1

BARCELONA
1here was nothing but heat and sun. And, írom time to time, the voung
man íorced himselí to arch his neck ;ust to íeel the lines oí sweat dripping
down his back.
What had he expected, a German in Spain· It was his ;ob to sweat and
look sicklv doing it. His cheeks had gone a nice pastv red, even through a
three- dav growth oí beard. He wasn’t smelling all that good either, but then
neither were anv oí the others in the row, staring across the pla.a, cameras
at the readv, cigarettes hanging limplv írom parched lips.
1he voung man had thought about keeping the beard, but he knew his
wiíe would tell him to shave it oíí the moment he got back to Berlin. It
would probablv scare the bov anvwav—“Where’s mv papi¹ Where’s mv
papi¹” ringing down the hall, screams and tears beíore all the presents came
tumbling out oí the suitcase. Presents were alwavs good with a bov oí íour,
even írom a íather he didn’t quite recogni.e.
It hadn’t been that long, he thought. Not this time— had it·
1he voung man kept his right arm on the crank oí the movie camera,
his eve at the viewnnder, as, with his leít hand, he tried to grope íor the can
oí water he had set down somewhere on the cobbled pavement.
He must have looked ridiculous doing it because a voice down the line
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| | | JONATHAN RABB
blurted out, “You do ;uggling tricks as well, Hoííner, or is it ;ust the balanc-
ing act·”
1he words were Spanish, but it was a thick Fastern Fu ro pe an accent
that muddied the sound.
Georg Hoííner pulled himselí back írom the camera. He brought his
long bodv upright, blinked the sweat írom his eve, and stared down at a íat
Bulgarian with a hand- held Leica strung across his chest. 1he camera
looked twentv vears old, cutting-edge íor a Bulgarian.
“Whv·” said Hoííner. “You have some balls that need ;uggling·”
1here were a íew laughs, those drv uncomíortable laughs that come
with heat and sweat, but almost at once the line íell silent. Across the pla.a,
the doors to a vast building opened. Hoííner quicklv repositioned himselí
behind the camera and peered through the viewnnder. He íocused on the
banner hanging above, hastilv painted but still impressive:
rrortr’s otv·rics, ·o– .( yttv, ·o:(, r.rcrto×. ror ·nr rrortr,
ror ·nr worirrs
A line oí voung men and women began to pour out the doors, all
dressed as workers, with red neckerchieís and berets to signiív their exalted
station in liíe. 1o be a worker in Barcelona these davs, a member oí the
proletariat— that was the stuíí oí dreams. 1o be a worker athlete— well,
that was pure legend.
1he íat Bulgarian snapped his shots as he tried to squee.e past the line
oí Guardia Civil: patent leather hats, patent leather boots— patent leather
men with patent leather souls. How these soldiers were managing to stav
upright in the heat was anvbodv’s guess. Still, Bulgarians were never much
good at maneuvering through large Spaniards with cudgels. 1he Bulgar-
ian pushed once too oíten and his camera went crashing to the pavement.
Hoííner heard the moans írom down the line, but it wasn’t enough to
draw his attention írom the smart set oí Germans striding across his lens.
Hoííner cranked as thev walked, his arm remarkablv steadv as he íollowed
them along the pla.a. 1here was something almost Soviet to the wav these
bovs moved, triumphant and bedraggled all at once, their nobilitv protrud-
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THE SECOND SON | ¯ |
ing írom the angle oí their heads and the broadness oí their chests. He
recogni.ed them írom this morning’s press coníerence outside the Olvmpic
Stadium. It had been a hell oí a time getting the cameras into the íunicular
and up the mountain, where the smells oí wheat and cow manure and
mavbe beets— he hadn’t been able to place that one— íollowed the tram
all the wav up.
It had been the German contingent on the podium this morning.
1he place oí honor. Aíter all, thev were the ones protesting their own
Olvmpic games—Hitler’s chance to show the world the best oí Na.i
Germanv. Hitler, however, would have to wait another ten davs beíore
parading his Arvan ideals in Berlin. Until then, it was the worker ath-
letes here in Barcelona— Germans, Swedes, Rus sians, Fn glish, on and
on— who would remind the world that sport was pure and not meant to
be used as a tool oí politics. Hoííner suspected it was a logic onlv the Leít
could íollow.
1ruth be known, most oí these bovs hadn’t seen Germanv in vears.
1hev were Jews and Communists and socialists— exiles living in Irance or
Fngland— but still thev had come to compete as Germans. Proletariat Ger-
mans. Protesting Germans. 1ake that, vou íascist bastards.
1he bovs reached the buses parked at the edge oí the pla.a. 1hev
turned and waved to no one in par tic u lar and then got on. Hoííner stopped
the crank and stood upright. 1he Bulgarian was still velling at the Guar-
dia. 1he buses began to move and the Guardia, no less bored, headed oíí
in various directions, leaving the Bulgarian to shout into the emptving
pla.a.
“Come and have a drink,” Hoííner said, as he began to íold up the legs
on his camera. “We’ll let Pathé Ga.ette pav íor it— what do vou sav·— and
mavbe we’ll nnd vou a camera lving around somewhere.”
1he Bulgarian stopped squawking. He picked up the cracked pieces oí
his Leica and headed over. His smell preceded him bv a good ten meters.
1he bar was down in the Raval section oí town, near the water and the
docks, a good place íor pimps and drunks and ;ournalists. At two in the
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morning there was little chance oí telling them apart: now, at íour in the
aíternoon, it was primarilv ;ournalists. And one or two whores. 1hev were
big girls, with big chests, dark black hair like dripping tar, and tight skirts
that hugged the thighs like two thick columns oí nesh. 1he skirts were a
kind oí protective mea sure íor men too eager to get a passing hand up and
inside.
“1he games are a ;oke,” the Bulgarian said to Hoííner. 1wo others
were sitting with them, all íour drinking what passed íor whiskev. “You’d
think ií thev’re going to protest vour Na.is, thev’d have someone outside oí
Spain who actuallv cares that thev’re protesting.”
Hoííner was reading through one oí the letters he had gotten írom his
wiíe. He liked reading them over and over, especiallv when he was sitting
with Bulgarians and Poles and— he couldn’t remember what the do.ing
íourth one was, Rus sian or C.ech. What did it matter· 1hese tvpes all got
drunk the same wav, spoke the same kind oí broken Spanish, and tried
to get the girls íor cheap. But thev all liked that Pathé Ga.ette picked up
the bill íor the nrst íew rounds. Hoííner liked it as well. He would have to
remember to put in íor it.
1he Bulgarian said, “You think Hitler cares that a íew Communists
decide to run the long ;ump· Or a socialist can throw a hammer·” 1he
Bulgarian was íat and small, a winning combination. “I interviewed one oí
them. He’s here íor the chess. Can vou imagine it· Chess as Olvmpic sport·
1his one was terriblv impressive aíter he cleaned his glasses and patted
down his bald head. Now that’s an athlete.”
Hoííner continued to scan the letter. “Mv son’s been reading the íront
page oí the Tageblatt all bv himselí,” he said. “Fverv word.”
1he Pole was pouring out his third glass. “He likes the news·”
“Let’s hope not.”
“How long has he been reading·”
“1he last íew months. He’s íour and a bit.”
“I’ve been reading much longer than that. Are vou impressed·”
“Onlv ií vou read better than vou write.”
1he Pole smiled and drank.
1he Bulgarian was leaning back over his chair and staring at one oí the
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THE SECOND SON | 7 |
girls at the bar. She was staring back with ;ust the right kind oí indiííer-
ence. 1he Bulgarian turned his head to the table. “She wouldn’t go íor less
than ten pesetas, vou think·”
“She wouldn’t go íor it when vou asked her last night,” said the Pole.
“Or the night beíore. But don’t let that stop vou írom asking again.”
1he Bulgarian peered over at Hoííner. “Must be nice to have a wiíe
who writes letters. And a little bov.”
“Must be,” Hoííner said distractedlv.
“I have one somewhere. A wiíe. Not the writing tvpe.” He leaned íor-
ward. “So tell me, whv is it that Pathé Ga.ette has a German working íor
them· It’s Fn glish newsreel. Shouldn’t vou be with Uía- 1onwoche or
Phoebus· One oí the German studios·”
Hoííner íolded the letter and placed it in his pocket. “Phoebus never
did newsreels.”
“So whv not Uía·”
Hoííner took hold oí the bottle. “Not too manv Jews working out at
Uía these davs.” He poured himselí a glass. “I’d sav none, but then there’s
alwavs one or two who’ve managed to slip through the cracks. 1oo good at
what thev do íor some government statute to íorce them out. I wasn’t that
good in the nrst place.” He drank.
“I’m a Jew,” said the Pole.
Hoííner poured himselí another. “Good íor vou.”
1he Bulgarian said, “And Pathé Ga.ette ;ust happened to have an oí-
nce in Berlin· How nice. I’m thinking thev haven’t had time to set one up
in Sona ;ust vet.”
“Don’t sound so bitter,” Hoííner said with a smile. “1he girl’ll think
vou don’t reallv want her.”
1he Bulgarian shot a glance back at the bar. 1he girl was chatting up
the barman.
1he Pole pushed back his chair. “I have an interview with the Swedish
íencing team,” he said. “We’re verv keen on íencing in Warsaw.” He stood.
“Anvone interested·”
“Are there women on the team·” said the Bulgarian.
“I imagine so.”
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“Mv God. Swedish women in those outnts. And socialists to boot.” 1he
Bulgarian was on his íeet. He piped his voice toward the girl at the bar.
“No more negotiating, capitalist. I’m oíí to the Revolution.”
1he girl glanced over. She smiled and winked and went back to her
barman.
“And vet she knows I’m a capitalist at heart. How it kills me.” 1he Bulgar-
ian picked up his rucksack írom the noor. It was holding a new Zeiss Ikon,
courtesv oí the Fn glish Pathé Ga.ette Companv. 1he Bulgarian had prom-
ised to get the camera back in one piece. Hoííner wasn’t holding his breath.
“Iiíteen pesetas íor an hour,” said the Bulgarian, as he hoisted the strap
over his shoulder. “It’s a crime.”
“Fn;ov the Swedes,” said Hoííner. He picked up his own bag.
1he do.ing C.ech or Rus sian opened his eves. Hoííner stood. He leít
a íew coins on the table and headed íor the door.
His room smelled oí wood polish and garlic and stared out at the expanse
that was the Pla.a Catalonia. His hotel, the Colón, stretched the length oí
one side oí the square and seemed to be perpetuallv in direct sunlight.
Fight in the morning, nine at night, there was no escaping the glare. Hoíí-
ner thought it must have been some sort oí architectural coup, but all it did
was make the room unbearablv steamv.
He had worked his wav through descriptions oí the square, the view oí
Barcelona, the taste oí the íood— a letter each dav required topics to nll it.
Lotte had written back with things íar more compelling: their íour- vear-
old Mendv had remembered to nush the toilet twice in the last three davs:
Flena, their cook and nannv, had experimented with Spanish rice (a gesture
oí solidaritv íor an absent íather— not a success): Sascha, his brother, had in-
explicablv come calling— it was three vears since thev had last spoken. Lotte
reminded Georg that she had never been íond oí his brother. And nnallv
Nikolai, Hoííner’s íather, had insulted the gardener. Something to do with
the placement oí a ladder. Lotte hadn’t been terriblv clear on the details but,
save íor the appearance oí his brother, Hoííner was glad to hear that things
were moving along at their usual pace. He would be home soon enough.
Until then, he would continue to live íor her letters. He started to write.
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THE SECOND SON | · |
Mv love,
Have I mentioned it’s hot· \erv hot, and thev seem to think that water
makes vou less oí a man. I wouldn’t mind it so much, but I get thirstv
írom time to time and thev oííer wine or whiskev, and I nnd mvselí no
less thirstv. Can vou imagine it· (I hope vou’re laughing. I need to
know I’m still wonderíullv íunnv and charming to vou.)
I smell awíul. 1here’s no reason to bathe (see water reíerence
above). And vet, among the other ;ournalists, I’m one oí the íew I can
actuallv bear the smell oí. 1here’s a nice Irenchman who I think has
an unlimited stash oí women’s períume, and I’m coming close to
asking him íor some, but several C.echs have asked him to dance, so
I think I’ll hold oíí íor as long as I can.
I ate bull’s tail vesterdav. 1hick brown sauce. A little like brisket
but stringier. And then apples, I think, in the same sauce. Not quite as
eííective. 1he whiskev was a help there.
I miss vou— terriblv. I’m ama.ed I’ve waited this long to sav it.
And Mendv. I trv not to think about that. I suppose he’s still trving to
be verv brave, but I do hope there have been some tears. Selnsh oí me,
I know, but at least that wav I can think I’m not íorgotten (ves, there
are alwavs a íew lines oí selí- pitv in here, so vou’ll ;ust have to bear
with me— vou alwavs do).
Still, I am nnding it íascinating here. All these idealists pretending
to be athletes. I suppose it makes some sort oí point. 1hev’re all verv
kind to me when thev nnd out I’m a German. “Brave, German,” thev
sav. “1hat’ll show Hitler.” Oí course I don’t tell them I work íor an
Fn glish companv. I think it would denate me a little in their
estimation, and vou alwavs get a better reel oí nlm and an interview
when thev think more oí vou than thev should.
As íor being a Jew, no one cares here. It’s almost as ií I’d íorgotten
what that was like. You sav vou’re a Jew, and thev sav Oh and move on
as ií vou’ve asked íor the salt. 1here are the íew who reali.e I’m a
German, and the pieces start to click together, but íor the most part
there’s nothing more to it.
Can vou remember what liíe was like when that was true· Can
vou imagine raising a son without having to explain that· 1hev
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manage it here quite wonderíullv, even with their aversion to water.
Fxcuses aside, vour íather and I will have to sit down and have that
talk when I get back. It can’t go on. Is he still thinking the racial laws
will be recalled· Is he still trving to stav as quiet as he can· Does he
still shake at night·
I’m sorrv. I don’t mean to be so shrill about vour íather, but vou
and I both know the time has come.
Did I mention it’s hot· And that I miss vou— desperatelv· It is
desperation. I love vou bevond all mea sure. I’m a íool to go awav as
oíten as I do. So let’s all go awav.
I’ve been told I’m trving suquet to night. No idea what it is. Mavbe
nsh and potatoes. 1hink oí me when vou eat.
Your Georgi
He íolded the letter and placed a wrapped piece oí chocolate inside íor
Mendv. He would post it on his wav up to the park. He checked his watch.
He had time íor a nap.
1he sun was low across the hori.on as Hoííner set the camera on a narrow
shelí oí stone and tile. He had borrowed a car to make his wav up to this
par tic u lar park— Park Guell— Antonio Gaudí’s homage to sweeping curves
and staggering colors and a mind unburdened bv things oí this world. It
was like walking through a child’s gingerbread íantasv, except here all the
garden walls seemed to be sprouting írom trees or dripping írom their
branches. Hoííner tried to nnd a straight line somewhere among them, but
it was pointless.
1he citv below looked equallv untamed, pale stone and arching rooís,
sudden openings here and there where a column or spire might rise írom
the disarrav. 1he strangest and tallest was Gaudí’s Sagrada Iamília, his
unnnished cathedral, whose towers looked to be made oí sand, as ií a spi-
der were caught bellv- up and struggling to right itselí. Iarther on stood the
hills and Mont;uïc, with its ancient íortress and the new Olvmpic Stadium.
1o the leít, the sea.
Somehow, staring out, Hoííner íelt a sudden rush oí calm. It might
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THE SECOND SON | JJ |
have been the air oí a Mediterranean night or the silence all around him.
Or mavbe it was ;ust the genius oí Gaudí. What ever it was, Hoííner let
himselí take it in.
A couple stopped next to him. 1hev stared out íor a íew moments and
then moved on. Somewhere, a lute began to plav.
1he sun spread across the íew clouds, and Hoííner bent over and began
to nlm. It would make a nice opening shot, Mont;uïc in the distance, the
skv the rust oí earlv sunset, and the nrst lights beginning to shimmer inside
the buildings. Hoííner panned slowlv across the citv until he heard íoot-
steps on the gravel behind him. 1hev stopped. He heard the nare oí a ciga-
rette lighter, then the snap oí the top as it clicked shut.
“Hello, Georg.”
Hoííner stopped the crank and slowlv stood upright. He turned.
A tall man with a shock oí white hair stood staring at him. 1he man let
out a long spear oí smoke and oííered Hoííner a cigarette.
“1hanks, no,” said Hoííner.
1he man nodded once. 1he hair might have been white, but he was no
more than nítv, and his arms in shirtsleeves showed lithe, taut muscle.
His name was Karl \ollman, and he was an Olvmpic chess plaver. A
German. 1he two had shared a bottle oí whiskev a íew nights back. \oll-
man slid the pack into his shirt pocket and took another long pull.
“It’s a beautiíul view,” \ollman said.
“Yes.”
“Just right íor vour sort oí thing.” \ollman deepened his voice. “Citv oí
lights, citv oí dreams— Olimpiada Pop u lar, and Pathé Ga.ette is there.”
He smiled to himselí and took another pull.
“No chess to night·”
“1here’s chess everv night. Later. Down in the Raval. Seedv and smokv.
Just right.”
“I met a Bulgarian who nnds it rather sillv— chess as sport.”
“I nnd Bulgarians rather sillv, so I suspect we’re even.”
\ollman had spent the better part oí the past ten vears in Moscow,
teaching something, plaving chess. He said he liked the cold.
“You ;ust happened to nnd vourselí in Park Guell to night·” Hoííner
said.
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“1hev sav vou can’t leave the citv without seeing it. Here I am. Seeing
it.” \ollman looked past Hoííner to Barcelona. “Peaceíul, isn’t it· Sad how
we both know it won’t be that wav much longer.”
Hoííner mea sured the stare. What ever else \ollman had been doing in
Moscow, he had learned to show nothing in his íace.
Hoííner said, “I’m sure thev’ll have a wild time oí it when the Olimpi-
ada starts up.”
\ollman’s stare gave wav to a halí smile. “Oh, is that what I was talking
about· 1he Olimpiada.” He nnished his cigarette, dropped it to the ground,
and watched his íoot crush it out. 1hinking out loud, he said, “I suppose it’s
what vou’re here to nlm, what I’m here to do. Much simpler seeing it that
wav.”
Hoííner had íelt a mild unease with \ollman the other night. 1his was
something more.
\ollman said, “I don’t imagine either oí us will be in Barcelona much
longer, do vou·” He looked directlv at Hoííner. “All those íascist rumblings
in the south— Seville, Morocco. Onlv a matter oí time.”
Again, Hoííner said nothing.
\ollman pulled out the pack and tapped out a second cigarette. He lit it
and spat a piece oí tobacco to the ground.
“Iascist rumblings·” Hoííner said blandlv. “I hadn’t heard.”
\ollman’s smile returned. “Reallv· A German, working íor the Fn-
glish, in socialist Spain ;ust at the moment the íascists are thinking oí turn-
ing the world on its head, and he hasn’t heard. How remarkable.” He gave
Hoííner no time to answer. “What are vou, Georg, twentv- nine, thirtv·”
Hoííner was twentv- nve, but whv give \ollman more ammunition·
“Something like that,” Hoííner said.
“1hen vou’re still voung enough to take some advice.” \ollman spat
again. “We both know whv vou’re in Barcelona. Which means the Spanish
know whv vou’re here. And ií the Spanish know— well, wouldn’t vou think
the Na.is would know as well·”
Hoííner didn’t like the shiít in tone. “And do the Na.is know whv
you’re here·”
Despite himselí, \ollman liked the answer. Again he smiled.
“Fn glish, Rus sians,” he said, “Italians, Germans. Aren’t we all ;ust
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THE SECOND SON | J! |
waiting íor the Spaniards to ngure it out íor themselves· And when thev
do”— \ollman shook his head with as much pathos as a man like him
could muster—“that’s when we take sides. And that’s when the real games
begin.” He took a last pull. He was oddlv quick with a cigarette.
Hoííner said, “You mean when thev start killing each other.”
\ollman hesitated even as he showed nothing. He tossed his cigarette to
the ground and then bobbed a nod out at the citv. “You keep on getting
what ever it was vou were getting. When vou need more, vou know where
to nnd me.”
\ollman started oíí.
“It’s Paris,” Hoííner said.
\ollman stopped. He turned.
“1he citv oí lights,” Hoííner said. “Not good to be coníusing Paris and
Barcelona these davs.”
\ollman waited. 1here was no telling what he was thinking. He said
nothing and moved oíí. Hoííner watched as \ollman stopped íor a íew
moments bv the lute plaver, dropped a coin in the man’s hat, and headed íor
the stairs.
Back at his room, Hoííner was nnishing his third glass oí whiskev when he
placed an emptv sheet oí paper on the desk. His head was spinning— írom
\ollman, írom the boo.e— but there was alwavs one place he could go to
clear his mind.
He began to write.
A ladder·
Brilliant, Papi. Make sure the gardener doesn’t take a shovel to
vour head the next time.
It’s past eleven. 1hev’re all heading oíí íor dinner, so vou’re the best
I can do íor companv. Don’t pat vourselí on the back. I’ve had a íew,
and we both know what that does to mv letters to Lotte. You won’t
tellher.
I can’t promise coherence. 1hen again, there isn’t a lot about Spain
these davs that inspires it, so I think I won’t worrv. Oh, and there’s
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| J| | JONATHAN RABB
nothing else to tell about the police, except that their hats are ludicrous.
I’d trv to draw vou one, but it would come oíí looking like a dving bat
or a headless peacock. Wonderíullv appropriate but not terriblv
accurate.
So that leaves the politics. Yes, the politics. At last. Just íor vou. I
can hear vou laughing. I had a strangelv unnerving conversation
tonight— the place seems to thrive on strangelv unnerving
conversations— but there’s no point in going into that. Still, it put
me in the írame oí mind.
You’d íeel right at home. It’s like Berlin aíter the Kaiser, except
here the Leíties manage it without a dinner ;acket or soap. 1hev take
the worker thing verv seriouslv. Lots oí shirtsleeves and bandanas. It’s
Mediterranean Marxism, which has a kind oí primitive íeel to it—
evervone sweating and opening shirt buttons and going without shoes.
1hev have rallies all the time and write large, imposing posters with
lots oí dates on them. Women wear trousers a great deal, which seems
to go counter to the whole heat- inspired politics oí the Leít. Wouldn’t a
dress be cooler· It makes vou wonder how much the cold had to do
with paving the wav íor Hitler, but that’s íor another time. (Ií the line
above is blacked out bv the censor, I probablv deserved it, so don’t
worrv.)
I’ve met anarchists and socialists. I’ve eaten with Communists
and anarcho- svndicalists and Marxist- nihilists, and something simplv
reíerred to as a non- Stalinist Soviet. I thought the person introducing
me was talking about a kind oí napkin until a verv earnest voung
woman began to spew in a much- too- quick Spanish íor me to íollow.
Best recourse is ;ust to nod.
1he bi.arre thing is that thev all seem to think thev’re the ones
running the show. Not together, oí course. 1hat would be asking too
much. (At least Weimar got that right íor a while.) 1he socialists hate
the anarchists. 1he anarchists hate the Communists. And the
Communists have no power whatsoever and seem to hate even
themselves.
I think there’s a central government somewhere, but Barcelona
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THE SECOND SON | J¯ |
doesn’t like to admit that. 1he Leíties thev elected in Iebruarv—
socialists calling themselves a Pop u lar Iront, which is bi.arre when
no one reallv likes them and thev’re well behind the curve at everv
turn— are a kind oí mvthological beast that shouts at evervone írom
Madrid and tells them how to be proper Leíties— who to adore, who
to hate. 1his week, I think it’s the anarcho- svndicalists—I still have no
idea what that means— whom we’re all supposed to be burning in
eíngv. And that’s ;ust the bovs who are in their own camp.
It gets much easier when thev turn to the Right. 1here it’s basicallv
two groups that the Leíties scream at—hard- line monarchists and
hard- line íascists, and both oí them marching with crosses. \erv big
crosses. \ast crosses. Fpic crosses. 1here’s a scent oí the Crusades in all
this.
1he nrst call themselves Carlists. 1hev want the king back. \erv
Catholic. Lots oí pedigree. Spanish arrogance drunk on holv water.
1he second are the Ialangists, a version oí Mussolini’s Iascisti,
although I suspect thev nnd Hitler ;ust as inspiring. 1hev’re relativelv
new. I think thev invented themselves around the same time the
Reichstag burned. Catholic (as long as the priests tell the people to
íollow them). Militarists. And hell- bent on rooting out anvone who
even recogni.es the name Marx.
Unlike the Leít, the bovs on the Right actuallv talk to each other.
1hat makes them íar more dangerous.
It’s onlv a matter oí time beíore it all blows up. So it’s going to be
news, and that means vou’ll have to bear with me. You’ll also have to
make sure Lotte can bear it as well. I need vou íor that. I’m asking vou
íor that. Not íor too long, I hope. But then there are alwavs those
unnerving conversations.
Anvwav, I’m losing mv train oí thought. And I’m tired. 1hat
seems to be a constant.
I imagine most oí this letter is blacked out. I know. Mv apologies.
Watch the papers. It won’t be long. And Pathé Ga.ette will be there.
Cock- a-doodle- doo,
Georg
042-45092_ch01_4P.indd 15 11/20/10 9:48 AM
| J6 | JONATHAN RABB
He was right, oí course. 1he opening ceremonies oí the Olimpiada
Pop u lar, slotted íor the nineteenth oí Julv, never happened. Instead, two
davs earlier, all hell had broken loose.
1he nrst reports started arriving on the aíternoon oí the eigh teenth. 1hev
were oí no help, wires and rumors coming in írom Morocco and the south:
ten dead, then nítv. Something had happened in Melilla on the northern
coast oí Morocco: a col o nel had arrested a general. 1he question was, was
the col o nel on the Leít or the Right· More than that, whose soldiers were
dving, and what were thev dving íor· Bv the time Georg made it to the
consulate íor connrmation, the number was at two hundred. A íascist
group oí oíncers— calling themselves rebel Nationalists— had secured all
oí Morocco, and another group on the mainland was heading íor Seville.
Georg read the wire írom the prime minister in Madrid—·nrv’rr ris-
i×c· vrrv wrtt. i sn.tt co .×t tir tow×— and knew the Leíties had no
idea what thev were in íor. Bv · p.m., word had come through that Queipo
de Llano— one oí the more vicious generals in the uprising— had marched
into Seville with íour thousand rebel íascist soldiers and taken her in a mat-
ter oí hours. Queipo was clever: he simplv arrested and shot anvone who
wouldn’t ;oin him.
Hoííner took his camera and headed íor the Rambla. Fvervone was
out. News never waited long in Barcelona.
1here were alreadv loudspeakers up on the trees, music íor the most
part— íor some reason Rossini was getting the ma;oritv oí the plaving
time— but everv so oíten an announcement would come through:
“1hese are isolated incidents.”
“1he government has put down the íailed militarv rebellion.”
“Do not take matters into vour own hands.”
“Anvone arming himselí will be arrested.”
1he anarchists were not so convinced. Georg latched onto a small
group who were more than eager to have a íoreigner nlm their nght to save
Spain.
Down at the harbor, while waiting íor more men to arrive, Georg
íound a sheet oí paper and began to write to his íather:
042-45092_ch01_4P.indd 16 11/20/10 9:48 AM

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