Saturday, December 22, 2007

David vs. Goliath

In the center of Horta stands a statue of a slain Goliath, in honor of the International Brigades who traveled to Spain in the 1930’s to defend the Republic. All around, people have lain wreaths and flowers.

When the foreign volunteers left Spain in October 1938, the 35th Division were paraded and reviewed, and several of their number received promotions and commendations.
The final appearance of the battalion was at a farewell parade in Barcelona at which Dolores Ibarruri, the Communist deputy known as La Pasionaria, delivered a farewell speech which is inscribed at the statue´s base. Translated into English, the statement reads:

Today many are departing. Thousands remain, shrouded in Spanish earth, profoundly remembered by all Spaniards. Comrades of the International Brigades: Political reasons, reasons of state, the welfare of that very cause for which you offered your blood with boundless generosity, are sending you back, some to your own countries and others to forced exile. You can go proudly. You are history. You are legend. You are the heroic example of democracy's solidarity and universality in the face of the vile and accommodating spirit of those who interpret democratic principles with their eyes on hoards of wealth or corporate shares which they want to safeguard from all risk. We shall not forget you; and, when the olive tree of peace is in flower, entwined with the victory laurels of the Republic of Spain --- return!

Return to our side. for here you will find a homeland. Those who have no country or friends, who must live deprived of friendship, all will have the affection and gratitude of the Spanish people who today and tomorrow will shout with enthusiasm: "Long live the heroes of the International Brigades!"

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