The Friends of Durruti's relations with the Trotskyists

Submitted by Ed on October 11, 2011

It requires only a cursory perusal of El Amigo del Pueblo or Balius's statements to establish that the Friends of Durruti were never marxists, nor influenced at all by the Trotskyists1 or the Bolshevik Leninist Section. But there is a school of historians determined to maintain the opposite and hence the necessity for this chapter.

For a start, we have to demolish one massive red herring: the so-called "Communist Union Manifesto" supposedly jointly endorsed by the Friends of Durruti, the POUM and the Libertarian Youth: but which, in point of fact, never existed. Its existence is just a fantasy of the historian's trade. Like Peter Pan's shadow, the "Communist Union Manifesto" acquired a life of its own and refuses to be tied to its master's slippers.

The misconstrued document in question was a "Manifesto" from Union Communiste, a French Trotskyist group which distributed it in Paris in June 1937 at a rally organized by French anarchists in the Vel d'Hiver in Paris, a rally with the participation of Federica Montseny and Garcia Oliver2 . The initial peddler of this mistake, which was subsequently repeated by many others, was César M. Lorenzo.

As for the matter of Moulin's sway over the Friends of Durruti, we are forced to conclude that this is an utterly unwarranted historiographical invention. From the Thalmanns' book it emerges that it was more a question of Moulin's having been swayed by the Friends of Durruti3 . But even if this were not the case, the influence of Moulin within the Group's ideology, as set out in its leaflets, manifestoes and above all in the columns of El Amigo del Pueblo, does not warrant any claim that it amounted to anything of significance, if indeed it existed.

At all times the Group articulated an anarcho-syndicalist ideology, although it also voiced radical criticism of the CNT and FAI leadership. But it is a huge leap from that to claiming that the Group espoused marxist positions. In any case, we have no problem agreeing that analysis of the reality and of the uprisings in July and May led the Friends of Durruti to espouse two fundamental notions which can scarcely be described as essentially marxist - though they are that, too - so much as the most elementary idioms of any proletariat-driven revolutionary uprising4 . Those two notions are, to borrow the Durruti-ists expressions, are as follows:

1. That one must impose a revolutionary program, libertarian communism, which must be defended by force of arms. The CNT, which had a majority on the streets, ought to have introduced libertarian communism and then should have defended it with force. In other words, which is to say, switching now to the marxist terminology: the dictatorship of the proletariat ought to have been installed.

2. There is a need for the establishment of a Revolutionary Junta, made up of revolutionaries who have taken part in the proletarian uprising, to exercise power and use violence to repress the non-proletarian factions, in order to preclude the latter's taking power, or embarking upon a counterrevolutionary process to defeat and crush the proletariat. That this Revolutionary Junta, as the Friends of Durruti call it, while others call it the vanguard or the revolutionary party, can shock only those who are shocked by words rather than by the defeat of the proletariat.

So, it seems obvious that there was an evolution within anarchist thought processes, leading the Friends of Durruti Group to embrace two notions fundamental to every proletarian revolutionary process and which have, of course, long since been incorporated into the elements of revolutionary marxism. But it is a very different thing to argue that the Friends of Durruti were influenced from without by Trotskyists and turned, overnight, into marxists. Such a contention has validity only as an insult in the propaganda deployed by the CNT against the Friends of Durruti.

That the Friends of Durruti were not in any way beholden to Spanish Trotskyists is transparent from several documents, which we shall now analyze:

a. On a number-of occasions, Balius's own statements roundly denied that the Friends of Durruti had been influenced in any way by the POUM or the Trotskyists5 , and maintained that he still considered himself an anarchist militant, although, naturally, one very critical of the CNT's governmental and ministerial collaboration6 :

Anarchists may go to jail and perish as Obregón, Ascaso, Sabater, Buenaventura and Peiró have, whose lives are worthy of the praises of a Plutarch. We may die in exile, in concentration camps, in the maquis or in the death-ward, but assume ministerial positions? That is unthinkable.

b. The appeal issued by the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain on June 26, 1937 (ten days after the POUM was outlawed) to the POUM's left:

Although you do not see eye to eye with us upon every question and indeed are against our entry, you nonetheless did not have any right to reject collaboration with genuinely revolutionary groups. On the contrary: you have a duty to invite the 'Friends of Durruti', as well as ourselves, to seek some common accord on the requisite practical steps which may afford an escape from this situation and pave the way for new struggles that will lead us on to victory.

This invitation, issued by the Trotskyist group to the left of the POUM, to summon a meeting between the outlawed and persecuted POUM, the Friends of Durruti and the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain, that is, between the three revolutionary groups in existence after the May events, indicates that the Friends of Durruti were deemed to be an independent group organizationally and ideologically, on a par with the POUM or the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain:

c. This was the reaction to No. 2 of La Voz Leninista7 to rejection of the invitations the Trotskyists has issued to hold a meeting between the POUM8 left, the Friends of Durruti and the Bolshevik-Leninist Section and endorse a common manifesto:

The 'Friends of Durruti' and the POUM's left wing have rejected a specific proposition. Following the dissolution of the POUM and the arrest of its militants, the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain sent a letter to the 'Friends of Durruti', to the party's Madrid branch committee and to the left fraction in Barcelona, proposing that we jointly sign a manifesto demanding the immediate release of those arrested, the restoration of premises, uncensored freedom for the worker press, the disarming of the Assault Guards, legalization of the Control Patrols under the direction of workers' committees and a proposal for a CNT-FAI-POUM united front to press for these points.

In the same letter, whose contents we may not reveal because of the police, our Committee arranged a rendezvous for discussion of any items upon which there might be differences of opinion. None of those invited showed up for the meeting nor has any thus far replied to our message. Unofficially, we have discovered that the POUM leftists did not think the time was right for a break with their E.[xecutive] C.[ommittee] and the 'Friends of Durruti' see little advantage to their aims in alliance with the Bolshevik-Leninists.

In reality, the occasion could not have been better suited for the POUM's left wing and anarchism's leftist wing to demonstrate their capabilities as leaders and their resolution in difficult times.

Regrettably, they have chosen to support their respective organizations' inertia rather than appear to be active alongside Trotskyists. We cannot disguise the fact that we regard this as reminiscent of the universal terror of Trotskyism.

This text, which we reproduce in its entirety, is a sufficiently clear indication to us that whereas there were strenuous efforts made on the part of the Trotskyist group led by Munis to bring influence to bear on the Friends of Durruti and on the POUM's left, that influence never amounted to anything more than a failed effort.

d. E. Wolf's report to Trotsky, dated July 6, 1937, states as follows [translated from the French original]9 :

A tactical switch is required at this point. In the past we focused almost exclusively on the POUM. The anarchist revolutionary workers were unduly neglected, with the exception of the Friends of Durruti. But the latter are rather few in number and it will be impossible to achieve any collaboration with them. We even invited them, along with the left fraction of the POUM, to take part in a meeting to discuss joint action. Neither the POUMists nor the Friends would agree to the meeting. Not just because we appeared too weak to them, but because they are still under the influence of the monstrous campaign against Trotskyism. Assuredly they say to themselves: 'Why should we run such a risk and provide our enemies with further ammunition about our being "Trotskyists"?'

e. Munis's report to Trotsky, dated August 17, 193910 , which appears to contradict our claims regarding the Trotskyists' influence over the Group, has this to say:

In the socialist and anarchist sectors, there is considerable scope for our work. The chief leader of the 'Friends of Durruti', ostensibly influenced by us, is espousing an outlook with quite pronouncedly marxist features. At our direct instigation, and on behalf of the 'Friends of Durruti', an initial bulletin was drafted, the text of which is still in our possession, in which the need to overhaul all anarchist theories is posited. [. . .] But we have lost ground in this regard, because of our being materially powerless to afford effective economic assistance to the 'Friends of Durruti' It is not our aim to encourage movement in our direction through financial means alone, but rather to utilize the latter to bring Bolshevik ideas to the workers who follow said current (. . .) we entertain no wild expectations, but economic resources will quickly secure us a preponderant influence that would bring the 'Friends of Durruti', partly at any rate, into the Fourth International.

Munis's painstaking report talks throughout about the prospects of influencing the Friends of Durruti ideologically and even of drawing them into the Fourth International: but that very same prospect, which existed in August 1939, is confirmation that it had come to nothing in 1937.

f. In the interview published by La Lutte ouvrière, in its editions dated February 24 and March 3, 1939, Munis took this line with regard to the Friends of Durruti:

This circle of revolutionary workers [the Friends of Durruti] represented a beginning of anarchism's evolving in the direction of marxism. They had been driven to replace the theory of libertarian communism with that of the 'revolutionary junta' (soviet) as the embodiment of proletarian power, democratically elected by the workers. To begin with, especially after the May events, during which the Friends of Durruti lined up with the Bolshevik-Leninists in the front line of the barricades, this group's influence made deep inroads into the (CNT) trade union center and into the 'political' group which directed it, the FAI. The panicking bureaucrats tried to take steps against the Friends of Durruti leaders, accusing them of being 'marxists' and 'politicals.' The CNT and FAI leadership passed a resolution to expel. But the Unions steadfastly refused to implement that resolution.

Unfortunately, the leaders of the Friends of Durruti have failed to capitalize upon the potential force at their disposal. In the face of charges that they are 'marxist politicals', they retreated without a fight.

[Question] Are there actual indications of the workers' turning away from the anarchist outlook and moving towards the notion of conscious proletarian power?

The anarchist leaders' collaboration with the bourgeoisie and the overall experience of the revolution and the war opened most anarchist workers' eyes to the fact that a proletarian power was vital for the protection of the revolution and of proletarian gains. Agreement between the Bolshevik vanguard and individual workers was readily achieved. But the organizational expression of that agreement failed to crystallize, partly on account of the absence of a strong Bolshevik nucleus, partly due to the absence of political clear-sightedness in the Friends of Durruti.

But I have had occasion to talk with old anarchist militants, some of them quite influential. All of them openly express the same notion: 'I can no longer stand by the ideas I supported before the war. Let me proclaim my agreement with dictatorship of the proletariat, which cannot be a party dictatorship as in the USSR, but rather that of a class. In the organs of proletarian power, all of the working class's organizations may come together and collaborate.

This intriguing and impassioned interview with Munis in La Lutte ouvrière merely bears out what we have been saying about the Friends of Durruti. In the first place, that they were not marxists, and secondly, that the emergence of the Friends of Durruti as a theoretical anarchist dissidence was due to the insufferable contradictions which the hard reality of war and revolution created within a Spanish anarchist movement characterized by its mammoth organizational strength and absolute theoretical vacuousness.

Let us, therefore, rehearse the historical context of dealings between the Friends of Durruti and the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain. There had been contacts prior to May 1937, through the person of Moulin. It cannot strictly be claimed that Moulin exercised any ideological influence of any sort over Balius and the Group. During the May events there was no collaboration between them either. They merely encountered one another on the streets and both groups issued leaflets with watchwords calling for the fight to be continued11 . But neither of them was strong enough to unseat the CNT leadership.

After May 1937, neither the POUM's left12 (Josep Rebull) nor the Friends of Durruti13 (Jaime Balius) agreed to attend a meeting summoned by the Trotskyists for the purpose of working out concerted action, as noted in No. 2 of La Voz Leninista and in Wolf's report to Trotsky, dated July 6, 1937.

Only in French exile and from 1939 on was there any mention of possible Trotskyist influence over the Friends of Durruti, influence which, in fact, failed to prosper, as confirmed in Munis's extremely optimistic letter to Trotsky on April 27, 194014 .

Consequentially, no group wielded discernible influence over the Friends of Durruti. This contention, which we have attempted to demonstrate, is, we believe, how the historical record stands at present. But it is equally certain that the insults tossed around by the CNT did not fall on deaf ears, and that in the eyes of the majority of CNT militants the Friends of Durruti as a group was "suspected" of marxism, and that Friends of Durruti militants were always described as being authoritarian and/or 'marxist" in outlook. Take, for instance the claims made by Peirats who was, let it not be forgotten, chief editor of Acracia and one of the listed contributors to Ideas. Peirats was a CNT militant highly critical of collaboration with the State and was actively and prominently involved in the CNT opposition to the CNT leadership cadres' acceptance of ministerial portfolios. By November 1937, he was persuaded that the revolution had been lost and opted, despite his anti-militarist convictions, to go to the front "to seek death," by way of a sort of suicide arrangement, on account of the CNT's contradictions. However Peirats was not a sympathizer with the Friends of Durruti and in an oral15 interview in 1976 he had this to say:

Question: Were you aware of the creation and intentions of the 'Friends of Durruti' group? Were you in touch with them?

Peirats: This was a group that emerged at the time of the May events. In fact its origins, I believe, can be traced back to the autumn of 1936, when the campaign for militarization started. There were lots of comrades at that time unwilling to militarize and they quit the fronts.

Question: Prior to Durruti's death?

Peirats: Yes, before Durruti's death, but especially afterwards, there were lots of comrades who refused to be militarized. The Durruti Column was still a Militias unit, not yet the 26th Division. Quite a few defied instructions and returned to the rearguard, creating a certain climate there. These were the ones that fought during the May events in Barcelona, and although there were other fighters as well, it was they who bore the brunt of the attack. When things ended in such a disgraceful compromise, there was a few who hoisted the rebel flag again, formed the "Friends of Durruti" group, brought out the newspaper El Amigo del Pueblo and kept in touch. But they had little impact, for some of them were not genuinely anarchists: they were merely revolutionaries and this created a certain malaise. They were not widely welcomed, even in quarters that we might term refractory towards the Organization's watchwords. I am merely articulating my feelings here. As I knew the individuals concerned, I never had any real sympathy with the 'Friends of Durruti', because I found its leanings very authoritarian. Talk along the lines of "We are going to impose this, and whoever does not . . . we will shoot him" struck me as rather Bolshevistic. And for that reason I was not a follower of theirs. I did attend some meetings, but always for discussions with them. The attitudes displayed by some of them ensured that many of us held back from helping them. And they achieved nothing. They themselves devalued their own work. The real work of opposition, therefore, carried on outside of them [. . .] In the end, around about October 1937, I felt so weary, because of the creeping counterrevolution everywhere, and I struck a heroic or suicidal pose, saying to myself: "Let death come if it will, but I am off to the front." Off I went as a volunteer, and from then on I took no further interest in the rearguard.

Peirats's testimony offers us the key to anarcho-syndicalist rationale and psychology. The Friends of Durruti, according to Peirats, were authoritarians and Bolshevistic, and that was reason enough to have no truck with them and even to go to the extreme of embracing militarism and espousing a suicidal, passive attitude to the progress of the bourgeois counterrevolution. Peirats, who, while in exile, took upon himself the CNT's commission to write an official history16 of the CNT during the civil war, could not accept that there is nothing more authoritarian than a successful revolution. But this was a very hard lesson for anarchists to take on board.

Does all of the above mean that the Trotskyists had no contacts with Rebull or with the Friends of Durruti? No.

In any case the POUM left (Rebull) and the Friends of Durruti (Balius) had a meeting during the May events, but the numerical slightness of both organizations and the refusal by the Friends of Durruti to issue a joint manifesto with Cell 72 ensured that these contacts failed to produce anything practical17 .

After the May events, the Group was disowned by the CNT leadership, and although its members were in the end not expelled from the CNT, insofar as the Friends of Durruti always retained a measure of support in the unions' assemblies, they were denied the use of the CNT presses. It was on account of this that the Friends of Durruti Group turned to Rebull, the administrative director of La Batalla and Ediciones Marxistas. Rebull, without even bothering to consult the POUM leadership, and honoring the most elementary - though no less risky - duty of solidarity, granted the Group access to the POUM's presses so that they could print the Manifesto which the Friends of Durruti distributed in Barcelona on May 818 .

Might this perhaps mean that Rebull had an influence over the Friends of Durruti? Absolutely not. Did Moulin's involvement in the Group's interminable discussions mean that Trotskyists had influence with the Group? Again no.

There is no denying that there was ongoing contact between militants of the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain and the Friends of Durruti and that several militants of the Group were recipients of the clandestine press produced by the Trotskyists19 .

However these contacts were not confined to a simple swapping of the underground press produced by each group. The various organizations outlawed in June 1937 kept in touch and shared assets and intelligence in order to stand up to the repression and carry on the fight from their common clandestine circumstances or simply showed solidarity with fellow revolutionaries. Such as in the ongoing campaign calling for solidarity with those indicted in the show trial against the POUM. Or else the intelligence that Captain Narwitsch was a police spy - intelligence passed on to the Trotskyists by militants from the POUM. There was also the underground publication by the same printer Baldomero Palau of issue No. 3 of La Voz Leninista and several issues of El Amigo del Pueblo on presses located in the Calle Salmerón20 .

Although the Trotskyists and the Durruti-ists were not in touch prior to May 1937: and although they mounted no joint action despite the contacts that were established during the May events and in the ensuing weeks: from June onwards after the proscription of the POUM, the Bolshevik-Leninist Section and the Friends of Durruti's newspaper there was a period of solidarity and cooperation between the various underground organizations and indeed of personal friendships between their militants21 .

So we may conclude that although various groups were in touch with the Friends of Durruti we cannot strictly speak of any significant decisive outside influence upon the Friends of Durruti: Contacts? yes, but influence? No.

We have already dealt at length with the existence of contacts between Trotskyists, POUMists, Group members and anarchist militants. Contacts that consisted not just of discussion and political debate, exchange and distribution of newspapers but which also culminated in memorable high-risk acts of solidarity in the face of counterrevolutionary and Stalinist repression. A solidarity that was closer to the camaraderie22 among activists than the ideological or organizational type of proselytizing influence imagined by historians. Or to put it in such a way that it may be comprehensible even to the most fatuous, pompous, lying, conceited sanctimonious hypocrite from the closed and illustrious guild of academic historians - help was tendered to a comrade from a different organization simply because he had shown that he "had balls" and not because of any abstract indeterminate degree of ideological influence in play.

However, there may be those who cannot grasp the meaning of the word solidarity between revolutionaries.

  • 1There were two rival Trotskyist groups in existence in Spain during the civil war: the Bolshevik-Leninist Section led by Munis and the "Le Soviet" group led by "Fosco." We make no references here to "Le Soviet" because it had no dealings with the Friends of Durruti. For this reason we use the term Trotskyist as a synonym for militants of the Bolshevik-Leninist Section.
  • 2For the "Communist Union Manifesto" as an historiographical error see: Agustin Guillamón "El Manifiesto de Unión Commuistda: un repetido error en la historiografia sobre la guerra civil" in La História i el Joves historiadors catalans, Pónencies i Comunicacions de les Primeres Jornades de Joves Historiadors Calalans, celeblades els dies 4, 5 i 6 d'octubre de 1984 (Edicións La Magrana Barcelona 1986) and Paul Sharkey The Friends of Durruti. A Chronology (Editorial Crisol, Tokyo May 1984)
  • 3On this point we are in agreement with Paul Sharkey.
  • 4See Munis's article in No. 2 of La Voz Leninista (August 23, 1937) entitled "La Junta revolucionaria y los 'Amigos de Durruti'," wherein Munis analyses the concept of revolutionary junta championed by the Group in No. 6 of El Amigo del Pueblo (August 12, 1937).
  • 5In his letter to Bolloten written from Cuernavaca and dated June 20, 1946 Balius stated:

    The alleged influence of the POUM or the Trotskyists upon us is untrue. You will appreciate that the Group of us CNT comrades who headed the Group knew perfectly well what we wanted. We were not newcomers to the revolutionary lists. Consequently, all of the claims that have been tossed around are utterly unfounded.

    By my reckoning what I have said should be enough. You may describe the Friends of Durruti Group as an attempt by a group of CNT militants to rescue it from the morass in which it found itself and at the same time to salvage the Spanish revolution which had been menaced from the outset by counterrevolutionary forces which the CNT in its naiveté had failed to eliminate. Especially in Catalonia, where no one could have challenged our supremacy.

    In a letter from Hyéres (France) to Paul Sharkey, on September 7, 1974, Balius himself stressed the independence of the Group, confirming the complete absence of contacts between the Friends of Durruti and the Trotskyists and the POUM, prior to May 1937: "We had no contact with the POUM, nor with the Trotskyists, but there was some mixing on the streets, with rifles in hand."

  • 6Jaime Balius "Por los fueros de la verdad" in Le Combat syndicaliste of September 2, 1971.
  • 7La Voz Leninista No. 2, Barcelona, August 23, 1937.
  • 8In Barcelona the POUM's left was represented by Cell 72, and more specifically by its secretary Josep Rebull, the administrator of La Batalla and the Editorial Marxista. Josep Rebull had drafted a counter-proposition in anticipation of the convening of the POUM's second congress, at which he delivered a radical critique of the political policy pursued by the POUM Executive Committee.
  • 9Reprinted with the permission of The Houghton Library (Harvard University).
  • 10Reprinted with the permission of The Houghton Library (Harvard University).
  • 11The leaflet from the Bolshevik-Leninist Section distributed on May 4, 1937 (reconstituted from the facsimile published in Lutte ouvriere No. 48, of June 10, 1937) reads:

    Long live the revolutionary offensive! No compromises. Disarm the GNR [Republican National Guard] and the reactionary Assault Guards. This is a crucial juncture. It will be too late next time. General Strike in every industry not working for the war effort until such time as the reactionary government steps down. Proletarian power alone can guarantee military victory. Complete arming of the working class. Long live the CNT-FAI-POUM unity of action! Long live the Revolutionary Front of the Proletariat. Revolutionary Defense Committees in the workshops, factories, barricades, etc. . . ."

  • 12Munis offered a very lively criticism of the ambiguity and indecision of the so-called POUM left in Barcelona, in the form of Cell 72, which, at the beginning of 1938, would dwindle to its secretary Josep Rebull and no one else: see Grandizo Munis "Carta a un obrero poumista. Ia Bandera de la IV Internaciónal es la única bandera de la revolución proletaria" in La Voz Leninista No. 3, of February 5, 1938.
  • 13In La Voz Leninista No. 2 (23 August 1937), Munis made a critique of the notion of the "revolutionary junta" set out in No. 6 of El Amigo del Pueblo (August 12, 1937). In Munis's view, the Friends of Durruti suffered from a progressive theoretical decline and a practical inability to influence the CNT, which led them to abandon some positions which the May experience had enabled them to occupy. Munis noted that in May 1937 the Friends of Durruti had issued the call for a "revolutionary junta" alongside "all power to the proletariat": whereas in No. 6 of El Amigo del Pueblo (August 12, 1937) the slogan "revolutionary junta" was invoked as an alternative to the "failure of all Statist forms." According to Munis, this represented a theoretical retreat from the Friends of Durruti's assimilation of the May experiences, taking them further away from the marxist notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and drawing them back into the ambiguities of the anarchist theory of the State.
  • 14Reproduced in Pierre Broué Léon Trotsky. La revolución española (1930-1940) Vol. II, pp. 405409.
  • 15José Peirats El movimiento libertarion en España (1) José Peirats Colección de Histórid Oral, Fundación Salvador Segui, Madrid, undated.
  • 16José Peirats La CNT en la revolución española three volumes. (Ruedo Ibérico, Paris, 1971). In this, the official history of the CNT, Peirats hardly mentions the Friends of Durruti.
  • 17Unpublished interview given to Agustin Guillamón by Josep Rebull, as cited previously.
  • 18Jordi Arquer História de la fundació . . . op. cit.
  • 19In the affidavit taken from Manuel Fernandez ("Munis") by a magistrate and used as part of the book of evidence in the Espionage and High Treason Tribunal of Catalonia versus the militants of the Bolshevik-Leninist Section of Spain, we read: "Questioned as to which anarchist groups the Bolshevik-Leninist Section, of which the deponent ["Munis"] was the general secretary, was in cahoots with, he states: That they were in cahoots with no one, since, had he been, it would have been with persons who had stopped being anarchists in order to join the Bolshevik-Leninist Section, adding that they used to send the clandestine press they published to some persons who belonged to the 'Friends of Durruti', as well as to UGT and CNT personnel too."
  • 20As is recorded in the report of the search of Baldomero Palau's printworks, a report taken by the magistrate drafting the indictment against the Trotskyist militants: "In Barcelona, at 8.30 A.M. on the fourteenth of February nineteen hundred and thirty eight, officers [. . .] acting on instructions from above, and carrying a search warrant [. . .] arrived at No. 241, Calle Salmerón, a printworks, in order to effect a scrupulous search, in that it appeared that it was being used for the printing of clandestine publications, in some of which the lawfully constituted government was being attacked.

    Once there and in the presence of the Manager of the presses, namely Baldomero Palau Millan, who lives on the premises in the Calle de Cera [. . .] they proceeded to carry out the order, the upshot being that three printer's "mastheads" were found: these, when copies were taken from them turned out as follows: one was the mast-head from El Amigo del Pueblo, having in the right hand margin, boxed, writing which stated 'The Public Entertainments clash, which has been resolved happily, was a provocation by Comorera. While our comrades fight at the front, this wretch is busily torpedoing the rearguard. The unity of these workers has frustrated his designs" [text taken from No. 12 of El Amigo del Pueblo of February 1, 1938]: another, from La Voz Leninista and a third from El Amigo del Pueblo: all of which were seized by the duty officers for transmission to their Superiors."

  • 21See G, Munis's letter of October 2, 1948 from Paris:

    During the May events, the B-L Section contacted the Friends of Durruti, but nothing was coordinated, for practical reasons and also - I imagine although I cannot be certain - because the Friends of Durruti thought they might lose popularity in the CNT if the leadership of the latter were to accuse them of allying themselves with marxists. After the May events there was more friendliness and interaction between the two groups. The influence of both inside the CNT grew considerably. Generally speaking, it was members of the latter who were most involved in distributing El Amigo del Pueblo and La Voz Leninista."

    Munis and Balius, who had never met before May 1937, subsequently struck up a comradely relationship, based on mutual appreciation and respect, ideologically and personally. This friendship flourished in exile in Mexico, since Balius lived in Munis's home for a time, according to Arquer.