Josep Maria Figueres

Interviewed December 15, 2017 for Catalunya Barcelona docuseries.

I am Josep Maria Figuera, I was born in Catalonia in 1951

Can you tell us which has been your professional field?

Since I published my first research book in 1981, I have dedicated myself to the history of journalism

Then, my specialization is focused on communication in the cultural area, also on the culture’s history and in politics as a secondary subject

Then, we could claim that I am a specialist in Catalan press’ history, basically

Starting with the Mancomunitat, could you explain who Prat de la Riba was…?

[Enric] Prat de la Riba was a lawyer, politician, a landed journalist, he is born in Castelltersol and he dies in Castelltersol, on the same bed

He is, then, a very traditionalist person and with a big dose of continuity

[Enric] Prat de la Riba discovers a Catalonia that has the legacy of Valentí Almirall, whom he says is the ‘Messiah’, therefore, he identifies himself with that

He works in the construction of big tools

A newspaper, ‘La Veu de Catalunya’ [Catalonia’s voice], a dogmatic corpus, ‘La Nacionalitat Catalana’ [Catalan’s Nationality], and also the creation of a political party, ‘La Lliga de Catalunya’ [Catalonia’s League], and after that, ‘La Lliga Catalana’ [Catalan’s League] in the Second Republic

The production of three volumes of almost a thousand pages each through articles, reflections, which was edited by that Instute of Catalan Studies, three thousand pages of thought

He is, then, a man of action, a politician and a theorist

This personality attracts a group of people that hire him as a secretary of different entities within a short time, for example the Centre Escolar Catalanista [Catalanist School Center], etc

And he was employed in the presidency of the Barcelona deputation

He will move on to inspiring the union of the four provintial deputations through a very complex administrative process

The deputation is the organization in charge of the provintial management, Catalonia was divided into four parts, four provinces, and each on had its own civil governor, etc

At that time, there wasn’t any organization out of military authority which considered Catalonia as the only administrative center, it was the provinces that communicated with the central government, and which had all the resources and all the orders with an State Congress

[Enric] Prat de la Riba fights for the union of the four procinves, and that doesn’t mean they were separated, but that there was political division by the Spanish State since the division as a result of the sepparation of provinces, as France did with its departments,

In that sense, those provinces are not alike the US states which have their political authority, their Parliament, their laws, etc

But it was that the province was a part of the whole, which was Spain, Catalonia didn’t exist

The labor of The League, of the newspaper ‘La Veu de Catalunya’ [Catalonia’s Voice], and Prat de la Riba’s labor consists in creating the required elements so the Mancomunitat can be supported, that is, the union of provinces

This is accomplished with a loan, with the deputation’s budgets, and with little transfers and that change the country completely

[Enric] Prat de la Riba develops the front of the Mancomunitat, where there’s this common idea of creating new roads and the will of spreading modernity throughout all the Catalonia’s towns through this ideal

Which was that every town needed to have phones, the telephone network, which ten years later, [Miguel] Primo de Ribera’s dictatorship will absorb with the suspension of the Mancomunitat, it would last from 1914 to 1924, that is ten years of activity

Therefore, [Enric] Prat de la Riba develops the front of the Mancomunitat, he wins diverse provintialist elections, in that sense, and he can take responsability for that management

Roads, telephones, libraries and a work in many fields, from bird’s protection because they eat insects, to what would be agriculture’s action

He created research tools, beginning with methodology up to contests, exhibitions to improve bovine breeds, etc

That was, then, a governmental action without having resources available, he couldn’t manage a big economical action except for those mentioned elements

He also motivates women inclussion, not from a manufacturing labor perspective

Librarian’s schools… He also supports the administration, typing, etc, and also offering training, which was the big concern of that generation

Therefore, the connection with intellectual people, the involvement of those political parties which took place in Catalonia, the population’s will successfully shown in the municipal elections, or the success of elections for the deputation chambers, all that creates a very positive condition in the Mancomunitat

This process arrives to its end with General Primo de Ribera’s military coup d’etat in September 1923 and the Mancomunitat is dissolved

This will provoke an unknown situation in 1917, the new president is [Josep] Puig i Cadafalch, who is an architect and also politician of the same party, Catalonia’s League, and so, the Mancomunitat cannot act


Could you tell us who Francesc Cambó was?

Cambó was a young lawyer born in Empordà, in Roses, who came to Barcelona later on, therefore, in Barcelona he develops a career, first as a journalist, he took place in ‘La Veu de Catalunya’ [Catalonia’s Voice] with [Enric] Prat de la Riba

He quickly settles in Catalonia’s League, he is a lawyer with [Narcís] Verdaguer and he is also in Barcelona’s City Hall as a councilor

He was a talented man, with a wide solid culture, a not very well known intellectual, his complete works proves it, it is composed of ten volumes of essay works, articles, books, reflections, etc

And very quickly, he gets to be the leader, and because of some economical operations, he obtains a big fortune thanks to the CHADE, which was an Argentinian electric company

When [Enric] Prat de la Riba dies in 1917, he becomes the leader of the Catalonia’s League

They divided their works, [Enric] Prat de la Riba was in charge of Catalonia and [Francesc] Cambó had parliamentary action in Madrid, but [Francesc] Cambó had great abilities, in his conrrespondence he always uses this word, ‘immediately’, so he was a man of action

He was also a thoughtful person, and in his articles and books he practices a helping policy to Catalan identity very intensely

His benefactor action is important for many years, not only for the Catalan culture, he donates paintings to the Prado Museum because he says they don’t have, etc

And, politically, he has the same mentality as [Enric] Prat de la Riba, very delimited, conservative, catholic, and pro-monarchy

That is what will allow him to be secretary with central and centralist governments, but what will also make him the enemy of the popular layers in such a polarized society during the ’20s and ’30s,

A polarized society, we just need to think that in 1917, Russian Revolution was prevailing and then, unsettled situations were emerging

During the ’20s, there was a gun law in Barcelona, people are killed and attacked in the streets, there are unions of different typologies, there are terrorist organizations payed by management, there’s the self defense of groups of the FAI, a violent society

Let’s add the insoluble conflic of Morocco’s war, a colonial war in which the corrupt army does not set any specific solution

For example, [the army] it doesn’t apply methods, let’s say, rational resolute [methods], it just provokes a repressive spiral

This provokes that Morocco’s population activate fighting mechanisms… Well, Morocco doesn’t exist, it’s the Riff

Those mechanisms will unchain the appearance of a disastrous situation which is known as Annual, with so many deaths that they don’t even know how many dead people was there, 10 thousand, 12 thousand, 13 thousand?

Even the General in charge, General Silvestre was captured and died, etc

In spite of press censorship, population is in a hostile position, during the Tragic Week in 1909, it had already provoked that rebelions in Barcelona, families revolts, people who saw how the father of a family with children had to go to the conflict

It wasn’t because of a ideologist cause, but the army’s inability to carry specific operations

For example, the troup was distributed in forthouses, with little supply, they would bring them with mules, practically in the dessert, during the summer, in Africa, they would bring water to them

They were the target of snipers, it is a disastrous situation

Therefore, is a complex war, it will only be solved when France takes part in 1924 with a military dictatorship

Well, this, let’s say, complex situation provokes that the military is held responsible, the Picasso document will investigate this situation

The military closed ranks and this is one of the causes, there are more, but it is one of the principal causes why a miliraty revolt occurs

A military revolt which will bring a political situation of regression to Spain in 1923, almost until the Republic proclamation in 1931

Could you tell us a little bit the importance of the Mancomunitat regarding Catalan independent movement?

Well, the independence movement doesn’t exist thoughout the XXth Century, what Catalonia wants is respect for its identity, for its language, so people can use their language naturally and completely normal as they could before the military conquest of Catalonia in 1714

That people can act as any other country with its population, tradition, history, art, architecture, etc, any country

No one is told ‘you must use this language’ and replace the one they have, Catalana people think in Catalan because their family and their tradition set that, in this sense

Therefore, it is not that they want a Spanish culture hostility, but there is hostility in some ways of government

Government that, on the other hand, provoked harmony

Valentí Almirall set the US as an example of a constitution he has deeply studied and he dedicates it a study book in which there is respect

Not only for individual rights, but there is respect for a federal state in which there are laws

When one explains that there is a state in the US that has laws, and few meters away there are not those laws and so, police stops there, let’s say, this means that this is a federal country

Spain has never been so, it has always wanted to impose a language and rules no matter what

Also, a complex situation in the social world is added, that makes the XXth Century Spain a country with civil wars during all the century, almost

It starts with the Peninsular War because of French invasion, it ends with the Cuban War of Independence, Puerto Rico, the Philipines, the US, etc

And in between, three Carlist wars, proletarian labor and rural revolts, etc


Catalonia’s will is respect for identity, that provokes that the Mancomunitat managed productive improvements in agriculture, in the industry, in commercial trades, in identity, and it favors education

The US model, the Switzerland model, regarding languages, with a federal system does not apply to the Spanish State

Then, Catalonia supports the creation of political parties, The League, which wins the elections in 1901, and it bets on inffluence the Spanish State

This bet is in force for all the XXth Century despite the tough situation

For example, [Enric] Prat de la Riba, director of the newspaper ‘La Veu de Catalunya’ [Catalonia’s Voice] has a legal problem when a note that appears to have war board in 1902 for the military authorities is published, so it is considered subversive and he is imprisoned

[Enric] Prat de la Riba does not declare himself as an independentist in this war board and ‘La Veu de Catalunya’ doesn’t say to be independentist

They want Spain’s transformation, even [Enric] Prat de la Riba receives awards and medals, the big gold of Isabella the Catholic, and the League gives support to monarchical conservative governments in Madrid

Therefore, all these form a situation in which nuances are very important, respect for difference, for the language, for itdentity, it says no to prohibitions but also no to independence, no to leave the State

There are many different economical relationships, but the political Catalan movement doesn’t want to separate in spite of little groups, which will be in the Catalan state and which embody [Francesc] Marcià, etc

Obviously, the Mancomunitat doesn’t take part in this action nor favors it

Separatist press is almost insignificant, residual

To what extent was the Mancomunitat capable of undo restrictions that were applied to Catalonia from the military conquest of 1714?

The Mancomunitat had little room to maneuver in the economical part, but has a clear advantage because it has people’s absolute complicity, the connection of a big policital ability to fins allies and support of [Enric] Prat de la Riba and also with [Josep] Puig i Cadafalch

Therefore, the Mancomunitat cannot change the country, it would have been different if it had had a lot of resources which would have had influence, but big infrastructure actions of all kinds are still under the order of the central State, from Barcelona’s harbor to Universitat [square]

But the Mancomunitat can create new initiatives of modernity, for example, it creates a catalog of clouds, studies meteorology, a stadistic institute, a distance educational service by regular mail

That is, it has the ability to create, to fantastically innovate, in this sense, there is the dream of a new country and this is proved from the salvation of Romanesque paintings that are in the Pyrenees, up to the creation of over a thousand entities, and lots of them still exist

All this work will be broken by a State which seems to have only three concerns in the XVIIIth Century, which are tax collection, the reduction of men for the obligatory military service and the creation of new regulations valid for all the State

We are going to talk about the Second Republic, what can you explain us about the elections of 1931?

Well, these elections were municipals but came from a dictatorship

For the first time, people… Even it is a biased vote because only men can vote, women won’t be able to do it until three years later, when the Republic allows them to

But these elections have a special feature, which is there is a will to get over the dictatorial regime which has the monarchy and some leader layer’s complicity

Big problems of the Spanish State, which are territorial articulation, the issue of Catalonia, the specific situation of an unsatisfied Catalonia because it has repression, not only economical but also idiomatic discrimination, symbolic discrimination, etc

There will be a serious social problem in which the conflict positions are present with a military repression which soothes the conflict but does not solve it

And then does the same with other specific conflicts, one of them is the need of an agrarian remodeling, an other one the need of a remodeling or modernising the army, and an other one the religious matter

Therefore, all that determines that the dictatorship not only has not solved that, but that it has postpone it, so in that situation, the Republic proclamation is the exciting multitude, the one that goes out the street jubilant to express the wish of a better world

[a world] with social equality, a guaranteed education for their children, with better life conditions, of hygiene, etc

Therefore, municipal elections are the first step towards the transformation of the country

Certainly, votes are in charge but they were municipal elections, they were not elections that could move the country to a better situation

Inner tensions of the dictatorship between the military and the monarch who hadn’t shown a separation and absolutely connects to the coup d’etat provokes that all public order forces don’t want to face the population and therefore, the King needs to go

He goes to the exile to Rome and a new regime is established automatically

As there was the Pact of San Sebastian that created coordination, the agreement, which is not written, the possibility that the republican forces that nowadays we call democratic could solve those big problems that individual rights imply and also the matter of Catalonia

Automatically, Catalonia receives recognition without any previous election of a self-government system, he has the provisional Generalitat

And so, the Republic is first proclaimed in Barcelona and then in Madrid, the Generalitat and [Lluis] Companys and [Francesc] Macià are also proclaimed, they have very important nuances from two different positions, even if they are with a republican and Catalanist connection

In this sense, the creation of the Generalitat inspires the automatic creation of the germ of a State’s structure

[Francesc] Macià has to yield to the visit of three Spanish secretaries, three of which two are Catalan, they tell Marcelí Domingo, among others, about the need of dissolving the Catalan Republic, which is now three days old, but that it had been seriously set

That means it was serious, it didn’t want independence but the recognition of a federal state within the Spanish State but with a specific legislation

Therefore, it had already called mayors, sent letters, developed and even the military authorities were under its disposition and it accepts the new order and in this sense, [Francesc] Macià is the president of the Generalitat

Then, the years of the Second Republic start and they are marked by the will, the wish, the hope of a better dawn for people but with a big amount of problems that are not skilfully solved

This carries to the violent outcome as the last instance, the outcome of violence to solve these problems

And the years of the Republic will be, then, filled with hopes and wishes with the joy that the multitude expresses in the streets in Madrid, in Barcelona and in most important cities of Catalonia, from Manresa to Tarragona

But also the difficulty to articulate some calming responses for the population, which doesn’t divide people in two

Who wrote the Constitution of 1931 and why was it so important?

Well, the Constitution is written and it is important because it provides with principles in which there is recognition for individual rights for the first time, and they can articulate responses to these problems

The Constitution has specific characteristics, but it doesn’t provide an answer, they will need to be new laws, for example, the ones in the statute

The constitution is approved quite easily but it won’t be the same with specific laws, the agrarian remodeling law, the farming contract reorganization law, the restructural military law, new laws won’t be solved easily

It would be an example the creation of antagonistic positions in the statute of 1932 during a horrible summer in which the Barcelona press and the Madrid press confront, they fight dialectically with traditional arguments as could be the ABC newspaper, which traditionally, was a monarchy representative newspaper, conservative, catholic, hostile and against revolts concerning Catalonia

But all the other newspaper join, even press that could be considered liberal as ‘El Sol’ [The Sun] or publications that followed the line that [Enric] Prat de la Riba and Valentí Almirall had already reported at the end of the XIXth Century through newspapers as ‘La Correspondencia de España’ [Spanish Correspondence]

With newspapers that supported the lack of understanding towards difference because Catalonia didn’t want to go away from Spain, but it wanted its difference understood and accepted

The big debat of the Statute of 1932 provokes that there is a very hostile reaction towards the Catalan position

It gets to a point where almost everyday, there are opinion articles, publishing houses, interviews and even jokes about this situation in the newspapers, almost everyday

I know the case of a newspaper, the ‘ABC’ in which, during these two years, the ’31 and ’32, there are thousands of long signed texts in it about the Catalan issue, going from correspondents as Adolfo Marsillach or Pedro Pujol, etc, to contributors, almost everyone of them has this hostility

Lo mismo ocurrirá en otros periódicos, Por ejemplo, el periódico El Imparcial hará un número monográfico íntegro dedicado a la cuestión catalana mostrando esta incomprensión, diciendo que esta situación no es necesaria.

What is it that Catalonia wanted? A rank of respect for its language, that there was tolerance in the public sphere and not only in private

And let’s bear in mind that [Miguel] Primo de Ribera’s dictatorship, for example, leads people to exile and prison because they have done the guide, a private entity, the bar association, the guide in which names, surnames, addresses are listed, the bar guide with the first page in Catalan, and addresses and all are in their original language

That is, it was the will of the imposition of the language and of a diverse mentality

In this perspective, then, the discussion on the statute is set from two antagonistic positions, from Catalonia, the news newspapers, the ‘Republicà’, l’Opinió’, the republican newspaper ‘La Humanidad’, the republican and also catalanist newspaper ‘La Publicitat’, will have the republican press’ support

Also ‘El Diluvio’ [The Deluge], etc, then, Madrid and Barcelona’s press will have this confrontation

This will lead to a situation with no easy solution, it will only be saved by General Sanjurjo’s attempt to set a coup d’etat on the 10th of August 1932, and then, people’s reaction was that in order to stop it, the Catalan issue needs to be solved

Catalonia is the republic’s bastion, it needs recognition and effectively, one month later, [Manuel] Azaña’s trip, [Francesc] Macià’s tears, hugs and a statute

A cut statute which no one here wanted, nor Catalonia’s Parliament, but taking into account the circumstances, a viable operational statute which is quickly applied

What was the Falange and which were the circumstances of its creation in 1933?

Well, the Falange is a little group composed of little groups of Onésimo Spanish Traditionalist Falange of the FET and the JONS in which there are small groups but that don’t have big establishment in Catalonia as it has been studied

They will have a symbolic value for the subsequent importance as a result of the unification set by General Franco and then, it will have this power with delegates in all towns during the Francoism

But it has no ideological, nor social, nor political representation, it will be afterwards when it’ll have that power

The Falange embodies one of all the movements that exist in a polarized Europe, where there are two visions of the dicussion, a totalitarian, authoritarian understanding, what would be Hitler, Mussolini, but also in Austria, etc

And this other understanding that would portray the democracy of England, France, etc

Then, in this context of a divided Europe, it is when a group with little representation in Catalonia appears

Actually, we do even know that the number of people that go to the turbulent troupe’s station does not even reach the 300 in a city with 300 thousand residents, that is, very few

Other movements have more importance, as Carlism or the CEDA, the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Rights, which puts together some parties with Gil Robles

And which will have even a punctual collaboration in specific cases, for example the law of farming remodelation, which will lead to a horrible episode and it’ll be the dissolution of the Generalitat in 1934, practically, in a well-known episode called Events of October

What can you tell us about the elections of 1933?

Well, in this election, the Right wins, there are some distinctive features, from the woman’s vote to the Republic position which doesn’t give an answer to the different problems that we have previously sketched

And then, in Catalonia, there is a leftist government in this election but there is a right-wing government in the rest of the State, this is the result

And a right-wing government in which there will be the implication of a character that had had the representation of the labor movement in Catalonia, as Alejandro Lerroux’s republican party was

This situation will imply expenses in vain

The Generalitat, that had already give in the statute, faces a government that does not want any margin of collaboration, and everything is shortened to a sentence, which for some was the starting point, for others, it was the goal


Well, the elections of 1933 represent the crystallisation of what for one part of people means the starting point, and for the other part, the arrival point

To Catalonia, the statute is the starting point towards display, to the Spanish State, with this authoritarian understanding, means that is it, then, the conflict is ready

And it appears a law that the Catalonia’s Parliament approves that is the law of farming agreement, a law which is just a reform, it doesn’t say anything about confiscating the land and that gives the power to the labor’s soviet

It is a reformative law in which the farmer’s strong world remains allied, the farmer’s union of Catalonia was a Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya [Catalonia Left Republican] ally, the party that wins the 1931 elections two years before, and so, the social environment was quite tense, there are revolts of anarchist nature, in the Alt Llobregat there will be a tense situation on January 1933

The republic, which is called Working-class Republic doesn’t provide an answer to the expected demands, there is a certain hurry, then, and the Republic was going slowly

In that context, the Catalonia’s Parliament approves a law, the one about farming remodelation, a reforming law and the Constitutional Court, which back then is called Constitutional Guarantees Court, rejects it, bans it

Catalonia’s Parliament votes it again, just as it was before, without changing a single comma, complete, and then the Constitutional Guarantees Court action and the government collide

There are protests in crescendo in between, journalistic campaign… Hostility, in the end

In this situation, an important party of Catalonia, [Francesc] Cambó’s Lleague, also [Enric] Prat de la Riba’s League, this conservative League becomes an ally of conservative Right Spanish forces up to the extent that the ‘Be Negre’, a big weekly paper of intellectual political humour of the time

The Be Negre publishes a caricature in which the eagle, the sign of the newspaper ‘La Veu de Catalunya’, and the ABC are seen taken each other’s arm, and that is the crystalisation, the incarnation, the visualisation of an alliance

A part of this Catalonia represented by the Farming Catalan Institute of Saint Isidro, which does not accept the reform of relationships in the Catalan area, and the tough, closed positioning of this conservative alliance from the political petitions of Madrid

It is in this context when [Lluís] Companys proclaims not as independence but inside the Spanish Federal Republic and he says that clearly, and this doesn’t go together with a good organisation nor a power occupation will

And the General [Domingo] Batet will eliminate that proclamation in twelve hours without spilling blood, and that provokes that the General Franco will never forgive him, he [Franco] wanted to show military strength as in Asturias, where the Legion triumphed, it is true that there was also a city and village occupation action by revolting miners

but the General [Domingo] Batet will pay his fidelity and constitutional republican order of the moment with his life when he doesn’t revolt against the republic, but the General Franco does

Therefore, the person that stopped the 6th of October will be executed by firearm by the General Franco, just two years later

It means, then, a convicted republic with great difficulty because it didn’t solve any problem, there is still the legacy, and the agrarian matter, the Catalan territorial matter, as well as the religious matter and the religious congregation law, etc, they just mean more impediments, more weight in this baloon that cannot take off

The republic is injured

Could you tell us what the CEDA was and how it contrasted in ERC?

Well, the CEDA is the incarnation of the traditional Spanish world

The famous motto said ‘for the 300′, the 300 members of parliament, which meant not only the absolute majority but the court’s peak with Gil Robles embodies is in a polarized Spain

A Spain that has a big part of its population in the agrarian world still, a provincial division that brings a big number of deputies, there is just one chamber, and that in the idustrial areas from Madrid, Sevilla, Zaragoza and of course, the littoral from Catalonia to Valencia don’t have that perspective

They have an advanced understanding, so to speak

In the case these special features appear, as in the Basc Country, the Basc Nationalist Party, or like Catalunya to Republican Left or the League, this parties system, as the communicational system, as the social relationships’ system to political parties, labor unions, etc, they’re completely different

Therefore, in a situation in which the central government has the majority and the Left, which will represent the republican conception, which means the legacy of values from the French Revolution of liberty, equality and fellowship, which are capable of inspiring this model constitution from this perspective, like Lafayette’s success in the US, that will provoke the appearance of an antagonism

This antagonism will explode when there is no collaboration point

And it will explode, as in 1931, and the only difference is that in ’34 it is a loss and in ’31 it’s victory

If they had won in the ’34, it is likely that Catalonia would have kept being part of the Spanish State but with a republic that would have accepted more these left values, which was expected

The republic was wanted to do social changes

Could you explain something else to us about the elections of 1936 and the relationship between the Popular Front’s victory and Franco’s coup…?

The black biennium represents regression, the Generalitat’s government is arrested, taken to the ‘Uruguay’ boat, prisons are full, 1.500 prisoners, the Generalitat’s government locked up next to people like the philologist Pompeu Fabra, etc, in a boat

The same thing happens in other cities, the boat in Tarragona called [Manuel] Arnús, etc

Therefore, newspapers are suspended, parties are almost closed and ineffected, City Halls politically erased, and naturally, the Generalitat with its government in prison

Then, there will be a trial by the same Constitutional Guarantees Court and [Lluis] Companys will be sentenced to major confinement, taken with other members of the government to the Penal of Puerto de Santa María and the result of the elections of February 1936 is a burst

[Lluis] Companys, who is in prison, would go out and do this triumphal return trip, which is a mass return in which it would take place the people’s reaction of going out the streets

It is estimated that Agustí Centelles’ photographies are spectacular, it seems that 700 thousand people went to see the arrival of [Lluis] Companys in a Catalonia of 2 million people

Therefore, it was not just in Barcelona, it was all the trip, by train and later on, by car, and therefore, people go out the streets

This result places the left-wing at the front of the Generalitat, and it gives it back its dynamism

But few months after that, in July, it explodes because of various reasons, mainly because the matter of identity’s respect that is not accepted, but also because of the rules of social character, in relation to the agrarian area and to religion, to the army, etc, so it is expected that if they have won the elections, the forthcoming years will be for applying those programs

Therefore, the Right says that they’ll be doing agrarian remodeling, etc

Then, if they put together capitalists like the banker [Juan] March with eclesiastical dignataries, a Basc person, two Catalan people, [Francisco] Asís Vidal i Barraquer, etc, they will support it by giving legitimacy with money, with the church and with politics in this revolt

This revolt will also have a popular revolt character in places like Navarra, we cannot talk just about military alone, in Navarra was a population revolt

Therefore, there are lots of nuances in that sense, in the same way that the democratic world will help the republic with international squads, etc

There will also go volunteers, although not many, but they will go volunteers from Portugal and Ireland to help Franco

That is, it will be an international conflict because, in the end, an understanding that this divided Europe is risking the absolute authority or the parliamentarian regime

And that is why writers, journalists, observers, photographers, etc, everybody, because in that moment, Spain was the center where the issue of how would the world be like is discussed

A divided Europe, with the peak and the success of Hitler, Mussolini, and with the US which occupy a position of no intervention, in this sense

With some likings, as the petrol will prove, the credit towards the General Franco and also a position in which volunteers will take part of, after that, they’ll see what happens with [Joseph] McCarthy

Therefore, it will be a very divided society that will be taking part and then, the war will represent the creation of a new state that will be imposed for almost four decades

Which was the role of journalism when the international squads came?

Journalism does not play an important role in the creation of international squads

It has a very important role in specialised journalism, more than in the informative, association movement, political parties, as the communist party

There are countries in which there is press censorship, and journalism doesn’t inform of the deep reasons of this country, there go volunteers

Therefore, journalism doesn’t act at this level

But most part of correspondents and writers will go to the civil war, as [Paul] Preston has studied, the war correspondents come across censorship

Censorship in the Francoist Spain, censorship in the Republican Spain, in their media

Nonetheless, international journalism can represent a professional work with dignity

And Guernica’s bombing is the proof, it is used as an advertising element but it needs to be a journalist, in this case, that explains what has happened in Guernica

Therefore, journalism has this possibility to inform

Journalism will be censored, almost all of the big correspondents will write a memoirs book, and there they will tell all those things they could not explain in their columns

The columns would be costumbrists, but the presence of censorship distorts everything, in this sense

And, therefore, this makes journalism less influential

But one interesting epic aspect is the quantity of acts all around the world in relation to the republican Spain

In relation to the warlike conflict that is happening then, this ideologic conflict in which there are antagonistic parts very marked, the working-class, farmers, church, the Vatican’s support, banking…

Therefore, the two models of society are in a warlike stage and this provokes that George Orwell and the novelist [Ernest] Hemingway, etc, claim their place is in Spain

And photographers, well-known people, a lot of them will die, will be imprisoned, etc, but the civil war will be the center of the world for these two and a half years