Eric Blair’s (aka George Orwell) masterpiece “1984” is suddenly the flavor of the month again, with good reason. But one can’t fully understand the motivations and experiences that led him to write it without having also read his unforgettable memoir from his time fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War– “Homage to Catalonia.” Late in life he wrote: “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it.”
Read the text online: Homage to Catalonia
Posted in Audio, Books, Europe, History, Spanish Civil War, Video
Tagged 1984, barcelona, eric blair, George Orwell, homage to catalonia, poum, stalin
Released in January 1943, when the most important battle of the war, the battle of Stalingrad, was still raging, with Normandy still a year and a half in the future, and the tide not yet turned against Hitler’s war machine. Most of Europe and North Africa was under the jackboot of Nazi tyranny. Many of the actors in the scene were actual refugees who had fled from the Nazis, so the emotions were real. This celluloid moment may capture the spirit of hope and resistance better than any other. It is a true testament to the power of movies.
In real life Jean Moulin, murdered by the Gestapo in 1943, became the symbol of the French Resistance.
Posted in Africa, Art, Culture, Europe, History, Movies & TV, Spy, Video, War, WWII
Tagged casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, ingrid bergman, victor laszlo
The XV International Brigade, nicknamed Brigada Abraham Lincoln, fought against Franco for the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War. Composed primarily of volunteer battalions from Britain and America, but also Canada, Ireland, the Balkans, France and Cuba, the 15th fought valiantly, and suffered heavy casualties, at Jarama, Brunete, Teruel and the Ebro River. Here is the Christmas greetings card sent out by the XV International Brigade and comrades in the Republican Army in 1937….
, a 100-year-old veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, who was its last known survivor, passed away on February 28, 2016. NY Times Obituary
Watch The Spanish Earth:
Read the 25th Infantry Division’s “Tropic Lightning News” Christmas Edition from this date, December 23rd 1968, in Vietnam. It was the end of a long bloody year for the 25th that began with the Tet Offensive. Its headquarters was located almost directly above the tunnels of Cu Chi, which would soon again be discovered the hard way in March 1969, as the Vietcong suddenly appeared behind their lines to conduct the little remembered, but very deadly, attacks of Tet 1969…
25th Infantry Division Tropic Lightning News. December 23rd, 1968