's civil war
sites 70 years on Madrid
This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the start of the civil war.
Jeremy Atiyah traces the tide of battle from
trenches to the spot where a poet was killed Madrid
05 February 2006
Even poor Ernest Hemingway, in town at the same time, was subject to privations. The Hotel Florida, where he was staying, suffered regular shelling. It was only thanks to his excellent connections with the Spanish government and the Russian general staff that he managed to procure any benefits at all. (Every morning, it was reported, the other guests in the hotel woke up to the smell of eggs, bacon, and coffee being prepared for Hemingway, courtesy of the Communist International.)
As for Civil War relics in
And there is no need to stop with
Moscado's brisk response was to shout to his son over the telephone: "Commend your soul to God, shout Viva España! and die like a hero! Goodbye my son, a last kiss!"
"Goodbye father," answered Luis. "A very big kiss."
Nobody in the war had a monopoly on atrocities. Down in moody
Meanwhile, it was to the north of
It is still a lovely area. The routes from
Moving north into
And finally to the east, to the sunny shores of the
To his delight, he saw only poor people in the town. Nobody was saying "Señor" or "Usted". On the Ramblas, Orwell described crowds of people who "streamed constantly to and fro" while loudspeakers "were bellowing revolutionary songs all day and far into the night". It wouldn't stay like that. When Orwell returned after four months at the front he found that everything had reverted. Suddenly, it was full of sleek men in suits smoking cigars and with fashionable girls on their arms again; all the revolutionary fervour had gone. Orwell had a shock in store. Suddenly, a battle broke out between the Anarchists and the Republican authorities. The Anarchists seized the telephone exchange. The Ramblas became the front line. Up at the Plaza de Catalonia every building became an armed fort. The Hotel Colon had a machine gun post right inside the first "O" of
The last three days of March 1938 were effectively the last three days of the war.