Friday, 31 January 2014

Death of Lorca


I just finished reading a book by Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust, which is a fascinating work but hard going because it documents events surrounding the Spanish Civil War including the cold blooded murder of thousands of innocent civilians.

Peter Preston is even-handed in his criticism of both Republicans and Nationalists, but he is unafraid to call a spade a spade and does so repeatedly, in a painstakingly researched book which concludes that the fascists were the main culprits in their campaign to overthrow the elected Republican Government.

Here's a brief excerpt from the book which recounts the death of the famous Spanish Poet, Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca (38), who was murdered o
n August 18, 1936 along with a teacher and two bullfighters.

"When rightists hunting for 'reds' began to look for him, Lorca took refuge in the home of his friend the Falangist poet Luis Rosales. On 16 August, at the home of the Rosales family, Lorca was seized by Civil Guards who were accompanied by the sinister Ramon Ruiz Alonso, a one-time deputy for the local CEDA, Trescastro and another member of Accion Popular, Luis Garcia-Alix Fernandez. Ruis Alonso, who had hitched his cart to the Falange, harboured grudges against both Lorca and the Rosales brothers. Lorca was ludicrously denounced by Ruis Alonso to Valdes as a Russian spy, communicating with Moscow via a high-powered radio. Valdez sent a message to Qeipo de Lano asking for instructions. The reply was 'Dale cafe, mucho cafe' - 'give him coffee' being slang for 'kill him'. Federico Garcia Lorca was shot at 4.45 am on 18 August 1936 between Alfacar and Viznar to the north-east of Granada."

Trecastro later boasted that he personally killed the poet and others, including the humanist Amelia Augsutina Gonzalez Blanco. 'We were sick to the teeth of queers in Granada. We killed him for being a queer and her for being a whore'. On the day after the poet's death Trecastro entered a bar and declared: 'We just killed Federico Garcia Lorca. I put two bullets in his arse for being a queer.' Murdered with Lorca were a disabled primary school teacher, Dioscoro Galindo, and two anarchists who had fought in the defence of the Albacin. The cowardly murder of a great poet was, however, like that of the loyal General Campins, merely a drop in the ocean of political slaughter." 

Qeipo de Lano was a key figure in the Nationalist rebellion and a henchman of the fascist dictator, General Franco who went on to rule Spain with an iron fist for almost forty years.

Yet before he was brutally executed 'for being a queer', Lorca was clearly dehumanised and made unworthy by the climate of intolerance in Catholic Spain shown towards people with a homosexual lifestyle.   

Ring any bells with what's happening in modern day Nigeria or Russia?