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Chapter 11

IT will never be possible to get a completely accurate and unbiased account of the Barcelona fighting, because the necessary records do not exist. Future historians will have nothing to go upon except a mass of accusations and party propaganda. I myself have little data beyond what I saw with my own eyes and what I have learned from other eyewitnesses whom I believe to be reliable. I can, however, contradict some of the more flagrant lies and help to get the affair into some kind of perspective.

First of all, what actually happened?

For some time past there had been tension throughout Catalonia. In earlier chapters of this book I have given some account of the struggle between Communists and Anarchists. By May 1937 things had reached a point at which some kind of violent outbreak could be regarded as inevitable. The immediate cause of friction was the Government's order to surrender all private weapons, coinciding with the decision to build up a heavily-armed 'non-political' police-force from which trade union members were to be excluded. The meaning of this was obvious to everyone; and it was also obvious that the next move would be the taking over of some of the key industries controlled by the C.N.T. In addition there was a certain amount of resentment among the working classes because of the growing contrast of wealth and poverty and a general vague feeling that the revolution had been sabotaged. Many people were agreeably surprised when there was no rioting on i May. On 3 May the Government decided to take over the Telephone Exchange, which had been operated since the beginning of the war mainly by C.N.T. workers; it was alleged that it was badly run and that official calls were being tapped. Salas, the Chief of Police (who may or may not have been exceeding his orders), sent three lorry-loads of armed Civil Guards to seize the building, while the streets outside were cleared by armed police in civilian clothes. At about the same time bands of Civil Guards seized various other buildings in strategic spots. Whatever the real intention may have been, there was a widespread belief that this was the signal for a general attack on the C.N.T. by the Civil Guards and the P.S.U.C. (Communists and Socialists). The word flew round the town that the workers' buildings were being attacked, armed Anarchists appeared on the streets, work ceased, and fighting broke out immediately. That night and the next morning barricades were built all over the town, and there was no break in the fighting until the morning of 6 May. The fighting was, however, mainly defensive on both sides. Buildings were besieged, but, so far as I know, none were stormed, and there was no use of artillery. Roughly speaking, the C.N.T.-F.A.I.-P.O.U.M. forces held the working-class suburbs, and the armed police-forces and the P.S.U.C. held the central and official portion of the town. On 6 May there was an armistice, but fighting soon broke out again, probably because of premature attempts by Civil Guards to disarm C.N.T. workers. Next morning, however, the people began to leave the barricades of their own accord. Up till, roughly, the night of 5 May the C.N.T. had had the better of it, and large numbers of Civil Guards had surrendered. But there was no generally accepted leadership and no fixed plan--indeed, so far as one could judge, no plan at all except a vague determination to resist the Civil Guards. The official leaders of the C.N.T. had joined with those of the U.G.T. in imploring everyone to go back to work; above all, food was running short. In such circumstances nobody was sure enough of the issue to go on fighting. By the afternoon of 7 May conditions were almost normal. That evening six thousand Assault Guards, sent by sea from Valencia, arrived and took control of the town. The Government issued an order for the surrender of all arms except those held by the regular forces, and during the next few days large numbers of arms were seized. The casualties during the fighting were officially given out as four hundred killed and about a thousand wounded. Four hundred killed is possibly an exaggeration, but as there is no way of verifying this we must accept it as accurate.

Secondly, as to the after-effects of the fighting. Obviously it is impossible to say with any certainty what these were. There is no evidence that the outbreak had any direct effect upon the course of the war, though obviously it must have had if it continued even a few days longer. It was made the excuse for bringing Catalonia under the direct control of Valencia, for hastening the break-up of the militias, and for the suppression of the P.O.U.M., and no doubt it also had its share in bringing down the Caballero Government. But we may take it as certain that these things would have happened in any case. The real question is whether the C.N.T. workers who came into the street gained or lost by showing fight on this occasion. It is pure guesswork, but my own opinion is that they gained more than they lost. The seizure of the Barcelona Telephone Exchange was simply one incident in a long process. Since the previous year direct power had been gradually manoeuvred out of the hands of the syndicates, and the general movement was away from working-class control and towards centralized control, leading on to State capitalism or, possibly, towards the reintroduction of private capitalism. The fact that at this point there was resistance probably slowed the process down. A year after the outbreak of war the Catalan workers had lost much of their power, but their position was still comparatively favourable. It might have been much less so if they had made it clear that they would lie down under no matter what provocation. There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.

Thirdly, what purpose, if any, lay behind the outbreak? Was it any kind of coup d'etat or revolutionary attempt? Did it definitely aim at overthrowing the Government? Was it preconcerted at all?

My own opinion is that the fighting was only preconcerted in the sense that everyone expected it. There were no signs of any very definite plan on either side. On the Anarchist side the action was almost certainly spontaneous, for it was an affair mainly of the rank and file. The people came into the streets and their political leaders followed reluctantly, or did not follow at all. The only people who even talked in a revolutionary strain were the Friends of Durruti, a small extremist group within the F.A.I., and the P.O.U.M. But once again they were following and not leading. The Friends of Durruti distributed some kind of revolutionary leaflet, but this did not appear until 5 May and cannot be said to have started the fighting, which had started of its own accord two days earlier. The official leaders of the C.N.T. disowned the whole affair from the start. There were a number of reasons for this. To begin with, the fact that the C.N.T. was still represented in the Government and the Generalite ensured that its leaders would be more conservative than their followers. Secondly, the main object of the C.N.T. leaders was to form an alliance with the U.G.T., and the fighting was bound to widen the split between C.N.T. and U.G.T., at any rate for the time being. Thirdly--though this was not generally known at the time--the Anarchist leaders feared that if things went beyond a certain point and the workers took possession of the town, as they were perhaps in a position to do on 5 May, there would be foreign intervention. A British cruiser and two British destroyers had closed in upon the harbour, and no doubt there were other warships not far away. The English newspapers gave it out that these ships were proceeding to Barcelona 'to protect British interests', but in fact they made no move to do so; that is, they did not land any men or take off any refugees. There can be no certainty about this, but it was at least inherently likely that the British Government, which had not raised a finger to save the Spanish Government from Franco, would intervene quickly enough to save it from its own working class.

The P.O.U.M. leaders did not disown the affair, in fact they encouraged their followers to remain at the barricades and even gave their approval (in La Batalla, 6 May) to the extremist leaflet issued by the Friends of Durruti. (There is great uncertainty about this leaflet, of which no one now seems able to produce a copy.) In some of the foreign papers it was described as an 'inflammatory poster' which was 'plastered' all over the town. There was certainly no such poster. From comparison of various reports I should say that the leaflet called for (i) The formation of a revolutionary council (junta), (ii) The shooting of those responsible for the attack on the Telephone Exchange, (iii) The disarming of the Civil Guards. There is also some uncertainty as to how far La Batalla expressed agreement with the leaflet. I myself did not see the leaflet or La Batalla of that date. The only handbill I saw during the fighting was one issued by the tiny group of Trotskyists ('Bolshevik-Leninists') on 4 May. This merely said: 'Everyone to the barricades--general strike of all industries except war industries.' (In other words, it merely demanded what was happening already.) But in reality the attitude of the P.O.U.M. leaders was hesitating. They had never been in favour of insurrection until the war against Franco was won; on the other hand the workers had come into the streets, and the P.O.U.M. leaders took the rather pedantic Marxist line that when the workers are on the streets it is the duty of the revolutionary parties to be with them. Hence, in spite of uttering revolutionary slogans about the 'reawakening of the spirit of 19 July', and so forth, they did their best to limit the workers' action to the defensive. They never, for instance, ordered an attack on any building; they merely ordered their followers to remain on guard and, as I mentioned in the last chapter, not to fire when it could be avoided. La Batalla also issued instructions that no troops were to leave the front. [Note 9, below] As far as one can estimate it, I should say that the responsibility of the P.O.U.M. amounts to having urged everyone to remain at the barricades, and probably to having persuaded a certain number to remain there longer than they would otherwise have done. Those who were in personal touch with the P.O.U.M. leaders at the time (I myself was not) have told me that they were in reality dismayed by the whole business, but felt that they had got to associate themselves with it. Afterwards, of course, political capital was made out of it in the usual manner. Gorkin, one of the P.O.U.M. leaders, even spoke later of 'the glorious days of May'. From the propaganda point of view this may have been the right line; certainly the P.O.U.M. rose somewhat in numbers during the brief period before its suppression. Tactically it was probably a mistake to give countenance to the leaflet of the Friends of Durruti, which was a very small organization and normally hostile to the P.O.U.M. Considering the general excitement and the things that were being said on both sides, the leaflet did not in effect mean much more than 'Stay at the barricades', but by seeming to approve of it while Solidaridad Obrera, the Anarchist paper, repudiated it, the P.O.U.M. leaders made it easy for the Communist press to say afterwards that the fighting was a kind of insurrection engineered solely by the P.O.U.M. However, we may be certain that the Communist press would have said this in any case. It was nothing compared with the accusations that were made both before and afterwards on less evidence. The C.N.T. leaders did not gain much by their more cautious attitude; they were praised for their loyalty but were levered out of both the Government and the Generalite as soon as the opportunity arose.

[Note 9. A recent number of Inprecor states the exact opposite--that La Batalla orders the P.O.U.M. troops to leave the front! The point can easily be settled by referring to La Batalla of the date named.]

So far as one could judge from what people were saying at the time, there was no real revolutionary intention anywhere. The people behind the barricades were ordinary C.N.T. workers, probably with a sprinkling of U.G.T. workers among them, and what they were attempting was not to overthrow the Government but to resist what they regarded, rightly or wrongly, as an attack by the police. Their action was essentially defensive, and I doubt whether it should be described, as it was in nearly all the foreign newspapers, as a 'rising'. A rising implies aggressive action and a definite plan. More exactly it was a riot--a very bloody riot, because both sides had fire-arms in their hands and were willing to use them.

But what about the intentions on the other side? If it was not an Anarchist coup d'etat, was it perhaps a Communist coup d'etat--a planned effort to smash the power of the C.N.T. at one blow?

I do not believe it was, though certain things might lead one to suspect it. It is significant that something very similar (seizure of the Telephone Exchange by armed police acting under orders from Barcelona) happened in Tarragona two days later. And in Barcelona the raid on the Telephone Exchange was not an isolated act. In various parts of the town bands of Civil Guards and P.S.U.C. adherents seized buildings in strategic spots, if not actually before the fighting started, at any rate with surprising promptitude. But what one has got to remember is that these things were happening in Spain and not in England. Barcelona is a town with a long history of street-fighting. In such places things happen quickly, the factions are ready-made, everyone knows the local geography, and when the guns begin to shoot people take their places almost as in a fire-drill. Presumably those responsible for the seizure of the Telephone Exchange expected trouble--though not on the scale that actually happened--and had made ready to meet it. But it does not follow that they were planning a general attack on the C.N.T. There are two reasons why I do not believe that either side had made preparations for large-scale fighting:

(i) Neither side had brought troops to Barcelona beforehand. The fighting was only between those who were in Barcelona already, mainly civilians and police.

(ii) The food ran short almost immediately. Anyone who has served in Spain knows that the one operation of war that Spaniards really perform really well is that of feeding their troops. It is most unlikely that if either side had contemplated a week or two of street--fighting and a general strike they would not have stored food beforehand.

Finally, as to the rights and wrongs of the affair.

A tremendous dust was kicked up in the foreign anti-Fascist press, but, as usual, only one side of the case has had anything like a hearing. As a result the Barcelona fighting has been represented as an insurrection by disloyal Anarchists and Trotskyists who were 'stabbing the Spanish Government in the back', and so forth. The issue was not quite so simple as that. Undoubtedly when you are at war with a deadly enemy it is better not to begin fighting among yourselves; but it is worth remembering that it takes two to make a quarrel and that people do not begin building barricades unless they have received something that they regard as a provocation.

The trouble sprang naturally out of the Government's order to the Anarchists to surrender their arms. In the English press this was translated into English terms and took this form: that arms were desperately needed on the Aragon front and could not be sent there because the unpatriotic Anarchists were holding them back. To put it like this is to ignore the conditions actually existing in Spain. Everyone knew that both the Anarchists and the P.S.U.C. were hoarding arms, and when the fighting broke out in Barcelona this was made clearer still; both sides produced arms in abundance. The Anarchists were well aware that even if they surrendered their arms, the P.S.U.C., politically the main power in Catalonia, would still retain theirs; and this in fact was what happened after the fighting was over. Meanwhile actually visible on the streets, there were quantities of arms which would have been very welcome at the front, but which were being retained for the 'non-political' police forces in the rear. And underneath this there was the irreconcilable difference between Communists and Anarchists, which was bound to lead to some kind of struggle sooner or later. Since the beginning of the war the Spanish Communist Party had grown enormously in numbers and captured most of the political power, and there had come into Spain thousands of foreign Communists, many of whom were openly expressing their intention of 'liquidating' Anarchism as soon as the war against Franco was won. In the circumstances one could hardly expect the Anarchists to hand over the weapons which they had got possession of in the summer of 1936.

The seizure of the Telephone Exchange was simply the match that fired an already existing bomb. It is perhaps just conceivable that those responsible imagined that it would not lead to trouble. Company, the Catalan President, is said to have declared laughingly a few days earlier that the Anarchists would put up with anything. [Note 10, below] But certainly it was not a wise action. For months past there had been a long series of armed clashes between Communists and Anarchists in various parts of Spain. Catalonia and especially Barcelona was in a state of tension that had already led to street affrays, assassinations, and so forth. Suddenly the news ran round the city that armed men were attacking the buildings that the workers had captured in the July fighting and to which they attached great sentimental importance. One must remember that the Civil Guards were not loved by the working-class population. For generations past la guardia. had been simply an appendage of the landlord and the boss, and the Civil Guards were doubly hated because they were suspected, quite justly, of being of very doubtful loyalty against the Fascists. [Note 11, below] It is probable that the emotion that brought people into the streets in the first few hours was much the same emotion as had led them to resist the rebel generals at the beginning of the war. Of course it is arguable that the C.N.T. workers ought to have handed over the Telephone Exchange without protest. One's opinion here will be governed by one's attitude on the question of centralized government and working-class control. More relevantly it may be said: 'Yes, very likely the C.N.T. had a case. But, after all, there was a war on, and they had no business to start a fight behind the lines.' Here I agree entirely. Any internal disorder was likely to aid Franco. But what actually precipitated the fighting? The Government may or may not have had the right to seize the Telephone Exchange; the point is that in the actual circumstances it was bound to lead to a fight. It was a provocative action, a gesture which said in effect, and presumably was meant to say: 'Your power is at an end--we are taking over.' It was not common sense to expect anything but resistance. If one keeps a sense of proportion one must realize that the fault was not--could not be, in a matter of this kind-- entirely on one side. The reason why a one-sided version has been accepted is simply that the Spanish revolutionary parties have no footing in the foreign press. In the English press, in particular, you would have to search for a long time before finding any favourable reference, at any period of the war, to the Spanish Anarchists. They have been systematically denigrated, and, as I know by my own experience, it is almost impossible to get anyone to print anything in their defence.

[Note 10. New Statesman (14 May).]

[Note 11. At the outbreak of war the Civil Guards had everywhere sided with the stronger party. On several occasions later in the war, e.g. at Santander, the local Civil Guards went over to the Fascists in a body.]

I have tried to write objectively about the Barcelona fighting, though, obviously, no one can be completely objective on a question of this kind. One is practically obliged to take sides, and it must be clear enough which side I am on. Again, I must inevitably have made mistakes of fact, not only here but in other parts of this narrative. It is very difficult to write accurately about the Spanish war, because of the lack of non-propagandist documents. I warn everyone against my bias, and I warn everyone against my mistakes. Still, I have done my best to be honest. But it will be seen that the account I have given is completely different from that which appeared in the foreign and especially the Communist press. It is necessary to examine the Communist version, because it was published all over the world, has been supplemented at short intervals ever since, and is probably the most widely accepted one.

In the Communist and pro-Communist press the entire blame for the Barcelona fighting was laid upon the P.O.U.M. The affair was represented not as a spontaneous outbreak, but as a deliberate, planned insurrection against the Government, engineered solely by the P.O.U.M. with the aid of a few misguided 'uncontrollables'. More than this, it was definitely a Fascist plot, carried out under Fascist orders with the idea of starting civil war in the rear and thus paralysing the Government. The P.O.U.M. was 'Franco's Fifth Column'--a 'Trotskyist' organization working in league with the Fascists. According to the Daily Worker (11 May):

The German and Italian agents, who poured into Barcelona ostensibly to 'prepare' the notorious 'Congress of the Fourth International', had one big task. It was this:

They were--in cooperation with the local Trotskyists--to prepare a situation of disorder and bloodshed, in which it would be possible for the Germans and Italians to declare that they were 'unable to exercise naval control of the Catalan coasts effectively because of the disorder prevailing in Barcelona' and were, therefore, 'unable to do otherwise than land forces in Barcelona'.

    In other words, what was being prepared was a situation in which the German     and Italian Governments could land troops or marines quite openly on the     Catalan coasts, declaring that they were doing so 'in order to preserve     order'. . . .

    The instrument for all this lay ready to hand for the Germans and Italians     in the shape of the Trotskyist organization known as the P.O.U.M.

    The P.O.U.M., acting in cooperation with well-known criminal elements, and     with certain other deluded persons in the Anarchist organizations planned,     organized, and led the attack in the rearguard, accurately timed to coincide     with the attack on the front at Bilbao, etc., etc.

Later in the article the Barcelona fighting becomes 'the P.O.U.M. attack', and in another article in the same issue it is stated that there is 'no doubt that it is at the door of the P.O.U.M. that the responsibility for the bloodshed in Catalonia must be laid'. Inprecor (29 May) states that those who erected the barricades in Barcelona were 'only members of the P.O.U.M. organized from that party for this purpose'.

I could quote a great deal more, but this is clear enough. The P.O.U.M. was wholly responsible and the P.O.U.M. was acting under Fascist orders. In a moment I will give some more extracts from the accounts that appeared in the Communist press; it will be seen that they are so self-contradictory as to be completely worthless. But before doing so it is worth pointing to several a priori reasons why this version of the May fighting as a Fascist rising engineered by the P.O.U.M. is next door to incredible.

(i) The P.O.U.M. had not the numbers or influence to provoke disorders of this magnitude. Still less had it the power to call a general strike. It was a political organization with no very definite footing in the trade unions, and it would have been hardly more capable of producing a strike throughout Barcelona than (say) the English Communist Party would be of producing a general strike throughout Glasgow. As I said earlier, the attitude of the P.O.U.M. leaders may have helped to prolong the fighting to some extent; but they could not have originated it even if they had wanted to.

(ii) The alleged Fascist plot rests on bare assertion and all the evidence points in the other direction. We are told that the plan was for the German and Italian Governments to land troops in Catalonia; but no German or Italian troopships approached the coast. As to the 'Congress of the Fourth International' and the' German and Italian agents', they are pure myth. So far as I know there had not even been any talk of a Congress of the Fourth International. There were vague plans for a Congress of the P.O.U.M. and its brother-parties (English I.L.P., German S.A.P., etc., etc.); this had been tentatively fixed for some time in July--two months later--and not a single delegate had yet arrived. The 'German and Italian agents' have no existence outside the pages of the Daily Worker. Anyone who crossed the frontier at that time knows that it was not so easy to 'pour' into Spain, or out of it, for that matter.

(iii) Nothing happened either at Lerida, the chief stronghold of the P.O.U.M., or at the front. It is obvious that if the P.O.U.M. leaders had wanted to aid the Fascists they would have ordered their militia to walk out of the line and let the Fascists through. But nothing of the kind was done or suggested. Nor were any extra men brought out of the line beforehand, though it would have been easy enough to smuggle, say, a thousand or two thousand men back to Barcelona on various pretexts. And there was no attempt even at indirect sabotage of the front. The transport of food, munitions, and so forth continued as usual; I verified this by inquiry afterwards. Above all, a planned rising of the kind suggested would have needed months of preparation, subversive propaganda among the militia, and so forth. But there was no sign or rumour of any such thing. The fact that the militia at the front played no part in the 'rising' should be conclusive. If the P.O.U.M. were really planning a coup d'etat it is inconceivable that they would not have used the ten thousand or so armed men who were the only striking force they had.

It will be clear enough from this that the Communist thesis of a P.O.U.M. 'rising' under Fascist orders rests on less than no evidence. I will add a few more extracts from the Communist press. The Communist accounts of the opening incident, the raid on the Telephone Exchange, are illuminating; they agree in nothing except in putting the blame on the other side. It is noticeable that in the English Communist papers the blame is put first upon the Anarchists and only later upon the P.O.U.M. There is a fairly obvious reason for this. Not everyone in England has heard of'Trotskyism', whereas every English-speaking person shudders at the name of 'Anarchist'. Let it once be known that 'Anarchists' are implicated, and the right atmosphere of prejudice is established; after that the blame can safely be transferred to the 'Trotskyists'. The Daily Worker begins thus (6 May):

    A minority gang of Anarchists on Monday and Tuesday seized and attempted to     hold the telephone and telegram buildings, and started firing into the     street.

There is nothing like starting off with a reversal of roles. The Civil Guards attack a building held by the C.N.T.; so the C.N.T. are represented as attacking their own building attacking themselves, in fact. On the other hand, the Daily Worker of 11 May states:

    The Left Catalan Minister of Public Security, Aiguade, and the United     Socialist General Commissar of Public Order, Rodrigue Salas, sent the armed     republican police into the Telefonica building to disarm the employees there,     most of them members of C.N.T. unions.

This does not seem to agree very well with the first statement; nevertheless the Daily Worker contains no admission that the first statement was wrong. The Daily Worker of 11 May states that the leaflets of the Friends of Durruti, which were disowned by the C.N.T., appeared on 4 May and 5 May, during the fighting. Inprecor (22 May) states that they appeared on 3 May, before the fighting, and adds that 'in view of these facts' (the appearance of various leaflets):

    The police, led by the Prefect of Police in person, occupied the central     telephone exchange in the afternoon of 3 May. The police were shot at while     discharging their duty. This was the signal for the provocateurs to begin     shooting affrays all over the city.

And here is Inprecor for 29 May:

    At three o'clock in the afternoon the Commissar for Public Security,     Comrade Salas, went to the Telephone Exchange, which on the previous night had     been occupied by 50 members of the P.O.U.M. and various uncontrollable     elements.

This seems rather curious. The occupation of the Telephone Exchange by 50 P.O.U.M. members is what one might call a picturesque circumstance, and one would have expected somebody to notice it at the time. Yet it appears that it was discovered only three or four weeks later. In another issue of Inprecor the 50 P.O.U.M. members become 50 P.O.U.M. militiamen. It would be difficult to pack together more contradictions than are contained in these few short passages. At one moment the C.N.T. are attacking the Telephone Exchange, the next they are being attacked there; a leaflet appears before the seizure of the Telephone Exchange and is the cause of it, or, alternatively, appears afterwards and is the result of it; the people in the Telephone Exchange are alternatively C.N.T. members and P.O.U.M. members--and so on. And in a still later issue of the Daily Worker (3 June) Mr J. R. Campbell informs us that the Government only seized the Telephone Exchange because the barricades were already erected!

For reasons of space I have taken only the reports of one incident, but the same discrepancies run all through the accounts in the Communist press. In addition there are various statements which are obviously pure fabrication. Here for instance is something quoted by the Daily Worker (7 May) and said to have been issued by the Spanish Embassy in Paris:

    A significant feature of the uprising has been that the old monarchist flag     was flown from the balcony of various houses in Barcelona, doubtless in the     belief that those who took part in the rising had become masters of the     situation.

The Daily Worker very probably reprinted this statement in good faith, but those responsible for it at the Spanish Embassy must have been quite deliberately lying. Any Spaniard would understand the internal situation better than that. A monarchist flag in Barcelona! It was the one thing that could have united the warring factions in a moment. Even the Communists on the spot were obliged to smile when they read about it. It is the same with the reports in the various Communist papers upon the arms supposed to have been used by the P.O.U.M. during the 'rising'. They would be credible only if one knew nothing whatever of the facts. In the Daily Worker of 17 May Mr Frank Pitcairn states:

    There were actually all sorts of arms used by them in the outrage. There     were the arms which they have been stealing for months past, and hidden, and     there were arms such as tanks, which they stole from the barracks just at the     beginning of the rising. It is clear that scores of machine-guns and several     thousand rifles are still in their possession.

Inprecor (29 May) also states:

    On 3 May the P.O.U.M. had at its disposal some dozens of machine-guns and     several thousand rines. ... On the Plaza de Espana the Trotskyists brought     into action batteries of '75' guns which were destined for the front in Aragon     and which the militia had carefully concealed on their premises.

Mr Pitcairn does not tell us how and when it became dear that the P.O.U.M. possessed scores of machine-guns and several thousand rifles. I have given an estimate of the arms which were at three of the principal P.O.U.M. buildings-- about eighty rifles, a few bombs, and no machine-guns; i.e. about sufficient for the armed guards which, at that time, all the political parties placed on their buildings. It seems strange that afterwards, when the P.O.U.M. was suppressed and all its buildings seized, these thousands of weapons never came to light; especially the tanks and field-guns, which are not the kind of thing that can be hidden up the chimney. But what is revealing in the two statements above is the complete ignorance they display of the local circumstances. According to Mr Pitcairn the P.O.U.M. stole tanks 'from the barracks'. He does not tell us which barracks. The P.O.U.M. militiamen who were in Barcelona (now comparatively few, as direct recruitment to the party militias had ceased) shared the Lenin Barracks with a considerably larger number of Popular Army troops. Mr Pitcaim is asking us to believe, therefore, that the P.O.U.M. stole tanks with the connivance of the Popular Army. It is the same with the 'premises' on which the 75-mm. guns were concealed. There is no mention of where these 'premises' were. Those batteries of guns, firing on the Plaza de Espana, appeared in many newspaper reports, but I think we can say with certainty that they never existed. As I mentioned earlier, I heard no artillery-fire during the fighting, though the Plaza de Espana was only a mile or so away. A few days later I examined the Plaza de Espana and could find no buildings that showed marks of shell-fire. And an eye-witness who was in that neighbourhood throughout the fighting declares that no guns ever appeared there. (Incidentally, the tale of the stolen guns may have originated with Antonov-Ovseenko, the Russian Consul-General. He, at any rate, communicated it to a well-known English journalist, who afterwards repeated it in good faith in a weekly paper. Antonov-Ovseenko has since been 'purged'. How this would affect his credibility I do not know.) The truth is, of course, that these tales about tanks, field-guns, and so forth have only been invented because otherwise it is difficult to reconcile the scale of the Barcelona fighting with the P.O.U.M.'S small numbers. It was necessary to claim that the P.O.U.M. was wholly responsible for the fighting; it was also necessary to claim that it was an insignificant party with no following and 'numbered only a few thousand members', according to Inprecor. The only hope of making both statements credible was to pretend that the P.O.U.M. had all the weapons of a modern mechanized army.

It is impossible to read through the reports in the Communist Press without realizing that they are consciously aimed at a public ignorant of the facts and have no other purpose than to work up prejudice. Hence, for instance, such statements as Mr Pitcairn's in the Daily Worker of 11 May that the 'rising' was suppressed by the Popular Army. The idea here is to give outsiders the impression that all Catalonia was solid against the 'Trotskyists'. But the Popular Army remained neutral throughout the fighting; everyone in Barcelona knew this, and it is difficult to believe that Mr Pitcairn did not know it too. Or again, the juggling in the Communist Press with the figures for killed and wounded, with the object of exaggerating the scale of the disorders. Diaz, General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party, widely quoted in the Communist Press, gave the numbers as 900 dead and 2500 wounded. The Catalan Minister of Propaganda, who was hardly likely to underestimate, gave the numbers as 400 killed and 1000 wounded. The Communist Party doubles the bid and adds a few more hundreds for luck.

The foreign capitalist newspapers, in general, laid the blame for the fighting upon the Anarchists, but there were a few that followed the Communist line. One of these was the English News Chronicle, whose correspondent, Mr John Langdon-Davies, was in Barcelona at the tune I quote portions of his article here:

    A TROTSKYIST REVOLT

    . . . This has not been an Anarchist uprising. It is a frustrated putsch of     the 'Trotskyist' P.O.U.M., working through their controlled organizations,     'Friends of Durruti' and Libertarian Youth. . . . The tragedy began on Monday     afternoon when the Government sent armed police into the Telephone Building,     to disarm the workers there, mostly C.N.T. men. Grave irregularities in the     service had been a scandal for some time. A large crowd gathered in the Plaza     de Cataluna outside, while the C.N.T. men resisted, retreating floor by floor     to the top of the building. . . . The incident was very obscure, but word went     round that the Government was out against the Anarchists. The streets filled     with armed men. . . . By nightfall every workers' centre and Government     building was barricaded, and at ten o'clock the first volleys were fired and     the first ambulances began ringing their way through the streets. By dawn all     Barcelona was under fire. ... As the day wore on and the dead mounted to over     a hundred, one could make a guess at what was happening. The Anarchist C.N.T.     and Socialist U.G.T. were not technically 'out in the street'. So long as they     remained behind the barricades they were merely watchfully waiting, an     attitude which included the right to shoot at anything armed in the open     street. . . (the) general bursts were invariably aggravated by pacos--hidden     solitary men, usually Fascists, shooting from roof--tops at nothing in     particular, but doing all they could to add to the general panic.. . . By     Wednesday evening, however, it began to be clear who was behind the revolt.     All the walls had been plastered with an inflammatory poster calling for an     immediate revolution and for the shooting of Republican and Socialist leaders.     It was signed by the 'Friends of Durruti'. On Thursday morning the Anarchists     daily denied all knowledge or sympathy with it, but La Batalla, the P.O.U.M.     paper, reprinted the document with the highest praise. Barcelona, the first     city of Spain, was plunged into bloodshed by agents provocateurs using this     subversive organization.

This does not agree very completely with the Communist versions I have quoted above, but it will be seen that even as it stands it is self--contradictory. First the affair is described as 'a Trotskyist revolt', then it is shown to have resulted from a raid on the Telephone building and the general belief that the Government was 'out against' the Anarchists. The city is barricaded and both C.N.T. and U.G.T. are behind the barricades; two days afterwards the inflammatory poster (actually a leaflet) appears, and this is declared by implication to have started the whole business--effect preceding cause. But there is a piece of very serious misrepresentation here. Mr Langdon-Davies describes the Friends of Durruti and Libertarian Youth as 'controlled organizations' of the P.O.U.M. Both were Anarchist organizations and had no connexion with the P.O.U.M. The Libertarian Youth was the youth league of the Anarchists, corresponding to the J.S.U. of the P.S.U.C., etc. The Friends of Durruti was a small organization within the F.A.I., and was in general bitterly hostile to the P.O.U.M. So far as I can discover, there was no one who was a member of both. It would be about equally true to say that the Socialist League is a 'controlled organization' of the English Liberal Party. Was Mr Langdon-Davies unaware of this? If he was, he should have written with more caution about this very complex subject.

I am not attacking Mr Langdon-Davies's good faith; but admittedly he left Barcelona as soon as the fighting was over, i.e. at the moment when he could have begun serious inquiries, and throughout his report there are clear signs that he has accepted the official version of a 'Trotskyist revolt' without sufficient verification. This is obvious even in the extract I have quoted. 'By nightfall' the barricades are built, and 'at ten o'clock' the first volleys are fired. These are not the words of an eye-witness. From this you would gather that it is usual to wait for your enemy to build a barricade before beginning to shoot at him. The impression given is that some hours elapsed between the building of the barricades and the firing of the first volleys; whereas-- naturally--it was the other way about. I and many others saw the first volleys fired early in the afternoon. Again, there are the solitary men, 'usually Fascists', who are shooting from the roof--tops. Mr Langdon-Davies does not explain how he knew that these men were Fascists. Presumably he did not climb on to the roofs and ask them. He is simply repeating what he has been told and, as it fits in with the official version, is not questioning it. As a matter of fact, he indicates one probable source of much of his information by an incautious reference to the Minister of Propaganda at the beginning of his article. Foreign journalists in Spain were hopelessly at the mercy of the Ministry of Propaganda, though one would think that the very name of this ministry would be a sufficient warning. The Minister of Propaganda was, of course, about as likely to give an objective account of the Barcelona trouble as (say) the late Lord Carson would have been to give an objective account of the Dublin rising of 1916.

I have given reasons for thinking that the Communist version of the Barcelona fighting cannot be taken seriously. In addition I must say something about the general charge that the P.O.U.M. was a secret Fascist organization in the pay of Franco and Hitler.

This charge was repeated over and over in the Communist Press, especially from the beginning of 1937 onwards. It was part of the world-wide drive of the official Communist Party against 'Trotskyism', of which the P.O.U.M. was supposed to be representative in Spain. 'Trotskyism', according to Frente Rojo (the Valencia Communist paper) 'is not a political doctrine. Trotskyism is an official capitalist organization, a Fascist terrorist band occupied in crime and sabotage against the people.' The P.O.U.M. was a 'Trotskyist' organization in league with the Fascists and part of 'Franco's Fifth Column'. What was noticeable from the start was that no evidence was produced in support of this accusation; the thing was simply asserted with an air of authority. And the attack was made with the maximum of personal libel and with complete irresponsibility as to any effects it might have upon the war. Compared with the job of libelling the P.O.U.M., many Communist writers appear to have considered the betrayal of military secrets unimportant. In a February number of the Daily Worker, for instance, a writer (Winifred Bates) is allowed to state that the P.O.U.M. had only half as many troops on its section of the front as it pretended. This was not true, but presumably the writer believed it to be true. She and the Daily Worker were perfectly willing, therefore, to hand to the enemy one of the most important pieces of information that can be handed through the columns of a newspaper. In the New Republic Mr Ralph Bates stated that the P.O.U.M. troops were 'playing football with the Fascists in no man's land' at a time when, as a matter of fact, the P.O.U.M. troops were suffering heavy casualties and a number of my personal friends were killed and wounded. Again, there was the malignant cartoon which was widely circulated, first in Madrid and later in Barcelona, representing the P.O.U.M. as slipping off a mask marked with the hammer and sickle and revealing a face marked with the swastika. Had the Government not been virtually under Communist control it would never have permitted a thing of this kind to be circulated in wartime. It was a deliberate blow at the morale not only of the P.O.U.M. militia, but of any others who happened to be near them; for it is not encouraging to be told that the troops next to you in the line are traitors. As a matter of fact, I doubt whether the abuse that was heaped upon them from the rear actually had the effect of demoralizing the P.O.U.M. militia. But certainly it was calculated to do so, and those responsible for it must be held to have put political spite before anti-Fascist unity.

The accusation against the P.O.U.M. amounted to this: that a body of some scores of thousands of people, almost entirely working class, besides numerous foreign helpers and sympathizers, mostly refugees from Fascist countries, and thousands of militia, was simply a vast spying organization in Fascist pay. The thing was opposed to common sense, and the past history of the P.O.U.M. was enough to make it incredible. All the P.O.U.M. leaders had revolutionary histories behind them. Some of them had been mixed up in the 1934 revolt, and most of them had been imprisoned for Socialist activities under the Lerroux Government or the monarchy. In 1936 its then leader, Joaquin Maurin, was one of the deputies who gave warning in the Cortes of Franco's impending revolt. Some time after the outbreak of war he was taken prisoner by the Fascists while trying to organize resistance in Franco's rear. When the revolt broke out the P.O.U.M. played a conspicuous part in resisting it, and in Madrid, in particular, many of its members were killed in the street-fighting. It was one of the first bodies to form columns of militia in Catalonia and Madrid. It seems almost impossible to explain these as the actions of a party in Fascist pay. A party in Fascist pay would simply have joined in on the other side.

Nor was there any sign of pro-Fascist activities during the war. It was arguable--though finally I do not agree--that by pressing for a more revolutionary policy the P.O.U.M. divided the Government forces and thus aided the Fascists;

I think any Government of reformist type would be justified in regarding a party like the P.O.U.M. as a nuisance. But this is a very different matter from direct treachery. There is no way of explaining why, if the P.O.U.M. was really a Fascist body, its militia remained loyal. Here were eight or ten thousand men holding important parts of the line during the intolerable conditions of the winter of 1936-7. Many of them were in the trenches four or five months at a stretch. It is difficult to see why they did not simply walk out of the line or go over to the enemy. It was always in their power to do so, and at times the effect might have been decisive. Yet they continued to fight, and it was shortly after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed as a political party, when the event was fresh in everyone's mind, that the militia--not yet redistributed among the Popular Army--took part in the murderous attack to the east of Huesca when several thousand men were killed in one or two days. At the very least one would have expected fraternization with the enemy and a constant trickle of deserters. But, as I have pointed out earlier, the number of desertions was exceptionally small. Again, one would have expected pro-Fascist propaganda, 'defeatism', and so forth. Yet there was no sign of any such thing. Obviously there must have been Fascist spies and agents provocateurs in the P.O.U.M.; they exist in all Left-wing parties; but there is no evidence that there were more of them there than elsewhere.

It is true that some of the attacks in the Communist Press said, rather grudgingly, that only the P.O.U.M. leaders were in Fascist pay, and not the rank and file. But this was merely an attempt to detach the rank and file from their leaders. The nature of the accusation implied that ordinary members, militiamen, and so forth, were all in the plot together; for it was obvious that if Nin, Gorkin, and the others were really in Fascist pay, it was more likely to be known to their followers, who were in contact with them, than to journalists in London, Paris, and New York. And in any case, when the P.O.U.M. was suppressed the Communist-controlled secret police acted on the assumption that all were guilty alike, and arrested everyone connected with the P.O.U.M. whom they could lay hands on, including even wounded men, hospital nurses, wives of P.O.U.M. members, and in some cases, even children.

Finally, on 15-16 June, the P.O.U.M. was suppressed and declared an illegal organization. This was one of the first acts of the Negrin Government which came into office in May. When the Executive Committee of the P.O.U.M. had been thrown into jail, the Communist Press produced what purported to be the discovery of an enormous Fascist plot. For a while the Communist Press of the whole world was flaming with this kind of thing (Daily Worker, 21 June, summarizing various Spanish Communist papers):

    SPANISH TROTSKYISTS PLOT WITH FRANCO

    Following the arrest of a large number of leading Trotskyists in Barcelona     and elsewhere . . . there became known, over the weekend, details of one of     the most ghastly pieces of espionage ever known in wartime, and the ugliest     revelation of Trotskyist treachery to date. . . Documents in the possession of     the police, together with the full confession of no less than 200 persons     under arrest, prove, etc. etc.

What these revelations 'proved' was that the P.O.U.M. leaders were transmitting military secrets to General Franco by radio, were in touch with Berlin, and were acting in collaboration with the secret Fascist organization in Madrid. In addition there were sensational details about secret messages in invisible ink, a mysterious document signed with the letter N. (standing for Nin), and so on and so forth.

But the final upshot was this: six months after the event, as I write, most of the P.O.U.M. leaders are still in jail, but they have never been brought to trial, and the charges of communicating with Franco by radio, etc., have never even been formulated. Had they really been guilty of espionage they would have been tried and shot in a week, as so many Fascist spies had been previously. But not a scrap of evidence was ever produced except the unsupported statements in the Communist Press. As for the two hundred 'full confessions', which, if they had existed, would have been enough to convict anybody, they have never been heard of again. They were, in fact, two hundred efforts of somebody's imagination.

More than this, most of the members of the Spanish Government have disclaimed all belief in the charges against the P.O.U.M. Recently the cabinet decided by five to two in favour of releasing anti-Fascist political prisoners; the two dissentients being the Communist ministers. In August an international delegation headed by James Maxton M.P., went to Spain to inquire into the charges against the P.O.U.M. and the disappearance of Andres Nin. Prieto, the Minister of National Defence, Irujo, the Minister of Justice, Zugazagoitia, Minister of the Interior, Ortega y Gasset, the Procureur-General, Prat Garcia, and others all repudiated any belief in the P.O.U.M. leaders being guilty of espionage. Irujo added that he had been through the dossier of the case, that none of the so-called pieces of evidence would bear examination, and that the document supposed to have been signed by Nin was 'valueless'--i.e. a forgery. Prieto considered the P.O.U.M. leaders to be responsible for the May fighting in Barcelona, but dismissed the idea of their being Fascist spies. 'What is most grave', he added,' is that the arrest of the P.O.U.M. leaders was not decided upon by the Government, and the police carried out these arrests on their own authority. Those responsible are not the heads of the police, but their entourage, which has been infiltrated by the Communists according to their usual custom.' He cited other cases of illegal arrests by the police. Irujo likewise declared that the police had become 'quasi-independent' and were in reality under the control of foreign Communist elements. Prieto hinted fairly broadly to the delegation that the Government could not afford to offend the Communist Party while the Russians were supplying arms. When another delegation, headed by John McGovern M.P., went to Spain in December, they got much the same answers as before, and Zugazagoitia, the Minister of the Interior, repeated Prieto's hint in even plainer terms. 'We have received aid from Russia and have had to permit certain actions which we did not like.' As an illustration of the autonomy of the police, it is interesting to learn that even with a signed order from the Director of Prisons and the Minister of Justice, McGovern and the others could not obtain admission to one of the 'secret prisons' maintained by the Communist Party in Barcelona. [Note 12. For reports on the two delegations see Le Populaire (7 September), Laleche (18 September), Report on the Maxton delegation published by Independent News (219 Rue Saint-Denis, Paris), and McGovern's pamphlet Terror in Spain.]

I think this should be enough to make the matter clear. The accusation of espionage against the P.O.U.M. rested solely upon articles in the Communist press and the activities of the Communist-controlled secret police. The P.O.U.M. leaders, and hundreds or thousands of their followers, are still in prison, and for six months past the Communist press has continued to clamour for the execution of the 'traitors' But Negrin and the others have kept their heads and refused to stage a wholesale massacre of'Trotskyists'. Considering the pressure that has been put upon them, it is greatly to their credit that they have done so. Meanwhile, in face of what I have quoted above, it becomes very difficult to believe that the P.O.U.M. was really a Fascist spying organization, unless one also believes that Maxton, Mc-Govern, Prieto, Irujo, Zugazagoitia, and the rest are all in Fascist pay together.

Finally, as to the charge that the P.O.U.M. was 'Trotskyist'. This word is now flung about with greater and greater freedom, and it is used in a way that is extremely misleading and is often intended to mislead. It is worth stopping to define it. The word Trotskyist is used to mean three distinct things:

(i) One who, like Trotsky, advocates 'world revolution' as against 'Socialism in a single country'. More loosely, a revolutionary extremist.

(ii) A member of the actual organization of which Trotsky is head.

(iii) A disguised Fascist posing as a revolutionary who acts especially by sabotage in the U.S.S.R., but, in general, by splitting and undermining the Left-wing forces.

In sense (i) the P.O.U.M. could probably be described as Trotskyist. So can the English I.L.P., the German S.A.P., the Left Socialists in France, and so on. But the P.O.U.M. had no connexion with Trotsky or the Trotskyist ('Bolshevik-Lenninist') organization. When the war broke out the foreign Trotskyists who came to Spain (fifteen or twenty in number) worked at first for the P.O.U.M., as the party nearest to their own viewpoint, but without becoming party-members; later Trotsky ordered his followers to attack the P.O.U.M. policy, and the Trotskyists were purged from the party offices, though a few remained in the militia. Nin, the P.O.U.M. leader after Maurin's capture by the Fascists, was at one time Trotsky's secretary, but had left him some years earlier and formed the P.O.U.M. by the amalgamation of various Opposition Communists with an earlier party, the Workers' and Peasants' Bloc. Nin's one-time association with Trotsky has been used in the Communist press to show that the P.O.U.M. was really Trotskyist.

By the same line of argument it could be shown that the English Communist Party is really a Fascist organization, because of Mr John Strachey's one-time association with Sir Oswald Mosley.

In sense (ii), the only exactly defined sense of the word, the P.O.U.M. was certainly not Trotskyist. It is important to make this distinction, because it is taken for granted by the majority of Communists that a Trotskyist in sense (ii) is invariably a Trotskyist in sense (iii)--i.e. that the whole Trotskyist organization is simply a Fascist spying-machine. 'Trotskyism' only came into public notice in the time of the Russian sabotage trials, and to call a man a Trotskyist is practically equivalent to calling him a murderer, agent provocateur, etc. But at the same time anyone who criticizes Communist policy from a Left-wing standpoint is liable to be denounced as a Trotskyist. Is it then asserted that everyone professing revolutionary extremism is in Fascist pay?

In practice it is or is not, according to local convenience. When Maxton went to Spain with the delegation I have mentioned above, Verdad, Frente Rojo, and other Spanish Communist papers instantly denounced him as a 'Trotsky-Fascist', spy of the Gestapo, and so forth. Yet the English Communists were careful not to repeat this accusation. In the English Communist press Maxton becomes merely a 'reactionary enemy of the working class', which is conveniently vague. The reason, of course, is simply that several sharp lessons have given the English Communist press a wholesome dread of the law of libel. The fact that the accusation was not repeated in a country where it might have to be proved is sufficient confession that it is a lie.

It may seem that I have discussed the accusations against the P.O.U.M. at greater length than was necessary. Compared with the huge miseries of a civil war, this kind of internecine squabble between parties, with its inevitable injustices and false accusations, may appear trivial. It is not really so. I believe that libels and press--campaigns of this kind, and the habits of mind they indicate, are capable of doing the most deadly damage to the anti-Fascist cause.

Anyone who has given the subject a glance knows that the Communist tactic of dealing with political opponents by means of trumped-up accusations is nothing new. Today the key-word is 'Trotsky-Fascist'; yesterday it was 'Social-Fascist'. It is only six or seven years since the Russian State trials 'proved' that the leaders of the Second International, including, for instance, Leon Blum and prominent members of the British Labour Party, were hatching a huge plot for the military invasion of the U.S.S.R. Yet today the French Communists are glad enough to accept Blum as a leader, and the English Communists are raising heaven and earth to get inside the Labour Party. I doubt whether this kind of thing pays, even from a sectarian point of view. And meanwhile there is no possible doubt about the hatred and dissension that the 'Trotsky-Fascist' accusation is causing. Rank-and--file Communists everywhere are led away on a senseless witch-hunt after 'Trotskyists', and parties of the type of the P.O.U.M. are driven back into the terribly sterile position of being mere anti-Communist parties. There is already the beginning of a dangerous split in the world working-class movement. A few more libels against life-long Socialists, a few more frame-ups like the charges against the P.O.U.M., and the split may become irreconcilable. The only hope is to keep political controversy on a plane where exhaustive discussion is possible. Between the Communists and those who stand or claim to stand to the Left of them there is a real difference. The Communists hold that Fascism can be beaten by alliance with sections of the capitalist class (the Popular Front); their opponents hold that this manoeuvre simply gives Fascism new breeding-grounds. The question has got to be settled; to make the wrong decision may be to land ourselves in for centuries of semi-slavery. But so long as no argument is produced except a scream of 'Trotsky-Fascist!' the discussion cannot even begin. It would be impossible for me, for instance, to debate the rights and wrongs of the Barcelona fighting with a Communist Party member, because no Communist--that is to say, no' good' Communist--could admit that I have given a truthful account of the facts. If he followed his party 'line dutifully he would have to declare that I am lying or, at best, that I am hopelessly misled and that anyone who glanced at the Daily Worker headlines a thousand miles from the scene of events knows more of what was happening in Barcelona than I do. In such circumstances there can be no argument; the necessary minimum of agreement cannot be reached. What purpose is served by saying that men like Maxton are in Fascist pay? Only the purpose of making serious discussion impossible. It is as though in the middle of a chess tournament one competitor should suddenly begin screaming that the other is guilty of arson or bigamy. The point that is really at issue remains untouched. Libel settles nothing.

 

对于巴塞罗那战斗,我们永远不可能得到非常准确、毫无偏见的描述。因为缺少保留下来的必要记录。除了一大堆指控和政党的宣传材料外,后来的历史学家不会获得任何别的东西。而我,除了自己的亲眼所见,以及从我认为可靠的见证者那里听到的以外,也同样几乎没有什么资料。然而,我能驳斥一些极为可耻的谎言,帮助人们从某种视角来理解这一事件。

首先,到底发生了些什么?

在过去的一段时间里,整个加泰罗尼亚的局势都很紧张。在这本书的前几章里,我已经描述了共产党和无政府主义者之间的斗争。事态发展到1937年5月,暴力似乎已经无法避免。造成摩擦的直接原因是,政府命令上缴所有的武器,并决定以此建立一支“非政治的”武装警察部队,但不允许工会会员加入。这样做的意图很清楚。同时很明显,下一步行动就是接管由全国劳工联盟控制的那些关键性的工业部门。此外,由于日益加剧的贫富差距,以及对革命的模糊和普遍的受挫感,工人阶级中间也产生了相当的怨恨情绪。这样,由于5月1日没有发生骚乱,许多人感到又惊又喜。5月3日,政府决定接管电话局,自战争爆发以来,这里一直主要由全国劳工联盟的工人管理。据称,电话局管理得很糟糕,连官方的电话都被窃顶了。警察局长萨拉斯(不清楚他是否越权执行了命令)派了三卡车的武装国民自卫队,占领了电话大楼,而携带武器的便衣警察则封锁了大楼附近的街道。大约在同一时间,国民自卫队还占领和控制了市内其他具有战略意义的各种建筑物。无论这些行动的真实动机是什么,人们普遍相信,这是国民自卫队和加联社党(共产主义者和社会主义者)向全国劳工联盟发起总攻的信号。工人们的建筑物遭到了袭击,武装的无政府主义者出现在大街上,人们不再工作,战斗很快就会打响,诸如此类的谣言传遍全城。当晚以及第二天早上,全城到处建起了街垒,但直到5月6日造成才发生战斗。然而,双方进行的主要是防御性的战斗。建筑物虽然遭到包围,但据我所知,并没有受到猛烈的进攻,双方也都没有使用大炮。大体说来,全国劳工联盟——F.A.I.——马统工党的误字控制了工人阶级聚居的城市郊区,武装的警察和加联社党则占据了城市中心地带和各政府机关。5月6日,双方曾有短暂的休战,但可能由于国民自卫队过于急切地想要解除全国劳工联盟工人的武装,冲突很快重新爆发了。然而,到了第二天早上,人们开始主动撤离街垒。5月5日晚间前后,全国劳工联盟曾取得胜利,大批国民自卫队的士兵投降。但他们没有公认的领袖,也没有固定和完整的计划。事实上,人们也能看得出来除了抵抗国民自卫队的模糊决定,根本就没有任何计划。全国劳工联盟的官方领导人与劳工总会的领导人一起,恳求每个人都回到工作岗位上,毕竟,这是食物日益短缺的时期。在这样的形势下,如果继续战斗,谁也不知道究竟将会发生什么。5月7日下午,局势基本恢复正常。那天傍晚,6000名来自巴伦西亚的突击卫队队员由海路抵达巴塞罗那,控制了整个城市。政府发布命令,要求除了正规军所持有的武器外,其他所有人的武器都必须上缴。在随后的几天里,政府收缴了大量的武器。官方公布了战斗中的伤亡人数,死亡400人,约1000人受伤。死了400人,这个数字可能有些夸大,但由于没有任何其他方式可以证明这一点,所以我们只能将其视为准确的统计数字。

其次,这场战斗的后果是什么?非常显然,谁也不可能得出确切的结论。因为没有任何证据表明这会对战争进程有什么直接的影响,虽然如果持续更长一段时间,肯定会有。这场战斗为巴伦西亚当局直接控制加泰罗尼亚提供了借口,为瓦解民兵提供了借口,为镇压马统工党提供了借口,并且无疑也为卡巴列罗政府的垮台出了一份力。但我们也能肯定,上述这些事情放在任何情况下都会发生。真正重要的问题是,走上街头的全国劳工联盟的工人通过这场战斗,是否得到了或失去了些什么。我认为,当然纯粹是猜测,他们得到的要比失去的多。在相当长的一个时期中,巴塞罗那电话大楼被占领只是其中的一个事件。自去年起,企业联合会已经逐渐失去了直接的权力,总行动也脱离了工人阶级的控制而渐为领导层所左右。这些头头们正在把人们引向国家资本主义,或者可能是重新引入私人资本主义。人们的抗拒可能使这进程放缓。战争爆发一年后,加泰罗尼亚的工人失去了大部分的权力,但他们的处境仍相对有利。无论面对什么样的挑衅,他们都不会停止斗争,如果他们明确地流露出这样的想法,情况可能就不是这样了。有时候,拿起武器但被打败了,可那总比完全放弃斗争要好得多。

第三,隐藏在这场战斗背后的目的,如果有的话,究竟是什么呢?是军事政变还是企图进行革命?是确实意在推翻政府吗?完全是有预谋的吗?

我认为,仅仅在每个人都期待这场战斗发生的意义上,它才是有预谋的。没有任何迹象表明,双方曾经有过明确的计划。在无政府主义者一方,他们的行动几乎是自发性的,因为这个事件的参与者主要是普通民众。当人们走上街头以后,他们的政治领袖才极不情愿地跟了上去,或者根本就没有卷入其中。在紧张的革命气氛中,唯一仍敢发出声音的是杜鲁提之友*(theFriendsofDurruti,F.A.I.内的一个极端派)和马统工党。但和以往一样,他们只是跟随者而不是领导者。杜鲁提之友也许确实散发了某种革命性的传单,但传单直到5月5日才出现在街头,谈不上吹响了战斗的号角,因为战斗早在两天前就已自发开始了。全国劳工联盟的官方领导人从一开始就否认整个事件。这有许多方面的理由。首先,全国劳工联盟仍在政府中有自己的位置,自治政府能够促使它的领导人比一般党员更保守。其次,全国劳工联盟领导人的主要目标,是与劳工总会结成联盟,而冲突只会加剧全国劳工联盟和劳工总会之间的裂痕,至少当时是这样的。第三,虽然这一点当时不为人所知,无政府主义的领导人担心事态的发展如果越过了某个界限,工人占领整个巴塞罗那,正如他们在5月5日所做的那样,那就有可能引发外国的干涉。英国的一艘巡洋舰和两艘驱逐舰已经逼近巴塞罗那港口,毫无疑问,不远处一定还有更多的战舰。英国的报纸宣称,这些舰船正在驶向巴塞罗那,“以保护英国的利益”。但实际上,它们还没有这样做,也就是说,没有派遣军队登陆,也没有接受难民。我们并不能确知这一点,但至少在本质上,英国政府虽然在西班牙落入佛朗哥手中时没有动一下手指头,但却有可能迅速干预这场战斗,使政权不至于落入工人阶级的手中。

马统工党的领导人没有否认这个事件。实际上,他们鼓励追随者留在街垒边,甚至还在5月6日的《战斗》报上声明,赞同杜鲁提之友印发的极端主义传单。(关于这份传单有很大的不确定性,现在似乎没有人能提供一份复印件。)在一些外国报纸中,传单被描述为一份“煽动性的海报”,张贴于全城的每个角落。当然,并没有这样的海报。我对比了各种报道,应当说,这份传单呼吁:建立革命委员会;枪毙那些对袭击电话大楼负有责任的人;解除国民自卫队的武装。我们也不能很确切地知道,《战斗》在多大程度上赞成传单上的内容。我没有亲眼看到这份传单,也没有看那天的《战斗》。我在这场冲突中看到的唯一传单,就是5月4日成员人数最少的托洛茨基主义者(布尔什维克—列宁主义者)印发的传单。传单上仅仅写着:“每个人都应走上街头——除了军工企业外,所有行业的工人发动总罢工。”(换句话说,它仅仅要求人们做已经做了的事情。)但实际上,马统工党的领导人的态度仍然摇摆不定。他们也许要一直等到打败了佛朗哥,才会赞成举行暴动。另一方面,工人走上了街头,而马统工党的领导人执行的却是相当教条的马克思主义路线,即当工人在街头时革命党的责任只能是与他们站在一起。因此,尽管党的革命标语宣称“重新唤醒7月19日的精神”等等,实际上却竭尽全力限制工人采取过激的行动。例如,他们从未下令进攻任何建筑物;他们仅仅要求追随者保持警惕,并且正如我在上一章中提到的,如果能够避免,就千万不要开火。[1]我应当说,人们也能估计到,马统工党的意图就是力劝每一个人留在和躲在街垒后,或者尽可能说服一定数量的人更长时间地留在那儿,而不是做别的事情。那些与马统工党的领导人有私人接触的人(我自己没有)曾经告诉我,他们对整个事件实际上很惊慌,却又感到必须与之联系在一起。当然后来,如一贯的情形,他们由此获得了政治资本。马统工党的一位领导人戈尔金后来甚至还提到了“五月的光荣日子”。从宣传的观点看,这也许是正确的路线。当然,马统工党在被镇压之前,也确有大量党员短暂地参加了战斗。在策略上,支持杜鲁提之友的传单可能是犯了一个错误。因为这个派别是一个非常小的组织,通常敌视马统工党。考虑到人们普遍的激动情绪和双方之间流传的各种事情,这个传单的积极之处只是要人们“坚守在街垒边”。但当无政府主义者的报纸SolidaridadObrera(《工人的团结》)批驳它时,马统工党的领导人却似乎在支持它,就使得共产党的媒体事后能很容易地称,这场战斗是一次完全由马统工党策划指挥的暴动。然而,我们也许可以确定,无论发生过什么,共产党的媒体都会这样说,与事前和事后在没有太多证据情况下的各种指责相比较,这也算不上什么。全国劳工联盟的领导人并没有从更谨慎的态度中得到太多好处,他们的忠诚受到称赞,但转机一旦出现,政府和财政部就将他们踢出门外了。

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[1]近期,Inprecor的多次报道称事实正与此相反,是《战斗》命令马统工党军队离开战斗前线的!通过查阅指定日期的《战斗》,这一点都能很容易地解决。

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每个人都能根据当时人们的言论作出自己的判断,其实,任何地方都没有真正的革命动机。躲在街垒后的是普通的全国劳工联盟的工人,其中也可能夹杂了少量的劳工总会的工人。他们并非企图推翻政府,而是为了抵抗他们认为由警察发动的袭击,无论这种看法是对还是错。他们的行动基本上是防御性的,因此我怀疑这是否应当被描述为一场“起义”,就像几乎所有的外国报纸报道的那样。起义,意味着采取进攻性的行动并制定有明确的行动计划。更精确地说,这只是一场骚乱,一场很血腥的骚乱,因为双方的手中都有枪,并且很想加以使用。

但在另一方面,这场战斗的意图是什么?如果不是无政府主义者的军事政变,那可能是共产主义者的军事政变吗?是为了有计划地一举粉碎全国劳工联盟的势力吗?

虽然某些事情会引起人们的猜测,似乎这场战斗是共产主义者的军事政变,但我相信并非如此。重要的是,类似的事情两天后在塔拉戈纳也发生了(根据来自巴塞罗那的命令,武装警察占领了那里的电话局)。而在巴塞罗那,袭击电话局并不仅仅是一个孤立的行动。在城市的各个街区,成群结队的国民自卫队和加联社党的追随者攻占了所有具有战略意义的建筑物,如果这些行动在战斗开始之前还没有进行,那至少这样的进展速度是惊人的。但人们必须记住的是,这些事情发生在西班牙而非英国,而巴塞罗那是一座有着悠久巷战历史的城市。在这样的地方,事情发展得很快,各个派别都时刻准备着,每个人都熟知当地的地形;当枪声响起时,人们几乎就像在进行军事训练一样,立即就会找到自己的位置。大概那些负责攻占电话局的人预料到会有麻烦,虽然他们没想到实际的规模还要更大,但还是做好了充分的应对准备。后来,他们并没有打算对全国劳工联盟发动总攻。我之所以不相信双方已经做好了大规模战斗的准备,原因有两点:

(1)双方事前都没有调动军队进入巴塞罗那。这场战斗仅仅发生在那些已经身在巴塞罗那的人之间,参与者主要是市民和警察。

(2)食品几乎立即陷入了短缺。每一个在西班牙服役的人都知道,西班牙人军事行动的真正出色之处,就是军队的食物供应非常好。如果双方都在预谋打上一两个星期的巷战,举行总罢工,而事前却没有储备好食物,这几乎是不可能的事。

最后,这一事件的真相是什么?

国外反法西斯主义媒体的报道使这一事件蒙上了重重迷雾,但人们通常只能听到一面之词。结果,巴塞罗那之战就被描述为不忠诚的无政府主义者和托洛茨基主义者的起义,是他们“从背后捅了西班牙政府一刀”,当然还有许多诸如此类的说法,可问题并不像看上去的那么简单。毫无疑问,如果你正在与死敌开战,就最好不要让自己窝里的人也打起来。但值得记住的是,至少要有两个人才会有争吵,人们除非认为自己受到了挑衅,否则决不会去建筑街垒的。

当政府命令无政府主义者放下武器时,麻烦自然也就蔓延开来。在英国的媒体中,这件事被翻译成英文以后,呈现了这样的表述形式:阿拉贡前线急需武器,但却无法得到,因为毫无爱国心的无政府主义者阻止运送武器。如此这般的描述,忽略了西班牙的实际情况。众所周知,无政府主义者和加联社党都在藏匿武器,尤其当战斗在巴塞罗那爆发时,这一点就更清楚了:双方都拿出了大量的武器。无政府主义者清楚地知道,即便他们放下武器,加泰罗尼亚的主要政治力量加联社党仍会把武器留在手中,战斗结束后的实际情形就是如此。其间,在街上看得到大量的武器。虽然这些武器在前线很受欢迎,但最终却留在了后方“非政治的”警察手中。在这个问题的背后,共产党和无政府主义者之间仍有不可调和的分歧,迟早都必然会导致某种斗争。自战争开始以来,西班牙共产党的人数激增,他们夺取了大部分的政治权力,国外成千上万的共产党人来到西班牙,他们当中的许多人公开表示,一旦反对佛朗哥的斗争取得胜利,就会“清算”无政府主义。在这样的境况下,人们很难期待无政府主义者会愿意交出他们在1936年夏天得到的武器。

占领电话局仅仅是点燃既有炸弹的导火索。也许恰好可以预料的是,那些对此负有责任的人认为不会有麻烦。据说,几天前,加泰罗尼亚省长孔帕尼斯笑着宣布,无政府主义者是会忍气吞声、承受一切的。[1]但可以非常肯定地说,这决不是一个明智的举动。在过去的好几个月里,共产党和无政府主义者在西班牙各地发生了一系列的武装冲突。而在加泰罗尼亚,特别是其首府巴塞罗那,局势日趋紧张,已经发展成街头争吵、谋杀,等等。手持武器的那些人,正在进攻工人在七月战斗中夺取的并在感情上极为重视的建筑物,这个消息突然传遍了全城。我们必须记住,工人阶级并不喜欢国民自卫队。对过去的数代人来说,卫兵仅仅是领主和老爷的附属物,而国民自卫队遭受到加倍的仇恨,因为人们纷纷猜测,而且也有充分的根据,他们对法西斯的反对十分可疑。[2]促使人们在最初的几个小时里走上街头的情感,可能就是促使他们在战争之初抗击反叛将军的同样情感。当然,全国劳工联盟的工人是否必须毫无异议地交出电话局,仍然存有争议。任何人在这一问题上所持的观点,最终都将取决于他对中央集权政府和工人阶级掌权问题的态度。也可以更贴切地说:“诚然,全国劳工联盟很可能有自己的理由,但毕竟,战争正在进行,而他们无权在后方发动战争。”是的,我完全赞同,任何内部的混乱都可能帮了佛朗哥的忙。但究竟是什么促成了这场战斗?政府也许有权、也许无权占领电话局,关键是,在当时的实际情况下,这必定会导致一场冲突。这是一种挑衅性行为,是一种威胁性的姿态,基本含义是说:“你们的权力终止了,由我们来接管。”政府以为人们不会反抗,可这却违背了基本常识。如果人们能够保持一种理性的均衡感,那就会意识到,错误不完全在其中任何一方,特别是在这种事情上更不可能完全归咎于一方。人们之所以接受了有关这件事的片面说法,原因仅仅是西班牙的各革命党派与外国的媒体缺少交往。特别是在英国媒体中,你必须搜寻很长一段时间,才会发现一些关于西班牙无政府主义者的正面报道,在战争的任何一个阶段全都如此。他们遭到系统的诋毁,并且我从自身的经历也知道,几乎不存在人们印发材料为自己辩护的可能性。

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[1]《新政治家》(NewStatesman)(1937年5月14日)

[2]战争一爆发,国民自卫队就与更有势力的党派站在了一边。在后来的战争中,在好几个地方,例如在桑坦德,当地的国民自卫队全都转向了法西斯主义。

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我试图客观地描述巴塞罗那战斗,尽管显然没有任何人能够在这个问题上做到完全客观。实际上,人们不得不偏袒某一方,并且必须非常清楚我站在哪一方。此外,我的描述不可避免地会有错误之处,不仅在这一章而且在别的章节中都可能有。事实上很难准确地描述这场西班牙战争,因为我们缺少非宣传性的文献。每一个人都要警惕我的记述中的偏见和错误。尽管如此,我已经尽最大努力做到诚实。但大家会看到,我的描述完全不同于国外,特别是西班牙共产党媒体的报道。有必要检查共产党的说法,因为它被发行到全世界,此后又在很短的间隔里不断增补,可能已经成为最广泛接受的说法。

在共产党以及亲共产党的媒体中,对巴塞罗那之战的全部指责都指向马统工党。他们断言,这场战斗不是自然爆发的,而是旨在推翻政府的有准备、有计划的起义,完全由马统工党一手策划,并得到少数误入歧途的“暴徒”的帮助。不仅如此,这也肯定是一场法西斯的阴谋,是按照法西斯的命令采取的行动,意欲在后方发动内战,从而使政府瘫痪。马统工党是“佛朗哥的第五纵队”,是与法西斯结成联盟的托洛茨基主义组织。据5月11日的《每日工人报》报道:

德国和意大利的代理人涌入巴塞罗那,假装为臭名昭著的“第四国际大会”作“准备”,实际上确实有一个重要的任务。这就是:

他们与当地的托洛茨基主义者合作,准备制造混乱和流血事件。这样,德国人和意大利人就能够宣布,由于巴塞罗那的混乱局面不断蔓延,他们“无法从海上有效地控制加泰罗尼亚的海岸线”,因此,“他们只能在巴塞罗那登陆上岸”。

换句话说,他们正在作的准备,就是让德国和意大利政府能够公开派遣军队和舰船登陆加泰罗尼亚海岸,并宣布他们这样做是“为了维护秩序”……

达到这一目的的工具已经以托洛茨基主义组织的形式,为德国人、意大利人准备好了。这就是我们所知的马统工党。

以犯罪行动著称的马统工党,和无政府主义组织中某些受到蛊惑的人一起,策划、组织和领导了后方的这次袭击,与前线对毕尔巴鄂的进攻在时间上配合得天衣无缝,等等。

在这篇文章的后面,巴塞罗那战斗成了“马统工党发动的进攻”。而同一期报纸的另一篇文章则声称,“毫无疑问,必须对加泰罗尼亚的血腥杀戮负责的,正是马统工党。”5月29日的Inprecor称,那些在巴塞罗那修筑街垒的人,只不过是“马统工党为该目的从本党征招过来的党员”。

我本想引用更多的文章,但这几篇就已经把问题说得相当清楚了。马统工党必须对这场战斗负全责,而且它是根据法西斯的命令采取行动的。待会我将从共产党的媒体上摘录更多的内容。我们将看到,那些描述多么自相矛盾,毫无价值。不过在此之前,我们有必要指出几个更重要的原因,以说明关于五月战斗是由马统工党策划的法西斯起义的这种说法,几乎令人难以置信。

(1)马统工党没有足够的党员或影响力,能够煽动如此大规模的暴乱,更没有力量发动总罢工。它是一个政治组织,没有与工会建立明确的关系。并且它几乎没有能力引发全巴塞罗那举行罢工,就像(比如说)英国共产党,没有能力引发全格拉斯哥的罢工。正如我早先所说的,其领导人的态度在某种态度上可能会有助于延长这场战斗,但他们即便想到了,也无法发起战斗。

(2)所谓法西斯阴谋的说法仅仅基于主观臆断,而所有的证据都把我们引到了别的方向。我们被告知,这是为德国和意大利政府派遣军队登陆加泰罗尼亚而实施的计划,但并没有任何德国或意大利的军舰靠近海岸。至于“第四国际大会”和“德国和意大利的代理人”的说法,纯粹是天方夜谭。据我所知,没有任何人说要召开第四国际的代表大会。马统工党以及其兄弟党(英国独立工党,德国的S.A.P.,等等),确有拟议召开一次代表大会的含糊不清的计划,可这被暂定在两个月以后,即七月的某个日子,况且还没有一个代表到达。除了《每日工人报》外,人们没有在别的媒体上见到过“德国和意大利的代理人”的说法。任何在那时穿越前线的人都知道,“涌入”或“涌出”西班牙,并不是一件容易的事情。

(3)无论是在马统工党的主要据点莱里达,还是在前线,都没有发生什么事情。显然,如果马统工党的领导人想帮助法西斯,就会命令自己的民兵离开前线,让法西斯进入西班牙。但这种事情没有发生,也没有人曾提议这样做。没有任何额外人员事前被带离前线,虽然相当容易以各种借口,偷偷地带上,比如说一两千人,回到巴塞罗那。前线甚至也没有间接的破坏活动。食品、军需品等等的运输仍旧如常,我在事后通过询问证实了这一点。毕竟,这种所谓的有计划的起义,需要进行几个月的准备,包括对民兵进行颠覆性的宣传动员,等等。但没有任何诸如此类的迹象或谣言。前线的民兵没有参与“起义”,这一点确凿无疑。如果马统工党真的计划发动一场军事政变,那就难以相信,他们究竟为什么没有使用自己所拥有的唯一的罢工力量,即大约十万人的武装工人。

从这一点我们可以相当清楚地看到,西班牙共产党宣称马统工党的“起义”是在按照法西斯的命令行事,根本毫无证据。我将补充更多一些从共产党媒体上摘录的资料。他们对袭击电话局的揭幕之战的各种描述,很有启发性。除了一味谴责对方他们什么都不认可。值得注意的是,在英国共产党的报纸中,谴责的矛头首先指向了无政府主义者,后来才对准马统工党。原因相当明显。在英国,并不是每个人都听说过“托洛茨基主义”,相反,每一个说英语的人一听到“无政府主义”,就会吓得直发抖。人们一旦知道“无政府主义者”卷入了这场战斗,那就为偏见创造了适宜的氛围;此后,这样的谴责就可以被很有把握地转嫁到“托洛茨基主义者”的头上。5月6日的《每日工人报》这样写道:

本周星期一和星期二,一小撮无政府主义者占领并企图控制电话和电报大楼,战火还蔓延到街头巷尾。

没有什么能比得上以各方角色的颠倒开场。国民自卫队进攻一幢全国劳工联盟控制的楼房,于是,全国劳工联盟被描述为进攻了自己所驻守的楼房,也就是进攻了自己。另一方面,5月11日的《每日工人报》称:

左翼的加泰罗尼亚公共安全部长阿依瓜德(Aiguade),以及联合社会主义的公共秩序总长罗德里格?萨拉斯,派遣共和国的武装警察进入电话局(theTelefonica)的办公大楼,解除了那里雇员的武装,那些雇员大多是全国劳工联盟的成员。

这与第一个说法不吻合;虽然那如此,《每日工人报》却没有说第一个说法是错的。5月11日的《每日工人报》称,杜鲁提之友的传单(因为全国劳工联盟否认自己散发过这样的传单)出现在5月4日和5月5日,也就是发生在战斗期间。而5月22日的Inprecor又写道:

下午三点,公共安全委员萨拉斯同志,来到前一晚被50名马统工党党员和各种暴徒占领的电话局大楼。

这看起来相当奇怪。50名马统工党党员占领了电话局大楼,人们也许会把这样的事视为非常奇特的现象,因而当时就足以引起某些人的注意。然而人们似乎在三四个星期后才发现这个事实。在另一期的Inprecor中,50名马统工党党员变成了50名马统工党民兵。很难整理出比这些段落含有更多矛盾之处的文章了。一会儿,全国劳工联盟正在进攻电话大楼;一会儿,他们又受到了攻击。一份传单出现在攻占电话大楼之前,是事件发生的原因;但又有人称,传单出现在攻占电话大楼之前,是事件发生的原因;但又有人称,传单出现在攻占之后,是事件的结果。在电话大楼里的人,开始说是全国劳工联盟的党员,又说是马统工党的党员,等等。在更后一期、6月3日的《每日工人报》中,坎贝尔先生告诉我们,政府仅仅攻占了电话局大楼,因为那里已经构筑了街垒。

由于篇幅有限,我仅仅选取了对一个事件的报道,但在共产党的报纸中随处可见类似的前后矛盾。此外,还有各种凭空捏造的陈述。例如,5月7日的《每日工人报》转引了一则据说是西班牙驻巴黎大使发布的消息:

这次起义最重要的特点,就是旧的君主制主义的旗帜已从巴塞罗那各种房间的阳台上飞落。无疑,人们相信参加起义的人已经掌握了局势。

《每日工人报》可能忠实地转载了这则消息,但西班牙大使馆负责此事的人必定是有意在撒谎。任何西班牙人对国内形势的理解,都会比那个大使更好。一面在巴塞罗那的君主制主义旗帜!它能立即联合起敌对的各派力量。甚至当时在场的共产党人读到这段消息,也不得不笑了起来。各种共产党报纸关于认为“起义”期间马统工党使用了武器的报道,同样荒谬。只有人们对事实一无所知,那些新闻报道才可信。在5月17日的《每日工人报》上,弗兰克?皮特凯恩先生称:

在暴动中,人们实际上使用了各种各样的武器。有在过去数月中窃取、藏匿的武器,以及诸如坦克之类在起义之初从兵营偷盗的武器。显而易见,他们手上有大量的机关枪和几千支来复枪。

5月29日的Inprecor也称:

5月3日,马统工党掌握着许多机关枪和几千支来复枪……在广场,托洛茨基主义者在行动中使用了大量的75毫米手枪。那些枪或者是为阿拉贡前线定制的,或者是民兵们小心地藏匿在房前屋后的。

皮特凯恩先生没有告诉我们,马统工党拥有大量机关枪和几千支步枪,是如何以及什么时候得知的。我作了一个估算,马统工党的三栋主要建筑物中约有80支步枪,一些手榴弹,但没有机关枪,也就是说,大概足以装备那时所有政党布置在各自大楼中的武装警卫。似乎奇怪的是,后来,马统工党被镇压,其所有的建筑物都被接管,但根本没有发现数以千记的武器,更甭说不可能藏在烟囱里的坦克和野战炮了。但上述两则报道所暴露出来的是,共产党对当地的情况一无所知。按照皮特凯恩先生的说法,马统工党“从兵营中偷了坦克”,但却没有告诉我们是哪一座兵营。马统工党的民兵与大批人民军的士兵一起驻扎在列宁兵营。因此,皮特凯恩先生就要求我们相信,马统工党与人民军共同谋划偷走了坦克。关于藏匿在“房前屋后”的75毫米手枪的来历,也与此类似。文中没有提到这些房屋在哪里。那些在广场上开火的众多枪支,出现在许多报纸的报道中,但我认为,我们可以肯定地说,那些枪支都是子虚乌有的事情。正如我先前提到的,我没有听到战斗中的枪声,虽然广场离我当时所在地点只有约一公里远。几天后,我到广场仔细查看了一下,也没有发现建筑物上有任何弹痕。战斗发生时一直呆在附近的一位目击者称,那儿不曾出现过枪支。(顺便提一下,被偷枪支的故事可能出自俄国总领事安特罗夫-奥维申科之口。他至少把这个故事告诉了一位著名的英国记者。之后,这个记者将此消息刊发在一份周报上。安特罗夫-奥维申科后来遭到“清洗”。至于这件事如何影响了他的信誉,我就全然不知了。)当然,事实是,如果不编造这些关于坦克、野战炮之类的故事,就很难使巴塞罗那战斗的规模与马统工党的很少人数协调起来。总之,有必要宣布马统工党对这场战斗负全责;有必要宣布它是一个没有追随者、微不足道的政党,按照Inprecor的说法,只有几千名党员。使上述两种说法都可信的唯一指望,就是谎称马统工党拥有一支现代机械化部队的全部武器。

读完共产党报纸的报道,不可能不意识到,他们别有用心地利用了公众对事实的不了解,目的只是逐渐引起人们的偏见。因此,例如,正如皮特凯恩先生在5月11日的《每日工人报》上所写,就有了人民军镇压了“起义”这样的陈述。这是想给局外人一个印象,即全加泰罗尼亚团结一致,坚决反对“托洛茨基主义者”。但在整个战斗中,人民军一直保持着中立,这一点每个在巴塞罗那的人都知道,也很难相信皮特凯恩先生不知道。再举一个例子,为了夸大混乱的程度,共产党媒体对战斗中的伤亡人数作了不实报道。西班牙共产党总书记迪亚兹称战斗中死了900人,伤了2500人,他的说法被共产党媒体广泛采用。加泰罗尼亚宣传部长是不太可能压低数字的,即使他说的也只是死400人,伤1000人,可共产党把伤亡总人数又夸大一倍,并且为了讨吉利在添加了几百人。

国外资产阶级的报纸通常把骚乱的责任归于无政府主义者,但也有一些则接受了共产党的说法。这里就包括《英国新闻纪实报》,其记者约翰?兰登-戴维斯先生当时正在巴塞罗那。下面我摘录了他的文章片断:

托洛茨基主义者的叛乱

……这不是无政府主义者的起义,而是一场由推行托洛茨基主义的马统工党通过所控制的组织杜鲁提之友和自由主义青年党(LibertarianYouth)发动的令人沮丧的暴乱。……这场悲剧始于星期一下午,当时政府派遣武装警察进入电话大楼解除工人的武装;他们当中的大多数人是全国劳工联盟的成员。军事力量中有非正规人员的丑闻已经持续一段时间了。全国劳工联盟的成员进行了抵抗,他们一层层向上撤退,直到退守楼顶。这期间,外面的加泰罗尼亚广场上聚集了大群的民众。……这件事做得非常隐蔽,但四处谣传,政府要对付无政府主义者。街道上到处是拿着武器的人。……到傍晚时,每一个工人中心和政府大楼前都设了路障,十点,有人开了火,第一辆救护车呼啸着穿过大街。到第二天黎明,整个巴塞罗那陷入了枪战。……随着时间的推移,死亡人数超过了一百人,不用说也可以猜到发生了什么。无政府主义的全国劳工联盟和劳工总会表面上并没有“站出来,走上街头”。他们躲在街垒后,认为有权射击开阔街道上任何携带武器的人,并小心谨慎地观望局势。……藏在帕索斯后的散兵游勇,通常是法西斯分子。他们从房顶射出子弹,没有什么特定的目标,只是尽可能加剧普遍的恐慌情绪。这样,局势不可避免地恶化了,升级为暴乱。……然而,到星期三晚上,叛乱背后的幕后主使人开始显露出来。所有的墙上都贴上了煽动性的海报,呼吁人们立即进行革命,推翻共和国和社会主义的领导人。杜鲁提之友在上面署了名。星期四早上,无政府主义的日报否认知道这份海报,也不同情其内容。但马统工党的报纸《战斗》重印了这份文件,并予以高度赞扬。巴塞罗那这一西班牙的重要城市,于是由于内奸利用了这一颠覆组织,陷入血腥之中。

这与上面我所摘录的共产党的说法并不完全一致,但我们看到,即使事实就是这样,它也自相矛盾。这个事件一开始被描述为“托洛茨基主义者的叛乱”,但接下来的内容却表明,起因是由于有人袭击了电话大楼,以及人们普遍相信政府要对付无政府主义者。城市中到处都是全国劳工联盟和劳工总会的街垒,两天后出现煽动性的海报(实际上是传单),文章暗示海报是整个事件的导火索,这里因果就倒置了。而且还有一个非常严重的误导。兰登-戴维斯先生把杜鲁提之友和自由主义青年党描述为马统工党控制的组织。实际上,前两者都是无政府主义组织,与马统工党没有任何联系。自由主义青年党是无政府主义的青年联盟,杜鲁提之友则是F.A.I.内的一个小组织,通常极端仇视马统工党。据目前我的发现,马统工党中没有任何人是这两个组织的成员。如果的确如此,那么我们就几乎可以同样当真地说,社会主义联盟是由英国自由党“控制”的组织了。难道兰登-戴维斯先生不知道这一点吗?如果他不知道,就应当更谨慎地记述这一非常复杂的题目。

我不是在攻击兰登-戴维斯先生不诚实。但必须承认,战斗一结束,也就是他在能够开始认真的调查之前,他就离开了巴塞罗那。整篇报道中有清楚的迹象表明他接受了“托洛茨基主义者的叛乱”这一官方说法,却没有进行充分的证实。甚至在我引用的段落里,这一点也很明显。“到傍晚”街垒构筑了起来,“十点”有人首先开了火。这些都不是亲眼所见后的记述。你看过文章后会认为,等敌人修好了街垒,然后你才开始向他射击,这是正常的做法。之所以有这个假定的印象,是因为在路障修好后,过了数小时,才首先有人开火。而实际上,反过来倒是有可能的。其实我和其他很多人是早在下午就开始看到开火的。此外,还有一些零星分散的人,“通常是法西斯分子”,从房顶开枪。兰登-戴维斯没有解释自己如何知道这些人的底细。他大概没有爬到屋顶上询问这些人。他只是重述了自己所听到的东西,并且因为这与官方的说法相吻合,也就没有必要加以质疑。实际上,他在文章开头很不小心地提到了宣传部长,这也就告诉了我们他的大部分消息的一个可能来源。在西班牙的外国记者完全处于宣传部长的左右之下,虽然人们认为,一提到宣传部长的名字,就会引起充分的警惕。当然,宣传部长也许会像,比如说,已故的卡尔森勋爵客观地描述1916年的都柏林起义那样,客观地描述出现在巴塞罗那的危急情况。

西班牙共产党对巴塞罗那之战的说法不能当真,上面我已经给出了几点理由。此外,对于人们普遍指控马统工党是收受了佛朗哥和希特勒好处的秘密法西斯组织,我还必须说几句。

共产党的媒体一遍又一遍地重复这个指控,特别是自1937年年初起。这是官方共产党在世界范围内反对“托洛茨基主义”的行动之一,马统工党被认为是其在西班牙的代表。“托洛茨基主义”,根据《红色阵线》(巴伦西亚的一份共产党报纸)的说法,“不是一种政治学说。托洛茨基主义是一个官方的资本主义组织,一个法西斯恐怖分子的团伙,从事反人民的犯罪和破坏活动。”马统工党是与法西斯结盟的托洛茨基主义组织,是“佛朗哥第五纵队”的成员。从一开始就值得注意的是,这个指控没有任何证据的支持,而只是权威腔调的断言,充满了人身攻击和中伤的味道,对由此可能给战争带来的影响,也是极不负责任的。与诋毁中伤马统工党相比,许多共产党的作者似乎认为泄露军事机密无关紧要。例如,在二月份的一期《每日工人报》中,竟然允许一个作者(威妮弗雷德?贝茨)称,马统工党驻扎在前线的军队只有所号称的一半多。这并不是事实,但这位作者大概是相信的。因此,通过报纸的大量发行,她和《每日工人报》非常愿意向敌人传递许多最重要的信息。在《新共和国报》上,拉尔夫?贝茨先生称马统工党的士兵“与法西斯分子在荒无人烟之地踢足球”,而实际上他们那时正遭受重大的伤亡,其中就包括许多我自己的朋友。此外,先是在马德里,然后是在巴塞罗那,还广泛流传着一幅恶毒的漫画。在漫画中,马统工党拿着锤子和镰刀,假面具滑了下来,露出带有纳粹卐标志的嘴脸。如果政府没有真正处于共产党的控制之下,就不会在战时允许这种图片流传。它要蓄意打击的,不仅仅是马统工党民兵的士气,而且是那些恰巧与其靠得很近的党派的士气;因为如果有人告诉你,与你并肩作战的人是叛徒时,这不会令人欢欣鼓舞。实际上,我怀疑来自后方的辱骂是否真的能有效地打击马统工党民兵的士气。但可以肯定地说,这样做是有计划的,我们不得不认为,那些对此负责的人已经把政治性的恶意摆在了反法西斯联盟之前。

对马统工党的指控等同于以下意思:成千上万的人民,除了许多外国的志愿者和同情者(大多是来自法西斯国家的难民)外,几乎都是工人阶级,其中有数千人参加的民兵,这群人组成了收受法西斯好处的庞大间谍组织。不过这种指控违背了常识,而马统工党过去的历史也足以使其丧失可靠性。所有马统工党领导人的身后都有革命的历史。虽然其中一些人在1934年的起义中信念有所动摇,但大多数人在勒鲁斯政府或君主制时期,都曾因从事社会主义的活动并被监禁过。1936年,当时任领导人的华金?莫兰,就是在议会中警告佛朗哥即将发动叛乱的议员之一。战争爆发不久,他曾试图在佛朗哥的后方组织抵抗力量,被法西斯分子关进了监狱。当叛乱爆发时,马统工党在抵抗法西斯分子进攻中发挥了显著的作用。特别是在马德里,它的许多党员在巷战中阵亡。它是最早在加泰罗尼亚和马德里建立民兵的组织之一。看上去几乎不可能将这些行动解释为一个政党收受了法西斯的好处。一个收受法西斯好处的政党只会参与相反的事情。

在战争期间,该党的行动也没有表现出任何亲法西斯的迹象。有待争议的是——虽然我最终并不同意这个观点——马统工党向政府施加压力,要求制定和实施更革命的政策,因而造成了政府军队的分裂,从而帮了法西斯主义者的忙。我认为,任何改革派类型的政府都有理由把像马统工党那样的政党视为麻烦。但这与直接的背叛变节完全是两码事。如果真的是法西斯主义政党,就无法解释其民兵仍忠诚于国家。在1936到1937年冬天恶劣的环境中,有8000或1万名马统工党民兵驻守在前线的战略要地。其中许多人已经在战壕里连续待了四五个月。这就很难弄明白他们为什么没有离开自己的阵地,并向敌人缴械。他们完全有权这样做,况且有时结果是重要的。然而,他们仍坚持战斗,并且是在马统工党作为一个政党被镇压之后(那时人们对这件事还记忆犹新),尚未被解散编入人民军中的该党民兵在韦斯卡以东的危险进攻中,一两天就阵亡了好几千人。人们根本不应该想到会发生与敌人和解、士兵接连不断临阵脱逃的事情。但正如我早先曾指出过的,逃兵的数量异常少。人们又会想到诸如“失败主义”之类的亲法西斯宣传,等等。然而并没有这样的迹象。很显然,在马统工党中肯定会有法西斯的间谍和收受其好处的破坏分子,所有的左翼政党中都有这样的人。但没有证据表明马统工党中的那类人就比别的政党多。

共产党报纸中的一些攻击实在是太过恶毒。他们确实说过:收受了法西斯好处的,只是马统工党的领导人,而不是普通党员。即便如此,这也只不过是离间普通党员和他们的领导人的图谋而已。上述指控的本质是,普通党员、民兵等一起参与了阴谋。因为很显然,如果宁?戈尔金和其他人真的收受了法西斯的好处,就更可能为与他们有联系的追随者知道,而不是那些在伦敦、巴黎或纽约的记者。在任何情形中,当马统工党被镇压时,共产党控制的武装警察就假定所有的人都同样有罪;他们逮捕每一个与马统工党有联系的人,被逮捕的甚至包括伤员、医院的护士以及马统工党党员的妻子,有时甚至连党员的孩子也不放过。

最终在6月15到16日,马统工党被镇压,并被宣布为非法组织。这是五月走马上任的涅格林政府最先做的事情之一。就在马统工党执行委员会的委员被关进监狱时,西班牙共产党人的媒体捏造了意在表明发现一个巨大的法西斯阴谋的消息。一时之间,全世界的共产党媒体都为这则消息激动不已。6月21日的《每日工人报》综述了西班牙共产党报纸的各种报道:

西班牙托派分子勾结佛朗哥

在巴塞罗那和别的地方逮捕了大批托洛茨基主义骨干分子后……战时已知的最可怕的间谍案的细节,以及到目前为止最可耻的叛变罪行的揭露,在周末都渐为人们所知。……警察手中掌握的材料,以及不少于200名被捕者的完整供词,等等,都可以证明上述内容的真实性。

这些“揭露”出来的事情所证明的是,马统工党的领导人通过广播向佛朗哥将军传递军事秘密,他们与柏林有联系,并且与马德里的秘密法西斯组织联合行动。此外,还有关于用隐迹墨水秘密递送消息的耸人听闻的细节,有一份签了字母“N”(代表宁。即安德列斯?宁)的神秘文件,等等。

但最后的结果是:正如我所记述的那样,事情过去六个月后,大部分的领导人仍被关进监狱里,但他们从来未被提审,诸如通过广播与佛朗哥联系之类的指控也从来没有明确的说法。他们如果真的犯了间谍罪,就会像此前的许多法西斯间谍那样,在一个星期内受审并被枪毙。但除了共产党媒体上未经证实的断言外,没有发现丝毫证据。至于那200份“完整的供词”,如果存在,那就足以定任何人的罪,但后来再也没有听到过。实际上,它们只是某个人想象中的200次努力。

不仅如此,西班牙政府的大部分官员都拒绝相信对马统工党的指控。最近,内阁以5比2通过了释放反法西斯的政治犯的决定,两名反对者就是来自共产党的部长。8月,由詹姆斯?马科斯顿议员率领的一个国际代表团来到西班牙,调查对马统工党的指控以及安德列斯?宁?普列托的失踪案。国防部长伊鲁霍,司法部长苏加萨戈伊蒂亚,内阁部长奥尔特加-加塞特,总检察长普拉特?加西亚以及其他许多人,都不相信马统工党的领导人犯了间谍罪。伊鲁霍还补充指出,他已经从头到尾看了该案的卷宗,没有任何所谓的证据能够经得起推敲,那份被认为由宁签署的文件毫无价值,也就是说,它是伪造的。普列托认为马统工党的领导人对巴塞罗那五月发生的战斗负有责任,但不认为他们是法西斯间谍。“更严重的是,”他补充说,“逮捕马统工党的领导人不是政府的决定,而是警察擅自行事的。那些责任人不是警察局的领导,而是他们的下属,共产党已经按照通常的一贯做法,渗入了其中。”他引述了另外几件警察非法抓人的案子。同样,伊鲁霍也宣称,警察已经成为“准独立的”机构,处于外国共产党的控制之下。普列托向代表团相当露骨地暗示,当俄国人向西班牙提供武器时,政府无法承受冒犯共产党的代价。当一个由约翰?麦戈文议员率领的代表团12月来到西班牙后,他们得到了与此前基本相同的回答。内阁部长苏加萨戈伊蒂亚甚至用更清楚的词汇重复了普列托的暗示:“我们得到俄国人的援助,就必须同意采取某些我们不喜欢的行动。”可以说明警察自治性的是,人们就算有监狱总长、司法部长麦戈文以及别的重要人物签署的命令,也不会获许进入任何一个共产党在巴塞罗那控制的“秘密监狱”,得知这一点很有趣。[1]

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[1]关于两个代表团的报告,参见9月7日的《民众报》以及9月18日的《箭报》;关于马科斯顿代表团的报告由《独立新闻报》(巴黎圣德尼路219号)刊登,麦戈文的小册子《西班牙的恐怖》在西班牙出版。

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我认为上述情况应当足以澄清这件事。指控马统工党犯有间谍罪,仅仅基于共产党媒体的报道以及由共产党控制的秘密警察。马统工党的领导人以及成百上千的追随者仍在监狱中;在过去的六个月里,共产党的媒体不断叫嚷要处死“叛国者”。但涅格林和其他人都保持了清醒的头脑,拒绝大规模处死“托洛茨基主义者”。考虑到他们头上的压力,这样做值得大加赞赏。同时,面对我上面所提供的材料,很难相信马统工党真的是一个法西斯主义的间谍组织,除非人们相信马科斯顿、麦戈文、普列托、伊鲁霍、苏加萨戈伊蒂亚以及其余的人都一起收受了法西斯的好处。

最后,说一下关于马统工党是“托洛茨基主义者”的指控。“托洛茨基主义者”这个词现在用得越来越随意,它的用法极易令人误解,并且经常蓄意让人误解。值得停下来对它进行界定。托洛茨基主义一词有三种不同的含义:

(1)指像托洛茨基那样的人,鼓吹“世界革命”以对抗“一国之内的社会主义”。不那么严格地说,就是指革命的极端主义者。

(2)目前以托洛茨基为首的组织的成员。

(3)一个虚伪的、佯装是革命者的法西斯主义者,特别是那些在苏联境内从事阴谋破坏活动的人,但通常指那些分裂和削弱左翼力量的人。

按照第一个含义,马统工党也许能被称为托洛茨基主义者。英国的独立工党、德国的S.A.P.、法国的左翼社会主义者,等等,也都能。但马统工党与托洛茨基或托洛茨基主义者(“布尔什维克—列宁主义者”)的组织没有任何交往。当战争爆发时,来到西班牙的外国托洛茨基主义者(15或20人)最初的确曾为马统工党工作,因为该党的观点与他们最接近,但他们并没有加入马统工党。后来,托洛茨基命令追随者攻击马统工党的政策,因而托洛茨基主义者也被清除出该党的机关,虽然还有一些留在民兵中。莫兰被法西斯逮捕后,宁接替其成为马统工党的领导人,他有一段时间当过托洛茨基的秘书,但几年前就离开了,并组建了马统工党。该党与较早成立的“工农联盟”党一起,合并了各种反对派共产党。共产党媒体利用宁与托洛茨基曾有过联系,以证明马统工党真的是托洛茨基主义者。要是以此推断的话,甚至可以说英国共产党也成了真正的法西斯组织,因为约翰?斯特拉奇先生也曾跟奥斯瓦德?莫里斯爵士有过联系。

唯一精确界定了该词的是第二个含义。据此,马统工党当然不是托洛茨基主义者。作出这一区分很重要,因为大部分共产党都想当然地认为,第二个含义上的托洛茨基主义者就是第三个含义上的托洛茨基主义者,也就是说,整个托洛茨基主义组织只是一个法西斯主义的间谍机器。仅仅在苏联审判从事阴谋破坏活动的人时。“托洛茨基主义”这个词才开始引起公众的注意。称一个人为托洛茨基主义者,几乎就等于称他为谋杀犯、内奸等等。但同时,任何从左翼立场批评共产党政策的人,也很容易被指控为托洛茨基主义者。那么,我们可以断言,每一个自称是革命极端主义者的人,都收受法西斯的好处了吗?

实际上,根据不同的局部利益,可能收受了法西斯的好处,也可能没有。上面我提到,当马科斯顿接受委托来到西班牙时,《真理报》、《红色阵线》和其他的共产党报纸立即公开指责他为“托洛茨基主义的法西斯主义者”,盖世太保的间谍,等等。不过,英国共产党很谨慎,没有重复这一指责。在英国共产党的媒体中,马科斯顿仅仅是“工人阶级的反动敌人”,其含义被方便地模糊化了。当然,这只是因为,几个惨痛的教训使英国共产党的媒体对有关诽谤罪的法律产生了趋利避害的敬畏。在一个受指控的罪行必须得到证实的国家里,没有人再提起那个指控,就足以承认它是一个谎言。

有关对马克思主义统一工人党的各种指控,也许我的讨论超过了必要的篇幅。党派之间的争论不可避免地充满了不公正和虚假的指控,以至于两败俱伤;但这种争论与内战中的巨大痛苦相比,看上去似乎微不足道。并不真的如此。我相信,诽谤中伤和这种媒体斗争,以及它们所显示出来的思维习惯,能够给反法西斯事业最致命的伤害。

任何人瞥一眼这个主题,就知道共产党人通过捏造的指控对付政敌的策略毫无新意。今天的关键词是“托洛茨基主义的法西斯主义者”;明天的关键词就将是“社会主义的法西斯主义者”。苏维埃俄国的审讯“证明”了第二国际的领导人,包括,例如,列昂?布鲁姆以及英国工党的杰出党员,策划了入侵俄国的险恶阴谋,这件事才过去六七年。然而今天,法国的共产党人非常高兴地承认了布鲁姆为自己的领导人,而英国的共产党人则想尽一切办法进入工党。即使从派系的观点看,我也怀疑是否值得做这种事情。同时也毫不怀疑,对“托洛茨基主义的法西斯主义者”的指控引发了仇恨和纷争。在确定“托洛茨基主义者”之后,每一个地方的普通共产主义者都被引向了对其进行毫无意义的政治迫害之中;类似马克思主义统一工人党的各政党都倒退回一种可怕的状态中,毫无生气,全然成为反共产主义的政党。世界工人运动已经开始产生危险的分歧。如果再诋毁那些忠诚的社会主义者,再策划有如指控马克思主义统一工人党之类的阴谋,裂痕就会变得无法弥合。唯一的希望就是在同一个平台上进行政治辩论,能充分讨论问题。在共产主义者和支持或宣称支持其左翼的人中间的确存在差异。共产主义者认为,通过与部分资产阶级(人民阵线)结成联盟,就能打败法西斯主义。他们的反对者认为,这个策略仅仅为法西斯主义提供了新的成长空间。问题必须得到解决,错误的决定也许会使我们自己陷入数世纪的半奴隶状态中。但只要除了“托洛茨基式的法西斯主义者”的尖声怪叫外,没有别的争论,讨论就不会开始。例如,我不可能与一个共产党员讨论巴塞罗那战斗的是是非非,因为没有共产党,也就是说,“好的共产党”,会承认我的描述是真实的。如果他忠实地跟随着党的路线,他就不得不宣称我在撒谎,或最多说我被无可救药地误导了,任何一个远在千里之外的人,看一眼《每日工人报》的标题,就会比我对巴塞罗那发生的事情知道得更多。在这样的情形中不可能有争论;根本无法达成最低限度的一致。称像马科斯顿那样的人收了法西斯的钱,是什么目的呢?唯一的目的,就是使人们无法进行认真的讨论。那会有如一场国际象棋锦标赛进行到一半,一个参赛选手突然大声尖叫起来,称对手犯了判国罪或重婚罪。真正关键的问题仍没有触及,诽谤陷害解决不了任何问题。