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§779 The Spanish civil war (1936-1939): V-51.

V-51 (§779):

Peoples of Dacia, of England and Poland,
And of Bohemia shall make a new league:
To pass beyond the pillar of Hercules,
Those of Barcelona and Aragon shall set up a cruel intrigue.

(La gent de Dace, d'Angleterre & Polonne
Et de Bohesme feront nouvelle ligue:
Pour passer oultre d'Hercules la colonne,
Barcins, Tyrrens dresser cruelle brigue.)

NOTES: The pillar of Hercules: « The Straits of Gibraltar.» (Dufresne, 1995, p.169).

Barcins: « Inhabitants or natives of Barcino, Barcelona (Spain).» (Le Pelletier, II, p.420); « BARCINO, The name which Barcelona bore at the time of the Romans’ invasion into Spain.» (Landais).

Tyrrens: = Tyrrene (§507, III-62) = Tiryns = « 
Τίρυνς [Tiruns], Tiryns, a city of Argolis.» (Pillon); « TYRINTHE, Son of Argus and grand-son of Jupiter, founder of the city of Tiryns. – Anc. geogr. A city of Argolis [Argolis may suggest Aragon], near the Gulf of Argolis. Hercules had his residence there.» (Landais). This north-eastern region of the Peloponnesus can represent, in the context of the quatrain where the Iberian Peninsula is the point in question, that of the Peninsula by geographical analogy: Aragon and Catalonia, the provinces of Republican Spain during the Civil War (cf. Duby, p.126, Chart A and p. 127, Chart D). This type of geographical analogy is also found in the quatrain IX-10 (§738) concerning « Fois & Pamyes contre Tholose Carcas (Foix and Pamiers against Toulouse and Carcassonne)».

Or, the interpretation of the term ‘Tyrrens’ by Le Pelletier (II, p.471), followed by Dufresne (id., p.168), as Sagunto (Sagonte) is not historically supported, for the ancient name of Sagunto for the Iberians was « Arse » (cf.
GeoCenter, Euro Atlas Spain Portugal, 2000, p.105, Ze 110); « It is evident that those who at first identified themselves with Arse, passed then to the stage where they came to recognize themselves as Sagontins (Sagontians), the observation for which the monetary legends give an essential support.» (Ripollès et Llorens, 2002, p.25-26).

Peoples of Dacia, of England and Poland, And of Bohemia shall make a new league: To pass beyond the pillar of Hercules: « The first three verses treat of a military alliance rounding up Rumania (Dacia), England, Poland and the ex-Czechoslovakia as well as of their troops jumping over the Straits of Gibraltar in order to intervene in the Spanish civil war. Now, the year 1936 has certainly seen this particular regrouping of nations under the name of “international Brigades”, offering a helping hand to the Republicans opposed to the fascists of Franco. La Chronique du XXe siècle (the Chronicle of the XXth century) (Larousse) tells us about it in the following terms: “The Brigades, created at the end of October, 1936, are composed of a majority of communists, but also of libertarians, of socialists. The French are there some 10,000, the Italians and the Germans about 5,000, the Americans more than 3,000, the Czechs [Peoples of Bohemia] and the Englishmen [Peoples of England] more than 2,000, the Yugoslavs, Canadians and Austrians more than 1,000. The Swiss, Irish, Cubans and representatives of other countries have participated there, too. The movement, spontaneous at the origin, has been rapidly undertaken by the communist parties and by USSR, which, after having received a reserve of gold of the bank of Spain, furnished it with officering and materials.”» (Dufresne, 1995, p.169); « The Russians also sent 1,000 pilots and about 2,000 other specialists, but no large units. They regarded Spain mainly as an international propaganda exercise, and their effort went into organizing the international brigades. Altogether 40,000 foreigners fought for the Republic, 35,000 in the brigades, though never more than 18,000 at any one time. In addition there were 10,000 doctors, nurses and civilian specialists. The largest contingent, about 10,000, came from France, followed by 5,000 Germans and Austrians, 5,000 Poles [Peoples of Poland], 3,350 Italians, about 2,500 each from Britain and the United States, 1,500 each from Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, 1,000 each from Scandinavia, Canada and Hungary, and smaller contingents from over forty other countries [Peoples of Dacia, etc.].» (Johnson, 1991, p.330).

Those of Barcelona and Aragon shall set up a cruel intrigue
: This prediction seems to refer mediately to the Russian intervention full of Stalin’s political intrigues in Republican Spain based in Catalonia and Aragon: « Franco made better usages of his human and material resources because he fought a military war, and the Republicans fought a political war. He was a master of the nuts and bolts of war: topography, training, infrastructures, logistics, signals, air control. No genius but very thorough and calm; he never reinforced failure and he learnt from mistakes... In one sense finance was the key to the war, and Franco and his advisers handled it shrewdly. Their greatest achievement was to maintain a respectable paper currency without the benefit of the nation’s gold reserves and central banking system. By contrast, the Republicans handled their finances with consummate folly. They started with one of the greatest gold reserves in the world: 700 tons, worth £162 million (or $788 million). Instead of using this to raise loans, or for direct payments in the ‘hard’ arms markets of the capitalist countries of the West, while getting arms from the Russians on credit, they handed over more than two-thirds of their gold to Stalin... Still more disastrous, from the Republic’s point of view, was Stalin’s insistence, while being paid in gold on the nail, on a political price for supplying arms at all. The moment the fighting started, and the need for arms became desperate, the influence of the Spanish
CP rose dramatically. This might not have mattered so much if it had led an independent existence. In fact it was controlled through the Russian embassy, by NKVD (People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs) and OGPU (Special Government Political Administration) units under Alexander Orlov – who himself went in mortal terror of Yezhov – and by such Comintern figures as the French witch-hunter André Marty, whose face, wrote Hemingway, ‘had a look of decay, as if modelled from the waste material you find under the claws of a very old lion’. It is not clear to this day how anxious Stalin was to win the war; but in any event he was determined to control the Republican side. The Communists – that is, Stalin’s secret police – took over Republican Spain. The result was one of the major political tragedies of the century. It is clear that, if the army had not staged a putsch in July 1936, sooner or later Spain would have had to endure a civil war fought among the Left. It broke out in Barcelona in the spring of 1937, with the Communists fighting the POUM (Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification) and the anarchists. The immediate pretext, as in the wider civil war, was a political murder, of a leading Communist, Roldán Cortada, shot on 25 April, possibly by an anarchist ‘control patrol’, possibly by the Comintern agent Ernö Gerö. Both sides had private armies, secret police forces, gangs of murderous thugs. The moment Negrín was installed as nominal premier, the Communists took over the Interior Ministry and all the key police and paramilitary posts, and moved forward to a règlement des comptes. The purge coincided with Stalin’s massacre of his own party in Russia, and it bore all the marks of his methods. The CP-controlled Madrid police forced two captured Falangists to prepare a fake plan for a Madrid rising by Franco’s much-vaunted ‘Fifth Column’, and they forged a letter to Franco, on the back of this plan, from Andrés Nin, the POUM leader. A great mass of forged documents implicating the POUM in a fascist betrayal was put in a suitcase left in Gerona, then ‘discovered’ by police. On 14 June, Orlov, as head of the Spanish NKVD, probably acting on direct instructions from Stalin, ordered the arrest of all POUM leaders. This was despite the protests of the Communist members of the cabinet (the non-Communist members, least of all Negrín, were not even informed). The Commander of the 29th POUM division was recalled from the front for ‘consultations’ and arrested too. The detained men were taken straight to carefully prepared interrogation-centres and torture-chambers, most of them underground but including the former Barcelona convent of St Ursala, known as ‘the Dachau of Republican Spain’. Efforts by the cabinet to secure Nin’s release were quite unavailing. But Stalin’s plans to make him the centre of a Spanish show-trial were frustrated, since Nin, the model for Orwell’s hero Goldstein in Nineteen Eighty-Four, preferred to die under torture rather than confess. (He was eventually murdered by Orlov in the park of El Pardo, later Franco’s palace.) During the rest of 1937 and well into 1938, many thousands of POUM members, and indeed other Leftists of all descriptions, were executed or tortured to death in Communist prisons. They included a large number of foreigners, such as Trotsky’s former secretary, Erwin Wolff, the Austrian socialist Kurt Landau, the British journalist ‘Bob’ Smilie and a former lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, José Robles. Among those who just managed to escape were Orwell and Willy Brandt, the future German Chancellor.» (Johnson, id., p.333-335).

« It was one of Spain’s many misfortunes at this time that her Civil War coincided with the climax of Stalin’s great terror. Many of the Barcelona murders had little to do with Spain’s internal politics but were, rather, the backlash of events in Moscow and Leningrad. Thus Robles was executed because, as interpreter of General Jan Antonovich Berzin, head of the Russian military mission to Spain, he knew too much about Berzin’s recall and liquidation as part of Stalin’s purge of the army. Stalin was having his leading agents killed all over the world in 1937-8. And, as in Russia, virtually all the creatures who helped him to take over the Left in Spain, and then to terrorize it, were murdered in turn. The head of the
NKVD’s foreign department was cornered in his own office in Paris in February 1938 and forced to take syanide. Of those who organized arms supplies to Spain, Evhen Konovalek was killed in Rotterdam in May 1938, Rudolf Clement was found, a headless corpse, in the Seine, and Walter Krivitsky, boss of Soviet military intelligence in Western Europe, was chased for three years by Stalin’s hit-men until they got him in Washington on 10 February 1941. In addition to General Berzin, Stalin murdered Michael Koltzov, the famous Pravda Spanish correspondent, Arthur Stashevsky, head of the economic mission to Spain, and Antonov Ovseenko, Consul-General in Barcelona, who was told he was being recalled to Moscow to be made Minister of Justice, a joke characteristic of Stalin’s gallows-humour. The only man who escaped Stalin was the arch-killer Orlov himself, who defected, wrote an account of all he knew, informed Stalin that he had arranged to have it published immediately if he died violently, and so was left in peace, publishing his tale after Stalin’s death. It may be asked: how was it that the atrocities against the Left in Barcelona [Those of Barcelona and Aragon shall set up a cruel intrigue] did not cause a wave of revulsion against Stalinism throughout the world? One factor was luck. On 26 April 1937, the day after Cortada’s murder in Barcelona detonated the internal crisis, forty-three aircraft of the Condor Legion bombed the historic Basque town of Guernica, whose famous oak tree had shaded the first Basque parliament. About 1,000 people were killed and 70 per cent of the buildings destroyed. It was not the first bombing of a town by either side, and Guernica was a legitimate target, though the object of the raid was terror. It was decided upon by Colonel Wolfgang von Richthofen, the Legion’s Commander, in consultation with Colonel Juan Vigón, Mola’s Chief of Staff. [General Mola, cynosure of the militant Right (id., p.322).] There is no evidence Mola knew about it beforehand; Franco certainly did not; and the Germans did not know of the town’s historical significance. For the Comintern propagandists – the best in the world – it was a stroke of uncovenanted fortune, and they turned it into the most celebrated episode of the entire war. Picasso, who had already been asked to do a large painting for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Fair, leapt at the subject, and the result was later taken to the New York Metropolitan. Guernica helped to push a whole segment of Western opinion, including the magazines Times and Newsweek, over to the Republican side. In the subsequent hullabaloo, the echoes of which could still be heard in the 1980s, when the painting was solemnly hung in the Prado, the sounds of mass-slaughter in Barcelona went unheard.» (Johnson, id., p.335-336).

« The way in which Guernica was used to screen the destruction of the
POUM was typical of the brilliance of the Comintern propaganda, handled by two inspired professional liars, Willi Muenzenberg and Otto Katz, both later murdered on Stalin’s orders. Throughout the Spanish war, Stalinism was assisted not only by superb public relations but by the naïvety, gullibility and, it must also be said, the mendacity and corruption of Western intellectuals, especially their willingness to overlook what W.H.Auden called “the necessary murder”. When Orwell escaped and sought to publish an account of the POUM scandal, “Spilling the Spanish Beans”, in the New Statesman, its editor, Kingsley Martin, turned it down on the grounds that it would damage Western support for the Republican cause. But when Orwell’s exposure appeared in the New English Weekly, it attracted little notice. The intellectuals of the Left did not want to know the objective truth; they were unwilling for their illusions to be shattered. They were overwhelmed by the glamour and excitement of the cause and few had the gritty determination of Orwell to uphold absolute standards of morality, or the experience of the horrors that occurred when relative ones took their place. Many of them treated ‘the Party’ with abject subservience. Besides, the Communists controlled access to Republican Spain. To get there a British writer, for instance, needed a letter from the head of the CP, Harry Pollitt, who worked closely with Victor Gollancz, the leading left-wing publisher, whose Left Book Club dominated the market. The poet W.H.Auden was saved by his ‘Pollitt letter’ from a prison sentence when he was arrested for indecency in a Barcelona Park. A visit to ‘our’ Spain was essential to the self-respect of a progressive intellectual. Just as the Germans, Russians and Italians used Spain to test their new military equipment – exploitation by hardware – so writers went there to acquire material for their next novel or poem, what might be termed exploitation by software. André Malraux, whose novel about the Chinese revolution, La Condition humaine (1932), had made him world famous, went to Spain hoping for a sequel, which duly appeared as L’Espoir (1938). He brought with him a squadron of slow Potex bombers, which created a noisy splash in the papers but did little damage to the nationalists, and anyway had to be crewed by Spaniards. The commander of the Republican fighters, García Lacalle, wrote that Malraux’s people were ‘writers, artists, photographers, women, children and I don’t know what – everything but aviators’. Hemingway was in Spain too, ‘researching’ For Whom the Bell Tolls. Fancying himself hard-boiled and experienced in the cynicism of war, ‘Papa’ was easily duped. When his friend Dos Passos became worried about the disappearance of Robles, whom he knew well (he had in fact already been murdered), Hemingway was tipped off by his ‘amigo’ in counter-espionage, the sinister Pepe Quintanilla, that Robles was a spy, and at once assumed he was guilty. He attributed Dos Passos’ ‘continued belief in Robles’ loyalty to the good-hearted naïvety of a “typical American liberal attitude’” – but of course it was Hemingway who proved naïve.» (Johnson, id., p.336-337).

« After the destruction of the
POUM, Republican morale declined steadily. In these circumstances, Franco opted for a war of attrition throughout the appalling winter of 1937-8, and in April he cut Republican Spain in two. Thereafter it was really a matter of time only, with Franco taking no chances and insisting on overwhelming superiority. By the autumn Stalin had tired of the war, had extracted the last ounce of propaganda value out of it, had completed his purges and was already thinking of a new deal, either with the Western democracies or, more likely, with Hitler. He had also got all the Republic’s gold. So he cut off aid, and Franco was able to open his last Catalonian offensive, just before Christmas, confident that the end was near. Barcelona fell on 28 January 1939, and Madrid on 28 March. Franco had fought the war without passion, and when he heard it was over he did not even look up from his desk.» (Johnson, id., p.338).
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© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2018. All rights reserved.
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Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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