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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Spanish Civil War

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Spanish Civil War This forum is for discussion of the Spanish Civil War. , this sub-forum appears in the World War II section because Spain was both a training ground for and preview of what was about to break loose in Europe.

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  #31  
Old 22 Sep 15, 08:21
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If Mr Picasso and other rich intellectuals cared greatly about the very people copping the brunt of the empty ideology, well, why didn't they simply empty their own pockets?

Rich philanthropists that 'raise' money for 'causes' in our own time are in the same boat. If they care so much, then why not empty their own pockets, rather than conducting self serving 'campaigns' to get someone, anyone, other than themslves to cough up?

I would not care so much about empty ideologues if their rhetoric and ideology matched in practice what it does on the printed page.

But it never does. there is always some reason why the new intelligencia can do nothing.

I have heard it said, and in print, that there is no such thing as a revolutionary. In a revolution, the intellectuals that usually begin it all trade places with the aristocracy, and the people below, whom the revolution is always launched in their sacred name, stay where they are.

It very much happened this way, IMHO in Spain.

And the tragedy of it, is that the side that won hung on to power for much longer than some revolutionary idealists said they should.

Further, Spain now has a monarchy back in place at the top of the heap, so what has changed in the ensueing period? Did a million people die and God knows how many other lives wrecked for no great result at all?

You be the judge.

And who was the legitimate government? Well, we never found out did we? Because The People never got their democratic right to choose who. I am willing to believe that if the Spanish people wished for a fascist dictatorship for all and sundry, they should have elected them....Germany certainly did, even though Herr Hitler was appointed by Hindenburg, it was the NSDAP that had the most votes, just not enough to form government in their own right. Hindenburg stepped in to 'organise' the mess.
The real story of just who backed that decision came on the night of June 30 1934, when a cabal of generals and industrialist politicians backed an internal bloodbath, all out of fear of a communist takeover, and for the fact that Ernst Roehm had opened his mouth a little too wide about a 'second revolution'. Also, a quote from the time is very revealing...

"Re-armament is too serious an issue to be left in the hands of drunkards and homosexuals"

The SA were also no longer needed, and were beoming an embarrassment, stalking the streets and beating up dissenters in the same way they had before.

German power brokers wanted re-armament, and with Roehm making noises to have the SA as the 'New Model Army' (with him in charge); the generals were not going to see their carefully laid plans for von Seekt's 'Perfect 100,000' go down the toilet when they were so close to expanding the Army to many times its 100,000 man size.

At least the middle classes in Germany had good living standards by 1934, something the Nazis naturaly took the credit for.

But I digress. The legitimate government in Spain was ....No-one that was in power or jockeying for power.

Government has to be of the people, by the people and FOR the people.

And, in Spain....it wasn't.

Last edited by Drusus Nero; 22 Sep 15 at 08:30..
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  #32  
Old 22 Sep 15, 10:58
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Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
If Mr Picasso and other rich intellectuals cared greatly about the very people copping the brunt of the empty ideology, well, why didn't they simply empty their own pockets?
First, at the time "rich" and "intellectual" were not often found in the same person.

But, second, many of those intellectuals, often not that rich, who felt strongly for the Spanish Republic gave more than money: they gave their time, their blood, and sometimes their lives.

I have already mentioned Orwell and Felicia Browne. They were there, fought, and the latter was killed.
Simone Weil was there, served, and was wounded in a camp life accident. A good thing too, given that while she was away to recover, her unit was wiped out.
Thomas Wintringham was a Communist intellectual - he served, became commander of the British Battalion, and was wounded.
Luigi Longo was one of the founders of the Italian PCI, and served as an officer with the Garibaldi Battalion.
Hans Beimler was nothing less than a member of the Reichstag, for the KPD. Died fighting in Spain.
Ludwig Renn was a Communist writer and served as officer in the staff of the XI IB.
Carlo Rosselli was a historian, philosopher and journalist. Volunteered and served in an independent Italian early unit, and was wounded. Later assassinated by French Fascists while convalescing in France.

Many of these guys initially went there as reporters in some capacity (for newspapers, or for their party, or something). Then they were unable to maintain detachment, and joined the fight, often in auxiliary duties - as PR officers, unit/army/government newspapermen, or in some other rear echelon capacity. And then many simply moved on to combat duties.

Some other foreigners like these managed to maintain that detachment and remained reporters, writers, photographers, such as Hemingway, Capa, Taro. The latter name points out that even in that capacity one could get killed, while reporting from too close to the front. That's what happened to her.

I could probably list more, if you wish.
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  #33  
Old 22 Sep 15, 11:40
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Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
debates about ideology and it's apparent effect on the course of the war, are meaningless.

They had no effect on lifting the people from the yoke of their Fascist overlords.

It seems that, had the legitimate government acutally won the war, they may have been hijacked by socialism...exchanching one ridiculous ideology for another, one master for another, and one oppressor for another.

If you lived in Spain, with the seat of government in doubt, your clothes in rags, no food in your belly, and the Luftwaffe crunching your town, you might have no time for pointless debates concerning the political scene and it's so called help.

I haven't the patience for it either.

You would, however, expect any outside help to concentrate on the war on the ground, not the political bullshit that pervaded.

The people of spain were sold out there as well.

Christopher
All governments are legitimate ,because they are ruling the country : there is no such thing as an illegitimate government .
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