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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1940 12 (Page 2)

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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1940 12
December, 1940

As men who fought in the International Brigades
of the Spanish Republican Army,. convinced of
the rightness of that cause and ready to give our
lives in its service, we deeply resent and condemn
the picture of that cause which you have portrayed
in your novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

It is our considered opinion that, far from
writing "truly" of that war, as your hero Robert
Jordan so frequently desired to do, what emerges
from your book is a picture so drastically
mutilated and distorted (by errors of both omission
and commission) as to slander the cause for which
we fought, which the great majority of the
democratic people of the world supported, and
which you yourself honorably sustained both by
your writing and by your personal action.

We could, if necessary, particularize this charge
endlessly, but at this time we wish merely to call
your attention to the following indisputable facts:

1. Every tribute you gratuitously handed the
Spanish people, the Communists, the Soviet
Union, or the International Brigades, is totally
vitiated by a counter-statement which bears such
heavy emphasis as to constitute the reader's main
and final impression. For example: any true
impression of the full horror of Franco's known
policy of atrocity (though it is stated) is
completely blunted by your vivid and lengthy
description of an isolated example of anarchist

2. Through one or another of your characters, you
have maligned Dolores Ibarruri (La Pasionaria),
Lister, and El Campesino, and thus attempted to
discredit the most competent and beloved leaders
of the Spanish people and their army.

3. The leading representative of the Soviet
Union portrayed in the book (Karkov) is a
thoroughly cynical and unprincipled
character. Thus the entire attitude of the
Soviet Union toward Spain is distorted and
vilified, and its magnificent diplomatic and
material support-food, clothing, tanks,
planes, the very weapons we fought with-is
over-shadowed and almost ignored.

4. You have irresponsibly slandered, under
his own name the man who was the
organizer and the spirit of the International
Brigades - Andre Marty. Marty's long
record as a revolutionary and a fighter for
the international working class cannot be
impeached by whatever your personal
opinion of him may be. His contribution to
the fight in Spain was solid and world-
respected, and your attempt to indict him as
a fool and a murderer cannot bear
examination by the facts. The Marty we
served under was the acknowledged
organizer and leader of those Brigades
whose brilliant record and tradition belong
to history, those Brigades which you
yourself have zealously and frequently
championed. The real Marty formulated the
policy which guided the International
Brigades throughout the war, and neither
that policy nor its initiator can be impugned
by your unprincipled attack-an attack
identical to that made by the French
fascists, against whose shameful betrayal
Andre Marty is today the foremost
spokesman and defender of the French

5. Most important of all, your book has no
suggestion of any application to the world
today of the most basic lessons of Spain. Of
the powerful states, only the Soviet Union
aided the Spanish Republic. Though with a
division of labor, all the others-Germany,
Italy, England, France, and the United
States-united to crush the Spanish Republic,
and continue to persecute its refugees. The
governments of France, England, and the
United States thus showed how
false and hypocritical was their loudly
protested devotion to democracy. The
French Government has already completed
its self-exposure by betraying its own
people to slavery. In England and the
United States, the same governments with
the same policies wage war or prepare for it
under the guise of this discredited "devotion
to democracy." The Spanish dead,
slaughtered in a real war
(Continued on Page 4)
3 W G , C N !

Approved at the last National Resident
Committee meeting were: Appointment of Irv
Goff as National Executive Secretary following
the resignation of Jerry Cook for business
reasons; conferring of honorary membership on
Irving Schwab for his long, efficient, and
invaluable service as Veterans' attorney . . . .

Two veterans who wore broad galones are
laughing at conscription because they are
kidding-any week now . . . .

Alvah Bessie's review of Hemingway's book
in NM will be handy in those arguments and
Alvah's own novel is on the way ....

Steve Nelson, in New York for a short visit,
demonstrated the fertility of California climate
with a new sprung growth on his upper lip . . . ..

While McQuistion was still on Dies' payroll
he tried to hang himself in a D. C. jail where he
was being sobered up -sometimes booze is a
good substitute for a conscience . . . .

Frank Ryan will tell a powerful and
unexpected story as soon as he gets to a spot
where he can relax and get to work on it . . . .

Fred Schofs is still writing the kind of letters
which "get you" from Perpignan. The boys who
knew him have an added incentive for the
Relief Ship Campaign . . . .

If you thought that nothing could have been
colder than Teruel's "North Pole," wait till you
see the Soviet film "The Mannerheim Line."
Compared with Finland's forty-below, Teruel
might just as well have been at Benacasim . . . .

The new official Veterans' pin-a small, 1/4-
inch gold three-pointed star may be obtained
from the National Office. It's neat and
unostentatious and for the veterans who need
that sort of thing -it's also got sex appeal . . . .

Organ of the
Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
145 West 41st St., N.Y.C. LO. 3-6213

"... and that government of the people,
by the people, and for the people, shall
not perish from the earth.

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