Winds of the People    (Part 3)


/No break: the following voices follow immediately in rapid succession
over a background of static and various broadcast sounds./

V4:     March 8, 1937. Today in London 27 powers signed the non-intervention agreement for the Spanish War. The agreement, which includes a ban on the use of foreign volunteers, was signed by Great Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Italy …

V3:     June 19, 1937. The New York Times reports today that Bilbao has fallen under the combined attack of German air forces and Italian ground forces …

N:     Rome, June 20, 1937. Premier Benito Mussolini today received from Generalissimo Franco the following tele­gram: "In the moment in which our forces are entering victorious into Bilba’o I send you, together with my salute, the most enthusiastic salute of the Army, which is proud to have justified the confidence placed in it by your great people and your Duce … "

V8:    February 22, 1938. Massed German and Italian artillery and planes have retaken Terue1 and joined it to the two-thirds of Spain now under the control of Nationalist forces ...

V4:     April 3, 1938. Lerida Falls!

N:     April 16, 1938. Spanish Rebels Reach Sea!

V3:     Loyalists Cut In Two!

V8:    Barcelona Cut Off From Madrid And Valencia!

V4:     April 17, 1938. Anglo-Italian Pact Signed In Rome!

N:      Italy To Quit Spain When War Ends!

V3:     Franco Moves For Deal With Rome!

V8:.     … by the terms of the accord, Italy agrees to the withdrawal of all Italian forces and war material
             from Spanish territory at the end of the Civil War ...

V4:    January 26, 1939. Barcelona Falls!

N:     February 4, 1939. Gerona Falls!

V3 ( distant, echoing):

... if it is night,
if the sky fits in two terrestrial limbos,
if there is noise in the sound of the doors,
if I am late,
if you don't see anyone, if the pencils without points
frighten you, if mother
Spain falls -- I say, it's a proverb -- leave,
children of the world: go seek her!

N:    His friends say César Vallejo died of Spain: and the poems he wrote for the Spain he died of were printed in Spain, were printed by the soldiers of the Republic while they still had time to print poems and hear songs. Later they had no time: with their families murdered, their homes destroyed, their guns without bullets, their mouths without food; with Spain standing alone against Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler, alone against a "neutral" world, alone against bright new airplanes and guns that did not explode when they were fired and men who were well-fed and well-rested and well-paid: then they only had time to die. But for a while yet there was time for the illiterate militiamen to learn to read, to make the paper and print the books that held the wind of the people: to learn how Pablo Neruda of Chileremembered the town of Almeria, and rememhered that the Spanish Civil War was ...

V7 (Bishop, echoing):     a holy war, the most holy war recorded by history ...


N:     Pablo Neruda remembered Almería.


A plate for the Bishop, a plate chewed and bitter,
A plate of steel scraps, of ashes and tears,
A plate brimming over with fallen walls and sobs,
A plate for the Bishop, a plate of Almería's blood.

A plate for the banker, a plate of cheeks
of children from the happy South, a plate
of explosions, mad waters, of ruins and terror,
a plate of broken ankles and trampled heads.

Each morning, each murky morning of your life,
you'll have it steaming and hot on your table:
you'll push it back a bit with your soft soft hands
so as not to see it, not to eat it so often;
you'll push it back a bit between the bread
and the grapes, this plate of silent blood
that will be there each morning, every

A plate for the Colonel and the Colonel's wife,
at a garrison party, at every party,
over curses and spit, with the dawn's light of wine,
so you'll look out over the world, trembling and cold.

Yes, a plate for you all, rich ones everywhere,
ambassadors, ministers, atrocious dinner-guests,
ladies with comfortable tea and bottoms:
a plate destroyed, overflowing, filthy with the blood of the poor,
each morning, each week, forever and ever,
a plate of blood from Almería before you,


V4: /far/     January 26, l939. Barcelona Falls!

N: /closer/     February 4, l939. Gerona Falls!!

V3: /shouting/     MARCH 29, l939. MADRID FALLS!!!

/Festive church-bells ring loudly; under./

V2:     With great joy we address you, dearest sons of Catholic Spain, to express our pastoral con gratulations for the gift of peace and victory with which God has chosen to crown the Christ ian heroism of your faith and charity, proved in so much and so generous suffering. We give to you, our dear sons of Catholic Spain, to the head of the state and his illustrious government, to the zealous Episcopate and its self-denying clergy, to the heroic combatants and to all the faithful, Our Apostolic Benediction!

/Bells up; fade under Narrator and out./

N:     Thus did Pope Pius XII bless the surrender of the last bomb-torn remnants of the People's Militia. Thus did he bless the killings of three years of war: Badajoz, Santander, Granada, Lérida, Gue'rnica, Teruel, Barcelona, Madrid!

/three following voices suitably accented/

V4:     Chancellor Adolph Hitler to Generalissimo Franco: "With the entrance of your troops into Madrid and the accomplishment therewith of the final victory of Nationalist Spain over the destructive forces of Bolshevism, I extend to you my heartiest congratulations..."

V7:     February 27, l939. The Government of the French Republic is pleased to extend its recognition to the National Spanish Government of General Franco.

V8:     His Brittanic Majesty's Government, likewise.

V3:     For the sake of decency, and in the spirit of non-intervention we have preserved throughout this conflict, the Government of the United States will wait until the fighting is over, and only then extend recognition to the government of General Franco.

N:     And so the United States recognized the Franco regime: on April Fool's Day of l939, the day of Pope Pius' blessing. The battle was over. From the last front in Catalonia the betrayed and the wounded began to file into exile across the French border. Five hundred thousand filed out of a Spain no longer theirs: filed away from the prisons being built where three years previously schools and hospitals were planned. Filed away from the prisons and forced-labor camps that within a year held one and a half million of their countrymen and countrywomen. Filed away from the Spanish prisons and into the French concentration camps. ... The last refugees crossed the border: on foot if they were able, or jolting in the rough bunks of the few hospital trains. Heartsick and exhausted, Miguel Hernández saw the trains passing, the last trains of the wounded:



Silence that founders on the silence
of mouths closed for the night.
It does not heave to, nor stop hushing.
It speaks the smothered language of the dead.


Open roads of profound cotton,
muffle the wheels of the watches,
stop the voice of the sea, the dove,
trouble the night of their dreams.


The train rainy with loose blood,
the fragile train of those who bleed,
the silent the sorrowful the pallid
the hushed train of sufferers.


Train of the mortal paleness that rises:
the paleness covers their heads
their ai! their voice the heart the earth
the heart of the badly wounded.


They go spilling legs arms eyes,
go spilling fragments from the train.
They pass leaving trails of bitterness,
another Milky Way of stellar members.


Hoarse train dismayed, reddened:
the coal dies, the smoke sighs,
the machine sighs maternally,
advances like a long discouragement.


The long mother would like to stop
under a tunnel, stretch out, weep.
There are no stations to stop at:
only the hospital, only the breast.

To live, a fragment suffices:
a man fits in a corner of flesh.
A single finger, a single piece of wing
takes flight with the whole body.


Halt this dying train
that never finishes crossing the night:
and even the horse takes off his shoes
and sands smooth his hooves and breath.


/Minor break. Music: Schubert Trio, Op. 100, Casals playing:
fades under Narrator after 'cello solo./


N:     The exile was beginning, the long silence was beginning. A double wall of silence rose around Spain. From inside, a prison wall sealed with the blood of a million and more. From outside, the wall of a world too sick to care: a world whose gentlemen's agreements had stood behind the Fascism that conquered Spain, a world whose sensible neutrality had permitted this Fascism; and a smaller world, discouraged and weary, who soon saw with disbelief that what had happened in Spain was only a prelude. ... And to the silence within Spain and the silence outside Spain answered a different silence: the silence of Pablo Casals, outside the double wall ...


/Music: as above, same progression, fading under Casals' elderly voice:/

V2:     I cannot go back to the countries where I should have to reproach their governments for the injustice they committed. However worthy might be the intentions of the authorities and their audiences, I could not forget the sad realities of my native land. ... I am not a politician. I have never been and do not pretend to be one. I am simply an artist. But the question is whether art is to be a pastime, a toy for men to play with, or if it should have a deep and human meaning. Politics do not belong to an artist, but, to my mind, he is under an obligation to take sides, whatever sacrifice it means, if human dignity becomes involved ... Besides, the word politics, if not used in good faith, can cover up much confusion. It may mean the ordinary legislation of each nation, in which I have no right to interfere unless it concerns my own country. But the politics I speak of concern the governments which betrayed the general rights of human nature. In this case moral principles are involved which prevail above all frontiers; all men of good will should fight against the violation of these principles. ... The only weapons I possess are the 'cello and the conductor's baton. They are not very deadly, but I have no others and do not wish to have any. In the circumstances I have used what I have to protest against what I consider disgraceful and unjust ...

/Music up; fades under Narrator and out./


N:     And sometimes, from inside the double wall, a dying voice answers the music and silence of Casals and expands its meaning. In September of 1948, José Gomez Galloso wrote to his friends from Cell 4, Gallery l of the Provisional Prison in La Coruña, Spain:


V8:    I have no assurance that this letter will ever reach you, but I am making another effort, though my hands are in no condition for writing ... I was arrested in La Coruna on July 11 while directing the organization of the resistance movement. On entering a house on Calle Real where I was to meet Antonio Seoane, leader of the Guerrilla Army of Galicia, I found the police waiting inside. Antonio had been arrest ed the night before. A woman was with me -- María Blázquez ... On knocking at the door we were taken by suprise by the police. María, with supreme courage and serenity, and without fear, lunged at the nearest officer and pushed me back, hoping I would escape. She was shot in the stomach ... I managed to reach the second floor, but while fixing my gun I was shot at from above: the bullet hit me squarely in the face, knocking out one eye and shatter ing my nose and face, Despite this I managed to reach the street and escape. Half an hour later I was caught because the police were able to trail me to my hiding place by my bloody tracks ...

After two weeks in the hospital, half-cured, they took me to the headquarters of the Civil Guard, where the so-called interrogations started. It is not necessary to say what they did to us ... I am practically a skeleton; from July to September, when I was released from the dungeon and locked in an isolation cell, I lost fifty-five pounds ... It is humanly impossible for me to roll a cigarette. Antonio is in practically the same state. This is Fascism! ... But I have never lost spirit. They are rushing matters now to liquidate us as soon as possible ... They are in a great hurry, for though we are prisoners we are still dangerous to them ... They thought that by our capture they would destroy the guerillas, but they have failed completely. Despite the great mobilization of their forces, the guerilla movement remains firm, and since our'capture its activities have increased: dozens of new partisans join each day. This is what really matters. The rest, that our lives hung by a thread and the knowledge that this thread will soon be cut by the butchers of our people, is a secondary matter ... During four and a half years, those of us who returned from exile have put our sparse intelligence, but all of our heart and conscience, at the service of the cause of the liberation of our homeland. We have fallen? We only regret that we cannot do more! But it is comforting to know that nothing and no one will be able to undermine this struggle. How great and brave our people are! What indestructible faith they have in victory! With such faith and such people, and for so noble a cause as that which we defended and continue to defend till the last moment, we are ready to give not one but a hundred lives without hesitation. I am only sorry that I was not able to accomplish the task entrusted to me with confidence and honor when I was sent to Spain. All of Galicia and Spain are a volcano of struggle which shall never be extinguished by Franco ...

Eight of us await trial. They are trying to include a pair of troublemakers, common criminals and highwaymen, to discredit us and make us seem adventurers and common thieves before the military tribunal. Death sentences will be demanded for at least three of the eight: these are José Gomez Galloso (myself), teacher; Antonio Seoane Sanchez, worker; Juan Romero Ramos, cabinet maker. The others, though also in grave danger, may be spared the death penalty if the campaign of solidarity is intensified. They are José Bartrina, doctor; José Rodriguez Campos, worker; José Ramos Diaz, tailor; and Juan Martinez, peasant ... It took me four days to write this letter ... I request that you remain firm. No grief! For you, may my death be an inspiration to help the liberation of our people ... If it is possible and there is still time, send me a few lines...


N:     Eight weeks after this letter was written, José Gomez Galloso was executed: on November 7, the anniversary of the defense of Madrid by the International Brigades.


/Music: a Basque male chorous singing "Unia Baiole" ("There Was A Whale"): up, fading under Narrator, out./


N:     For the defenders of Madrid, Teruel, Lérida, Barcelona; for the defenders of mankind fighting for life on the banks of the Ebro; for the José Gomez Gallosos who will come; for Federico García Lorca; for Miguel Hernandez; for himself: César Vallejo, dying of Spain, made this poem:


V3: (close, soft; music fades in midway):

When the battle was over
and the warrior dead, a man came to him
and said: Don't die; I love you so much!
But the corpse -- aí! -- kept on dying.

Two drew near him and repeated:
Don't leave us! Courage! Come to life again!
But the corpse -- aí! -- kept on dying.

Twenty turned to him, a hundred, a thousand, half a million,
shouting: So much love, so powerless against death!
But the corpse -- aí! -- kept on dying.

Millions of individuals surrounded him
with a common plea: Stay, brother!
But the corpse -- aí! -- kept on dying.

Then all the people of the earth surrounded him;
the sad corpse gazed at them, touched;
slowly he sat up;
embraced the first man; began to walk ...


/Music: 2nd movement of the Schubert Trio:
fades in as above, then up, to end of movement./



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