George Orwell tours in Barcelona

    This tour is centred on George Orwell’s experiences in Barcelona between his arrival on Boxing Day 1936 to his escape from Catalonia pursued by the Stalinist secret police in the summer of 1937. Orwell came to the city with is wife with the idea of covering the war as a journalist, but as soon as he arrived he was captivated by the revolutionary events, and presented himself to the international ILP Office, proclaiming, “I’ve come to fight against Fascism”.

    After fighting with the POUM militia on the Aragonese Front, in late April, Orwell cam back to to Barcelona with the idea of leaving his unit and  joining the International Brigades so he could take part in the defence of Madrid. But, as the official communist party tried to crush the libertarian revolution, the Barcelona May Days erupted and Orwell was found himself forced to defend the POUM’s headquarters in the Rambles. An uneay ceasefire was declared out of which the Stalinists emerged victorious. This was followed by a hateful campaign of lies and distortion in the Spanish and international Communist press, in which the POUM was accused of being closet fascists. Witnessing this at first hand had a dramatic effect on Orwell, later inspiring him to write 1984 and Animal Farm.

    The tour takes in some of the places Orwell describes in Homage to Catalonia, and also looks at the principal events of the Spanish Civil War in the city. More here