The Lenin Barracks – George Orwell in Barcelona

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    Site of the Lenin Barracks (Cuartel de Lenin – formerly the Cuartel de Lepanto). The barracks  were the miliary headquarters of the POUM and where George Orwell trained in Barcelona. Homage to Catalonia begins like this:

    “In the Lenin Barracks in Barcelona, the day before I joined the militia, I saw an Italian militiaman standing in front of the officers’ table. He was a tough-looking youth of twenty-five or six, with reddish-yellow hair and powerful shoulders. His peaked leather cap was pulled fiercely over one eye. He was standing in profile to me, his chin on his breast, gazing with a puzzled frown at a map which one of the officers had open on the table. Something in his face deeply moved me. It was the face of a man who would commit murder and throw away his life for a friend–the kind efface you would expect in an Anarchist, though as likely as not he was a Communist. There were both candour and ferocity in it; also the pathetic reverence that illiterate people have for their supposed superiors. Obviously he could not make head or tail of the map; obviously he regarded map-reading as a stupendous intellectual feat. I hardly know why, but I have seldom seen anyone–any man, I mean–to whom I have taken such an immediate liking. While they were talking round the table some remark brought it out that I was a foreigner. The Italian raised his head and said quickly: More here

    He goes on to describe events at the Lenin Barracks where militiamen were given “what was comically called ‘instruction'” in preparation for fighting at the front.


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    Photo possibily featuring George Orwell from here