字体设置:

Chapter 10

ABOUT midday on 3 May a friend crossing the lounge of the hotel said casually: 'There's been some kind of trouble at the Telephone Exchange, I hear.' For some reason I paid no attention to it at the time.

That afternoon, between three and four, I was half-way down the Ramblas when I heard several rifle-shots behind me. I turned round and saw some youths, with rifles in their hands and the red and black handkerchiefs of the Anarchists round their throats, edging up a side--street that ran off the Ramblas northward. They were evidently exchanging shots with someone in a tall octagonal tower--a church, I think--that commanded the side-street. I thought instantly: 'It's started!' But I thought it without any very great feeling of surprise-- for days past everyone had been expecting 'it' to start at any moment. I realized that I must get back to the hotel at once and see if my wife was all right. But the knot of Anarchists round the opening of the side-street were motioning the people back and shouting to them not to cross the line of fire. More shots rang out. The bullets from the tower were flying across the street and a crowd of panic-stricken people was rushing down the Ramblas, away from the firing; up and down the street you could hear snap--snap--snap as the shopkeepers slammed the steel shutters over their windows. I saw two Popular Army officers retreating cautiously from tree to tree with their hands on their revolvers. In front of me the crowd was surging into the Metro station in the middle of the Ramblas to take cover. I immediately decided not to follow them. It might mean being trapped underground for hours.

At this moment an American doctor who had been with us at the front ran up to me and grabbed me by the arm. He was greatly excited.

'Come on, we must get down to the Hotel Falcon.' (The Hotel Falcon was a sort of boarding-house maintained by the P.O.U.M. and used chiefly by militiamen on leave.) 'The P.O.U.M. chaps will be meeting there. The trouble's starting. We must hang together.'

'But what the devil is it all about?' I said.

The doctor was hauling me along by the arm. He was too excited to give a very clear statement. It appeared that he had been in the Plaza de Cataluna when several lorry-loads of armed Civil Guards had driven up to the Telephone Exchange, which was operated mainly by C.N.T. workers, and made a sudden assault upon it. Then some Anarchists had arrived and there had been a general affray. I gathered that the 'trouble' earlier in the day had been a demand by the Government to hand over the Telephone Exchange, which, of course, was refused.

As we moved down the street a lorry raced past us from the opposite direction. It was full of Anarchists with rifles in their hands. In front a ragged youth was lying on a pile of mattresses behind a light machine-gun. When we got to the Hotel Falcon, which was at the bottom of the Ramblas, a crowd of people was seething in the entrance-hall; there was a great confusion, nobody seemed to know what we were expected to do, and nobody was armed except the handful of Shock Troopers who usually acted as guards for the building. I went across to the Comite Local of the P.O.U.M., which was almost opposite. Upstairs, in the room where militiamen normally went to draw their pay, another crowd was seething. A tall, pale, rather handsome man of about thirty, in civilian clothes, was trying to restore order and handing out belts and cartridge-boxes from a pile in the corner. There seemed to be no rifles as yet. The doctor had disappeared--I believe there had already been casualties and a call for doctors --but another Englishman had arrived. Presently, from an inner office, the tall man and some others began bringing out armfuls of rifles and handing them round. The other Englishman and myself, as foreigners, were slightly under suspicion and at first nobody would give us a rifle. Then a militiaman whom I had known at the front arrived and recognized me, after which we were given rifles and a. few clips of cartridges, somewhat grudgingly.

There was a sound of firing in the distance and the streets were completely empty of people. Everyone said that it was impossible to go up the Ramblas. The Civil Guards had seized buildings in commanding positions and were letting fly at everyone who passed. I would have risked it and gone back to the hotel, but there was a vague idea floating round that the Comite Local was likely to be attacked at any moment and we had better stand by. All over the building, on the stairs, and on the pavement outside, small knots of people were standing and talking excitedly. No one seemed to have a very clear idea of what was happening. All I could gather was that the Civil Guards had attacked the Telephone Exchange and seized various strategic spots that commanded other buildings belonging to the workers. There was a general impression that the Civil Guards were 'after' the C.N.T. and the working class generally. It was noticeable that, at this stage, no one seemed to put the blame on the Government. The poorer classes in Barcelona looked upon the Civil Guards as something rather resembling the Black and Tans, and it seemed to be taken for granted that they had started this attack on their own initiative. Once I heard how things stood I felt easier in my mind. The issue was clear enough. On one side the C.N.T., on the other side the police. I have no particular love for the idealized 'worker' as he appears in the bourgeois Communist's mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.

A long time passed and nothing seemed to be happening at our end of the town. It did not occur to me that I could ring up the hotel and find out whether my wife was all right; I took it for granted that the Telephone Exchange would have stopped working--though, as a matter of fact, it was only out of action for a couple of hours. There seemed to be about three hundred people in the two buildings. Predominantly they were people of the poorest class, from the back-streets down by the quays; there was a number of women among them, some of them carrying babies, and a crowd of little ragged boys. I fancy that many of them had no notion what was happening and had simply fled into the P.O.U.M. buildings for protection. There was also a number of militiamen on leave, and a sprinkling of foreigners. As far as I could estimate, there were only about sixty rifles between the lot of us. The office upstairs was ceaselessly besieged by a crowd of people who were demanding rifles and being told that there were none left. The younger militia boys, who seemed to regard the whole affair as a kind of picnic, were prowling round and trying to wheedle or steal rifles from anyone who had them. It was not long before one of them got my rifle away from me by a clever dodge and immediately made himself scarce. So I was unarmed again, except for my tiny automatic pistol, for which I had only one clip of cartridges.

It grew dark, I was getting hungry, and seemingly there was no food in the Falcon. My friend and I slipped out to his hotel, which was not far away, to get some dinner. The streets were utterly dark and silent, not a soul stirring, steel shutters drawn over all the shop windows, but no barricades built yet. There was a great fuss before they would let us into the hotel, which was locked and barred. When we got back I learned that the Telephone Exchange was working and went to the telephone in the office upstairs to ring up my wife. Characteristically, there was no telephone directory in the building, and I did not know the number of the Hotel Continental; after a searching from room to room for about an hour I came upon a guide-book which gave me the number. I could not make contact with my wife, but I managed to get hold of John McNair, the I.L.P. representative in Barcelona. He told me that all was well, nobody had been shot, and asked me if we were all right at the Comite Local. I said that we should be all right if we had some cigarettes. I only meant this as a joke; nevertheless half an hour later McNair appeared with two packets of Lucky Strike. He had braved the pitch-dark streets, roamed by Anarchist patrols who had twice stopped him at the pistol's point and examined his papers. I shall not forget this small act of heroism. We were very glad of the cigarettes.

They had placed armed guards at most of the windows, and in the street below a little group of Shock Troopers were stopping and questioning the few passers-by. An Anarchist patrol car drove up, bristling with weapons. Beside the driver a beautiful dark-haired girl of about eighteen was nursing a sub-machine-gun across her knees. I spent a long time wandering about the building, a great rambling place of which it was impossible to learn the geography. Everywhere was the usual litter, the broken furniture and torn paper that seem to be the inevitable products of revolution. All over the place people were sleeping; on a broken sofa in a passage two poor women from the quayside were peacefully snoring. The place had been a cabaret-theatre before the P.O.U.M. took it over. There were raised stages in several of the rooms; on one of them was a desolate grand piano. Finally I discovered what I was looking for --the armoury. I did not know how this affair was going to turn out, and I badly wanted a weapon. I had heard it said so often that all the rival parties, P.S.U.C., P.O.U.M., and C.N.T.-F.A.I. alike, were hoarding arms in Barcelona, that I could not believe that two of the principal P.O.U.M. buildings contained only the fifty or sixty rifles that I had seen. The room which acted as an armoury was unguarded and had a flimsy door; another Englishman and myself had no difficulty in prizing it open. When we got inside we found that what they had told us was true--there were no more weapons. All we found there were about two dozen small-bore rifles of an obsolete pattern and a few shot--guns, with no cartridges for any of them. I went up to the office and asked if they had any spare pistol ammunition; they had none. There were a few boxes of bombs, however, which one of the Anarchist patrol cars had brought us. I put a couple in one of my cartridge-boxes. They were a crude type of bomb, ignited by rubbing a sort of match at the top and very liable to go off of their own accord.

People were sprawling asleep all over the floor. In one room a baby was crying, crying ceaselessly. Though this was May the night was getting cold. On one of the cabaret-stages the curtains were still up, so I ripped a curtain down with my knife, rolled myself up in it, and had a few hours' sleep. My sleep was disturbed, I remember, by the thought of those beastly bombs, which might blow me into the air if I rolled on them too vigorously. At three in the morning the tall handsome man who seemed to be in command woke me up, gave me a rifle, and put me on guard at one of the windows. He told me that Salas, the Chief of Police responsible for the attack on the Telephone Exchange, had been placed under arrest. (Actually, as we learned later, he had only been deprived of his post. Nevertheless the news confirmed the general impression that the Civil Guards had acted without orders.) As soon as it was dawn the people downstairs began building two barricades, one outside the Comite Local and the other outside the Hotel Falcon. The Barcelona streets are paved with square cobbles, easily built up into a wall, and under the cobbles is a kind of shingle that is good for filling sand-bags. The building of those barricades was a strange and wonderful sight; I would have given something to be able to photograph it. With the kind--of passionate energy that Spaniards display when they have definitely decided to begin upon any job of work, long lines of men, women, and quite small children were tearing up the cobblestones, hauling them along in a hand-cart that had been found somewhere, and staggering to and fro under heavy sacks of sand. In the doorway of the Comite Local a German-Jewish girl, in a pair of militiaman's trousers whose knee--buttons just reached her ankles, was watching with a smile. In a couple of hours the barricades were head-high, with riflemen posted at the loopholes, and behind one barricade a fire was burning and men were frying eggs.

They had taken my rifle away again, and there seemed to be nothing that one could usefully do. Another Englishman and myself decided to go back to the Hotel Continental. There was a lot of firing in the distance, but seemingly none in the Ramblas. On the way up we looked in at the food-market. A very few stalls had opened; they were besieged by a crowd of people from the working-class quarters south of the Ramblas. Just as we got there, there was a heavy crash of rifle--fire outside, some panes of glass in the roof were shivered, and the crowd went flying for the back exits. A few stalls remained open, however; we managed to get a cup of coffee each and buy a wedge of goat's-milk cheese which I tucked in beside my bombs. A few days later I was very glad of that cheese.

At the street-corner where I had seen the Anarchists begin. firing the day before a barricade was now standing. The man behind it (I was on the other side of the street) shouted to me to be careful. The Civil Guards in the church tower were firing indiscriminately at everyone who passed. I paused and then crossed the opening at a run; sure enough, a bullet cracked past me, uncomfortably close. When I neared the P.O.U.M. Executive Building, still on the other side of the road, there were fresh shouts of warning from some Shock Troopers standing in the doorway--shouts which, at the moment, I did not understand. There were trees and a newspaper kiosk between myself and the building (streets of this type in Spain have a broad walk running down the middle), and I could not see what they were pointing at. I went up to the Continental, made sure that all was well, washed my face, and then went back to the P.O.U.M. Executive Building (it was about a hundred yards down the street) to ask for orders. By this time the roar of rifle and machine-gun fire from various directions was almost comparable to the din of a battle. I had just found Kopp and was asking him what we were supposed to do when there was a series of appalling crashes down below. The din was so loud that I made sure someone must be firing at us with a field-gun. Actually it was only hand-grenades, which make double their usual noise when they burst among stone buildings.

Kopp glanced out of the window, cocked his stick behind his back, said: 'Let us investigate,' and strolled down the stairs in his usual unconcerned manner, I following. Just inside the doorway a group of Shock Troopers were bowling bombs down the pavement as though playing skittles. The bombs were bursting twenty yards away with a frightful, ear-splitting crash which was mixed up with the banging of rifles. Half across the street, from behind the newspaper kiosk, a head--it was the head of an American militiaman whom I knew well--was sticking up, for all the world like a coconut at a fair. It was only afterwards that I grasped what was really happening. Next door to the P.O.U.M. building there was a cafe with a hotel above it, called the Cafe Moka. The day before twenty or thirty armed Civil Guards had entered the cafe and then, when the fighting started, had suddenly seized the building and barricaded themselves in. Presumably they had been ordered to seize the cafe as a preliminary to attacking the P.O.U.M. offices later. Early in the morning they had attempted to come out, shots had been exchanged, and one Shock Trooper was badly wounded and a Civil Guard killed. The Civil Guards had fled back into the cafe, but when the American came down the street they had opened fire on him, though he was not armed. The American had flung himself behind the kiosk for cover, and the Shock Troopers were flinging bombs at the Civil Guards to drive them indoors again.

Kopp took in the scene at a glance, pushed his way forward and hauled back a red-haired German Shock Trooper who was just drawing the pin out of a bomb with his teeth. He shouted to everyone to stand back from the doorway, and told us in several languages that we had got to avoid bloodshed. Then he stepped out on to the pavement and, in sight of the Civil Guards, ostentatiously took off his pistol and laid it on the ground. Two Spanish militia officers did the same, and the three of them walked slowly up to the doorway where the Civil Guards were huddling. It was a thing I would not have done for twenty pounds. They were walking, unarmed, up to men who were frightened out of their wits and had loaded guns in their hands. A Civil Guard, in shirt-sleeves and livid with fright, came out of the door to parley with Kopp. He kept pointing in an agitated manner at two unexploded bombs that were lying on the pavement. Kopp came back and told us we had better touch the bombs off. Lying there, they were a danger to anyone who passed. A Shock Trooper fired his rifle at one of the bombs and burst it, then fired at the other and missed. I asked him to give me his rifle, knelt down and let fly at the second bomb. I also missed it, I am sorry to say.

This was the only shot I fired during the disturbances. The pavement was covered with broken glass from the sign over the Cafe Moka, and two cars that were parked outside, one of them Kopp's official car, had been riddled with bullets and their windscreens smashed by bursting bombs.

Kopp took me upstairs again and explained the situation. We had got to defend the P.O.U.M. buildings if they were attacked, but the P.O.U.M. leaders had sent instructions that we were to stand on the defensive and not open fire if we could possibly avoid it. Immediately opposite there was a cinematograph, called the Poliorama, with a museum above it, and at the top, high above the general level of the roofs, a small observatory with twin domes. The domes commanded the street, and a few men posted up there with rifles could prevent any attack on the P.O.U.M. buildings. The caretakers at the cinema were C.N.T. members and would let us come and go. As for the Civil Guards in the Cafe Moka, there would be no trouble with them; they did not want to fight and would be only too glad to live and let live. Kopp repeated that our orders were not to fire unless we were fired on ourselves or our buildings attacked. I gathered, though he did not say so, that the P.O.U.M. leaders were furious at being dragged into this affair, but felt that they had got to stand by the C.N.T.

They had already placed guards in the observatory. The next three days and nights I spent continuously on the roof of the Poliorama, except for brief intervals when I slipped across to the hotel for meals. I was in no danger, I suffered from nothing worse than hunger and boredom, yet it was one of the most unbearable periods of my whole life. I think few experiences could be more sickening, more disillusioning, or, finally, more nerve-racking than those evil days of street warfare.

I used to sit on the roof marvelling at the folly of it all. From the little windows in the observatory you could see for miles around--vista after vista of tall slender buildings, glass domes, and fantastic curly roofs with brilliant green and copper tiles; over to eastward the glittering pale blue sea--the first glimpse of the sea that I had had since coming to Spain. And the whole huge town of a million people was locked in a sort of violent inertia, a nightmare of noise without movement. The sunlit streets were quite empty. Nothing was happening except the streaming of bullets from barricades and sand-bagged windows. Not a vehicle was stirring in the streets; here and there along the Ramblas the trams stood motionless where their drivers had jumped out of them when the fighting started. And all the while the devilish noise, echoing from thousands of stone buildings, went on and on and on, like a tropical rainstorm. Crack-crack, rattle--rattle, roar--sometimes it died away to a few shots, sometimes it quickened to a deafening fusillade, but it never stopped while daylight lasted, and punctually next dawn it started again.

What the devil was happening, who was fighting whom, and who was winning, was at first very difficult to discover. The people of Barcelona are so used to street-fighting and so familiar with the local geography that they knew by a kind of instinct which political party will hold which streets and which buildings. A foreigner is at a hopeless disadvantage. Looking out from the observatory, I could grasp that the Ramblas, which is one of the principal streets of the town, formed a dividing line. To the right of the Ramblas the working-class quarters were solidly Anarchist; to the left a confused fight was going on among the tortuous by-streets, but on that side the P.S.U.C. and the Civil Guards were more or less in control. Up at our end of the Ramblas, round the Plaza de Cataluna, the position was so complicated that it would have been quite unintelligible if every building had not flown a party flag. The principal landmark here was the Hotel Colon, the headquarters of the P.S.U.C., dominating the Plaza de Cataluna. In a window near the last 0 but one in the huge 'Hotel Colon' that sprawled across its face they had a machine-gun that could sweep the square with deadly effect. A hundred yards to the right of us, down the Ramblas, the J.S.U., the youth league of the P.S.U.C. (corresponding to the Young Communist League in England), were holding a big department store whose sandbagged side-windows fronted our observatory. They had hauled down their red flag and hoisted the Catalan national flag. On the Telephone Exchange, the starting-point of all the trouble, the Catalan national flag and the Anarchist flag were flying side by side. Some kind of temporary compromise had been arrived at there, the exchange was working uninterruptedly and there was no firing from the building.

In our position it was strangely peaceful. The Civil Guards in the Cafe Moka had drawn down the steel curtains and piled up the cafe furniture to make a barricade. Later half a dozen of them came on to the roof, opposite to ourselves, and built another barricade of mattresses, over which they hung a Catalan national flag. But it was obvious that they had no wish to start a fight. Kopp had made a definite agreement with them: if they did not fire at us we would not fire at them. He had grown quite friendly with the Civil Guards by this time, and had been to visit them several times in the Cafe Moka. Naturally they had looted everything drinkable the cafe possessed, and they made Kopp a present of fifteen bottles of beer. In return Kopp had actually given them one of our rifles to make up for one they had somehow lost on the previous day. Nevertheless, it was a queer feeling sitting on that roof. Sometimes I was merely bored with the whole affair, paid no attention to the hellish noise, and spent hours reading a succession of Penguin Library books which, luckily, I had bought a few days earlier; sometimes I was very conscious of the armed men watching me fifty yards away. It was a little like being in the trenches again; several times I caught myself, from force of habit, speaking of the Civil Guards as 'the Fascists'. There were generally about six of us up there. We placed a man on guard in each of the observatory towers, and the rest of us sat on the lead roof below, where there was no cover except a stone palisade. I was well aware that at any moment the Civil Guards might receive telephone orders to open fire. They had agreed to give us warning before doing so, but there was no certainty that they would keep to their agreement. Only once, however, did trouble look like starting. One of the Civil Guards opposite knelt down and began firing across the barricade. I was on guard in the observatory at the time. I trained my rifle on him and shouted across:

'Hi! Don't you shoot at us!'

'What?'

'Don't you fire at us or we'll fire back!'

'No, no! I wasn't firing at you. Look--down there!'

He motioned with his rifle towards the side-street that ran past the bottom of our building. Sure enough, a youth in blue overalls, with a rifle in his hand, was dodging round the corner. Evidently he had just taken a shot at the Civil Guards on the roof.

'I was firing at him. He fired first.' (I believe this was true.) 'We don't want to shoot you. We're only workers, the same as you are.'

He made the anti-Fascist salute, which I returned. I shouted across:

'Have you got any more beer left?'

'No, it's all gone.'

The same day, for no apparent reason, a man in the J.S.U. building farther down the street suddenly raised his rifle and let fly at me when I was leaning out of the window. Perhaps I made a tempting mark. I did not fire back. Though he was only a hundred yards away the bullet went so wide that it did not even hit the roof of the observatory. As usual, Spanish standards of marksmanship had saved me. I was fired at several times from this building.

The devilish racket of firing went on and on. But so far as I could see, and from all I heard, the fighting was defensive on both sides. People simply remained in their buildings or behind their barricades and blazed away at the people opposite. About half a mile away from us there was a street where some of the main offices of the C.N.T. and the U.G.T. were almost exactly facing one another; from that direction the volume of noise was terrific. I passed down that street the day after the fighting was over and the panes of the shop-windows were like sieves. (Most of the shopkeepers in Barcelona had their windows criss-crossed with strips of paper, so that when a bullet hit a pane it did not shiver to pieces.) Sometimes the rattle of rifle and machine-gun fire was punctuated by the crash of hand-grenades. And at long intervals, perhaps a dozen times in all, there were tremendously heavy explosions which at the time I could not account for; they sounded like aerial bombs, but that was impossible, for there were no aeroplanes about. I was told afterwards--quite possibly it was true--that agents provocateurs were touching off masses of explosive in order to increase the general noise and panic. There was, however, no artillery-fire. I was listening for this, for if the guns began to fire it would mean that the affair was becoming serious (artillery is the determining factor in street warfare). Afterwards there were wild tales in the newspapers about batteries of guns firing in the streets, but no one was able to point to a building that had been hit by a shell. In any case the sound of gunfire is unmistakable if one is used to it.

Almost from the start food was running short. With difficulty and under cover of darkness (for the Civil Guards were constantly sniping into the Ramblas) food was brought from the Hotel Falcon for the fifteen or twenty militiamen who were in the P.O.U.M. Executive Building, but there was barely enough to go round, and as many of us as possible went to the Hotel Continental for our meals. The Continental had been 'collectivized' by the Generalite and not, like most of the hotels, by the C.N.T. or U.G.T., and it was regarded as neutral ground. No sooner had the fighting started than the hotel filled to the brim with a most extraordinary collection of people. There were foreign journalists, political suspects of every shade, an American airman in the service of the Government, various Communist agents, including a fat, sinister-looking Russian, said to be an agent of the Ogpu, who was nicknamed Charlie Chan and wore attached to his waist-band a revolver and a neat little bomb, some families of well--to-do Spaniards who looked like Fascist sympathizers, two or three wounded men from the International Column, a gang of lorry drivers from. some huge French lorries which had been carrying a load of oranges back to France and had been held up by the fighting, and a number of Popular Army officers. The Popular Army, as a body, remained neutral throughout the fighting, though a few soldiers slipped away from the barracks and took part as individuals; on the Tuesday morning I had seen a couple of them at the P.O.U.M. barricades. At the beginning, before the food-shortage became acute and the newspapers began stirring up hatred, there was a tendency to regard the whole affair as a joke. This was the kind of thing that happened every year in Barcelona, people were saying. George Tioli, an Italian journalist, a great friend of ours, came in with his trousers drenched with blood. He had gone out to see what was happening and had been binding up a wounded man on the pavement when someone playfully tossed a hand-grenade at him, fortunately not wounding him seriously. I remember his remarking that the Barcelona paving-stones ought to be numbered; it would save such a lot of trouble in building and demolishing barricades. And I remember a couple of men from the International Column sitting in my room at the hotel when I came in tired, hungry, and dirty after a night on guard. Their attitude was completely neutral. If they had been good party-men they would, I suppose, have urged me to change sides, or even have pinioned me and taken away the bombs of which my pockets were full; instead they merely commiserated with me for having to spend my leave in doing guard-duty on a roof. The general attitude was: 'This is only a dust-up between the Anarchists and the police--it doesn't mean anything.' In spite of the extent of the fighting and the number of casualties I believe this was nearer the truth than the official version which represented the affair as a planned rising.

It was about Wednesday (5 May) that a change seemed to come over things. The shuttered streets looked ghastly. A very few pedestrians, forced abroad for one reason or another, crept to and fro, flourishing white handkerchiefs, and at a spot in the middle of the Ramblas that was safe from bullets some men were crying newspapers to the empty street. On Tuesday Solidaridad Obrera, the Anarchist paper, had described the attack on the Telephone Exchange as a 'monstrous provocation' (or words to that effect), but on Wednesday it changed its tune and began imploring everyone to go back to work. The Anarchist leaders were broadcasting the same message. The office of La Batalla, the P.O.U.M. paper, which was not defended, had been raided and seized by the Civil Guards at about the same time as the Telephone Exchange, but the paper was being printed, and a few copies distributed, from another address. I urged everyone to remain at the barricades. People were divided in their minds and wondering uneasily how the devil this was going to end. I doubt whether anyone left the barricades as yet, but everyone was sick of the meaningless fighting, which could obviously lead to no real decision, because no one wanted this to develop into a full-sized civil war which might mean losing the war against Franco. I heard this fear expressed on all sides. So far as one could gather from what people were saying at the time the C.N.T. rank and file wanted, and had wanted from the beginning, only two things: the handing back of the Telephone Exchange and the disarming of the hated Civil Guards. If the Generalite had promised to do these two things, and also promised to put an end to the food profiteering, there is little doubt that the barricades would have been down in two hours. But it was obvious that the Generalite was not going to give in. Ugly rumours were flying round. It was said that the Valencia Government was sending six thousand men to occupy Barcelona, and that five thousand Anarchist and P.O.U.M. troops had left the Aragon front to oppose them. Only the first of these rumours was true. Watching from the observatory tower we saw the low grey shapes of warships closing in upon the harbour. Douglas Moyle, who had been a sailor, said that they looked like British destroyers. As a matter of fact they were British destroyers, though we did not learn this till afterwards.

That evening we heard that on the Plaza de Espana four hundred Civil Guards had surrendered and handed their arms to the Anarchists; also the news was vaguely filtering through that in the suburbs (mainly working-class quarters) the C.N.T. were in control. It looked as though we were winning. But the same evening Kopp sent for me and, with a grave face, told me that according to information he had just received the Government was about to outlaw the P.O.U.M. and declare a state of war upon it. The news gave me a shock. It was the first glimpse I had had of the interpretation that was likely to be put upon this affair later on. I dimly foresaw that when the fighting ended the entire blame would be laid upon the P.O.U.M., which was the weakest party and therefore the most suitable scapegoat. And meanwhile our local neutrality was at an end. If the Government declared war upon us we had no choice but to defend ourselves, and here at the Executive building we could be certain that the Civil Guards next door would get orders to attack us. Our only chance was to attack them first. Kopp was waiting for orders on the telephone; if we heard definitely that the P.O.U.M. was outlawed we must make preparations at once to seize the Cafe Moka.

I remember the long, nightmarish evening that we spent in fortifying the building. We locked the steel curtains across the front entrance and behind them built a barricade of slabs of stone left behind by the workmen who had been making some alterations. We went over our stock of weapons. Counting the six rifles that were on the roof of the Poliorama opposite, we had twenty-one rifles, one of them defective, about fifty rounds of ammunition for each rifle, and a few dozen bombs; otherwise nothing except a few pistols and revolvers. About a dozen men, mostly Germans, had volunteered for the attack on the Cafe Moka, if it came off. We should attack from the roof, of course, some time in the small hours, and take them by surprise; they were more numerous, but our morale was better, and no doubt we could storm the place, though people were bound to be killed in doing so. We had no food in the building except a few slabs of chocolate, and the rumour had gone round that 'they' were going to cut off the water supply. (Nobody knew who 'they' were. It might be the Government that controlled the waterworks, or it might be the C.N.T.--nobody knew.) We spent a long time filling up every basin in the lavatories, every bucket we could lay hands on, and, finally, the fifteen beer bottles, now empty, which the Civil Guards had given to Kopp.

I was in a ghastly frame of mind and dog-tired after about sixty hours without much sleep. It was now late into the night. People were sleeping all over the floor behind the barricade downstairs. Upstairs there was a small room, with a sofa in it, which we intended to use as a dressing-station, though, needless to say, we discovered that there was neither iodine nor bandages in the building. My wife had come down from the hotel in case a nurse should be needed. I lay down on the sofa, feeling that I would like half an hour's rest before the attack on the Moka, in which I should presumably be killed. I remember the intolerable discomfort caused by my pistol, which was strapped to my belt and sticking into the small of my back. And the next thing I remember is waking up with a jerk to find my wife standing beside me. It was broad daylight, nothing had happened, the Government had not declared war on the P.O.U.M., the water had not been cut off, and except for the sporadic firing in the streets everything was normal. My wife said that she had not had the heart to wake me and had slept in an arm-chair in one of the front rooms.

That afternoon there was a kind of armistice. The firing died away and with surprising suddenness the streets filled with people. A few shops began to pull up their shutters, and the market was packed with a huge crowd clamouring for food, though the stalls were almost empty. It was noticeable, however, that the trams did not start running. The Civil Guards were still behind their barricades in the Moka; on neither side were the fortified buildings evacuated. Everyone was rushing round and trying to buy food. And on every side you heard the same anxious questions: 'Do you think it's stopped? Do you think it's going to start again?' 'It'--the fighting--was now thought of as some kind of natural calamity, like a hurricane or an earthquake, which was happening to us all alike and which we had no power of stopping. And sure enough, almost immediately--I suppose there must really have been several hours' truce, but they seemed more like minutes than hours--a sudden crash of rifle-fire, like a June cloud-burst, sent everyone scurrying; the steel shutters snapped into place, the streets emptied like magic, the barricades were manned, and 'it' had started again.

I went back to my post on the roof with a feeling of concentrated disgust and fury. When you are taking part in events like these you are, I suppose, in a small way, making history, and you ought by rights to feel like a historical character. But you never do, because at such times the physical details always outweigh everything else. Throughout the fighting I never made the correct 'analysis' of the situation that was so glibly made by journalists hundreds of miles away. What I was chiefly thinking about was not the rights and wrongs of this miserable internecine scrap, but simply the discomfort and boredom of sitting day and night on that intolerable roof, and the hunger which was growing worse and worse--for none of us had had a proper meal since Monday. It was in my mind all the while that I should have to go back to the front as soon as this business was over. It was infuriating. I had been a hundred and fifteen days in the line and had come back to Barcelona ravenous for a bit of rest and comfort; and instead I had to spend my time sitting on a roof opposite Civil Guards as bored as myself, who periodically waved to me and assured me that they were 'workers' (meaning that they hoped I would not shoot them), but who would certainly open fire if they got the order to do so. If this was history it did not feel like it. It was more like a bad period at the front, when men were short and we had to do abnormal hours of guard-duty; instead of being heroic one just had to stay at one's post, bored, dropping with sleep, and completely uninterested as to what it was all about.

Inside the hotel, among the heterogeneous mob who for the most part had not dared to put their noses out of doors, a horrible atmosphere of suspicion had grown up. Various people were infected with spy mania and were creeping round whispering that everyone else was a spy of the Communists, or the Trotskyists, or the Anarchists, or what-not. The fat Russian agent was cornering all the foreign refugees in turn and explaining plausibly that this whole affair was an Anarchist plot. I watched him with some interest, for it was the first time that I had seen a person whose profession was telling lies--unless one counts journalists. There was something repulsive in the parody of smart hotel life that was still going on behind shuttered windows amid the rattle of rifle-fire. The front dining-room had been abandoned after a bullet came through the window and chipped a pillar, and the guests were crowded into a darkish room at the back, where there were never quite enough tables to go round. The waiters were reduced in numbers--some of them were C.N.T. members and had joined in the general strike--and had dropped their boiled shirts for the time being, but meals were still being served with a pretence of ceremony. There was, however, practically nothing to eat. On that Thursday night the principal dish at dinner was one sardine each. The hotel had had no bread for days, and even the wine was running so low that we were drinking older and older wines at higher and higher prices. This shortage of food went on for several days after the fighting was over. Three days running, I remember, my wife and I breakfasted off a little piece of goat's-milk cheese with no bread and nothing to drink. The only thing that was plentiful was oranges. The French lorry drivers brought quantities of their oranges into the hotel. They were a tough--looking bunch; they had with them some flashy Spanish girls and a huge porter in a black blouse. At any other time the little snob of a hotel manager would have done his best to make them uncomfortable, in fact would have refused to have them on the premises, but at present they were popular because, unlike the rest of us, they had a private store of bread which everyone was trying to cadge from them.

I spent that final night on the roof, and the next day it did really look as though the fighting was coming to an end. I do not think there was much firing that day--the Friday. No one seemed to know for certain whether the troops from Valencia were really coining; they arrived that evening, as a matter of fact. The Government was broadcasting half-soothing, half-threatening messages, asking everyone to go home and saying that after a certain hour anyone found carrying arms would be arrested. Not much attention was paid to the Government's broadcasts, but everywhere the people were fading away from the barricades. I have no doubt that it was mainly the food shortage that was responsible. From every side you heard the same remark:' We have no more food, we must go back to work.' On the other hand the Civil Guards, who could count on getting their rations so long as there was any food in the town, were able to stay at their posts. By the afternoon the streets were almost normal, though the deserted barricades were still standing; the Ramblas were thronged with people, the shops nearly all open, and--most reassuring of all--the trams that had stood so long in frozen blocks jerked into motion and began running. The Civil Guards were still holding the Cafe Moka and had not taken down their barricades, but some of them brought chairs out and sat on the pavement with their rifles across their knees. I winked at one of them as I went past and got a not unfriendly grin; he recognized me, of course. Over the Telephone Exchange the Anarchist flag had been hauled down and only the Catalan flag was flying. That meant that the workers were definitely beaten; I realized--though, owing to my political ignorance, not so clearly as I ought to have done--that when the Government felt more sure of itself there would be reprisals. But at the time I was not interested in that aspect of things. All I felt was a profound relief that the devilish din of firing was over, and that one could buy some food and have a bit of rest and peace before going back to the front.

It must have been late that evening that the troops from Valencia first appeared in the streets. They were the Assault Guards, another formation similar to the Civil Guards and the Carabineros (i.e. a formation intended primarily for police work), and the picked troops of the Republic. Quite suddenly they seemed to spring up out of the ground; you saw them everywhere patrolling the streets in groups of ten--tall men in grey or blue uniforms, with long rifles slung over their shoulders, and a sub-machine-gun to each group. Meanwhile there was a delicate job to be done. The six rifles which we had used for the guard in the observatory towers were still lying there, and by hook or by crook we had got to get them back to the P.O.U.M. building. It was only a question of getting them across the street. They were part of the regular armoury of the building, but to bring them into the street was to contravene the Government's order, and if we were caught with them in our hands we should certainly be arrested--worse, the rifles would be confiscated. With only twenty-one rifles in the building we could not afford to lose six of them. After a lot of discussion as to the best method, a red-haired Spanish boy and myself began to smuggle them out. It was easy enough to dodge the Assault Guard patrols; the danger was the Civil Guards in the Moka, who were well aware that we had rifles in the observatory and might give the show away if they saw us carrying them across. Each of us partially undressed and slung a rifle over the left shoulder, the butt under the armpit, the barrel down the trouser-leg. It was unfortunate that they were long Mausers. Even a man as tall as I am cannot wear a long Mauser down his trouser-leg without discomfort. It was an intolerable job getting down the corkscrew staircase of the observatory with a completely rigid left leg. Once in the street, we found that the only way to move was with extreme slowness, so slowly that you did not have to bend your knees. Outside the picture-house I saw a group of people staring at me with great interest as I crept along at tortoise-speed. I have often wondered what they thought was the matter with me. Wounded in the war, perhaps. However, all the rifles were smuggled across without incident.

Next day the Assault Guards were everywhere, walking the streets like conquerors. There was no doubt that the Government was simply making a display of force in order to overawe a population which it already knew would not resist; if there had been any real fear of further outbreaks the Assault Guards would have been kept in barracks and not scattered through the streets in small bands. They were splendid troops, much the best I had seen in Spain, and, though I suppose they were in a sense 'the enemy', I could not help liking the look of them. But it was with a sort of amazement that I watched them strolling to and fro. I was used to the ragged, scarcely-armed militia on the Aragon front, and I had not known that the Republic possessed troops like these. It was not only that they were picked men physically, it was their weapons that most astonished me. All of them were armed with brand-new rifles of the type known as 'the Russian rifle' (these rifles were sent to Spain by the U.S.S.R., but were, I believe, manufactured in America). I examined one of them. It was a far from perfect rifle, but vastly better than the dreadful old blunderbusses we had at the front. The Assault Guards had one submachine-gun between ten men and an automatic pistol each; we at the front had approximately one machine-gun between fifty men, and as for pistols and revolvers, you could only procure them illegally. As a matter of fact, though I had not noticed it till now, it was the same everywhere. The Civil Guards and Carabineros, who were not intended for the front at all, were better armed and far better clad than ourselves. I suspect it is the same in all wars--always the same contrast between the sleek police in the rear and the ragged soldiers in the line. On the whole the Assault Guards got on very well with the population after the first day or two. On the first day there was a certain amount of trouble because some of the Assault Guards-- acting on instructions, I suppose--began behaving in a provocative manner. Bands of them boarded trams, searched the passengers, and, if they had C.N.T. membership cards in their pockets, tore them up and stamped on them. This led to scuffles with armed Anarchists, and one or two people were killed. Very soon, however, the Assault Guards dropped their conquering air and relations became more friendly. It was noticeable that most of them had picked up a girl after a day or two.

The Barcelona fighting had given the Valencia Government the long--wanted excuse to assume fuller control of Catalonia. The workers' militias were to be broken' up and redistributed among the Popular Army. The Spanish Republican flag was flying all over Barcelona--the first time I had seen it, I think, except over a Fascist trench. In the working-class quarters the barricades were being pulled down, rather fragmentarily, for it is a lot easier to build a barricade than to put the stones back. Outside the P.S.U.C. buildings the barricades were allowed to remain standing, and indeed many were standing as late as June. The Civil Guards were still occupying strategic points. Huge seizures of arms were being made from C.N.T. strongholds, though I have no doubt a good many escaped seizure. La Batalla was still appearing, but it was censored until the front page was almost completely blank. The P.S.U.C. papers were un-censored and were publishing inflammatory articles demanding the suppression of the P.O.U.M. The P.O.U.M. was declared to be a disguised Fascist organization, and a cartoon representing the P.O.U.M. as a figure slipping off a mask marked with the hammer and sickle and revealing a hideous, maniacal face marked with the swastika, was being circulated all over the town by P.S.U.C. agents. Evidently the official version of the Barcelona fighting was already fixed upon: it was to be represented as a 'fifth column' Fascist rising engineered solely by the P.O.U.M.

In the hotel the horrible atmosphere of suspicion and hostility had grown worse now that the fighting was over. In the face of the accusations that were being flung about it was impossible to remain neutral. The posts were working again, the foreign Communist papers were beginning to arrive, and their accounts of the fighting were not only violently partisan but, of course, wildly inaccurate as to facts. I think some of the Communists on the spot, who had seen what was actually happening, were dismayed by the interpretation that was being put upon events, but naturally they had to stick to their own side. Our Communist friend approached me once again and asked me whether I would not transfer into the International Column.

I was rather surprised. 'Your papers are saying I'm a Fascist,' I said. 'Surely I should be politically suspect, coming from the P.O.U.M.'

'Oh, that doesn't matter. After all, you were only acting under orders.'

I had to tell him that after this affair I could not join any Communist-controlled unit. Sooner or later it might mean being used against the Spanish working class. One could not tell when this kind of thing would break out again, and if I had to use my rifle at all in such an affair I would use it on the side of the working class and not against them. He was very decent about it. But from now on the whole atmosphere was changed. You could not, as before, 'agree to differ' and have drinks with a man who was supposedly your political opponent. There were some ugly wrangles in the hotel lounge. Meanwhile the jails were already full and overflowing. After the fighting was over the Anarchists had, of course, released their prisoners, but the Civil Guards had not released theirs, and most of them were thrown into prison and kept there without trial, in many cases for months on end. As usual, completely innocent people were being arrested owing to police bungling. I mentioned earlier that Douglas Thompson was wounded about the beginning of April. Afterwards we had lost touch with him, as usually happened when a man was wounded, for wounded men were frequently moved from one hospital to another. Actually he was at Tarragona hospital and was sent back to Barcelona about the time when the fighting started. On the Tuesday morning I met him in the street, considerably bewildered by the firing that was going on all round. He asked the question everyone was asking:

'What the devil is this all about?'

I explained as well as I could. Thompson said promptly:

'I'm going to keep out of this. My arm's still bad. I shall go back to my hotel and stay there.'

He went back to his hotel, but unfortunately (how important it is in street-fighting to understand the local geography!) it was a hotel in a part of the town controlled by the Civil Guards. The place was raided and Thompson was arrested, flung into jail, and kept for eight days in a cell so full of people that nobody had room to lie down. There were many similar cases. Numerous foreigners with doubtful political records were on the run, with the police on their track and in constant fear of denunciation. It was worst for the Italians and Germans, who had no passports and were generally wanted by the secret police in their own countries. If they were arrested they were liable to be deported to France, which might mean being sent back to Italy or Germany, where God knew what horrors were awaiting them. One or two foreign women hurriedly regularized their position by 'marrying' Spaniards. A German girl who had no papers at all dodged the police by posing for several days as a man's mistress. I remember the look of shame and misery on the poor girl's face when I accidentally bumped into her coming out of the man's bedroom. Of course she was not his mistress, but no doubt she thought I thought she was. You had all the while a hateful feeling that someone hitherto your friend might be denouncing you to the secret police. The long nightmare of the fighting, the noise, the lack of food and sleep, the mingled strain and boredom of sitting on the roof and wondering whether in another minute I should be shot myself or be obliged to shoot somebody else had put my nerves on edge. I had got to the point when every time a door banged I grabbed for my pistol. On the Saturday morning there was an uproar of shots outside and everyone cried out: 'It's starting again!' I ran into the street to find that it was only some Assault Guards shooting a mad dog. No one who was in Barcelona then, or for months later, will forget the horrible atmosphere produced by fear, suspicion, hatred, censored newspapers, crammed jails, enormous food queues, and prowling gangs of armed men.

I have tried to give some idea of what it felt like to be in the middle of the Barcelona fighting; yet I do not suppose I have succeeded in conveying much of the strangeness of that time. One of the things that stick in my mind when I look back is the casual contacts one made at the time, the sudden glimpses of non-combatants to whom the whole thing was simply a meaningless uproar. I remember the fashionably-dressed woman I saw strolling down the Ramblas, with a shopping-basket over her arm and leading a white poodle, while the rifles cracked and roared a street or two away. It is conceivable that she was deaf. And the man I saw rushing across the completely empty Plaza de Cataluna, brandishing a white handkerchief in each hand. And the large party of people all dressed in black who kept trying for about an hour to cross the Plaza de Cataluna and always failing. Every time they emerged from the side-street at the corner the P.S.U.C. machine-gunners in the Hotel Colon opened fire and drove them back--I don't know why, for they were obviously unarmed. I have since thought that they may have been a funeral party. And the little man who acted as caretaker at the museum over the Poliorama and who seemed to regard the whole affair as a social occasion. He was so pleased to have the English visiting him --the English were so simpatico, he said. He hoped we would all come and see him again when the trouble was over; as a matter of fact I did go and see him. And the other little man, sheltering in a doorway, who jerked his head in a pleased manner towards the hell of firing on the Plaza de Cataluna and said (as though remarking that it was a fine morning): 'So we've got the nineteenth of July back again!' And the people in the shoe-shop who were making my marching-boots. I went there before the fighting, after it was over, and, for a very few minutes, during the brief armistice on 5 May. It was an expensive shop, and the shop-people were U.G.T. and may have been P.S.U.C. members--at any rate they were politically on the other side and they knew that I was serving with the P.O.U.M. Yet their attitude was completely indifferent. 'Such a pity, this kind of thing, isn't it? And so bad for business. What a pity it doesn't stop! As though there wasn't enough of that kind of thing at the front!' etc., etc. There must have been quantities of people, perhaps a majority of the inhabitants of Barcelona, who regarded the whole affair without a nicker of interest, or with no more interest than they would have felt in an air-raid.

In this chapter I have described only my personal experiences. In the next chapter I must discuss as best I can the larger issues--what actually happened and with what results, what were the rights and wrongs of the affair, and who if anyone was responsible. So much political capital has been made out of the Barcelona fighting that it is important to try and get a balanced view of it. An immense amount, enough to fill many books, has already been written on the subject, and I do not suppose I should exaggerate if I said that nine-tenths of it is untruthful. Nearly all the newspaper accounts published at the time were manufactured by journalists at a distance, and were not only inaccurate in their facts but intentionally misleading. As usual, only one side of the question has been allowed to get to the wider public. Like everyone who was in Barcelona at the time. I saw only what was happening in my immediate neighbourhood, but I saw and heard quite enough to be able to contradict many of the lies that have been circulated. As before, if you are not interested in political controversy and the mob of parties and sub-parties with their confusing names (rather like the names of the generals in a Chinese war), please skip. It is a horrible thing to have to enter into the details of inter-party polemics; it is like diving into a cesspool. But it is necessary to try and establish the truth, so far as it is possible. This squalid brawl in a distant city is more important than might appear at first sight.

 

5月3日中午,一位朋友在信步闲逛经过旅馆时嘴里冒出了一句话:“我听说电话局出事了。”由于某种原因,我当时并没怎么在意这句话。

那天下午三四点钟光景,我在前往拉姆拉斯的半道上,突然听到身后有几声枪响。我回头一看,原来有几个年轻人手持步枪,脖子上围着无政府主义者标志的红黑相间的丝帕,正在朝着拉姆拉斯向北的小巷悄悄地前进。他们显然是在与八角楼(我猜想那是能够控制小巷的教堂)里的什么人交火。我立即意识到:开始打仗了!但我对此并未感到十分意外,过去的几天来,人人都预感到仗随时会开打。我想,我应该马上回旅馆去,看看我的妻子是否安全。但小巷那边的一群无政府主义者正在示意人们往后退,大声吆喝人们不要越过封锁线。又有一连串射击声。从塔楼里射出的子弹飞向大街,受惊的人们纷纷向拉姆拉斯以南逃跑,以便远离交火地点;街道上到处都能听到店主们匆匆关闭钢百叶窗的劈啪声。我看到,有两个持左轮手枪的人民军军官,正神色恐慌地紧贴着行道树撤退。在我的前方,很多人正涌向拉姆拉斯中间的地铁站躲避。我决定不随他们一起去,因为那将意味着必须在那里困上好几个小时。

就在这时,一位和我们在前线一起待过的美国医生跑到我身边,并抓住了我的胳膊。他显得非常紧张。

“快点,我们必须去猎鹰旅馆(猎鹰旅馆是马统工党掌管的一家寄宿旅馆,主要供休假民兵使用)。马统工党的老朋友会在那儿等我们。这下可有麻烦了。我们必须团结起来。”

“可这到底是怎么回事?”

医生拉住我的胳膊向前跑。他太紧张了,什么也说不清。看来,在几卡车全副武装的国民自卫队[1]开往电话局(由全国劳工联盟的工人控制着)并发动突然袭击时,他去过德卡特鲁纳广场。后来,一些无政府主义者赶往电话局,结果双方发生了冲突。我推测,当天早些时候发生的“麻烦”,一定是政府方面要求移交电话局造成的,当然,要求遭到了拒绝。

我们沿街而行,迎面而来的一辆卡车从我们身边急驶而过。车上满载荷枪实弹的无政府主义者。前方,一个衣衫褴褛的年轻人正卧伏在一堆床垫上,床垫前面有一挺机关枪。我们到达猎鹰旅馆(在拉姆拉斯南面)时,旅馆门前乱哄哄地围了一群人。由于场面混乱,根本没有人知道我们该干什么,旅馆里除了负责保卫大楼的几个突袭队员外,没有人带枪。我朝几乎就在街对面的马统工党的ComiteLocal*走过去。在楼上经常给民兵发工资的房间里,也挤了乱哄哄的一群人。有个穿便装、三十岁左右、个子高高、相貌英俊的男子,正在设法维持秩序,并从墙角的一堆物品中找出皮带和弹匣,目前似乎还没有枪支。美国医生不见了——我想,已经有人受伤,需要大夫——可又来了个英国人。这时,那高个子男子和另一些人从后面的一间办公室里取出成捆的枪,开始挨个分发。作为外国人,我和那个美国人最初并没得到他们的信任,他们不肯把枪发给我们。后来,一个我在前线认识的民兵走进来,并认出了我,这样我们才得以勉强地领到枪和几匣子弹。

—————————————————————

*西班牙语,本地的委员会。——译者

[1]在奥威尔死后发现的勘误表中写道:“所有章节中提到‘国民自卫队’的部分都应改为‘突袭部队’。我弄错的原因是加泰罗尼亚的突袭部队穿的制服与此后从巴伦西亚派出的部队不同,而西班牙人将所有这些编队形式统称为‘laguardia’。不可否认的是,国民自卫队在可能的情况下常站到佛朗哥一边的事实对突袭部队并无影响。突袭部队是自第二共和国时期起建立的一种编队形式,通常在巴塞罗那,提到‘laguardia’时总是带有普遍的敌意,这一说法是站得住脚的。”

—————————————————————

远处枪声大作,街道上空无一人。人人都说到拉姆拉斯以北去是不可能的了。国民自卫队已经占领了各个建筑的制高点,并对过往的每个行人进行猛烈射击。我本想冒险回旅馆,但又有点犹豫,拿不定主意,考虑到ComiteLocal可能随时遭到攻击,我觉得还是留下来为妙。在整幢大楼里,都能看到人们三五成群地站在楼梯和外面的走道上,激动地交谈着。没有人真正知道正在发生什么事。我能推测的,就是国民自卫队已经攻下电话局,而且战略了各处战略要害,从这些要害能够俯视工人掌握的其他建筑。有个大致的共识:一般来说,人们总是把国民自卫队摆在全国劳工联盟和工人阶级“之后”。可值得注意的是,到目前为止,似乎还没有人责怪政府。在巴塞罗那,比较贫穷的阶层都把国民自卫队视为走狗之类的东西,因此他们主动发起进攻也在情理之中。我曾听到过更为多种多样的说法,但我认为事情也就如此而已吧。问题已经足够清楚了。冲突的一方是全国劳工联盟,另一方是警察。我对那些在资产阶级共产党心目中已经理想化了的“工人”形象并没有特别的爱。但是,当我看到一个真实的血肉之躯的工人和他的天敌警察进行战斗时,我不能不扪心自问我自己究竟属于哪一边。

很长时间过去了,我们城市的这一头几乎什么事也没发生。我没有想到要给旅馆打电话,问一下我的妻子是否安全。因为我想当然地认为电话局已经停止运作,其实,电话局的运作只停顿了几个小时。两幢楼里挤了差不多三百人。他们大多是从穷街陋巷那边逃来的最穷苦阶层的人,其中有大批妇女,有的抱着婴儿,此外还有一群衣衫破烂的孩子。我想,他们中的许多人并不知道正在发生的一切究竟是怎么回事,只是为了逃到马统工党大楼里来避难的。此外,楼内还有许多民兵和为数不多的外国人。据我估计,我们这许多人中大概只有60支枪。楼上的办公室始终被索要枪支却被告知没有枪支的人群包围着。年轻的民兵小伙子几乎把索要事情当儿戏,他们到处转悠,千方百计地说好话去骗或者干脆去偷其他人的枪。没过多久,有个小伙子只巧妙地一闪就把我的枪给偷了,并迅速溜走。这样一来,我就只剩下手枪和一匣子弹,几乎被缴械了。

天黑了,我也饿了。猎鹰旅馆几乎没有什么可吃的东西。我和一个朋友一起溜往他下榻的旅馆(离这儿不远),打算弄到一点吃的。街道一片漆黑,死寂,连一个活动的人影都没有,所有窗户上的钢质百叶窗都已拉下,但街垒还没有筑起来。朋友住的那个旅馆,大门上了锁,而且还用许多东西拦了起来。他们反复盘问,才让我们进去了。我们回来以后才得知电话局已经运转,我立即跑到楼上办公室里给妻子打电话。很明显,楼内没有电话号码簿,而我又不知道大陆旅馆的电话号码。我在各个封建找了近半个小时以后,偶然发现一本记有大陆旅馆号码的旅行指南。我没能与妻子联系上,但我还是设法找到了英国独立工党驻巴塞罗那的代表麦克奈尔。他告诉我那里一切正常,没有人遭到枪击,并问我在ComiteLocal是否安全。我说要是有些香烟就更好了。我这只不过是开个玩笑而已。然而,半个小时后,麦克奈尔竟当真带上两包红好彩牌香烟过拉力了。他走在漆黑的街道上,在无政府主义者巡逻队的巡逻间隔中穿插而行,巡逻队员先后两次用枪口对着他,命令他站住并检查证件。对他的这一小小的英雄壮举,我永远也不会忘记。我真的很高兴有香烟抽了。

人们在大多数窗口布上了武装守卫。在楼下的街道上,突袭队员正拦住几个行人进行盘查。一辆满载武器的无政府主义者巡逻车开了过来。车上除了驾驶员,还有一个年仅十八岁的黑头发的漂亮女孩,她的双膝上放了一支冲锋枪。我在大楼周围转悠了好长时间,发现这儿是个挺不错的休闲场所,兴许还能从这儿学到点地理学知识。到处都是垃圾、破基价局和碎纸——这好象是革命不可避免的产物。所到之处,人们都已进入梦乡。摆在走廊上的破沙发上,两个从码头那边逃来的贫穷妇女均匀地打着呼噜。在马统工党接管以前,这儿是卡巴莱剧场的歌舞表演场所。有些房间有起高的舞台,其中有个舞台上还孤零零地放着一台大钢琴。后来,我终于找到了我一直在寻找的军械库。我不知道这么做结果会怎样,反正我就是急需拿到武器。我经常听说,加联社党、马统工党、全国劳工联盟——F.A.I.等相互对立的党派,一直在巴塞罗那的很多地方囤积武器,因此我根本不相信在马统工党的这两幢主要建筑物里只贮藏了我所见到的五六十支枪。用做军械库的房间没有任何保安设施,只有一扇破旧的门,我和另一个英国人没用多大力气就把门给撬开了。进去以后,我们发现他们讲的是真话——武器的确不是很多。我们只找到20来支老式小口径来复枪和几支猎枪,但没找到一颗子弹。我到楼上办公室去问是否还有手枪子弹,他们的回答是没有。不过,这里倒是有几箱手榴弹,那是无政府主义者巡逻车给我们送来的。我拿了两枚放进自己的弹药袋。这是一些粗制滥造的手榴弹,一拉掉保险销就有可能立即自动爆炸。

到处都是四肢摊开、沉沉入睡的人们。在一个房间里,有个小宝宝在哭,不停地哭。虽然已是五月了,但夜晚却仍然很冷。有个舞台上还挂着幕布,于是我用刀割下一块裹在身上,希望好好睡上几个小时。我被惊醒了,我记得自己在睡梦中突然想到了那些可怕的、如果用力翻身压上去就会把我炸上天的手榴弹。凌晨三点,那个像是负责人的高大英俊的男子把我叫醒,给了我一支来复枪,让我在一个窗下站岗。他告诉我,萨拉斯——对攻打电话局负有责任的警察局长,已经被逮捕。(我们后来才得知,其实他仅仅是被解除职务。然而,新闻报道却仍然在说,那是国民自卫队在没有接到命令的情况下自行其是的行动。)天刚破晓,人们就动手在楼下修建了两个街垒,一个建在ComiteLocal外面,另一个建在猎鹰旅馆外面。巴塞罗那的街道是用方形卵石铺的,用这些石头很容易垒起一堵墙,而且卵石下还有一种适合装沙袋的小圆石。筑起的街垒令人感到既古怪又奇妙,我要是能把它拍下来该有多好啊。当西班牙人决定干任何事情的时候,他们就会充分显示出自己的无限激情。成群结队的男人、女人,还有许多很小的孩子,他们撬起和搬运鹅卵石,用不知从哪儿找来的手推车从远处搬运沙子,手推车在装满沙子的麻袋的重压下摇摇晃晃。在ComiteLocal的门口,一个穿着民兵长裤、裤膝纽扣都拖到脚踝的德国犹太小女孩,正面带笑容地张望。几个小时后,街垒已经砌了一人高,射击口旁站上了士兵,在另一个街垒后面,火堆在燃烧,人们在煎鸡蛋。

他们又把我的来复枪拿走了,而且我似乎也只能无可奈何。我和另一个英国人决定回到大陆绿去。远处虽然战火不断,但拉姆拉斯北侧看起来一个人也没有。在回旅馆的途中,我们顺便到食品市场上看了看。只有少许几家货摊在营业,那些货摊被一群从拉姆拉斯南部工人居住区来的人围得紧紧的。就在我们到达市场时,外面传来了沉重的来复枪射击声,屋顶上方的玻璃都被震得颤动起来,市场内的人群向出口处飞逃而去。然而,仍有几家货摊还在营业,我们要了一杯咖啡,并买了几支棒形山羊奶酪塞在弹药袋的手榴弹旁。几天之后,我非常庆幸居然还能够吃上奶酪。

在我前一天看到的无政府主义者开火的街角,现在已经竖起一座街垒。街垒后面的男子(我在街道的另一边)大声叫喊,要我小心。教堂钟楼里的国民自卫队在不分青红皂白地向所有过路人开枪。我稍停了一会,然后猛地冲过街道,完全可以肯定,一颗子弹贴身而过,近得让我毛骨悚然。在我走到马统工党行政大楼对面街道一侧的时候,站在行政大楼门口的突袭队员发出大声警告——我没听清他们在喊些什么。在我和大楼之间隔着几棵树和一个报亭(西班牙这种类型的街道都有宽阔的人行横道),我看不清他们的手势。我进了大陆旅馆,四处一看,一切都还好,洗了把脸,然后回到马统工党行政大楼(离大街约100码)请命。这时,外面响起一片的来复枪和机关枪声已经几乎可以和一场战役相比了。我刚找到柯普,就问他我们该怎么办,这时楼下接连传来令人心惊的爆炸声。声音如此之大,以至于我认定有人在用野战炮向我们开火。其实只不过是手榴弹,当手榴弹在石材建筑物之间爆炸时,爆炸声要比在空旷地带大得多。

柯普向窗外瞥了一眼,把手杖竖在身后墙壁上,说道:“我们调查调查吧。”然后,他和平时一样,一副心不在焉的样子慢步走下楼梯,我紧跟在他身后。在大门口,一些突袭队员就像玩九柱戏似的,把手榴弹顺着台阶滚下人行道。手榴弹在二十码以外的地方炸开,和来复枪的砰砰声交织在一起,发出可怕而又震耳欲聋的爆炸声。在街道中间的报亭后面,有一颗脑袋——我认识的一个美国民兵的脑袋,探了出来,有如集市上人人都喜爱的椰子。稍后,我才知道这究竟是怎么回事。紧挨马统工党大楼有一家楼上设有旅馆的咖啡馆,叫做摩卡咖啡馆。前一天,二三十个全副武装的国民自卫队员突然闯入咖啡馆,在发生冲突后,强行占领整个大楼并赖着不走。他们可能是受命占领咖啡馆,以便为稍后攻打马统工党大楼做准备。次日清晨,在他们想走出摩卡咖啡馆大门时,与突袭队民兵发生冲突,双方互相开枪射击,结果,一个突袭队员受重伤,一名国民自卫队员身亡。国民自卫队被迫逃回咖啡馆。当那个美国人沿街走过来时,国民自卫队却向他猛烈开火,尽管那个美国人手无寸铁。美国人连忙躲到报亭后藏身,而突袭队员向国民自卫队投掷手榴弹好把他们赶回屋内。

柯普大致看了一下现场,拨开人群走过来,把一个正用牙齿咬拔手榴弹保险销的红发德国突袭队员拽了回来。他大声命令人们撤回大楼,并用好几种语言告诉大家,我们必须避免流血。然后,他走出大门,站在国民自卫队完全能够看得清的人行道上,夸张地解下手枪并缓慢地放在地上。随行的两个西班牙民兵军官也同样如此,他们三个人缓慢地朝着正在门口挤成一团的国民自卫队走过去。这是一件给我20英镑我也不会干的事。他们两手空空地朝那些手里有枪但却被吓坏了的国民自卫队士兵走去。一个只穿衬衫、吓得脸色铁青的国民自卫队官员从门内走出来和柯普谈判。他不停地用颤抖着的手指着人行道上的两枚未爆的手榴弹。柯普回来以后对我们说,最好引爆那两颗手榴弹,继续留在那儿,对行人很危险。一个突袭队员向其中一枚手榴弹开了一枪,手榴弹爆炸了,但没有击中另一枚。我向他要过步枪,蹲下来朝第二枚手榴弹开枪。真是难为情,我也没打中。这是我在骚乱期间唯一的一次开枪射击。人行道上落满了从摩卡咖啡馆招牌上掉下的碎玻璃片,停在外面的两辆军车,其中有一辆是柯普的,被子弹打出了许多窟窿,挡风玻璃完全破碎了。

柯普再次带我上楼,并给我简要地说明了一下的当前情况。如果马统工党大楼遭到攻击,我们必须保卫大楼,但马统工党的头头们却发话来要我们按兵不动,不到万不得已不要开火。大楼的正对面有一个叫做波利罗马的电影院,电影院的楼上设有一个博物馆,在这座高出一般建筑的顶部有个双穹的嘹望塔。利用它可以控制街道,只要有几个持枪的士兵守住那儿,就可以压制任何针对马统工党大楼的进攻。电影院管理员是全国劳工联盟的成员,应该会允许我们进出。至于摩卡咖啡馆的国民自卫队员,也不会跟着我们太过不去,他们不想打仗,只会很乐意自己活着也让别人活着。柯普重申命令,除非有人向我们开火或者我们的大楼受到攻击,否则不得开枪。我猜想,马统工党的头头们也一定对被牵进这一事件而大发雷霆,但他们还是认为不得不和全国劳工联盟保持一致,虽然柯普没有这么说。

我们已经在嘹望塔布置了守卫。在此后的三天三夜里,除了悄悄去旅馆吃饭时的短暂休息,我一直守卫在波利罗马电影院的屋顶上,我尚未遇到过什么危险。只要不挨饿、不烦闷,我什么都能忍耐,然而,这却是我整个一生中最难耐的一段时间。我认为,很少有能比经历巷战那些不幸的日子更令人厌恶、更令人绝望,或者,结果更令人伤透脑筋的了。

我待在屋顶上,常常对这种愚蠢的行为感到惊讶。透过嘹望塔小小的窗户,你可以看到数英里方圆——一排排细瘦高耸的楼房,玻璃穹顶,还有那些耀眼的绿瓦和红铜瓦、奇妙而又弯曲的屋顶;向东看是波光粼粼的淡蓝色大海——我自来到西班牙后第一次看到大海。拥有百万人口的大都市沉浸在毫无生气、一片狼藉的噩梦之中。阳光下的街道上空空荡荡。除了从街垒和用沙袋堵起的窗后射出的一连串子弹,没有什么事发生。所有街道上都没有汽车行驶。在拉姆拉斯一带,电车一动不动地停着,驾驶员早在开战时就逃之夭夭了。可恶的噪声一直在成千上万的石头建筑物之间回荡,回荡,就像一场热带的暴风雨。劈劈啪啪声、哒哒哒哒声、轰隆轰隆声——有时消失为只有零零落落的射击声,有时又变为震耳欲聋的连续猛烈射击声,白天的射击从未停止过,第二天黎明会准时开始。

究竟正在发生些什么事,谁在打谁,谁正在获胜,一开始很难弄清楚。巴塞罗那人是那么习惯巷战,那么熟悉当地的地形环境,以至于他们凭直觉就能知道哪个政党会控制哪条街道和哪些大楼。任何一个外国人都会自叹不如。从嘹望塔望去,我能清楚地看到拉姆拉斯,它是这座城市的一条主要街道,一条分界线。在拉姆拉斯以西,工人阶级的地区有团结的无政府主义者;在东面,一场糊里糊涂的战斗正在弯弯曲曲的小巷中进行着,再那里,加联社党和国民自卫队或多或少占有主动权。而在拉姆拉斯北面,加泰罗尼亚广场周围的阵地却十分复杂,以至于每幢大楼上要是没挂上一面党旗,那就很难弄清那里究竟属于哪个派别了。这里的主要建筑物就是科隆旅馆——加联社党的总部,控制着加泰罗尼亚广场。从科隆旅馆这个庞然大物唯一靠近广场的一扇窗户里,伸出了能够以致命效果扫射广场的机关枪。在拉姆拉斯南面,我们东面100码的地方,J.S.U.——加联社党的青年联盟(相当于英国的青年共产主义者联盟),正据守一家大百货商店,他们用沙袋堵起了对着我们嘹望塔的窗户。他们已经取下他们的红色旗子,升起了加泰罗尼亚人的旗帜。在电话局的上面,所有麻烦的起点就是加泰罗尼亚人的旗帜和无政府主义者的旗子并排飘扬。在那儿,某些暂时性的妥协已经达成,交接正在不停地进行着,大楼里并没有发生交火。

我们的这个地方是出奇地安静。摩卡咖啡馆的国民自卫队已经拉下钢质百叶窗,并把咖啡馆的家具摞起来设置了一道路障。稍后,又有五六个人来到我们对面的屋顶,用床垫建起了又一个掩体,而且挂上了加泰罗尼亚人的旗帜。但很明显,他们并没有开火的意思。柯普已与他们订下了明确的协议:如果他们不向我们开枪,我们也决不向他们开枪。通过这次交涉,他已与国民自卫队相处得不错,而且好几次去摩卡咖啡馆拜访他们。国民自卫队当然已经攫取了咖啡馆里的所有饮料,他们以15瓶啤酒作为礼物送给他。作为回报,柯普竟然把我们的一支来复枪送给他们,以此补偿他们在前一天不知如何丢失的一支枪。然而,待在屋顶上总有一种奇怪的感觉。有时,我对所有的事情只是厌烦,对可恶的噪音却并不在意。我通常会花上几个钟头去看一系列企鹅出版社的书,这些是我几天前很幸运地买到的。有时,我确实能觉察到50码外的士兵正盯着我。这有点像回到战壕的感觉。由于习惯所致,有几次我都把国民自卫队说成“法西斯”又突然住口。我们通常有六个人守在那儿。我们在嘹望塔内安排一个守卫,而其余的人则坐在下面的铅皮屋顶上,那儿除了一道石栏杆外,没有其他可作掩护的东西。我清楚地知道国民自卫队随时可能接到开火的电话命令。他们虽已同意在这么干之前对我们发出警告,但是也不能断定他们会一定信守协议。然而,只有一次,看起来像要发生麻烦。对面的一个自卫队员蹲下来并开枪射击。当时我正好在嘹望塔站岗。我立即把枪口对准了他,大声吼道:

“喂,你干嘛朝我们开枪!”

“什么?”

“不要朝我们开枪,否则,我们就要还击啦!”

“没有,没有!我不是对你们开枪。看——朝下面那儿看!”

他用枪口指着通往我们大楼的侧街。那里有一个穿蓝色工作服的年轻人,手持来复枪在街角躲来藏去。很明显,这个人刚才向屋顶上的自卫队员开过枪。

“我刚才是朝他开枪。是他先开枪打我的。”(我相信这是真的)“我们不会向你们开枪的。我们跟你们一样,都是工人。”

他打了一个反法西斯的敬礼,我回敬了他。我朝对面高声喊道:

“你们还有啤酒吗?”

“没了,我们的都喝光了。”

在同一天,没有什么明显的理由,离街稍远的加联社党青年联盟的大楼里的一个士兵,在我探出窗外的时候,突然举枪向我射击。也许是我太过惹人注目了。我没有还击。虽然他离我只有100码左右,但子弹还是偏离目标很远,以至于连嘹望塔的屋顶都没打着。像往常一样,西班牙人的射击水平让我捡了条命。我曾多次遭到来自这幢大楼的射击。

可恶的枪声持续不断。根据我的所见所闻,对立双方往往都是出于自卫才开枪射击的。人们只在自己的建筑物中或街垒后面,向对方射击。离我们大约半英里的地方有条街道,街道上的一些全国劳工联盟的主要办公室几乎和劳工总会的办公室面对面,从那个方向传来的声音非常可怕。战争结束之后,我曾经过那条街道,橱窗的玻璃被子弹打得像筛子。(巴塞罗那的大部分店主把他们的窗户用长纸条交叉着封贴起来,这样当子弹击中玻璃的时候,玻璃碎块就不会飞出伤人)。有时,来复枪和机关枪开火的哒哒声不时地被炸弹的爆炸声所掩盖。远处传来极其沉重的爆炸声,多达十几次,而且间隔时间比较长,我当时也搞不清这是怎么回事。它听起来像是炸弹在空中的爆炸声,但那是不可能的,因为没有飞机出现过。后来有人告诉我——确实可能是真的——内奸为了制造尽可能大的恐慌而点燃一堆堆炸药。然而,并没有火炮声。我正在等着听大炮的轰鸣,因为大炮一旦开始怒吼,那么就说明事态已经十分严重了(火炮是巷战的决定性因素)。后来,报纸上刊发了有关街垒遭炮击的小道消息,但没人能指出哪幢楼房遭到过炮弹的袭击。总之,如果大家听惯了炮声,那么谁也不会弄错。

食品从骚乱开始以来一直非常短缺。为了给守卫马统工党行政大楼的那15到20个民兵弄到吃的,我们只能在黑夜的掩护下(因为国民自卫队常常在拉姆拉斯一带伏击),悄悄地摸到猎鹰旅馆那儿弄点吃的来,但不够每人一份,我们当中许多人要尽可能地去大陆旅馆吃饭。大陆旅馆被自治政府“集体化”了,这与大部分诸如全国劳工联盟或劳工总会控制的旅馆不一样,这儿被视为中立地。战争刚开始,旅馆就被数量惊人的人群挤得满满的。有外国的新闻记者;有形形色色的政治嫌疑犯;有为政府服役的美国飞行员;有来自不同国家、持不同政治观点、属于不同派别的共产党特工,其中有一个身躯肥胖、满脸横肉的俄国人,据说是Ogpu*的间谍,绰号查理?琛,腰带上挂了一支左轮手枪和一枚小巧的手榴弹;有看起来像法西斯同情者的西班牙富人;有两三个受伤的国际纵队士兵;有因战争受阻无法把橘子运回法国而滞留的法国卡车司机;还有许多人民军的军官。人民军作为一个整体,战争期间一直保持中立,尽管也有少数士兵开小差或自行其是。在那个星期二的上午,我在马统工党兵营里就见到过其中的两个。一开始,在食物短缺变得很严重且报纸开始借此挑起仇恨之前,就出现了把食物短缺当成笑料的趋势。人们都会说,这种事在巴塞罗那司空见惯,每年都有发生。乔治?托伊利,一个意大利新闻记者,我们一位了不起的朋友,走了近来,裤子浸透了鲜血。他只是出去看看发生了什么事,并在人行道上给一个受伤的人包扎,而就在此时,有人竟开玩笑似地向他投掷手榴弹,幸好他伤得不重。我记得他的感慨是:巴塞罗那的铺路石不应该太多,这样可以减少建造和拆毁街垒的麻烦。我还记得,有一次在我换岗后疲惫不堪又饿又脏地走进旅馆时,发现我的房间里坐着两个国际纵队派来的人。他们的态度完全是中立的。假如他们是自己政党的优秀和忠实的支持者,我推想,他们会出催促我改变立场,或者干脆毒死我,把我装得鼓鼓的弹药袋拿走;相反,他们只是十分同情我在休假期间还坚持在房顶上值勤。他们的基本态度是:“这只是无政府主义者和警察之间的争吵——并没有什么别的名堂。”不管战斗进行到什么程度和伤亡多少人,我相信,这总要比把事件描述为有计划的骚乱那样的官方说法更接近事实。

—————————————————————

*苏联人民委员会国家政治保安总局肃反委员会的简称。——译者

—————————————————————

到了星期三(5月5日),一切都几乎完全变了样。封锁的街道看起来可怕极了仅有的几个行人也是迫不得已才走出家门的,他们一边蹑手蹑脚地走着,一边挥舞着白色的手帕,在不大会受到子弹射击的拉姆拉斯的一个角落,有人站在空荡荡的大街上叫卖报纸。星期二的《团结报》——无政府主义者的报纸,把电话局遭到攻击称之为“巨大的挑衅”(或类似字眼),但到了星期三,报纸就变了调子,开始恳求人们回去上班。无政府主义者的头头们也发出了同样的信息。马统工党的报纸LaBatalla(《战斗》)的办公室,大约和电话局同时遭到袭击,那是在毫无准备的情况下,遭人民军突然袭击和占领的。但报纸仍在印刷出版,并被从另外一些渠道分发出去。报纸上的文章催促大家尽可能待在街垒里。人们惴惴不安、忧心忡忡,谁都想知道事件究竟将如何了结。我怀疑到目前为止人们是否都离开了街垒,但我并不怀疑人们都厌恶这种毫无意义的战斗,它会导致难以预料的后果。因为没有人想把它发展为一场新的大规模内战*,那只能意味着输掉反对佛朗哥法西斯的战争。据我所知,这种担心在各方面都有所表现。人们一般都认为,从广大全国劳工联盟成员的一贯主张和既得利益来看,他们的要求只有两个:交还电话局和解除可恨的人民军的武装。如果自治政府答应做这两件事,并答应终止牟取食品暴利的话,那么毫无疑问街垒会在两小时后全部拆除。但自治政府显然没有打算作出让步。居心叵测、别有用心的谣言漫天飞。有传言称,巴伦西亚政府已派出6000多名士兵前往占领巴塞罗那,而5000多名无政府主义者和马统工党民兵则离开阿拉贡前线,准备抗击政府军。实际上,只有前者是真实的。从嘹望塔眺望,我们看到了浅灰色的类似军舰状的船只在靠近港口。据水手出身的道格拉斯?莫利说,那东西看起来像英国的驱逐舰。事实上,那就是英国的驱逐舰,虽然我们后来才知道。

—————————————————————

*指共和国内部各派之间的战争。——译者

—————————————————————

那天傍晚,我们听说西班牙广场有400名国民自卫队员向无政府主义者缴械投降;另一个消息含糊不清,据说在郊区(主要是工人阶级居住区),全国劳工联盟在控制着局势。这就好象是我们获胜了。但就在同一天晚上,柯普派人找我过去,他神情严肃地告诉我,根据刚刚获得的情报,政府即将取缔马统工党,并宣布进入战时状态。这消息让我大为震惊。这是我首次意识到此后一切都将被归咎于它。我隐约预感,战争一旦结束,一切责任就将全部落在马统工党的头上了,它是力量最弱小的政党,因而也是最适合不过的替罪羊。与此同时,我们的部分中立也将宣告结束。如果政府向我们宣战,那么别无选择,只有自卫。而且在行政大楼这儿,我敢肯定驻扎在对面的国民自卫队将会接到攻击我们的命令。我们唯一的机会就是要先下手。柯普在电话旁等候命令,如果马统工党的确被宣布为非法并加以取缔,那么我们必须马上做好占领摩卡咖啡馆的准备。

我记得,在那个漫长的噩梦般的晚上,我们花了很多时间来加强大楼防卫措施。我们锁上了前面入口处的钢质卷帘,在钢帘的后面,用工人们弄来的备用石板筑起一堵墙。我们详细检查了我们的武器库存。包括波利罗马屋顶上的六支来复枪在内,我们一共有21支枪(其中有一支无法使用),每支枪大约有50发子弹,还有几十枚手榴弹;此外,除了几支普通手枪和左轮手枪,什么也没有。我们有12个士兵,其中大多是德国人,假如摩卡咖啡馆那里向我们开火的话,他们表示愿意主动进攻。当然,我们最好在午夜刚过的某个时候从屋顶上向他们开火,打他们个出其不意,他们虽然人数比我们更多,但我们的士气更好。毫无疑问,我们能够拿下咖啡馆,尽管这么做肯定会有牺牲。我们大楼里除了有些巧克力外,没有什么可吃的东西,而且到处谣传“他们”要切断自来水供应。(没有人知道“他们”是谁。是政府?还是全国劳工联盟?——没人知道)。我们花了很长的时间把盥洗室的每只盆,以及能够找到的每只桶都放满了水,最后,连国民自卫队送给柯普的、早已喝光了的15瓶啤酒的空瓶子里也灌满了水。

大约60个小时没有睡好觉,我累极了,心情也很坏。现在已近午夜了。楼下街垒的后面,人们横七竖八地睡得满地都是。楼上有个小房间,里面有一张沙发,我们想把这里用做伤员包扎室,不用说,其实在我们大楼里既没见到过碘酒,也没到过绷带。我的妻子从旅馆里跑过来,准备充当护士之类的角色。我在沙发上躺下,打算在攻打摩卡咖啡馆(假如万一身亡)之前睡上半个小时。我记得,皮带上的手枪抵疼了我的腰背部,使我感到很难受。而且,我还记得接下来发生的事,我突然醒来,发现我的妻子站在我的身边。天色已经大亮,什么也没有发生,政府没有向马统工党宣战,自来水也没有被切断,除了零星的射击声外,街道上一切正常。我的妻子说不忍心叫醒我,而她此前睡在前面房间里的扶手椅上。

那天下午出现了一种休战状态。射击声已经逐渐减少,街道上出乎意料地挤满了人。一些商店开始拉起百叶窗,市场被一大群吵吵闹闹抢购食物的人挤得水泄不通,尽管货摊上的物品已经所剩无几了。然而,值得注意的是,电车还没有运行。国民自卫队员仍然守在摩卡的街垒后面,两边加固的掩体并没撤除。人们到处奔波购买食品。你处处都能听得到同样的忧虑:“你认为它停了吗?你认为它还会再来吗?”“它”——战争——有如突发自然灾害、飓风或地震,正无情地降临在所有人的身上,我们无力阻挡。果然,几乎不出所料——我原以为会停几个小时,可似乎只有几分钟——突然一阵来复枪声响起,有如六月天的暴风雨,把所有人吓得撒腿就跑,钢百叶窗哗拉拉地落下,街道上魔幻般地一下子不见了人影,街垒里的人们立即各就各位,“它”又开始了。

我带着一种极度厌恶与愤怒的情绪,重新回到屋顶上的岗位,当你正在加入诸如此类事件的时候,我推想,在某种程度上,你是在创造历史,而且按理说你应该感觉到你是个历史人物。但你绝不会这么去想,因为在这样的时代,实实在在的具体问题总会突出于其他一切的。在整个战争期间中,我从未对远离战场数百英里的记者们想当然地编造出来的形势做过正确“分析”。我迫切关心的主要不是这场悲惨的、两败俱伤的战斗的是与非,而是日夜待在屋顶上的那种难以忍受的不安和厌烦,还有越来越严重的饥饿——因为自星期一起,我们没有一个人吃过一顿像样的饭。等这差事一结束,我就立即重返前线,这个念头始终萦绕在我的脑海里。这让人发狂。我在前线阵地上已经待了105天,回到巴塞罗那原本是为了能够得到点休息和安逸;可到头来不仅没能如此,反而只能在屋顶上苦度时光。对面屋顶上的国民自卫队员们也跟我一样。他们定期向我挥手,让我相信他们是“工人”(意思是希望我不要向他们开枪),但是,如果他们一旦接到开火的命令,肯定会六亲不认的。如果这就是历史,它看起来却一点也不像历史。跟前线一样,这更像是一个艰苦的时期。在前线,由于士兵人数少,我们只得反常地多站数个小时的岗,并非逞英雄,只是必须坚守岗位,尽管令人厌烦、睡眠不足,至于对这样做到底是为了什么,那是丝毫也不感兴趣。

在旅馆里的那些多半不敢将鼻子伸出门外的形形色色的暴徒中间,渐渐出现了一种极为可怕的怀疑气氛。受间谍癖感染的各式各样的人物,鬼鬼祟祟地到处游走,低声地嘀咕着某人是共产党的间谍,或托洛茨基分子,或无政府主义者,或者什么都不是。那个肥胖的俄国特工,正在逐一为难所有的外国难民,并花言巧语地解释说,整个事件全部都是无政府主义者的阴谋。我饶有兴趣地看着他,因为这还是我有生以来第一次仔细观察一个其职业就是撒谎的人——如果你没算进新闻记者的话。在来复枪的嗒嗒射击声中,仍然在堵得严严实实的窗户背后模仿时髦旅馆的生活着实令人厌恶。

前面的餐厅在子弹穿过窗户、击毁柱子之后,已经停止使用,客人们挤进后面的一个漆黑的房间里,里面的座位根本就不够。为数不多的服务员——他们中有一些是全国劳工联盟的成员,已参加总罢工——暂时脱下了他们的上浆衬衫,但仍以一种虚伪的方式上菜。其实,根本就没有什么可吃的。星期四那天晚上,主菜仅仅是每人一条沙丁鱼。旅馆里已经多日没有面包供应,甚至连酒也是那么紧缺,以至于我们不得不喝那些年头越来越陈、价格也越来越高得离奇的酒。这里的战事结束后,食品依然继续短缺。接连三天,我和妻子的早餐只有一小块不配面包的山羊奶酪,而且没有任何饮料。这里,唯一丰富的食品就是柑橘。法国卡车司机把他们无法运回国的大量的柑橘卖到旅馆来。他们是一些体型健壮的人,身边总是带着一些妖艳俗气的西班牙女孩,以及穿黑衬衣的大个子搬运工。在往日,任何一个旅馆经理之类的小势利鬼,都会千方百计地整得他们不舒坦,实际上拒绝他们在大楼内留宿。但现在他们却很吃香,不像我们其他人,因为他们拥有一间面包房,谁都必须低声下气地从那儿讨购一点面包。

最后一个晚上,我继续在屋顶上守卫。第二天,这里的战斗好象结束了。我记得那天——星期五,没有很多的枪战。没有人确知巴伦西亚方面的军队是否已经来了,其实,他们在那天傍晚就已到达了。政府用半是安抚半是威胁的腔调广播,要求每个人都立即回到家中,并说一个小时后如发现任何携带武器的人都将逮捕。人们虽然对政府的广播没有太过在意,但是,各处街垒里的人群却渐渐地散去了。我并不怀疑这主要是缺少食物造成的。你会从冲突双方听到同样的言语:“我们没有多少食物了,我们得回去上班。”而在国民自卫队那里,却是完全另一回事,只要城里还有任何食品,他们就能得到定额供应,继续留在他们的阵地上。到了下午,虽然废弃的街垒仍然原封不动地树立着,但街道上的情形似已恢复正常:拉姆拉斯人头攒动,商店几乎全部开门,最令人们兴奋的是——封锁街区停运已久的电车,开始运行。国民自卫队仍然占据着摩卡咖啡馆,并没有拆除他们的街垒,不过他们中的有些人持枪坐在人行道上的椅子上。我经过时其中一位善意地眨了眨眼,可得到的却是极不友好的撇嘴阴笑。当然,他是认识我的。电话局上空的无政府主义者的旗帜被扯了下拉,只有加泰罗尼亚人的旗帜在飘扬着。这意味着工人们一定是被打败了。我意识到——尽管由于我在政治上的无知,对我应该清楚的私情我还不是很清楚——当政府感到地整个事件的控制更有把握的时候,将会实行报复。但是,当时我对这方面的事情不感兴趣。我所感兴趣的是,确信可恶的战斗喧嚣已经结束了,我们可以在重返前线以前多买一些食品,稍稍休息一下,稍稍安静一点了。

从巴伦西亚开来的人民军最初出现在街道上的时候,天色肯定已经很晚。他们都是突击卫队——一种类似国民自卫队和马枪骑兵之类(主要从事警察工作的队伍)的编队,是共和国的精锐部队。他们好象是突然间从地底下冒出来似的,你能够到处看到他们在街道上巡逻,每十个人一小组,他们身材高大,身着灰色或蓝色的制服,肩上背着长长的步枪,每个小组都配有一挺冲锋枪。当然,这时我们还有一项具体的工作要做。我们在嘹望塔上用于守卫的那六支步枪还放在那儿,我们必须尽可能地把枪弄回马统工党的大楼。这些枪是大楼常备军械库武器的一部分。看起来,这只是一个把几支枪送到街对面的简单问题。但要将枪支通过街道运送,却是违反政府命令的。如果带着枪支被捉,那我们肯定要被逮捕——更糟糕的是,枪支将被统统没收。大楼里只有21支枪,我们可损失不起其中的这六支。在经过充分讨论、找出最好办法之后,一个西班牙红发男孩和我开始把枪支偷运出去。避开突击卫队巡逻很容易,危险在于摩卡咖啡馆的国民自卫队,他们很清楚我们在嘹望塔有枪,要是被他们看到我们在搬运枪支,事情就会完全露馅。大家脱去部分衣服,左肩挂枪带,腋窝夹枪托,枪管藏在裤管里。不幸的是,这都是些长毛瑟枪。即使我这样身材高大的人,也无法便便当当地把老长的毛瑟枪管藏进裤管里。拖着一条完全僵直的左腿,走下嘹望塔的旋梯,真是让人无法忍受的差事。后来,我们发现,过街时唯一的活动方式就是要走得慢,特别慢,慢得你根本无需曲膝抬腿。在电影院外面,当我以乌龟般的速度向前行走的时候,我注意到有不少人颇为幸灾乐祸地注视着我。我时常回想:当时他们会以为我出了什么问题呢?大概是在战斗中负了伤。然而,所有的枪支都被偷运过去了,没有出事。

第二天,突击卫队的士兵到处出现,他们有如征服者半地迈步大街小巷。这无疑是政府在炫耀武力,目的在于吓唬政府自己也明知不会反抗的居民。假如担心发生新的暴动,他们就会待在街垒里,而不会一伙一伙地分散在大街上。人民军是一支我在西班牙看到的最好和最华丽的军队,虽然我在某种意义上假定他们是“敌人”,但我仍禁不住喜欢上他们的外表。但我是用一种惊奇的目光在看着他们来回溜达的。过去,在阿拉贡前线,我见惯了衣衫褴褛、几乎没有装备的民兵,却不知道共和国还拥有一支这样的军队。他们不仅在身材上经过严格挑选,更使我吃惊的是他们的武器。他们全都装备了崭新的“俄式来复枪”(这些枪是苏联运给西班牙的,但我却相信那是美国制造的)。我察看过其中一支来复枪。它虽不是那么完美的枪,但比起我们在前线用的那种糟糕透顶的老式大口径来复枪,不知要好到哪里去了。人民军每十个士兵拥有一挺机关枪,每人拥有一支自动手枪,在前线,我们50人才可能有一挺机关枪,而手枪只能非法购买。事实上,我到现在才注意到,到处都一样。从来没上过前线的国民自卫队和马枪骑兵们的装备比我们好,穿戴更好。我猜想,大概在所有战争中都是一样的——后方着装时髦的警察和前线衣衫褴褛的士兵之间,总是会存在着明显差别的。一两天后,突击卫队和居民剧本上相安无事。第一天,一部分突袭队员以挑衅性的方式制造了许多麻烦,我想那是奉命行事。他们强行登上电车,搜查乘客,若乘客带有全国劳工联盟会员证,就会立即撕毁,并扔在脚下践踏。这导致了无政府主义者与他们之间的武力冲突,并有一两人身亡。不过,突击卫队很快就改变了征服者的架势,与居民的紧张关系也变得较为缓和。值得注意的是,他们中的很多人仅在几天后就哄上了一个女孩子。

巴塞罗那的战斗,给巴伦西亚政府提供了渴望已久的全面控制加泰罗尼亚的借口。工人民兵将被解散,重新编入人民军。西班牙共和国的旗子在巴塞罗那上空到处飘扬,我想除了法西斯分子的阵地,这还是我第一次见到。工人阶级居住区正在拆除街垒,这一过程是断断续续的,因为建造一座街垒要比把这些石头放回去容易。加联社党大楼外面的街垒被允许继续保留,有些甚至一直保留到了六月底。国民自卫队仍然占据着所有战略要害。全国劳工联盟的大本营里,正在大规模搜查武器,尽管如此,我敢肯定,仍会有很多武器设法逃过收缴。《战斗》报仍在出版,但受到严格审查,以至于头版几乎完全空白。加联社党的报纸不在审查之列,经常发表煽动性的文章,要求查封马统工党。马统工党被宣布为隐蔽的法西斯组织,一副代表马统工党的漫画人物,被撕开画有锤子和镰刀的假面具,露出了一副带有纳粹卐标记的疯狂而又丑恶的嘴脸。加联社党的宣传人员将这幅漫画贴遍全城大街小巷。很明显,官方对巴塞罗那战争的看法已成定论,它被描述为马统工党一手策划的一次法西斯“第五纵队”的暴乱。

旅馆里那种可怕的怀疑和敌对气氛,随着战争的结束,变得更加沉重紧张。面对各种各样的指责,要想保持中立那就难了。邮局又恢复运营了,于是外国各种不同宗派的共产党人报纸开始到达,他们对战争的报道,不但具有强烈的党派特征,而且当然与事实大相径庭。我知道,身在战争现场的那些共产党人,他们已经真切地目睹了正在发生的一切,他们对掩盖和歪曲事实真相的说法感到极为惊诧,但他们自然还得坚持他们自己党派的立场。我的那位共产党朋友再一次找到了我,并问我是否愿意站到国际纵队。

我感到相当惊讶。“你们的报纸在说我是法西斯主义者,”我说,“当然,应该说我是一个政治嫌疑犯,一个马统工党的政治嫌疑犯。”

“哦,那没有关系。毕竟,你也只是奉命行事。”

我不得不告诉他,这一事件以后,我不可能参加任何西班牙共产党控制的部队了。那将可能意味着迟早会被别人利用,来反对西班牙工人阶级。说不准此类事件还会发生,如果我必须要在类似事件中拿起枪,那我只会拿起枪站在工人阶级一边,而不会与他们为敌。他对此感到非常能够理解。但从现在起,整个气氛已经改变了。如果以往一样,人们不可能“各自保留不同意见”,并和一个可能是你政治上的敌人一起举杯共饮。旅馆休息室里不断发生可怕的争吵。同时,监狱里人满为患。战争结束后,无政府主义者理所当然地释放了他们的俘虏。但是,国民自卫队却不是这样,他们把俘获的大部分俘虏关进监狱,并不加审判地关押下去,多数是一关好几个月。和过去一样,全然清白的人,由于警察的粗暴腐败而遭到无辜拘捕和迫害。以前,我曾提到过道格拉斯?汤普生在四月初受伤的事。从那以后,我们就与他完全失去了联系。只要有士兵受伤,这样的事就经常发生,因为伤兵经常会被从这所医院转送到那所医院。事实上,他住在塔拉戈纳医院,大概是在战斗发生时被送到巴塞罗那的。星期二的早晨,我在大街上遇见了他。汤普生被这到处发生的开火场景弄得不知所措。他问了一个大家都在问的问题:

“这到底是怎么回事?”

我尽可能详细地解释了一番。汤普生马上说:

“我要离这种事远一点。我手臂上的伤还没有好。我要回旅馆,待在那儿什么地方也不去。”

他回到了他下榻的旅馆,但是不幸的是,这家旅馆处在国民自卫队控制的城区。(在巷战中熟悉当地的地形环境是多么重要!)结果,这家旅馆遭到袭击,汤普生被捕,并被投入监狱,关进人满为患、没有栖身之地的牢房里,一关就是八天。这样的情形还有很多。许多被列为政治嫌疑分子的外国人被迫逃走,害怕遭到撤职的警察在日夜紧盯着他们的行踪。意大利人和德国人的情形更糟,他们没有护照,时常遭到他们本国秘密警察的追捕。一旦被捕,那么他们就极可能被驱逐到法国,这也就意味着他们必将被遣返意大利或德国,到了那儿,那就只有上帝才知道将会有何种恐怖的暴行在等待着他们。有几个外国妇女通过和西班牙人闪电式“结婚”,来获得她们的合法地位。一个根本没有护照的德国女孩,为了躲避警察,只好连续多日假扮一个男子的情妇。我记得,有一次在我偶然碰见她从那个男人的卧室中走出时,她的脸上充满了羞耻惨淡的神色。当然,她不是他的情妇,但她无疑回以为我是这样认为的。对于某个朋友向秘密警察告发你,你会始终有一种令你痛恨不已的感觉。战争、噪音、饥饿和困倦,待在屋顶上既紧张又烦闷,不知道下一分钟我会不会自杀或者被迫向别的什么人开枪,这漫长的噩梦使我的神经紧张不安。每当门外砰砰作响、伸手去抓手枪的时候,我的精神就紧张到了极点。星期六早晨,外面传来尖啸的射击声,人们高声惊叫:“战争又打起来了!”我炮到街上一看,原来是一些突袭队员在向一条疯狗开枪。当时或几个月后在巴塞罗那生活过的人们,谁都永远忘不了由恐惧、怀疑、仇恨、遭审查的报纸、人满为患的监狱、奇长无比的购买食物的队伍以及成群结队到处巡逻的武装士兵等等所产生的恐怖气氛。

我已对自己认为的巴塞罗那战斗中最重要的东西发表了一些尝试性的见解,然而,我猜想我并没能够成功地传达当时的那些陌生的东西。许多事情深深地印在我脑海里,其中有一件是在与人们偶然接触时所产生的——在没有直接卷入战斗的许多人们看来,突然发生的事件对他们来说只不过是一场毫无意义的骚动。我记得,我曾看到,在枪声响起并响彻街区之际,仍有一位穿着入时的妇女,胳膊上挎着购物篮,手里牵着一条白色的狮子狗,在拉姆拉斯的街道上漫步。很明显,她是个听觉失聪的人。我还看到,有个男子手挥白色手帕,冲过加泰罗尼亚广场那个被封锁的无人区。一大批身穿黑衣的人,差不多花了一个多小时试图通过加泰罗尼亚广场,可总是以失败告终。只要他们从街角一出现,科隆旅馆里的加联社党机关枪就开火,把他们赶回去——我不知道为什么,因为他们非常明显地没有携带武器。事后,我在想,这些人很可能是正在举行葬礼。曾在波利罗马楼上博物馆担当看守的小个子男子,甚至把整个事件当成一种社交机会。他很高兴有英国人来拜访他——他说英国人同样是那么可爱。他希望战斗结束后,我们都能再来看他,事实上,我的确去看过他。还有一个小个子男子,躲在门口,对加泰罗尼亚广场上那该死的交火,兴高采烈地摇着头,说道(有如评论晴朗的早晨似的0:“我们可不是又回到7月19日了吗!”此外,还有那些正在为我做军靴的鞋店皮匠。战斗开始前,我曾去过那家鞋店,战斗结束后,即5月5日休战期间,我又去那里待过不大一会儿。这是一家要价很高的鞋店,店铺里的人都是劳工总会的成员,而且很可能一直是加联社党的成员——无论如何,他们在政治上是属于对方那一边的,而且他们也知道我是在为马统工党服务。他们对整个事件的态度,是完全漠不关心。“发生这种事,太遗憾啦,不是吗?影响做生意啊。战斗没完没了,真遗憾!好像前线打得还不够似的!”等等,等等。可以肯定,很多甚至绝大多数的巴塞罗那居民,对整个事件没有丝毫兴趣,至于发生空袭将会如何,那就更不感兴趣了。

在这一章里,我仅就自己的个人经历作了描述。在下一章节里,我必须尽最大的努力探讨事件中比较重要的问题——实际上发生了什么,产生了什么后果,事件的是非是什么,要是有责任该谁来负。由于巴塞罗那战斗产生出了那么多的政治资本,尽一切可能对它作出公正的评论是很重要的。以这一事件为主题写出来的东西实在太多了,多得足以凑合成许许多多本书,如果说其中十分之八、九是不真实的,我想这应该不是夸大其辞。所有在那时候发布的新闻报道,几乎都是远离事件发生地点的新闻记者们编造出来的,他们报道的事实不仅不准确,而且是蓄意误导。像往常一样,只有那些一边倒的(对当权者有利的)事情才会被允许向广大公众公开。和当时待在巴塞罗那的每个人一样,我目睹的虽然只是附近街道所发生的事,但仅仅是这些所见所闻就已经足以驳倒许多长期流传的谎言。一如往常,如果你对政治上的论战、党派以及党派内部为了他们那些莫名其妙的政治名词(有如中国古代战争中将军们的御封头衔)而争斗得不可开交不感兴趣的话,请跳阅。必须领略政党内部争论的细节是一件十分可怕的事情,那就像是潜入一个污水池。但是努力并尽可能去证实真相是必要的。这个遥远城市的这场肮脏的喧嚣,可能比最初呈现的更加意味深长。