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Workers’ International News, June 1938


Spanish Revolutionaries Framed


From Workers’ International News, Vol.1 No.6, June 1938, p.11.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


On February 13th, 1938, a number of Spanish anti-fascist fighters were arrested and subsequently charged with belonging to a secret organisation formed in Barcelona with the object of carrying out the assassination of prominent Republicans and government officials in key posts. The indictment of the 10th March, 1938 accuses them of issuing propaganda detrimental to the Republic and maintaining direct relations with foreign elements. All except one, Victor Ondik, are accused of being implicated in the murder of a certain Captain Leon Narvitch at about 10 p.m. on the 10th February, 1938 in the Rue de la Legalité. Fernandez Grandiso, alleged to be the leader of this “terrorist band” is accused of attacking the murdered man, while another of the arrested men, Jaime Fernandez, is said to have been helped by one Max O’Joan to hold the victim down.

Who Are the Accused?

Manuel Fernandez Grandiso, alleged leader in the murder and terrorist plot, is in actual fact a veteran revolutionary militant. He is a Bolshevik-Leninist and together with Nin and Andrade founded the Spanish Left Opposition. Before the Revolution he had lived in Mexico with his family and had been Secretary of the Communist League of Mexico. After his return to Spain he fought in the Socialist Youth Militia on the Madrid Front.

Another of the accused, Munis, is well-known as a revolutionary Marxist and a life long opponent of individual terrorism.

Adolfo Carlini, also accused, was born in Italy, where he was a member of the Italian Socialist Party. One of the most courageous among the Italian anti-fascist fighters, he fought on the Aragon Front from the very beginning and is well-known in Barcelona for his heroic conduct during the fighting at Estricho-Quinto and Monte-Aragon.

Aage Kielso, who has escaped, is listed among the accused. He was a volunteer in the militia and a militant Bolshevik.

Besides the four other accused Spaniards, J.F. Rodriguez, T.S. Hernandez, Jaime Fernandez, all known as militant anti-fascists, the list contains Luis Zanon, a youthful comrade who only joined the workers movement after Franco’s uprising. Exploiting his youth and ill-health, the police have induced him to “confess” that he was on the editorial staff of La Batalla and L’Editorial Marxista, but in a subsequent declaration he has retracted his “confession.”

The Max O’Joan, political commissar, who is mentioned in the indictment as having assisted in the murder of Narvitch will no doubt be produced as a “witness” of the Moscow Trials type, but up to the present he seems to have vanished. He is described as a German.

The murdered Captain Narvitch had declared himself sympathetic to the Fourth International, and is therefore more likely to have been killed by the Stalinists than by anyone else, in order to impose silence upon him.

The impending trials of these Spanish and foreign militants who have served the Revolution throughout is a Spanish version of the Moscow Trials.

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Last updated on 17.11.2005