Libertad 1898

Germinal, at the Wall of the Fédérés

First Published: in Le Droit de Vivre, no. 7, June 1-7, 1898;
Source: Libertad, Le Culte de la Charognne. Agone, Paris, 2006;
Translated: by Mitch Abidor for;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2007.

Note: The wall of the Fédérés is the site at Père Lachaise Cemetery where the Paris Commune made its last stand.

Near their tomb, in the middle of the gaudy wreaths and bouquets showily brought there, in the grass, in black letters on a red background, someone wrote one word: Germinal.

This person knew how to give the correct tone to this anniversary.

Germinal! This wasn’t a banal remembrance of the dead, this was a call to the living; it wasn’t the pointless glorification of the past, it was a call to the future.

On the tomb of these men who died for freedom, this word called their children to liberating rebellion.

The wreaths, the bouquets, the speeches, were vain palliatives. Germinal was the still living fight, rising up, terrible, calling the workers, the rebels to the imminent harvests.