tv QA CSPAN May 15, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
spanish civil war and then, british prime minister david cameron takes questions the members of the house of commons. after that, a discussion on islamic terrorism in europe. >> this week on q and a, historian adam hit shield discusses spain in our hearts. >> adam hope shield, the title of your new book is spain in our hearts. what does that title mean? >> it comes from a quotation from albert which i know by settled in 1945 after
the spanish civil war ended and it goes something like this. men of my generation have always had spain in our hearts because they we learned that you could ,e right and still be defeated kurds is not its own reward and he goes on like that -- current is not its own -- courage is not its own reward and it goes on like that. 35-40,000among the volunteers from over 50 countries and of those 2800 americans who went to spain, 750 not come back. that is a higher death toll percentagewise in the military had a need of the world wars. >> what were the years of the spanish civil war and why was it fought? >> it began there and suddenly -- very subtle and -- very
suddenly in july 1926 and lasted until the beginning of april 1939. it was an extra nearly letting and brutal conflict -- extra nearly bloody and regional conflict. -- extraordinarily bloody and brutal conflict. historically, it had been a mockery -- monarchy. in 1931, the king left the country, they held elections and it became a republic. the spanish republic. people all over the world rejoiced that a country that had experienced. wasle democracy at last getting it. they were great hopes for reform. it was a land of vast inequalities between rich and poor. small number of landowners had these huge estates, millions of
peasants had little to no land. in 1936, a coalition of liberal and left-wing parties won the elections. this was absolute anathema to the powerful right-wing forces and in july 1936, a large group of right-wing army officers stationed revolt against the elected government of the spanish republic and this was the beginning of this spanish civil war. >> howdy people lived in spain back in 1936? >> roughly 23 million. i may be off by a million or two. >> what kind of group was in leadership? >> the elected leadership of the spanish republic were people from parties that would be considered democratic socialists , liberal democrats elsewhere in
western europe who were a small number of spanish communists in the national legislature. who led the right-wing revolt from whom a very tough talking general named francisco franco emerged as the leader of the rebellious they eryr, they represented -- v represented an older spain. they wanted the landowners and industrialist to be dominant. there would be no democracy at all. no free press. military dictatorship. do away with elections. do away with any kind of land reform and hand education of the country back to the catholic church, because in the secularization process that had begun a few years before, they
had begun to take education out of the hands of the church. the catholic church in spain was by far the most reactionary in europe. the spanish nationalists of the army officer rivals -- rebels education was the conspiracy of the devil and men and women should be segregated and education and education for women for women under their rule of the church was education for women was very strong on selling religion and not much else. there were two diametrically opposed views on what kind of country they wanted spain to be. video ofd to show some francisco brekke. he won, as you pointed out. how long was he the head of spain? the earlythe war in
1939 and remained dictator of the country with close to absolute power the remainder of his life which was 36 years. amid signs of5 senility and ruled with an iron fist. torture was routine until the end. elections, no free trade unions. no free press. >> let's look at a little bit of what he sounded like and look like. [spanish] >> what is the worst thing he did to his people?
>> you can see it in that clip. he is essentially saying everybody must be united and expressed the popular will this way which means do what i say. wasworst thing that he did to extinguish any kind of expression of democratic feelings whether through dissent through the press or through the express -- existence of civic organizations or any elections. example, participation in anything that had to do -- have the trappings of belonging to an international organization, even it was something nonpolitical, a orup of esperanto speakers were in the rotary club, all of
these things were forbidden. really did institute a kind of totalitarian rule that was not dissimilar to other forms of sovietarian rule in union, nazi germany, fascist .taly the catholic church had such a huge role. it was a kind of totalitarianism. this you are out watching and you don't care about spain, what relationship does your book have to the american people? clock toroll back the of the things, one that was on the minds of a lot of good people all over the world was this ominous sense that fascism was on the rise in
europe. hitler had come to power in germany. mussolini had already been in 1935,since the 1920's and was when he had gone and conquer himself a colony in ethiopia. a war which finally and in 1936. it was clear that fascism was expanded there. hitler was making all sorts of noises about expanding to the east. grabbing territory in eastern europe and russia that should be under german domination. the soviet union was a grim place, but not as many details were known in the west. they were not talking about expanding. the menace seemed to be expanding fascism in europe. happenedcoup attempt in spain.
right-wing army officers try to say's power -- seize power and sent a shockwave of alarm throughout the world. here was a major country in europe, the right-wing military quickly backed by hitler and mussolini who sent arms, mussolini pilots, and said 80,000 ground troops. here was the spanish army making a grab for power. people all over the world but it ought to be resisted. if not here, where? otherwise, we are next. >> for going down the road was about was president, what was his position -- fdr was president, what was his position? a small d democrat as well as a large d democrat. certainly someone who was personally very opposed to fascism. he was, however, wary of being
drawn into the spanish civil war in any way. he knew that the american people at this point were deeply isolationist and any kind of opinion poll that you looked at, he was a great reader of opinion peopleould tell you that did not want to get drawn into another more in europe. europe. it is also believed, it was probably never put down on paper, it is believed that he promised the hierarchy of the american catholic church, before the 1936 campaign for reelection, that he would not intervene in spain. the catholic church all over the backedct the revolt -- the revolt of franco and his allies.
spaniards on the other side were so anti-clerical that they have murdered thousands of priests and monks and so on. is believed that roosevelt made a promise to the catholic church. in any event, throughout the war, he decided to keep america neutral, not to make any attempt to evade the fairly strict u.s. the crowd he laws that were there in place -- neutrality laws that were there in place and not to prosecute a major oil company that did ebay those laws. that two thirds of the americans that thought were jews. i used thesure figure of two thirds, but people believe anywhere from a third to a half may have been jewish. it is hard to pin down because so many jews changed their name. >> the reason i ask is why?
what is the reason that they participated in much higher rate ? , heo quote one volunteer says for us, it was never about franco. it was always about hitler. , like deuce all of the world, saw hitler on the rise and this all the things he was saying about jews, it fueled recruitment of volunteers to not just in this country, but many countries as well. american jews were also disproportionally represented in organizations of the left and that was another thing. you have written, accesses this book was published, about a berg.med dell he died this year at age 100. here's some video. the last living member of the
2800 americans that thought in spain. i was very affected by the fascist attempt to take over spain. i couldn't to you why. i just didn't like the idea. that was my political understanding. i did not like what the sob's were doing. army.ed the i didn't know how to get to spain until one day i would work and -- i see on the side of the building, abraham lincoln brigade. i turned the corner, one of their, and said i want to go to spain. >> what was the abraham lincoln
brigade? , it came to be the name, it was not an official name at the time. in later years it has been used as the name to cover all of these americans who volunteered to fight in spain. time, the first all-american unit was called the american family can -- abraham lincoln battalion and then the george washington italian and then they were merged into can the lincoln washington battalion. there's also an american medical unit, but the veterans of all of these things began calling themselves veterans of the abraham lincoln brigade because it was simpler and that is how people have referred to them ever since.
when you think of these 2800 americans who want to spain, erg who is the b last known survivor of the group, they were the participants. >> when did you start your research on this book? >> i started being interested in the subject many years ago. jobs was as at daily newspaper reporter at the "san francisco chronicle." as it happened, to other reporters of the newspaper were veterans of the abraham like an brigade and when things were brigadeabraham lincoln and when things were so, i would ask them about their experience and i got fascinated and. over the next couple of decades, i met other lincoln veterans and was actually good friends with
two more for many years in the san francisco bay area. i have been fascinated by their experiences were a long time and the way, when you know somebody who has personally lived or something, it brings you closer to that piece of history and at the same time, one of my favorite writers of all-time is george orwell and i early on read his wonderful memoir of fighting in spain. whichmage to catalonia gives a somewhat different picture of this concept then you will hear from the lincoln brigade veterans. orwellference is that did not fight with a group of international volunteers. these 35-40,000 volunteers who were organized by the communist parties.
or we'll a very independent streak. orwell had a very independent streak. he got there and discovered a political party in spain that he felt much closer to that was a sister party to the independent labour party in britain that he was affiliated with. moishe -- militia and there was back to feuding among these different parts of the spanish republic. orwell has a somewhat different picture of the war but i think he to thought he was fighting a good cause. >> you said he was 6'3". reading part of the homage to catalonia. catalonia is where? >> the northeast corner of
spain. the big city is barcelona. why isthe relevant -- that relevant? >> george orwell was fighting in catalonia and aragorn. especially is a part of spain that, in recent years, they have a strong separatist movement. they speak in different languages. catalan. you can watch when they get to the picture of some of the fighters. torch orwell sticks out because of his height. something overwhelming. it was the first time that i had ever been to town. practically every building had
been seized by the workers. drape with red flags. every wall was built with a hammer and sickle and the initials of the revolutionary party. every shop and cafe had an excursion saying -- and one called everyone else comrades. this is moving. there is much i do not understand. in some ways, i did not even like it. immediatelyized it the state of affairs we were fighting for. backviously the men at the is talking about comrades and a hammer and sickle. you talk about a lot of americans who consider themselves communists at the time. both are interest? interests?e their >> first on to talk about the
revolution in both alone a -- barcelona. here's what i think was going on. when we think -- look at the world as it was in the 1930's. it was a grim place. here in the united states, close to the quarter of the working population was without jobs. there were 34 million americans living in households with no cash income. homeless andnts of jobless people. everywhere you look, in central park in new york near wall street, every mac and city had these who were built shantytowns as they were called -- hoov erville shantytowns. it was easy to believe that capitalism had failed. it's also easy to believe that there was an alternative system which, what did i hear much bad news about, whatever problems
the soviet union had, employment did not seem to be one of them. idealize some to distant place that seems to offer a happy alternative to our own misery in one way or another. so millions of people all over the world, without knowing much about what was really happening became true believing communists. something that forced that feeling was that when the war in spain broke out, none of the major western democracies would provide any help to the spanish republic. none of them would even sell arms. the republican spain had the money to buy arms. company --jor
country willing to sell anything was joseph stalin's soviet union. people do not realize that he was asking for some things in return, mainly top positions for spanish and soviet communists in the spanish army and security apparatus. it was clearly the only major country does providing help to spain. indeed, general franco and his nationalists would have won the civil war much sooner if stalin had not done this. the war would have been over in a matter of weeks or months after he overran madrid. this was something that drew people to communism and made people appreciate what stalin appeared to be doing for spain. but, there was something else going on. which got almost ignored by the press at this time. it is one of the things that complicated,rse or
but also deeply fascinating. here's what it was. george orwell referred to it when he talked about the spirit of barcelona. catalonia and spain's northeast and other pockets of the country as well, frank is nationalists defeated in their initial attempt to take over, not by normal army soldiers. most army officers had gone over to his side. but by badly trained hastily together militia units by left-wing political parties and trade unions. they were the ones who beat back the coup attempt in barcelona and other cities. when that happened, these workers motions found themselves controlling a sizable chunk of spain. time, this beginning late july 1936, they put into
effect in parts of the country the most far-reaching social revolution western europe had ever seen. workers took over factors, landless peasants took over these huge estates where they had worked as laborers, waiters to cover restaurants, trolley car drivers to go to the transportation system, you see people driving railway look at no blows -- locomotives. barcelona's hotel ritz, waiters and bus was took over the dining room entered into people's cafeteria for the poor. it was an amazing spectacle. orwell saw it and was fascinated by it. the government of the spanish republic was appalled that this was happening because they suspected, quite correctly, that if spain republics was seized
after a missionary society, it meant they would never have a chance to buy arms from the u.s., britain or france. as a happen, u.s., britain and france never sold arms anyway to them. the foreign correspondents who flocked from all over the world in huge numbers to cover the war in spain largely ignored the social revolution and wrote very few stories about it because there are competing with each other to cover the battle for madrid. the city was under stage, the hotel where there was living was being bombed. that seemed to be the big story. but i was fascinated by the spanish revolution. could find very little coverage of it by any of the american correspondents and then discover recorde most extensive of what is that like as a foreigner to live through that amazing revolution. period was in a series of
letters in an unpublished menu script written by a-year-old american woman who lived through that time. she was one of my favorite find in terms of the character for this book. >> who was she? was a student at the university of louisville kentucky. she had married an economics instructor he was a bit older than her. the two of them went to europe on their honeymoon. they visited france and germany and while there, they heard is that there had been this coup attempt in spain. but in part of this country, there was extra nerdy -- extraordinary culture revolution. they were fascinated by the idea that he was a revolution that seem to be doubling from the bottom up and not top-down
imposed bicycle party as a happen in the -- single party as had been in the soviet. she said to her husband that we have to go there. the two of them hitchhiked to the spanish border and crossed over two months after the coup andn and live for 10 months revolutionary barcelona. got jobs quickly and she wrote the most extra ordinary series of letters home during this time. >> where did you find them? >> the letters had been published in a small book that was printed in a small addition only in england. it had never been reviewed in a single u.s. newspaper or magazine. that is where some of what she has to say had been printed. the other stuff is in a memoir that she spent most of the remainder of her life writing
and rewriting and rewriting and never found a publisher for. it inare copies of various archives and i got in touch with her daughter who is very helpful to me and maybe copies of it. -- made me copies of it. it is an external voice. here's the 19-year-old american who suddenly finds herself in the midst of this extraordinary social revolution in a country whose language she can't speak. there are very few americans who speak catalan. she's fascinated by it. she has a kind of sweeping enthusiasm that i think only an upper middle-class person can have for her workers revolution because it is a chance for her she gives a wonderfully vivid picture of what it was like to live in barcelona.
brian: where did she go after that 10 months? adam: the conflict that i referred to before between the spanish republic and these revolutionaries came to a head. both the communists and the more did not wantrties a social revolution going on while they were trying to fight this war they did not want to have all these independent militias responsible to different political parties. they wanted a unified army under central command. the revolution was suppressed. there was some streetfighting.
they were let go after about 10 days and forced to leave the country. they lived in paris for a couple of months. divorced after a few years. this. barcelona remained the high point of her life until the rest of her days. youtube you can see a .ilm called the spanish earth this is just a 42 second excerpt from it. the narrator is ernest hemingway. you can explain how this movie fit into the whole discussion. ernest hemingway: living in the
sellers are the enemy. aey are brave groups with wood out of held out after their position is homeless. professional soldiers fighting against the people in power. trying to impose the will of the military on the will of the people. the people hate them. tenacity and the constant native italy and germany. brian: who were the moors? ,dam: spain had a colony spanish morocco. the northern slice along the mediterranean. a series of colonial revolt there.
they recruited indigenous mercenaries from among the population. they most effective fighting thee under the command of french generals. they been fighting these wars for some years. aircraft sent by hitler they were transported from africa to spain at the beginning of the nationalist coup attempt and served really on the brunt of the attack that took place the moors were muslims.
unfortunately organized encouraged mass rape has been a part of many wars and many times. itetimes we hear about sometimes what is happened on a wide scale. nobody was recording them. when it happened on a wide scale was during the spanish civil war. frank urging the spanish troops to do the right thing which the nationalists did. were playing on centuries
of racial fears in spain. you are going to be raped by an arab. there was one american correspondent who was on the debates andorded these women who are being raped, they are communists but they are still spanish women. is this really a proper thing to do? it went on on a huge scale. they continued to support franco, the catholic church did. of can see photographs catholic bishops and archbishops and even a cardinal raising their hand in the fascist salute side-by-side with franco and his generals. they do all the raping was going on.
hemingway, what role did this movie play? adam: hemingway had been very involved with spain. the novel that first really brought him to the world's attention was the son also rises was based on a trip to spain in the 1920's. he called a great love for the country. ways were of the most apolitical of american writers. he never even noted in the election of 1936 for instance. he felt a great sense of outrage at the national skill in spain. as if a country he really loved was having great violence done to it. because of the spanish republic. he combined that with becoming a reporter again even a foreign
correspondent in europe for a time in the 1920's he signed up to write a long series of pieces from spain for the north american newspaper alliance. made for long trips to spain during the war to write these he also was fascinated by the new medium of film who felt that a documentary film might help reach a wider audience. crew pute film together this documentary called the spanish earth and you hear his voice narrating it in that clip. orson welles had signed up to be the narrator. somehow he and hemingway got into a fight in the production room.
orson welles: we met in the projection room of the movie that he is made which she wanted me to narrate. he's written a commentary. many years ago. we hadn't seen each other. text and ing the said is it really necessary when it be better just to see the picture. i heard this growl in the darkness. some dams saget who runs an art theater tries to tell me how to do narration. i began to camp it up. you think because you're so big and strong and have hair on your chest. this great figure stood up and swung at me.
the picture of the spanish civil war is being projected on the screen and these two heavy figures were swinging at each other and missing most of the time. brian: an interview with orson welles by michael parkinson. adam: hemingway did have this tendency to get into fights with people. after this one with orson welles teaching over the narration and the films it was finally released has hemingway's voice in it. it is a documentary that has some extremely footage in it. it was shown around the united states at the time but did not reach the vast audience that hemingway had hoped would it was unitedugh to shock states out of the widespread feeling that the united states should stay out of any european wars.
brian: at the same time that hemingway was in spain he was married for the second time we started a liaison with martha ellhorn. gellhorn: there was a definite enemy and we said if we don't stop here there will be awarded europe. and we were regarded as cassandra's or fellow travelers. adam: martha was a young journalists and she had an affair with hemingway. him on all ofith these trips to spain. social center of the group of foreign correspondents.
she wrote for the magazine colliers which had a big audience. passionateally partisan of the spanish republic. eleanor roosevelt was a close friend of gilman's mother the roosevelts who had this extremely habit of asking all sorts of interesting people to come and live with them at the white house for the time. invited marthaly to come live in the white house while she worked on her writing.
she retained this very close relationship with eleanor roosevelt's and continue to write her letters from spain aussie and having were there. went and show the film for the first time to the roosevelts in the white house. in mid-1937. the most exclusive audience for a film premiere that one can think of. they hope to that this would stir at least president roosevelt documented people out of their stance of neutrality in the spanish war.
it was broken in a very crucial way. of rules having to do the gist ofity which was a neutrality act that .as amended you could not sell arms to any country engaged in war or to either side of the civil war. also some things other than arms. one thing was oil. modern armies run on oil. 60% of the oil going to both sides in spain went directly to the armies. it was needed for trunks --
trucks and tanks and artillery and jeeps. moving soldiers around. this was not classified as armaments but the law said very strictly that he couldn't travel on american ships. all of these foreign correspondents in madrid never asked the questions about this. they would be bombed by hitler's bombers in the skies. they never looked up and asked who is sending the fuel to power those aircraft? they knew that the national area of spain had no oil tankers.
it had to be on credit. they were oil importers and exporters. it was difficult for them to supply the oil. really coming from. coming from texas. one of the major oil companies at the time. basically a fascist sympathizer. he had great affection for right-wing dictators. not just francisco franco. he happily supplied franco and his nationalists with most of the oil.
he should get there in texico tankers. ostensibly bound for the captains would open sealed orders and redirect them to ports and nationalist spain. all of this oil was supplied on credit. he supplied franco with the oil at a huge discount. something he never told texico shareholders about as far as we can sell for consulting the minutes of their meetings he never told the board of directors about it. he did something else as well which is only come to relate in recent years through the investigations of spanish scholars who very generously shared his documents with me. texico being a multinational company.
all over the world offices and tank farms and installations and agents and insurers everywhere. reaper sent out instructions to all these folks saying keep your oil shipments going to spanish republic. send us any data you have. on the use of nationalist bomber pilots and others. the lifeline of oil going to the spanish republic was of course profoundly necessary first to be this war. they were sunken captured or damaged.
directly the u.s. might be neutral but texico had gone to war. commentator who was accused of being pro-franco. on mutuale junior was broadcasting. spain: general franco's is a very interesting character. i wouldn't want him here in america. i do think that he has does a great job for spain. among his journalistic admirers few have been more dedicated. the charge the criticism of franco's dictatorship came from kinko's.
for whatbe responsible they said about it. brian: that was from 1958, mike wallace. what can you tell us about the discussion went on in this country about pro-franco or anti-franco activities. adam: there are probably a lot of people who felt as we said it was anti-communist dictator. many people felt that way. there was an enormously strong feeling among the right-wingers here at that time that because the military help that the net activity was getting for the soviet union was that if the
republic won the war soviet influence would be greatly enhanced and might even become a soviet satellite. i don't think that would happen but it was certainly a feeling that this was very effective. about 200,000 people were killed in combat and at least 200,000 more were killed in political murders that happened during the war itself. about three quarters of them were supporters of the spanish they were killed by mobs in republican territory.
brian: you are born in new york and graduated from harvard. you now live in san francisco? adam: berkeley. i teach a class at the graduate school of journalism at uc berkeley. a radicales was activist who had great sense of humor. she was working in the early 1970's food looking for someone to name the magazine after. i had started as a newspaper reporter in san francisco. then i'd worked with another magazine called ramparts which
is published no more that existed at that time. when i got out of college the civil rights movement was on in the antiwar movement. my wife and i were briefly civil rights workers in mississippi in the summer of 1964. the year that a thousand people went down there from the north. moved --y much and involved in the movement against the vietnam war. i always been drawn to writing .bout people
jones: fighting for the .orkers brian: originally from court county in ireland. his mother jones today making money or is it supposed to make money? adam: it is a nonprofit institution the raises a lot of money from generous donors and leaders, tens of thousands of them each year. i'm very pleased that it still
publishes. i thickens had considerable impact. you may remember the 2012 election the story of mitt , some saying the 47% people think that cost him the election. that revelation was a mother jones story. i'm proud to be associated with the magazine still. it done much to work there over the last 35 years but i'm still on the board of directors. brian: limit your political views? -- what about your political views? adam: i am an independent utopian. we need to find ways of getting to a much better and much different world than the one we are in today. if there was an international brigade of volunteers to join it people who are fighting
spain. he was fatally wounded. he was the first american casualty. joe seligman junior. i met with his sister. still very much alive, 95 years old. he was only 20 or 21 when he was killed. most volunteers were older. the average age was 28. many of them were people who dockworkersyed strikingworkers industries in new york city. olderended to be a little than the early 20's activists that we were talking about. brian: we are out of time.
there's a lot more in your book about a lot of americans. the stories of the people who fought in spain. the name of the book is spain in our hearts. the story about the spanish civil war in 1936 to 1939. thank you very much for joining us. adam: thank you. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ cure some other interviews you might enjoy.
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