1937: Speech by Juan García Oliver

1937: Speech by Juan García Oliver

Short filmed speech delivered at some point in 1937. Oliver talks about Buenaventura Durruti and several over Anarchists who had been killed in combat, and the history of the CNT's Action groups.

Video link

Text of the speech.

Our anarchist group was founded in the year 1923.

In circumstances that were very bad for our movement, very sad for the whole working class,
The pistoleros of the "Sindicato Libre*", sponsored by the bourgeoisie, were almost owners of the city.
The police hordes contributed to the destruction of our organizations and our men.
Salvador Seguí, the titan of anarcho-syndicalism, had fallen.
Old militants, the first men of our so splendid movement today, had fallen.
When we thought that the moment of being completely defeated was probably coming,
We united, in that moment, we who I have no shame in saying, we who I have pride in confessing:
The kings of the working-class, pistol of Barcelona!
We lived and acted disunited.

But we made a selection!
The best terrorists of the working class
The ones who could best return punch by punch and deliver the final victory to the proletariat
We split from the other comrades, we united, and we formed an anarchist group.
A group of action, to fight!
Against the pistoleros, against the bourgeoisie, and against the government!
We achieved our goal: we won!
Our punches were harder, more towards the head, than theirs.
And the group was formed, and it was an oath of those who joined it, that, from that moment on, our group "Los Solidarios" we'd continue the struggle, until the total triumph of the working class, until the triumph of the social revolution and that only death could separate us.
The first to fall was comrade Eusebio, in Asturias.
Comrade Torin also fell, in Barcelona.
The comrades Suberviela and Torres Escartín suffered in prison.
And when we, after the Republic was established, came out of the prisons, and united once again in Spain, we continued the group, and then, we renamed to, "Nosotros".

We (Nosotros), who have no name!
We, who have no pride!
We, who are a mass!
We, who will go one by one!
We (Nosotros)!
We have a debt.
Durruti paid it.
For the revolution and in honor to his commitment.
We who are, like Durruti, to show Europe we stopped at the last compromise.
Time has been proving it:
It is not a test of a day nor a year.
It is a test of (???).
It was paid.
It was accomplished.
Durruti did his duty,
and we, who are still here, will also do it.
Death is nothing!
Our individual lives are NOTHING!
That's why we are "Nosotros".
And while one of us is left, "Nosotros" lives on.
That's all.

* A labour union set up by the industrialists of Barcelona in an attempt to break the much more militant CNT Union. Its leadership was complicit in the Pistoleros campaigns, informing on CNT members.

Footage taken from here and includes an alternative Dutch translation.

Comments

Reddebrek
Nov 22 2021 19:25

I don't know much about this speech, I tried to make the transcript coherent by stick close to the way its spoken.

I've been looking for public domain footage of the Spanish civil war and the 1920s/30s after I saw in a German documentary about Franco a lot of footage of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship and even fighting in the Asturian revolt. Unfortunately, while there are acres of footage, a lot of it is held in for profit archives who charge for it. Aside from this speech, I've managed to track down speeches by Falange leaders on modern Falange yt accounts (of course), and a small collection of scenes of early combat operations from 1936 in French with partial sound and narration. https://youtu.be/f0W6u1dog-A

There are few news reports and films by the CNT and the Republican government, unfortunately several Spanish media companies like to claim they own them and don't back down when initially challenged.

Reddebrek
Nov 25 2021 20:33

Ah, found some more, a CGT account has the full short film and has some information about it.

https://youtu.be/ueMGpVfJ0jc

Quote:
Documentary made by the CNT in homage to Durruti on the first anniversary of his death and dedicated to his widow Emiliana Morín and his daughter Colette Durruti. It begins with some images of the Montjuich cemetery after which an anarchist tribute act is held at the Tívoli cinema in Barcelona. We see the intervention of four anarchist leaders, among them Juan García Oliver, who makes a speech about the importance of Durruti and the CNT in the revolutionary struggle. Back in the cemetery, a former member of the Durruti Column, transformed into the 26th Division, addresses the crowd promising to continue the fight for the fallen leader's ideas. García Oliver gives an inflamed speech in which he remembers Durruti and the anarchist action group "Los Solidarios", the death of Salvador Seguí to whom the "Law of Fugitives*" was applied, and the fight they waged against the gunmen of the Free Trade Union. This speech is interspersed with fictional images, among which a recreation of the application of the "Law of Fugitives" stands out.