…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
On the 18th September, 2012 at the age of 97 of unspecified illness, died Spanish Communist leader Santiago Carrillo. Seventy six years earlier, thanks to his efforts, several thousand civilians died of specific communists’ bullets. Carrillo was a public order official in a defence committee set up in Madrid in November, 1936. As Franco’s army was coming closer to the city, his suspected supporters were evacuated from a city jail to Paracuellos, on the outskirts of Madrid, supposedly to prevent them from joining Franco’s forces. They were then killed en masse. Carrillo kept on denying his responsibility, saying that he was “ a young and minor official and had no idea what was happening in a chaotic and lawless city under siege”, i.e. the standard Left’s “young and naive” defence.
British historian and Civil War specialist Paul Preston spent a year researching Paracuellos for his 2011 book “The Spanish Holocaust” and concluded that while the massacre itself was most likely the work of anarchists and soldiers assessed by Soviet military advisers, Carrillo did help organise the evacuation.
“Carrillo was an important part in the second phase (organisation), and his many statements that he knew nothing and it was all the anarchists’ fault are not truthful,” he said. “This does not mean that Paracuellos is his work alone. He was one, and a very important one of many who did this terrible collective deed.”
In all, Preston estimates 50,000 Spanish civilians were killed in the Republican rearguard, and another 150,000 behind Franco’s lines.
After Franco won in 1939 Carrillo went into exile. In Paris, Comrade Carrillo lived in semi-secrecy. Financed by the Soviets and other Communist governments, he kept an office around the corner from the Paris stock exchange and was chauffeured to and from his home in the suburbs, where he lived with his second wife, Carmen Menéndez, also a party stalwart, and three children. The family vacationed on the Black Sea in Romania, where he spent time with the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In 1956, he defended the Soviet invasion of Hungary and continued to argue that Stalin’s savagery had been an aberration for an otherwise sound Communist system. In 1960 he became general secretary of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) and had to wait until after Franco’s death in 1975 to return to Spain. In 1977 he became a member of parliament in the first elections held in Spain since 1936, but the PCE did poorly and he was expelled from the party in 1982. His death healed the dialectic dispute and crowded to capacity the enormous hall, where the memorial service was held, resonated with the heart-felt Internationale. Clenched fists, old and young punctured the air, perhaps showing the way “forward” and I noticed at least two Soviet Union flags.
So what can a young thug glean from this? Go Left young man; and you can murder with impunity and live to the very old age, like Santiago, Fidel and Raul.