THE FORGOTTEN MEN by Jesus & Manuel Leguineche Torbado

THE FORGOTTEN MEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Interviews with eleven Spaniards, all of them ""moles""--Republicans who hid from Franco's soldiers and police for anywhere from nine to 37 years. Some were merely union-members--of the UGT or the anarchist CNT--who took up arms, in their small towns, when Franco led his coup from Africa in 1936. Some were mayors, one was an active Communist, one a poacher, one a self-educated born leader. Walled in small spaces, frequently within their own families' houses, they were spoken of as dead and left to endure often 20 and more years of only smell and sound--without speech or sight. Not until Franco's death in 1975 did most of them feel liberated (despite a 1969 amnesty). Although the testimonies presuppose a certain base-line knowledge of the Spanish Civil War-and so may lose a little immediacy cross-culturally--the men's psychological strategies and dilemmas and simple patience can't help but impress: ""I was fearful,"" relates Eulogio de Vega, ""from 1936 until around 1950; then I was less cautious. I even raised my voice a few times at Julia, like any husband might do. . . . ""How deep and perhaps unbridgeable a psychic rift the Civil War promoted among Spaniards is perfectly clear here, with time delivering neither forgiveness nor safety.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1981
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston