lamedvavnikim” — “Just Men” — whose existence justifies the purpose of humankind to God, and on whose example the moral integrity of the world depends.
If “Lamed Vavninks” have walked the earth, one must surely have been the Ukrainian-born Jewish anarchist Simón Radowitzky, whose life story, told in this compelling graphic novel, is that of one man’s tenacious belief in social justice.
This period was followed by the torture and relentless barbarities of a twenty-one-year calvary (1909-1930) — ten of them in solitary confinement — in the remote Ushuaia penitentiary on the Beagle Channel in Argentina’s Antarctic region of Tierra del Fuego. Finally, emerging from his ordeal with dignity and his ideals and selfless faith in humanity intact.
Cipriano Mera Sanz was born on 4 November 1897 in Madrid’s Tetuán de las Victorias quarter. His childhood was tough, as it was for every other working class family.
He never got the chance to go to school and, from a very young age, he was forced out to work by the need to make some contribution towards the running of his humble household. At the age of 16 Mera made up his mind to become a bricklayer and, so that his rights would be protected, his father enrolled him the UGT-affiliated ‘El Trabajo’ bricklayers’ society. From then on, Mera was up to his neck in social issues and labour affairs. But he soon found that the what the UGT stood for and what he was looking for were not the same thing, and he found the socialists’ trade unionism a bit restrictive. Cipriano Mera was out for a revolutionary change that reformism just did not offer.
Segundo Jodra Gil, unmarried carpenter and CNT member, was born in 1907 in Pálmaces de Jadraque (Guadalajara). In October 1934, he was briefly jailed in Puigcerdá, together with Antonio Martín. He was acquitted of the charge of killing a policeman. In 1936, he was appointed Economy sub-delegate for the Cerdanya by the Generalidad government and was actively involved in the running of the Puigcerdá People’s Co-operative, a leading libertarian experiment in the Cerdanya. After the war ended, he was arrested in 1942 and shot in Gerona cemetery on 12 July 1943.