Spanish Civil War diary – July 20 1936

August 1st, 2011 | by nick |

Dispatch 1

A large number of churches have been burning in the city since yesterday, including Santa Maria del Mar, (photo) but not the Cathedral which is being protected by assault guards. There have also been widespread and rather grotesque desecrations. An attempt to destroy the mystical power of the Church perhaps? Unfortunately a number of priests have been murdered…it is difficult to convey and understand the depth of hatred towards the church, fueled by its instant support for the coup and its support for the semi-feudal society across much of Spain.



Dispatch 2 (rolling Twitter news)

I’m at the bottom of the Rambles. The military are all but defeated, and are holed up in Drassanas barracks and a couple of other sites. The CNT have surrounded the barracks, and have trained artillery on the walls. An hour ago, a falangist, perched at the top of Colon monument with a machine gun (there’s a lift), and was pining down everybody in Les Rambles, but somebody managed to pick him off. from a building facing. Ascaso and Durruti are about to lead the charge…

Someone has had the idea of using a truck on which the German anarchist group have set up a machine-gun. They’ve protected it with mattresses, they’re going to drive the vehicle towards barracks with the militants running behind, protected by mattresses.

I’m sorry to say CNT leader Ascaso has just been shot, a bullet ripped through his forehead, as he ran behind the truck…the workers are now storming the barracks

Events unfolding rapidly, white flag over barracks

 Lots of smoke, gunfire is continuing, can’t see what’s happening

My reception is going down. Will get back ASAP. Things may have ugly at the barracks…

Facebook comments

Carlos: I saw an interview to an old woman that painted with chalk every week the name of Joaquin Ascaso in his own grave. Fascists wanted his burial to be anonymous and took off the letters that identified it. This woman risked her life, weekly to maintain Ascaso memory alive. VIVA LA LIBERTAD!!!

Me: My father-in-law told me a similar story. When he was a kid he lived next to Montjuic cemetery, and used to play there. In the 1940s they put a guard during the day around Durruti and Ascaso’s graves (bones were removed in 1939) to stop people paying homage, but every morning fresh flowers appeared.


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