Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s non-fiction “adventure novel” about Buenaventura Durruti and the Spanish anarchist movement (ca. 1917-1937), first published in Germany in 1972, consisting of a more or less chronological “collage” of “translated, abridged and rearranged” excerpts from “reports and speeches, interviews and proclamations … letters, travel narratives, anecdotes, pamphlets, polemics, newspaper articles, autobiographical texts, flyers and propaganda leaflets” (including extensive selections from the eyewitness accounts of Simone Weil, Ilya Ehrenburg, H. E. Kaminski, Mikhail Koltsov, Ricardo Sanz and Jesús Arnal Pena), punctuated by the author’s “Commentaries”.
A retrospective on the Spanish Civil War by the FAI leader, Diego Abad de Santillán, published in 1940, in which the former Minister of the Economy of the Generalitat blames foreign (especially Russian) intervention, the farcical “non-intervention” of the western democracies, and the centralism of the (Russian-ruled) Republic for Franco’s victory, citing long passages from official FAI documents, reports from various CNT committees, testimonials of front line soldiers, minutes from meetings of the Popular Front and libertarian plenums, etc., as well as his own wartime suggestions concerning military strategy (guerrilla warfare), and expresses regrets for his pacifying role in May 1937.
In 1936, after the liberation of Aragon from Franco's forces, leading Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti was interviewed by Pierre van Paasen of the Toronto Star. In this interview he gives his views on Fascism, government and social revolution despite the fact that his remarks have only been reported in English - and were never actually written down by him in his native Spanish - they are worth repeating here.
A critical, yet sympathetic assessment of the role of the anarchists in the Spanish Revolution and the “circumstantialism” and collaborationism of the CNT-FAI, in which the author portrays the Workers Alliance (a revolutionary insurrection initiated by communist left groups in 1934, largely restricted to Asturias, based on the principle of trade union and proletarian unity) as not just a missed opportunity but also as a possible model for an alternative to the fatal choice between collaboration and an unacceptable “anarchist dictatorship”.
An article written by the German council communist Helmut Wagner in April 1937 criticizing extensively the political developments in Spain during the civil war and within it the role played by the anarchists and their organizations. This article first appeared in Ratekorrespondenz, the official publication of the Gruppe Internationaler Kommunisten (GIK) based in Holland, before appearing in Paul Mattick's International Council Correspondence in June of that same year.