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Emma Goldman as a Participant in the Civil War 1936-39

Emma Goldman as a Participant in the Civil War 1936-39

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Anarchist Principles and Spanish Reality: Emma Goldman as a Participant in the Civil War 1936-39

Author(s): Robert W. Kern

Source: Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 11, No. 2/3, Special Issue: Conflict and
Compromise: Socialists and Socialism in the Twentieth Century (Jul., 1976), pp. 237-259
Anarchist Principles and Spanish Reality: Emma Goldman as a Participant in the Civil War 1936-39

Author(s): Robert W. Kern

Source: Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 11, No. 2/3, Special Issue: Conflict and
Compromise: Socialists and Socialism in the Twentieth Century (Jul., 1976), pp. 237-259

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Journal of Contemporary History, 11 (1976), 237- 259

AnarchistPrinciplesand Spanish Reality: Emma Goldman as a Participantin the Civil War1936-39
Robert W. Kern

On 18 and 19 July 1936, an army revolt failed to overthrow the Second Republic of Spain and the Spanish Civil War began. Anarchist activity in the northeastern provinces of Catalonia and Aragon quickly became apparent. The Federacion Anarquista Iberica (FAI), a semisecret, militant collection of anarchist affinity groups, and the syndicalist Confederaci6n Nacional de Trabajo (CNT), the largest union in Spain and a close, if sometimes reluctant ally of the FAI, took the lead. They repulsed a Nationalist uprising in Barcelona and sent out an army of their own into neighboring Aragon and Valencia.1 Anarchism had not received such prominence since Nestor Makhno founded an anarchist republic in the Ukraine during the Russian Civil

Emma Goldman did not share in this early glory. Her old companion and fellow American anarchist, Alexander Berkman, had committed suicide on 24 June 1936, in Nice.3 Putting his affairs in order was a sad and difficult business for Goldman. Her own life had been as transient and poverty-stricken as his since their expulsion from the United States in the Palmer raids of 1919.4 Depressed, she wrote to a friend that the fate of all exiles was not dissimilar to her comrade's last desperate act.5 At the age of 67 she felt her political life was over and so paid little attention to the events taking place in Spain. No mention of the civil war appears in her letters until late August. Another explanation for Emma Goldman's slow response to this sudden revitalization of the libertarian cause, apart from the Berkman tragedy, was her lack of familiarity with Spanish anarchism. The first contact had been from afar during the years she ran the magazine Mother Earth in Greenwich Village when, in 1909 and 1910, she


Journal of Contemporary History

participated in protests over the execution of Francisco Ferrer.6 Her first personal contact with a Spanish comrade came in Moscow at the Congress of the Red Trade-Union International in 1921 where she met Angel Pestania, one of the many syndicalists attending the Congress. She praised his 'clever mind' and called him one of the ablest labor men, but there is no further mention of him in her autobiography or letters.7 She may have had other contacts at later international meetings of the anarchist Association Internationale des Travailleurs (AIT or International Workingmen's Association) where both the FAI and CNT played important roles after its founding in 1923.8 But writing and lecturing absorbed her time, and an inability to speak or read Spanish kept her relatively uninformed about the movement in Spain until 1936. Yet once the possibility of revolution became apparent, Goldman was drawn to it naturally. She still lived close by in Saint-Tropez; she had no plans for the future; and many of her old anarchist friends, especially the Germans, themselves now exiles as she and Berkman had been in 1922 when they had taken refuge in Berlin, were gravitating towards Spain. Max Nettlau and Augustin Souchy had already lived in Barcelona for some time, where Nettlau worked closely with the FAI and Souchy ran a German bulletin to attract international support for the CNT.9 Another German acquaintance, Helmut Riidiger, had been there since 1933.10 Goldman might have joined them immediately if her closest friend, Rudolf Rocker, had not encountered visa complications and health problems which finally kept him in the United States.11 His difficulties, coming so soon after Berkman's death, distracted her for several additional weeks in August, but when Souchy on 18 August and the FAI on 21 August invited her to Barcelona, she was grateful.12 'The call from my comrades', she later wrote, 'saved my life. I do not know whether I should have been able to continue after my comrade's death; everything seemed so futile-especially as every avenue was closed to me.'13 But now new opportunities for work were in the offing, and she hastened to Spain. The first few weeks spent in Barcelona during September filled her with elation. Even later the impression remained that the 'CNT/FAI
represent the first real crusaders in modern times . . .'14 She wrote

in an early letter: 'I tell you everyone who can come, should, and see with their own eyes the truly extraordinary work done and more planned.'15 At first her time was spent studying worker committees in the collectivized industries of Catalonia. Some difficulties arose, however, when she tried to visit the rural agricultural communes.

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


Perhaps the reason for this was her announced opposition to political reprisals, which had been heaviest in the outlying districts.16 Finally she did get permission to visit several in her travels through Aragon to Valencia and Madrid.17 She satisfied herself that anarchists had not conducted massacres, and defended the CNT and FAI on this point to reporters from the United Press and the Manchester Guardian.18 In any case, her faith restored, she gave several talks on the anarchist radio station and on 8 October addressed 16,000 at a Barcelona rally sponsored by Juventudes Libertarias, the youth section of the FAI. Her speech attacked the misrepresentations that anarchism was a chaotic theory. She concluded enthusiastically: 'in the face of danger and death you are demonstrating that anarchism is the most constructive social philosophy worth living, fighting, and if need be, dying for.'19 She later commented, apropos the speech: 'Ah, if I only knew Spanish.'20 Such euphoria did not last. During these first few weeks, Goldman learned little about anarchist problems. Neither her travelling companion, H.E. Alperine Kaminski, nor her translator, a Mrs Adams, knew the situation well.21 Only gradually did she piece together the two main controversies that divided the movement. The principal one placed Nettlau, Souchy and Riidiger on one side in support of the CNT and FAI against Alexander Schapiro, executive secretary of the AIT and an outspoken critic of Spanish anarchism.22 This quarrel had begun after the January 1933 FAI-led revolts at Casas Viejas and Barcelona. Twice later, in October 1934 and February 1936, the AIT again criticized the tactical errors of the Spaniards when they failed to support the Asturias insurrection or voted for popular front candidates.23 Another controversy revolved around the 'anarchobolshevism' of the FAI. Schapiro, distressed by their violence and anti-syndicalism, interpreted FAI philosophy as a denial of all that anarchism had once meant.24 Nettlau, to the contrary, felt anarchobolshevism, or 'libertarian communism', was a lineal and logical descendant of classical anarchism.25 If this were true, the traditionalists rebutted, what explained the reformist policies of Spanish anarchism after July 1936? Having abandoned strict observance of the doctrine, they now belonged to two pseudo-governmental bodies, the Comite central de milicias antifascistas de Catalufa and the Council of Aragon.26 Although the Spaniards came dangerously close to violating the apolitical nature of anarchism by taking a principal role in each, the AIT reluctantly accepted their participation as a part of the struggle against fascism.27


Journal of Contemporary History

They soon revoked this approval, however, when the new socialist premier Francisco Largo Caballero asked the CNT and FAI to fill several ministerial positions in the popular front cabinet. The anarchists countered by proposing the creation of advisory boards attached to each ministry which would be staffed, at least in part, by members of the movement. Their only stipulation was that the central government promise not to intervene in the social revolution.28 But the AIT lost its temper at this flirtation with political collaboration.29 Souchy, who had recently been named AIT representative in Spain, came under attack for tolerating such a policy and was replaced at the end of the year by Pierre Bresnard, a French syndicalist.30 Paris any consistent principles in the Spanish despaired of finding movement, and indeed the circumstances created by the civil war made this almost impossible. The anarchists were on uncharted ground. The crisis of the Republic grew worse in the meantime. Caballero had no intention of tinkering with the structure of government in the midst of Armageddon. His offer to the anarchists remained open during October while communist influence, taking advantage of the stand-off, increased each week in Madrid. Soviet insistence on a broad anti-fascist coalition, devoid of revolutionary features to attract support from the middle classes of western Europe, clashed with the anarchist revolution already in progress. This new rivalry with the communists threatened, above all, to starve the anarcl}ist military effort already depleted by diversions to the Madrid front caused by the rapid Nationalist advance from the south.31 Spanish anarchist leaders, including Horacio Prieto, secretary of the CNT, Federica Montseny and Juan Garcia Oliver, two influential FAI militants, met a number of times in September and October to debate the alternatives. If they refused to join the cabinet, the communists undoubtedly would take power and attack the revolution from the north. If the anarchists seized the Republic themselves, the anti-fascist war effort might receive even less international support than before.32 There seemed to be no way out, and so reluctantly the CNT and FAI ignored AIT objections and joined the popular front cabinet on 4 November. Prieto, Montseny and Garcfa Oliver and another syndicalist, Juan Lopez, assumed the portfolios of the ministries of industry, sanitation, justice and commerce and plunged the international anarchist movement into deeper crisis. Goldman was caught in the middle. Bresnard and Montseny each sought her support, but she disliked them both. 'I am afraid Federica has something of the politician in her,' she wrote Rocker.33 She was

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


highly suspicious, but she did not yet have enough facts to make a personal commitment. Thus for a time she went on maintaining that the Spanish anarchists were fighting fascism to win a war and not to establish or support a government.34 Occasionally she even sought to explain away entirely the spectre of anarchists joining a government:
I would despair utterly if I had not learned to understand the psychology of our Spanish comrades. They are a different breed... Anarchism to them was never a cold and grey theory [as it isl for a lot of misfits who come to us in every country. And because anarchism is such a living force to them I am not so uneasy about their entry into the cabinet as I would be with comrades of any other country. I am certain that if they win the war the government will mean a mere scrap of paper to them and they will tear it to bits .. .35

At other moments she felt disillusioned and grew more critical of Spain. Like other first-time visitors to Latin countries, she suddenly noticed the limited, almost cloistered role of women. She called it a terribly unenlightened situation.36 Other old prejudices also reasserted themselves forcefully. When Caballero, shortly after the anarchists entered the cabinet, moved the capital of the Republic from Madrid to Valencia to escape Nationalist bombings, Goldman remarked archly: 'Leave it to any government to run to cover at the first sign of danger.'37 Likewise, eulogies praising the USSR in anarchist newspapers like Solidaridad Obrera revived her strong anti-communism. Spaniards who forgot the way communists had used anarchists in Russia and then destroyed the movement were beneath contempt.38 Criticism of this sort soon isolated Goldman from those like Nettlau and Souchy who continued to give full support to the CNT and FAI. Only a few weeks after she had been made an official fund-raiser and propagandist for the Catalan Generalitat, she complained of being given no work during November.39 The battle for Madrid restricted her to Barcelona where she often talked with other critical anarchists like Arthur Lehring and Camillo Berneri.40 The latter's 'Open Letter to Federica Montseny', which demanded that the Spanish anarchists drop ministerial collaboration, curtail participation in the Comite de milicias and work for a European anti-fascist revolution, must have come out of these discussions.41 However, as Goldman herself candidly admitted, there was little chance of immediate change after the death in battle on 20 November of Buenaventura Durruti, the FAI military leader and 'the very soul of the Spanish revolution'.42 Such talk undoubtedly crystallized Goldman's own misgivings,


Journal of Contemporary History

but just as they were becoming uppermost in her mind, she came into contact with Diego Abad de Santillan, the FAI delegate on the Catalan economic council.43 It was her first close friendship with a Spanish anarchist, and Santillan, who spoke English and knew both sides of the controversy, argued that collaboration, bad as it was, did not outweigh the accomplishments of the revolution. Anarchists had systematically organized hundreds of communes, promoted industrial collectivization and built an army which now controlled a fourth of Spain.44 Collaboration simply bought time to develop a capacity to protect their gains from communist attack. Santillan stopped Goldman from becoming a more outspoken critic than she already was, although during December when absorption of the anarchist militias into the regular republican army began, she did speak out again. The revolution should not disarm itself as long as communists still occupied high military offices. However, she said it quietly, almost as if she was resigned to further violation of principle.45 Actually, a decision had been reached. She would go to England and work for the revolution abroad.46 Only by obtaining the broadest possible international support for the Spanish Civil War could the anarchists hope to succeed. Behind this statement were many unvoiced doubts and bitter unhappiness over the course of events as well as a fear of Soviet aid. The veteran of Spain arrived in London on 3 January 1937. A week later, interviewed in the Freedom Press bi-monthly Spain and the World, she was non-committal on the controversial aspects of anarchist policy, more outspoken on the lack of emancipation among Spanish women and determinedly optimistic about the eventual outcome of the war.47 She plunged into work with the Independent Labor Party (ILP), the Friends of Spanish Democracy and the Spanish Medical Aid Society to stage a series of benefits.48 These continued throughout the summer and obtained a fair amount of money and publicity for the cause. She supervised all the details amidst a 'smug and self-satisfied... intelligencia' more Stalinist than libertarian when it was politically interested at all.49 Many of her appeals to well-known English intellectuals turned out badly. Harold Laski, for instance, replied to one of her letters: 'I fear we should not agree even now about Soviet Russia...' to which she answered: 'I do not intend to take up your valuable time or mine to talk on Russia. It is talking against itself louder than I could do.'50 On top of this, an alleged communist absconded with the benefit funds, administrative problems cropped up in the purchase of supplies for Spain and difficulties with the ILP

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


began; but they absorbed her time and made her feel a part of the struggle.51 Despite all this work, Goldman found herself debating anarchist principles more than ever. Early in January she felt 'the so-called A little later, when Santillan Popular Front hangs by a straw...'52 out against the communists, she thought the breaking point spoke finally had been reached.53 When nothing happened, she fell back on her old argument that: while the CNT/FAI have made concessions contrary to their ideas, they never cease to insist they are fighting fascismnot as a means to re-establish a democratic governmentbut in defense of the revolutionand with determinationto build a new economiclife with anarchist ideas.54 Very quickly, however, the circumstances affecting the movement made it impossible for her to explain away its compromises easily. The strain felt by militant anarchists over collaboration caused bitter recriminations and personal feuding during the winter of 1937 when it became clear that the communist role, backed by Soviet popularity as the sole military ally of the Republic, was not being contained by the anarchist ministers of state.55 Riidiger, now a secretary of the AIT, quarrelled with Soucy over the German bulletin's unqualified support for Montseny and Garcia Oliver, whom he mistrusted.56 The AIT itself denounced the CNT and FAI for disciplining members who disagreed with the policy of ministerial collaboration.57 At the same time, the exiled Russian anarchist Voline along with Bresnard, Schapiro, Kaminski and his wife protested the suppression of the newspaper Espagne anti-fasciste. Mollie Kaminski, writing to Goldman, accused her of being as guilty as the FAI for the compromises that had permitted this to happen.58 Somehow Goldman's status as a representative of the Catalan government showed her complicity. The American anarchist promptly denied this charge, since the appointment gave her only the right to gather funds for Spanish relief.59 Embarrassed, she replied sharply on the charge of compromise: Our comrades not choose [to enter the government],circumstances did chose for them. If they had not submittedto the inevitable,Francowould now be in possession of Spain and there would be no Spanish anarchist's the for libertarians the worldto find fault with . . 60 of
The closing of the newspaper was entirely the fault of the AIT


Journal of Contemporary History

secretariat, which had irresponsibly intrigued with the newspaper to attack the FAI. This brought a rebuke from Alexander Schapiro in the first exchange of a long, wrathful correspondence. Goldman in turn accused him of opposing most CNT and FAI policy decisions since November 1936 in order to destroy the FAI for its anti-syndicalism and work outside labor organizations to accomplish revolutionary ends. 'You expressed yourself even before the revolution that Santillan and a few others would have to be shot before the CNT could hope to succeed.'61 By rejecting the militants, he was repeating the earlier mistakes of anarchists during the Russian Civil War who had been too theoretically principled to fight the Bolsheviks effectively. Schapiro was outraged and defended his apolitical position right back to Goldman. Anarchism had no meaning if the FAI adopted a party format, no matter how crucial their struggle against fascism. Furthermore, the AIT had been opposed to these tendencies since 1933. His criticism of what was going on now in no way differed from what he said in the past. 'You are a good polemicist, Emma, but for heaven's sake, even in a polemic one must know the subject one talks about.'62 Almost at the same time, Nettlau wrote to object to her prediction that the popular front would soon disintegrate.63 Goldman furiously replied to Schapiro: 'You damn me for not being critical enough of the Spanish comrades and Nettlau damns me for being too critical.'64 She was caught in the middle, discouraged by factionalism, and unsure of what was actually happening in Spain. In public she continued to oppose either excessive collaboration with the popular front or a passive program that might allow the communists to seize the leadership of the civil war, but privately she was much more unsure. Her mood turned to utter despair when news of the May crisis in Barcelona reached London. As a distant observer, she knew nothing of the origins of the rioting that broke out among the various political groups on 3 May. She followed each new newspaper dispatch on the struggle of the CNT and FAI to keep the telephone building out of the hands of the Catalan government, sure that this trivial episode represented the final communist attack upon anarchism.65 What shocked her most about the fighting of the next four days was the assassination of Berneri on 5 May.66 He died for having dared to speak out, and the failure of the Spaniards to defend him against communist charges of counter-revolutionary activity was one of their worst errors.67 She was also angered by the truce negotiations conducted by

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


Montseny and Garcla Oliver on 7 May which vacated the telephone building and barred further anarchist demonstrations. The 'sickening turmoil and uncertainty' of the crisis had been followed by a farcical 'comedy' as anarchist leaders defended government property.68 Schapiro was right: 'Anarchists in government will and must act like all officials and ministers.'69 Yet she was still ambivalent when she observed that 'neither Montseny nor Garcia Oliver realize they have actually gone back on their revolutionary principles ... I haven't the heart to join in the chorus of "crucify".'70 Perhaps they suffered from an exaggerated feeling of self-importance or a sense that they could influence the popular front more than it influenced them. After the initial shock, Goldman began to recover some of her optimism. She welcomed the anarchist resignation from the cabinet on 16 May when Caballero refused to persecute the Trotskyites for their alleged part in the crisis and was driven out of office by communist pressure. As she noted in a memo: 'One good thing has come of the Communist Party's evil intent-our comrades have left the So it may not yet be too late to go back to first government...
principles. . .71 The 'Soviet treason and repression' in the new

cabinet would be obvious, but as the anarchists were of necessity apolitical again, their strong anti-authoritarian and libertarian qualities might finally challenge the government.72 Spain was not Russia and the struggle this time would take place in full view of western Europe unlike the last anarchist defeat in the Russian Civil War. Moreover, fascism was making the entire world conscious of totalitarianism. This too might turn the Spanish struggle into a genuinely libertarian revolution. In any case, she shrugged off the disappointments of May and resolved to return again to Spain. Throughout the summer of 1937 she anxiously waited for the right opportunity. The chance did not come until 16 September. Financial problems, fund raising commitments and general uncertainty delayed her longer than expected. But once in Valencia, her first major stop, she began to investigate the political situation first-hand to prove to herself, if no one else, that the Spanish anarchists still retained their principles and were capable of revolutionary leadership. Instead, she found them crippled. '1500 CNT members, comrades of the FAI and Libertarian
Youth . . . fill the prisons ... I left no stone unturned to get permission

to visit some of our comrades.. .'73 Shocked to find reality so much worse than she had expected, she spoke out immediately against the communists and soon came under secret police surveillance. There was no choice but to depart quickly for the relative safety of Barcelona.


Journal of Contemporary History

Here she found things even worse. Demonstrations were going on almost daily over the disappearance and presumed execution of two leading Trotskyites, Kurt Landau and Andres Nin.74 Other members of the Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista (POUM) were already on trial.75 If this were not enough, anarchists still protested the abolition, two months previously, of the Council of Aragon and the dismantling even earlier of the militia committee.76 Goldman, always an eager anti-communist, joined in with a vengeance by making a series of speeches blaming these acts on Caballero's successor, Juan Negrin, and calling him a Stalinist.77 Despite attempts of the CNT to silence her, she continued on and her courage under the circumstances was commendable, though perhaps not her wisdom. The results were predictable. Any possibility of working with the Spanish anarchists disappeared and she was soon criticizing their failings as well. Facilities run by the CNT. for refugee women and children were about 'the worst I have seen [even] in any capitalist country'.78 On a higher level, the movement was failing to appeal to international sympathies and often misued the money that came in. Solidaridad Internacional Anti-Fascista (SAI) founded by the FAI, took collection of funds and propaganda duties away from the AIT, and weakened international support. The closing of yet another anarchist newspaper, El Frente Libertario, suspected of AIT sympathies (or so Goldman thought), was a terrible price to pay for sectarianism within the movement.79 At the highest level, the seeming refusal of the CNT and FAI to end their cooperation with the communists was her greatest objection. On 11 October, she wrote to Mariano Vazquez in his capacity as secretary of the CNT to point out again that the communists were the real enemy of the Spanish proletariat.. 'Yet the CNT, the oldest and until recently the strongest revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist organization, is going arm in arm with the people whose highest aim is to destroy it.'80 The leadership of the movement had been taken in by their enemies. Garcia Oliver 'strutted around like a peacock just
bursting with conceit... [his] short-lived job as Minister of Justice

having gone to his head'.81 Federica Montseny advocated unity with the socialist Union General del Trabajadores, now communistdominated.82 She had also testified against the Trotskyites at the POUM trial, which in Goldman's eyes made her an open confederate of the communists while still holding high rank in the FAI.83 Some of these charges were incorrect and none of them took into account the general unwillingness of Spanish anarchists to abandon

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


the anti-fascist struggle even if it meant temporarily bowing to Soviet control.84 Not surprisingly, however, the CNT refused to permit the American anarchist to speak in its name any longer or to travel to the collectives again. Goldman herself attended a few sessions of the POUM trial but otherwise remained isolated. Friends, even in correspondence, noticed her attitude was undergoing a marked change.85 This time, unfortunately, Santillan could do nothing to quell her doubts, for he was in hiding somewhere in Barcelona, having himself too strongly criticized the regime.86 The whole experience was a nightmare, and when the AIT suddenly called her to Paris in late November, she fled Spain for the last time. The summons was to attend an extraordinary conference of the AIT to resolve, if possible, the divisions among anarchists. As it turned out, this was the last major gathering of the organization before its collapse during the second world war. Goldman was accredited as a representative of the SIA in recognition of her work for Spanish relief in England. Her past sympathies, however, led to opposition from French syndicalists on the grounds that she was too close to the FAI.87 This allegation was absurd in light of recent events and she was quickly allowed to address the delegates. The substance of her speech compared the Spanish and Russian revolutions. Conference speakers, assessing the mistakes of the CNT and FAI, kept returning to a historical analysis of the Russian Revolution as the only other contemporary upheaval where anarchism and communism had simultaneously played important roles. Goldman felt the Russian Revolution differed strikingly from Spain, since it had come in the middle of the first world war when no European or American nation had had the power to kill the revolutionary process. What took place in St Petersburg or Moscow had been fully internal, unlike the Spanish situation where naked international intervention, direct or indirect, existed from the very beginning. Thus far, the CNT and FAI were forced to struggle full-time to keep resistance alive. 'The fascist danger had to be met with almost bare hands,' she pointed out with surprising tact, given her recent falling out with the Spaniards.88 Moreover, while the Russian Revolution had met instantaneous response from workers in every land, the inertia of the international proletariat created a special problem in the Spanish Revolution. The reason was that anarchists led Spain and were 'a sore in the eyes of an entire school of Marxists and liberals.'89 In point of truth, the whole world had betrayed Spain. The speech ended with a candid appraisal of the international


Journal of Contemporary History

anarchist movement which revealed a great deal about Goldman's current feelings. It has been said here that our comradesin every country have contributed
handsomely in men and money to the Spanish struggle and they alone should be appealed to. But there is no anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist movement

outside of Spainand to a smallerdegreein France.. and Sweden.90 This theme dominated her thoughts for months to come. It was a sad realization that the movement she had spent her life working for stood on the verge of collapse. More important, it put her recent bitter memories of Spain in perspective. Until the conference, she had been alternately optimistic about CNT and FAI chances in the civil war and hostile to the behavior of some anarchists. In Paris, however, these conflicting emotions were soon overshadowed by a new sense of pessimism and futility. The change was triggered by a CNT motion that the AIT call upon the Second and Third Internationals for a common stand against fascism. As she wrote Rocker a few days later: idea. Just think of it, the ThirdInternational, ever suggestsuch a preposterous
It was a thunderclap from a clear sky, for I never expected the CNT would

which in point of fact is no longer in existence and Stalin has even put on the dung heap, is to be approached by the AIT. As to the Second International, you know as well as I, what a treacherous institution it has been since the World Warand how it would again betray the workers if need be.91

The libertarian movement, once so vital 'was plunging to its death' as she sat through the remainder of the fruitless conferences watching the rival groups quarrel until they were completely estranged.92 Anarchism was as anachronistic as the Internationals themselves. The state had resurrected itself in communism and overpowered anarchism through the manipulation of the proletariat. In this light, Spain was only a small part of the collapse of the non-communist revolutionary

As soon as she could, Goldman left Paris for London and a temporary escape from the tragedy being played out on the Continent. But after she resumed her English routine she began to clarify the ideas she had first expressed at the conference. The central fact was that only a handful of important anarchists remained in Europe or the United States, and their only followers were tiny circles of personal friends. A comrade wrote: 'The movement seems to have failed-but not the ideas', and this fitted her own feelings perfectly.93 Communism had

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


paralyzed international anarchism and made it lose its resolve. The only exception to this was the case of the Spaniards who, as the only functional organization left in AIT ranks, had experimented with new tactics. Yet other anarchists criticized their efforts to the point where the CNT and FAI were forced to rely instead upon the popular front. The lesson seemed to be that there was nothing wrong with the traditional anarchist ideology, but it had to be dynamic enough to counter the aggressiveness of elite communist leadership. This was where the movement had gone wrong. Unfortunately she had never been a strong theorist, and now aged 70, tired from her travels and still working too hard, it was difficult to prescribe a new course. What she finally settled upon was the encouragement of demonstrations by independent non-communist unions and other libertarian radicals against both communism and fascism. The Amalgamated Engineers Union and the Glasgow AntiParliamentary League figured in her plans as nuclei for a program of direct action.94 Goldman personally toured Scotland during March 1938 speaking in union halls and old ballrooms to expose the destruction of Spain as a nation by fascism and the dismemberment of anarchism as a movement by communism. She linked both of them in her speeches as the latest evolutionary forms of the state which could no longer survive without use of totalitarian tactics or a fictitious belief in a dictatorship of the proletariat. The communists, whom she knew best, came off worst. Catering to the strong Protestantism of the Scots, she denounced the USSR as an example of the 'Socialist Catholicism Marx left the world'.95 Stalin and Trotsky represented the Jesuit Order while the anarchists were the persecuted heretics. The speeches went from bad to worse, and the Scots did not respond to her wild rhetoric. By the middle of the month she called the tour a flop.96 After British fascists broke up a meeting she returned to London, her attempt to provoke direct action quite unsuccessful. Financial and health problems prevented another tour in May, but she still struggled to express her ideas. Two points were particularly important by mid-1938. Firstly, above all, the Spanish anarchists had to avoid further concessions 'which give the impression outside Spain that they have forfeited their ideas and their traditions'.97 If necessary, underground opposition to collaboration should be encouraged. Secondly, the Negrin government, 'in raising the cry that the Spanish people are fighting for democracy ... have blind-folded the workers in the rest of the world.'98 The war in Spain


Journal of Contemporary History

was a revolution and not a defense of democracy as the USSR's popular front policy dictated. If workers understood this point, they might oppose the anti-revolutionary politics of both fascism and communism and demonstrate in favor of anarchism to the acute discomfort of their governments. Where this could lead she did not say, but presumably she expected international aid for the anarchists in their fight with the communists and a lifting of the Non-Intervention Committee's embargo on strategic war materials in the general struggle against fascism. were These her hopes greatly exaggerated, although recommendations made more sense. The first point was adopted by the CNT and FAI during the final stages of the civil war in the fall of 1938. A series of scathing attacks on the Negrin government drew a hard line against further collaboration.99 Had there been more time, perhaps her second recommendation might also have been adopted since the German bulletin of the CNT began attacking the democratic claims of the popular front in May.100 But outside Spain it was much too late to win public opinion to the anarchists. Almost a century of violent struggle and the atentat made them very unlikely heroes, as Goldman probably knew when she launched her final campaign. None the less, the movement was all she had left and she could not turn away from the habits of a lifetime. In the end, she was gratified by the feeling that the Spaniards had listened to her, although in fact there is no evidence that her opinions were particularly important to them. But personally it was necessary to reconcile the differences with her most revolutionary friends. Her increasingly strident speeches during March 1938 were no doubt motivated by a feeling of inadequacy at having changed her mind so many times about them. Towards the end of the year she even recognized the harshness with which she had treated Federica Montseny, her bete noire, earlier. 101 She refused to condemn Mariano Vazquez and several others as collaborationists and preferred to abstain from any further polemics or recriminations over past mistakes. There was still an occasional touch of bitterness, but the war was coming to its end and her first thoughts were for the safety of her comrades. Anarchism itself received no place in her post-mortem discussions. Even though the Spaniards were her comrades again, she ended by siding politically neither with the syndicalists nor the revolutionaries. Her anarchism, caught between the two extremes of the European movement, remained as individualistic as ever. Perhaps it was her age which kept her from taking a new direction,

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


since she had never been a political anarchist so much as an advocate of personal freedom. Long before, she had defined anarchism as the 'philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law...,l02 The Spanish conflict, demanding immediate decisions on the conduct of war and revolution, brushed aside this ideal and tore her feelings in two. She admired the Spaniards for their individualism but disliked their opportunism. Yet at the same time she could not help but admire the old-fashioned apolitical stand of the AIT even though there were many old and personal quarrels, such as the Russian Revolution, which otherwise separated them. But neither faction understood liberty and individualism in her sense, and indeed her understanding of anarchism probably did not fit the world of 1939. Worse still, in the back of her mind, she may have felt that this had been true since the Russian Civil War. In a political world increasingly dominated by mass movements, she was isolated and alone, the last survivor of a more individualistic movement now distant from the reality of the time and rapidly fading out of memory. She herself was as much an anachronism as the anarchist movement she so mourned in passing. This sorrow and inability to find her cause more than anything else influenced her to leave England before the fighting had ended in Spain. There was nothing left for her to do, and so she decided to return to Canada, as the United States was still closed to her, in order to be closer to her American friends. On the way, in January 1939, she stopped in Amsterdam to deposit her papers at the International Institute of Social History before sailing for North America. By the time she reached Toronto the civil war was over.


1. The history of the FAI and CNT are in Jose Peirats, La CNT en la revolucion espanola (Toulouse: Ediciones CNT 1951-53), 3 vols, and Los ola anarquistas en la crisis politica espanf lBuenos Aires: Editorial Alfa 1964). More


Journal of Contemporary


recent is Cesar Lorenzo, Les Anarchistes Espagnols et la Pouvoir 1868-1969 (Paris: Editions du Seuil 1969). Problems between the two organizations are studied in \Stephan John Brademas, 'Revolution and Social Revolution: a Contribution to the History of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Movement in Spain, 1930-1937' (unpublished Ph.D dissertation, Department of History, Brasenose College, Oxford Univeristy 1953). An outline of the first few days of fighting in Barcelona is provided by Abel Paz (pseud.), Paradigma de una revolucion (19 de julio 1936, en Barcelona) (Toulouse: Ediciones AIT 1967). 2. Makhno is discussed in Voline (pseud. Vsevolod Mikhailovitch Eichenbaum). The Unknown Revolution, Kronstadt 1921, Ukraine 1918-1921 (London: Freedom Press 1955), 100-30, and in Paul Avrich, The Russian Anarchists (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univeristy Press 1970), 209-22. 3. Alexander Berkman (1870-1936) attempted to assassinate Henry Frick in 1892 and spent the next 16 years in jail. There is no biography or autobiography on him other than his own Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (New York: Mother Earth 1912) and Bolshevik Myth (New York: Boni and Liveright 1925). His letters are available at the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam; the Joseph A. Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan; and the New York Public Library. 4. The standard biography on Emma Goldman (1869-1940) is Richard Drinnon, Rebel in Paradise: A Biography of Emma Goldman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1961). On the departure of Goldman from the USSR, see 206-23. Her letters are collected by the same archives that hold the Berkman material. 5. Emma Goldman [henceforth abbreviated to EG] to Stella Cominsky Ballentine, 6 July 1936, Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, EG coll., XXVI. (Since all research for this paper was done at the IISG, only reference to collection and file no. will be used in subsequent citations of Goldman's correspondence.) 6. Ferrer (an organizer of labor schools), was executed in the wake of several weeks of rioting during July 1909 in Barcelona after Catalan reserves had been mobilized in an unpopular colonial war with Morocco. Joan Connelly, The Tragic Week, a Study of Anticlericalism in Spain, 1875-1912 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1968), 93-101. Goldman describes these demonstrations in her autobiography, Living My Life (London: Duckworth 1932), I, 456, 458. She also wrote an essay, 'Francisco Ferrer: the Modern School', in her Anarchism and other Essays (New York: Mother Earth 1911), 151-72, but it was a survey of current anarchist educational ideas rather than a study of Spanish anarchism. 7. EG discussed the congress in Living My Life op. cit., II, 799. Pestaiia (1885-1937) had been active in the early years of the CNT after it was founded in 1911. He was sent to the USSR to investigate the possibility of CNT affiliation with the International, which he finally rejected. Peirats, op. cit. note 1, 7-8. He later quarrelled with the FAI and in 1934 founded the Partido Sindicalista Espafiol as a parliamentary labor party. Brademas, op. cit. note 1, 207. 8. Rudolf Rocker, Revoluci6n y regresion (Buenos Aires: Editorial Tupac 1952), 140-51 gives the only detailed account of the AIT and its founding. The purpose of creating an Anarchist International was to protect the syndicalist unions in France and elsewhere from the blandishments of the Comintern. 9. Max Nettlau (1869-1944) was a Viennese scholar, trained in philology,

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


who became the foremost early bibliographer and historian of anarchism. His work concentrated upon the life of Bakunin and also on early Spanish anarchism. Nettlau lived for long periods in Spain, where he was a close friend of Federico Urales, publisher of Revista Blanca, an anarchist quarterly, and his daughter, Federica Montseny, one of the foremost young anarchists in the movement. For a brief account of Nettlau's life, consult the Bulletin of the Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), May 1950, I, 25-29. His most recently published work is La Premiere Internationale en Espagne 1868-1888 (Amsterdam: Reidel 1968). ) is a German who became one of the early followers Augustfn Souchy (1894of Gustav Landauer. He participated in the Munich revolution of 1919 and subsequently fled to Switzerland and the USSR. E.G. met Souchy there in 1920 and travelled with him to Germany two years later when most foreign anarchists left Russia. He became a secretary of the AIT in 1924 and his work in Berlin brought him into contact with a number of Spanish anarchists who had fled the Primo de Rivera dictatorship. He survived the Spanish civil war and his most recent book is Anarcho-Syndikalisten uber Biirger-Krieg und Revolution in Spanien (Darmstadt: Marz Verlag 1969). 10. Helmut Rudiger (1896), born near Chemnitz, edited the Syndikalist in Berlin during the Weimarperiod. As one of the best jouranalists in the anarchist movement, he did a great deal of pamphlet writing. After 1933 he moved to Spain, survived the civil war and took up residence in Sweden. See Rocker, op. cit. note 8, 129-30. 11. Rudolf Rocker (1873-1954), another German, studied with Nettlau and became deeply involved in various European movements. A critic of the German Imperial government, he spent the pre-first world war period in London where he learned Yiddish in order to run a Jewish newspaper in the East End. After the war he returned to Germany and became one of the most influential members of the syndicalist movement. The rise of Hitler forced him to flee and in 1934 he entered the United States. Rocker's well-known book, AnarchboSyndicalism (New York: Grossman 1938) was his particular contribution to the anarchist cause during the Spanish Civil War. He remained in the USA after 1939 writing his autobiography: La juventud de un rebelde [1873-95]. En la borrasca [1895-1918], and Revoluci6n y regresi6n [1918-50] (Buenos Aires: Editorial Tupac 1952). The translator was Diego Abad de Santillan. 12. E.G. to Stella Cominsky Ballentine, 22 August 1936, E.G. coll., XXVI; E.G. to Rudolf Rocker [hereafter abbreviated as R.R.]. ibid; and E.G. to Milly Rocker, 29 September 1936, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 13. E.G. to John Haynes Holmes, 5 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. Holmes was pastor of the New York Community Church. The reference was to her financial problems, inability to return to the United States, etc. See Drinnon, op. cit. note 4, 285-98. 14. E.G. to John Cooper Powys, 22 February 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. Powys, an English novelist, met E.G. in Chicago 20 years previously and was one of her few English friends when she first went there in 1924. 15. E.G. to Milly Rocker, 29 September 1936, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 16. E.G. to R.R. 1 October 1936, ibid, and E.G. to Stella Cominsky Ballentine, 19 October 1936, ibid. Neither the workers' committees nor the collectivized industries have been studied intensively. One primary source is the work of Abad de Santillan [Sinesio Garcfa Fernandez]. He edited two periodicals


Journal of Contemporary


Tiempos Nuevos (Barcelona 1934-38) and Timon (Barcelona 1937-38). His book, Por que perdimos la querra: un contribucion a la bistoria de la tragedia espanola (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Iman 1940), 80-55 and 119-22 discussed the main issues. Santillan is also good on the agricultural communes, 87-99. A better known work on the latter topic is Gaston Leval, Ne Franco ne Stalin: La Collettivita Anarchiche Spagnole nella Lotta contra Franco e la Reaszione Staliniana (Milan: Instituto Editoriale Italiano 1952). 17. E.G. to Thomas Bell, 8 March 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. She also wrote an article, 'A Long Cherished Dream', Spain and the World (London), 5 March 1937, 3, about the communes. 18. E.G. to R.R. 1 October 1936, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 19. Draft of Speech, 8 October 1936, ibid. 20. E.G. to R.R. 19 October 1936, ibid. 21. H.E. Alperine Kaminski (1881-1951), a Heidelberg Ph.D., was correspondent and later editor of the newspaper Weltbiine in Berlin from 1912 to 1922. He wrote a critical book on Italian fascism in 1923 and gradually became a part of the German syndicalist movement. In exile after 1933, he worked in Paris for the AIT and often wrote for them. 22. Alexander Schapiro (1872-1954) was born in Russia, educated in Turkey and France, and worked in England from about 1900 to 1917, where he was a close associate of Peter Kropotkin. He also worked with Rocker in the Jewish Anarchist Federation of London and orgnized several syndicalist labor unions. In 1907 he was elected secretary of the International Anarchist Bureau. He returned to Russia in 1917 and joined the Golos Truda group of the Union of Anarcho-Syndicalists. During 1919, he worked for the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. Makhno's defeat and the Kronstadt revolt made him leave the USSR in January 1922. He became one of the first secretaries of the AIT and in 1933 wrote The Interntional Workingmen's Association: its Aims, its Principles (London: Freedom Press 1933). 23. General coverage of the checkered anarchist policy from 1933-1936 is in Peirats, op. cit. note 1, 65-103 and Lorenzo, op. cit. note 1, 70-93. Brademas, op. cit. note 1, 145-259, gives a more detailed and critical view. A defense of anarchist policy can be found in Federico Urales, Espana 1933 (Barcelona, Ediciones de El Luchador 1933). Criticism by the foreign anarchists was begun by Helmut Riidiger, 'Bemerkungen zur Haltung de CNT in der spanischen Oktoberbewegung', R.R. coll., folder 2. Also see the letters of Rudiger to R.R., 31 October 1934 and 8 May 1935, ibid. However, he became more sympathetic to the CNT and FAI in the civil war, as his letters to Rocker on 29 July and 29 September 1936, ibid., indicate. Other foreign anarchists were not so easily convinced, and their reaction is given in the AIT document, 'Rapport du Secretariat de Barcelone pour le Congrhs de I'AIT a Paris, le 7 Decembre 1937', R.R. coll., file 1, folder 3, 15-34. The FAI retaliated by creating the Solidaridad Internacional Anti-Fascista to raise funds and exert propaganda without utilizing the AIT. 24. The most recent account of anarcho-bolshevism is Lorenzo, op. cit note 1, 59-78. Its origins were in the La Canadiense strike of Barcelona during 1919 when syndicalist tactics of the general strike isolated workers and permitted the government to treat them as a criminal class. Manuel Buenacasa, El movimiento obrero espanol 1886-1926 (Barcelona: Impresos

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


Costa 1928), 82-87. Greater details on the strike can be found in Alberto Barcells, El sindicalismo en Barcelona (1916-1923) (Barcelona: Editorial Nova Terra 1965). 25. Max Nettlau, 'Communismo autoritario y communismo libertario', La Revista Blanca (1 February 1928), VII, no. 113, 513-17; (15 February 1928), VII, no. 114, 545-50; (1 March 1928), VII, no. 115, 577-79. His ideas were restated in 1936 by Issac Punte, 'Los dos interpretaciones fundamentales del socialismo', Tiempos Nuevos (May 1936), III, no. 5, 210-16, and by Diego Abad de Santillan, 'Comunalismo y comunismo', Tiempos Nuevos (June 1936), III, no. 7, 260-64. Libertarian communism shifted away from syndicalist union organization to a commune based society as its basic characteristic. Anarchobolshevism substituted affinity groups for the mass union in syndicalist practice. They worked secretly and with such violence that critics compared them with the old Bolshevik party in its role as the vanguard of the proletariat. 26. The militia committee was composed of all loyalist parties in Catalonia and replaced the legislative branch of government. Most matters relating to the war and revolution came before it. Santillan, Por que perdimos.. ., op. cit., 70-72. The Council of Aragon was formed by the CNT and FAI on 15 September 1936 to act as an advisory board over the territory captured by Durruti. It became semi-autonomous in December, but although communists also participated in it, it was abolished on 11 August 1937 because the anarchists were so closely identified with it. Ibid., 288-96. The militia committee was weakened in November and December 1936 and all but disappeared in May 1937. 27. See Peirats, Los anarquistas . .., op. cit. note 1, 113-18. 28. Brademas, op. cit. note 1, 354, gives an account of the negotiations. 29. The AIT reaction is found in Rocker's notes, R.R. coll., folder 1, file 1. 30. A review of these charges are in the minutes of the AIT Congress, Paris, 7 December 1937, R.R. coll., file 1, folder 3, 29-30. 31. Abel Paz, Durruti, Le Peuple en Armes (Paris: Editions de la Tete de feuilles 1972), 396401, reviews the anarchist military problems. At one point, the financial situation was so desperate they contemplated stealing the gold reserves of the Bank of Spain. 32. Horacio Prieto, a syndicalist from Valencia, became secretary of the CNT in 1933 and remained in that capacity until November 1936 when he was replaced by Mariano Vazquez. E.G. called him 'a reformer if there ever was one'. E.G. to R.R. 10 February 1939, R.R. coll., E.G. file. Federica Montseny (1905- ) edited Revista Blanca and wrote a series of short novels with strong social themes. As one of the original founders of the FAI in 1927, she took a major r6le in its activities until 1939. Shirley Fredricks, 'Social and Political Thought of Federica Montseny, Spanish Anarchist, 1923-1933', (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of History, University of New Mexico 1972). Juan Garcfa Oliver ) was an unskilled worker who joined Durruti in the 'Solidarios' terrorist (1901group. They robbed banks and carried out several assassinations in Spain during the early 1920s. Jailed or exiled from 1923 to 1931, he emerged as a skilled FAI leader, was severely wounded in the fighting of January 1933, and along with Durruti and others led anarchist forces in the battle for Barcelona in July 1936. Little biographical work has been done on him, and he has not written his memoirs. Some information, however, can be found in Ricardo Sanz, El sindicalismo y la politica: Los 'Solidarios' y 'Nosotros' (Toulouse: Imprimerie


Journal of Contemporary


Dulaurier 1966), 97, passim. Garcia Oliver's own article, 'Pages in Working Class History', Spain and the World (London), 26 August 1938, 3, summed up the dilemma of November 1936 better than most accounts. 33. E.G. to Mollie Alperine Kaminski, 19 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D, and E.G. to R.R. 1 October 1936, R.R. coil., E.G. file. 34. E.G. to Thomas Bell, 8 March 1937, E.G. coil., XXVII D. 35. E.G. to Mollie Alperine Kaminski, 19 January 1937, ibid. 36. E.G. to R.R. 18 November 1936, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 37. E.G. to John Haynes Holmes, 5 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 38. E.G. to R.R. 3 November 1936, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 39. E.G. to R.R. 18 November 1936, ibid. 40. E.G. to R.R. 3 November 1936, ibid. Arthur Lehring, a Dutch anarchist, Instituut voor Sociale became an important figure in the Internationaal Geschiedenis and an editor of the Bakunin papers. See Michel Bakounine et Italic, 1871-1872 (Leiden: E.J. Brill 1961) and Michel Bakounine el les conflits dans 'Internationale 1872 (Leiden: E.J. Brill 1965), among others. Camillo Berneri (1886-1937) was a university professor who broke with the Italian socialist party during the first world war to work with Enrico Malatesta. He joined the Union anarchiste italienne and edited La Rivolta and Umanita Nova for them. He was exiled from Italy in 1926 for anti-fascist activity and went to France. He arrived in Barcelona in June 1936 and founded an Italian language paper, Guerre di Classes. Many of his articles in it were later collected in Guerre de classes en Espagne (Montpellier: Les Cahiers de Terre Libre 1938). 41. Ibid, 7. Berneri's article was also translated into English and reprinted in Spain and the World 4 June 1937, 1-4. 42. E.G.'s unpublished obituary of Buenaventura Durruti, R.R. coll., E.G. file. Durruti (1896-1936) was born in Leon of a working-class family. His ever deeper involvement with anarchism began in the railway strike of 1917. He became one of the major figures in the Solidarios group until the Primo dictatorship sent him into exile. He and his friend Francisco Ascaso went first to France and then to South America, where they made an epic trip from Cuba to Argentina, usually pursued by the police for their many bank robberies. Back in France, he was accused of attempting to assassinate the Spanish king during a state visit to Paris and sentenced to death. The French left protested so strongly that he was eventually pardoned and expelled from the country. Durruti returned to Spain in 1931 and was active in the anarchist risings that punctuated the Azana and Lerroux ministries. He became the commander of the army of Aragon in August 1936 and although his forces initially fought well, they could not capture Saragossa and became bogged down outside the city. Durruti and 5000 of his men arrived in Madrid on 12 November to help in the defense of the city against the nationalists. He was killed, probably by a nationalist sniper, on 20 November in University City. 43. Diego Abad de Santillan [ Sinesio Garcia Fernandez] (1892- ) was born in Spain but moved to Argentina as a child. He returned to attend university in Madrid where he was caught up in the intellectual ferment caused by the Generation of '98. His graduate thesis, Psicologsa del pueblo espanol (Madrid: Librerfa de Antonio Pabinos 1917) argued strongly for reform. The same year, however, his arrest in the railway general strike introduced him to anarchism and upon his return to Argentina he joined the Federacion Obrera Regional Argentina.

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


He wrote for its newspaper La Protesta and in 1923 represented the FORA at the founding of the AIT. The Uriburu dictatorship exiled him in 1931 and he went back to Spain as soon as the Second Republic was proclaimed in April. Active in the FAI, many of his contributions were theoretical, and his book, El organismo economico de la revoluci6n. Comb vivimos y como podriamos vivir en Espana (Barcelona: Editorial Tierra y Libertad 1935) perhaps best expressed the new ideas of the group. For details of Santillan's relationships with other foreign anarchists, see Rocker, op. cit. note 8, 175-76. 44. E.G. to R.R., 17 March 1939, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 45. According to 'Emma Goldman's Impressions', Spain and the World, (London: 8 January 1937) 3. Also see E.G. to Alexander Schapiro, 2 May 1937, E.G. coll., XXIX, where she describes the hours spent criticizing militarization to Santillan, Montseny and Garcia Oliver 'only to have them explain it away'. 46. Goldman had obtained an English passport through her marriage of convenience to James Colton in 1925. Drinnon, op. cit., 256-7. 47. 'Emma Goldman's Impressions', Spain and the World,(8 January 1937) 3. This bi-monthly publication of Freedom Press, edited by the young Italian exile David Recchioni, soon became Goldman's chief voice in London. 48. The Independent Labour .Party, founded by Keir Hardie in the late nineteenth century, disaffiliated from the Labor Party in 1931 over J. Ramsay MacDonald's participation in the National Government, a coalition of all parties. It moved further to the Left until close to the Trotskyite Fourth International. The memoirs of a leading ILP'er, Fenner Brockway, Inside the Left (London: Allen & Unwin 1947), 294-322, give good coverage to Spain. 49. E.G. to Margaretde Silver, 24 May 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 50. Harold Laski to E.G. 26 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII A; E.G. to Harold Laski, 28 January 1937, ibid. 51. E.G. to Donald Darling, 10 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVIII A; E.G. to Augustin Souchy, 9 March 1937, ibid. and 3 April 1937, E.G. coll. XXVII D, in which she criticized Santillan's economic work; and E.G. to Pedro Herrara, 11 February 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 52. E.G. to Mark Matseny, 5 January 1937, E.G. coll., XXVIII C. Matseny was active in the publication of the American anarchist publication Freie Arbeiter Stimme in New York City. 53. E.G. to Milly Rocker, 9 February 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 54. E.G. to Thomas Bell, 8 March 1937, ibid. 55. Burnett Bolloten, The Grand Camouflage: The Spanish Civil War and Revolution, 1936-39 (London: Hollis & Carter 1961), 120-30, 189-244 covers this period of struggle between anarchist and communist in great detail. 56. E.G. to Martin Gudell, 18 March 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 57. E.G. to Mark Matseny, 2 April 1937, ibid. 58. Mollie Kaminski to E.G., 14 January 1937, ibid. 59. E.g. to Mollie Kaminski, 19 January 1937, ibid. 60. Ibid. 61. E.G. to Alexander Schapiro, 23 February 1937, E.G. coll., XXVI. 62. Alexander Schapiro to E.G., 20 March 1937, ibid. 63. Max Nettlau to E.G., 2 April 1937, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 64. E.G. to Alexander Schapiro, 2 May 1937, E.G. coll., XXVI. 65. E.G. to R.R. 10 June 1937, R.R. coll., E.G. file. The origins of the May


Journal of Contemporary


crisis are still in dispute, but the most recent work is the essay of Burnett Bolloten in Raymond Carr (ed.), The Republic and the Spanish Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1971), 13846. The assassin of Berneri was never found, though the assassination was 66. assumed to be the work of the Partido Socialista Unificado de Cataluiia which had strong links with the communists. Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War(London: Eyre & Spottiswoode 1961), 190-1, 424, 426. See also 'The Tragic End of an Anarchist Fighter', Spain and the World, 11 June 1937, 3. Undated and unaddressed draft, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 67. 68. E.G. to R.R. 10 June 1937, R.R. coll., E.G. file. Ibid. 69. Ibid. 70. Undated and unaddressed draft, E.G. coll., XXVII D. 71. Ibid. 72. 73. E.G., 'Political perspectives in Republic Spain', Spain and the World, 10 December 1937, 5. Ibid. Kurt Landau was a former member of the executive committee of 74. the Austrian Communist Party until he sided with Trotsky. In 1936 and 1937 he had tried to encourage 'Irotskyite politics in Spain. Andres Nin had begun his political career as an anarchist. He was sent to the USSR after the Pestaiia mission in 1922 and joined the Comintern until 1929 when he returned to Spain as a Trotskyite. Nin became one of the founders of the Partido Obrero de Unificaci6n Marxista. Both men were executed in prison while Goldman was still in the country. See Thomas, op. cit., 568, on the POUM trial. 75. The Council of Aragon is discussed in Santillan,Por que perdimos ..., 76. op cit. 288-96. 77. No copies of these speeches are extant, but they are discussed in E.G. to Mariano Vazquez, 20 January 1938, E.G. coll., XXVIII B. 78. E.G. to Mariano Vazquez, 11 October 1937, ibid. E.G. to Abe Bluestein, 25 January 1938, E.G. coll., XXVII A. 79. E.G. to Mariano Vazquez, 11 October 1937, E.G. coll., XXVIII B. 80. E.G. to Helmut Riidiger, 4 August 1939, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 81. 82. E.G. to Pedro Herrara, 31 August 1939, E.G. coll., XXIX. Herrera was the director of the SIA and dealt with Goldman often on matters of fund raising and propaganda. E.G.'s notes on the POUM trial, E.G. coll., XXVII A. 83. 84. Montseny testified in favour of the POUM members on trial, as Santillan told E.G., 14 March 1939, R.R. coll., E.G. file. Walter Starrett to E.G., 28 November 1937, E.G. coll., XXVII A. 85. Abe Bluestein to E.G., 4 January 1938, ibid. 86. E.G. to R.R. 21 December 1937, ibid. 87. Draft of E.G.'s speech to the conference, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 88. Ibid. 89. Ibid. 90. E.G. to R.R., 21 December 1937, E.G. coll., XXVIII C. 91. E.G. to R.R., 22 February 1938, E.G. coll., XXVII A. 92. Abe Bluestein to E.G. 4 January 1938, ibid. 93. 94. E.G. to J.C. Little, 8 April 1938, E.G. coll., XXVII,B.

Kern: Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War


E.G. to Jack White, 21 April 1938, ibid. 95. E.G. to Rose Pelota, 15 March 1938, ibid. 96. E.G. to Helmut Riidiger, 3 June 1938, ibid. 97. Ibid. 98. 99. CNT, FAI and Juventades Libertarias, 'Informe sobre la direccion de la guerra y rectificaciones a que obliga la experiencia', September 1938; and the report of the FAI, 'Observaciones crfticas a la direccion de la guerra y algunas indicaciones fundamentales para continuarla con mas exitor', first published in August 1938 and re-issued in October. 100. E.G. to Helmut Riidiger, 3 June 1938, E.G. coll., XXVII B. E.G. to Helmut Rudiger, 4 August 1939, R.R. coll., E.G. file. 101.

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