The 1937 "May Days" in Barcelona

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ICC Introduction

The article by Josep Rebull on “The May Days of 1937”, which we are publishing here, is a contribution to reflection about the war in Spain1. In particular, it contains important elements of clarification about the political attitude of the anarchists and the POUM2 during these tragic events.

The 1937 May Days were a new and dramatic experience for the working class. They provided the opportunity for the Stalinists and “official” anarchists to carry out an anti-working class policy and showed that they had become ardent defenders of the interests of capitalism.

During these struggles, only a few Trotskyists around G Munis and the anarchist group The Friends of Durruti clearly placed themselves on the side of the workers of Catalonia.

Rebull’s article shows a lot of foresight about the result of the May Days and on the general course of the class struggle. It is to be saluted above all because of its political courage, especially considering that the violent criticisms of the POUM leadership are made from the inside, by a militant of the party.

Josep Rebull3 was a member of the POUM during the 1930s. We should recall that this party was created in 1935 on the basis of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Bloc4 led by Joaquin Maurin5, in conjunction with elements like Andres Nin6. The latter had broken with the International Left Opposition, and thus with Trotsky, in 1934. In the POUM, Maurin held the post of general secretary while Nin became the political secretary7. During the war in Spain, while Maurin festered in Franco’s jails, Nin was Minister of Justice in the Generalidad government in Catalonia along with the CNT and the parties of the Republican and Catalan nationalist bourgeoisie, such as Josep Tarradella’s Esquerra Catalana.

Despite profound disagreements with the policies of the POUM during the war in Spain, and although afterwards he had a certain rapprochement with the positions of the communist left, Josep Rebull was never able to make a formal break with this party.

During the period between the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1940s, revolutionary energies were particularly reduced and isolated from the working class. Among these was the Italian Left, which had the huge merit of understanding the real dynamic of the situation. In doing so, they found themselves at odds with other revolutionary political tendencies. The Italian Left had a marxist, historical grasp of the real balance of forces between the classes and its evolution; this was at the core of its analysis of the historic course. It saw that the course was not favourable to the working class, that it had definitively changed at the end of the 1920s and that, since that point, the international political situation had been determined by the triumph of the counter-revolution and the march towards a generalised imperialist war.

This general vision is the main lack in Rebull’s approach, and it means that his article has serious political limitations. The most important of these is his illusion that the proletarian revolution was possible in Spain in 1936 and even in 1937. In effect he defends the view that if there had been a real revolutionary leadership during the May Days of 1937, the situation could have gone in a different direction. But these political confusions aside, we want to salute Rebull’s article and point to a number of elements of political clarification which go well beyond the simple understanding of the Barcelona events in May 1937.

What can we retain from this article?

In May 1937, the Spanish and international bourgeoisie definitively succeeded in putting down the last vestiges of proletarian resistance in Spain. After May 1937 the repression really got underway and crushed the Spanish working class before the outbreak of the Second World War. Rebull shows that the May Days had ended in a grave defeat for the working class and “a triumph for the pseudo-democratic bourgeoisie”.

Rebull moves towards a historic vision of flux and retreat in the class struggle. Like Marx at the time of the Paris Commune8, like Lenin during the Russian revolution9, or Rosa Luxemburg during the German revolution10, he analyses the actual situation of the class struggle. He is one of the only elements in the POUM, but also among other Spanish revolutionaries, to warn about the imperious necessity to pass into clandestinity after the 1937 May Days. The appreciation of “where is the class struggle”, which is always the most complex for a revolutionary to diagnose, is something that only marxists can develop. It is their role and function to understand the rhythm of the class struggle and to explain it to their class. No one else can do it in their place, and if they don’t do it, they lose all usefulness.

Rebull criticises not only the Spanish Communist Party but also the CNT which acted as a support for the Republican power dominated by the Stalinists and the ‘left’ fraction of the Republican bourgeoisie. On the CNT leadership, he writes that “the May movement has shown the real role of the anarcho-syndicalist leaders. Like reformists in any era, they have been – consciously or unconsciously – instruments of the enemy class in the workers’ ranks”.

He draws the lessons about the real function of the Popular Fronts: “In the future, the working class will not be able to have any doubts about the function reserved for the Popular Fronts in every country”.

Rebull shows a way forward in the new situation created by the failure of the May Days. Unlike the POUM, which saw in these events a victory for the working class, he sees the reality of the defeat and thus the necessity for revolutionaries to take measures of clandestinity in order to survive.

Rol.


“The May days”11

Background

Once the second power had disappeared in its organised form, that is to say, once the organs born in July in opposition to the bourgeois government had disappeared, the counter-revolution - presently represented by the petty-bourgeois and reformist parties - attacked the proletariat’s revolutionary positions one by one, principally in Catalonia, because it is the region which has given the most momentum to the revolution. This was done cautiously at first and then aggressively.

The power of the working class had partly been neutralised before these attacks, on the one hand by the counter-revolutionary dictatorship of the leaders of the UGT12 in Catalonia and, on the other, by the CNT’s collaboration in the governments in Valencia and Barcelona.

In spite of this handicap13, the proletariat was convinced bit by bit – separating itself from the reformist leaders, collaborators of the bourgeoisie - that only its energetic action in the street could hold back the advances of the counter-revolution. The armed clashes that took place in various parts of Catalonia during the month of April, were in fact the prelude to the May events in Barcelona.

The struggle was posed (and continues to be posed) in general terms, between the revolution and the counter-revolution, in the following conditions, as regards Catalonia.

Since July the revolutionary sectors of CNT-FAI and the POUM had the support of most of the armed proletariat, but they lacked concrete objectives and an effective tactic. The revolution therefore lost its initiative.

The counter-revolutionary forces of the PSUC-Esquerra, which had an almost non-existent developed base in July – have followed clearly defined objectives since the beginning and thus been able to carry out a consistent tactic. Whilst the CNT – the numerically most decisive force - has become embroiled in the labyrinth of bourgeois institutions; all the time talking about nobility and loyalty in its relationships [with the other component parts of these institutions – translators’ note], its enemies and collaborators have step-by-step carefully prepared and carried out a plan of provocation and denigration, whose first phase was the elimination of the POUM. The POUM as much as the leadership of the CNT have found themselves on the defensive faced with these at first sly and then brazen attacks. They have thus allowed the counter-revolution to go onto the offensive.

It was in these conditions that the May events took place.

The struggle

The struggle that began on (Monday) the 3rd May was provoked, in the immediate, by the reactionary forces of the PSUC-Esquerra, who tried to capture the Barcelona telephone exchange. The most revolutionary part of the proletariat responded to this provocation by taking hold of the streets, thus increasing its strength. The strike spread like wild fire and was total.

Despite its headless birth, this movement can in no way be seen as a “putsch”. All the armed workers were on the barricades. The movement was sympathetically received, during its first two days, by the working class in general – this is proved by the extent, rapidity and unanimity of the strike – and it threw the middle class, which was of course terrified, into an attitude of expectant neutrality.

The workers brought all of their combativity and enthusiasm into play, until due to a lack of coordination and final objectives for the movement, vacillation and demoralisation spread amongst the various sectors of combatants. Only these psychological factors can explain why these same workers, against the orders of their leaders, stopped with within a few meters of the Palacio de la Generalidad.

On the government side was to be found only a part of the forces of Public Order, the Stalinists, Estat Català, Esquerra – these latter forces were hardly combative. Some Public Order companies declared themselves neutral, refusing to repress the workers, whilst others allowed themselves to be disarmed. The Control Patrols were overwhelmingly on the side of the proletariat.

The revolutionary organisations did not createa coordinating and directing centre. However, the city was in the hands of the proletariat, to the point where by Tuesday the different concentrations of workers were perfectly able to link up. Only some of these remained isolated, but overall there was enough force to carry out an offensive concentrating on the official centres for the city to fall, without great effort, completely into the workers’ hands14.

In general, on both sides of the struggle, the attitude was one of “wait and see”. The government forces had not the forces necessary to take the initiative. The workers’ forces lacked leadership and objectives.

As for forces outside of the city and which could at one moment or the other be incorporated into the struggle, there were the forces at the front, willing to march on the capital – the forces of the revolutionary sectors had already begun to cut the road against the Karl Marx Division – and the forces sent by the government in Valencia, were not certain to arrive. By Wednesday various French and English boats appeared off Barcelona, probably ready to intervene.

The proletarian forces controlled the streets for four and a half days: from Monday afternoon to Friday. The organs of the CNT participated in the movement for one day – the Tuesday. The organs of the POUM participated for three days. Each considered the movement over as soon as they gave the order to withdraw. But in reality it was only WELL AFTER these orders were issued, that the workers withdrew, due to a lack of a leadership capable of ordering a progressive withdrawal and, above all, faced with the treason of the leaders of the CNT: some of whom made pathetic statements over the radio whilst other collaborated with Companys, according to whose own statement “In the face of this indescribable attack on the government, the latter found itself with small means of defence; very small, not because it had not foreseen this development, but because of the impossibility of forestalling it. In spite of this the government put down the subversive movement without hesitation, utilising the small forces at its disposal, aided by popular fervour, and by conversations held in the Generalitat with different trade union representatives, and with the assistance of several delegates from Valencia, commencing thus the return to normality” (Hoja Oficial 17th May).

Such were the general lines of the May insurrection.

The leaders of the CNT

The proletariat spontaneously and instinctively launched this movement, without firm leadership, without a positive concrete aim for decisively advancing it. The CNT-FAI had already decapitated the movement before it was born, because it had not explained clearly to the working class the meaning of the April events.

At first not all the CNT leaders were against the movement. The Barcelona committees not only supported it, but also tried to coordinate it at the military level. But without having already agreed realisable political aims, they could not do this. Caught between the will of the base and the capitulation of the higher committees, the doubts and vacillations of these committees led in practice to a series of ambiguous and equivocal instructions.

The only thing the National and Regional Committees expressed firmly was the decision to withdraw. This retreat, ordered unconditionally, without gaining control of Public Order, without obtaining the guarantee of the Security Battalions, without practical organs of the workers’ front, and without a satisfactory explanation to the working class, putting all those involved in the struggle – revolutionary and counter-revolutionary - into the same sack, remains one of the greatest capitulations to the bourgeoisie and treasons against the workers’ movement.

The leaders and the led were not long in suffering the grave consequences of the Revolutionary Workers’ Front not becoming reality15 .

The leadership of the POUM

Faithful to its line of action since July 19th, the leadership of the POUM went along with events. At the same time as these events were unfolding, our leaders were endorsing them, despite not having anything whatsoever to do with either with the declaration of the movement or its subsequent dynamic. It cannot present itself as putting forewards (late and in bad conditions for distributing it) the demand for defence committees, since it did not say a single word about the antagonistic role of these committees faced with the bourgeois governments.

From the practical point of view, all of the merit for the action belongs to the lower committees and the base of the party. The leadership did not edit a single manifesto or leaflet in order to orientate the armed proletariat.

When our leading comrades understood – as did those struggling on the barricades - that concretely the movement was not going to achieve any final objective,they gave the order to retreat16. Given the course of events, without the decision to lead it from the beginning and faced with the capitulation of the CNT leaders, the order to retreat was clearly necessary in order to avoid a massacre.

In spite of the lack of orientation on the part of our leaders, reaction presents them as directors and initiators of the movement. This of course is an honour they do not deserve, even though they reject it and call it a slander17.

The Popular Front

For all those who believed that the Popular Front was the salvation of the working class, this movement has been very enlightening. This movement was deliberately provoked by components of the Popular Front (PF) and has been used to strengthen the bourgeoisie’s repressive apparatus. It is also convincing proof that the PF is a counter-revolutionary front which, when it stopped the overthrow of capitalism – the cause of fascism - prepared the way for the latter. It has also repressed all efforts to take the revolution forwards.

The CNT which was a-political until 19th July, fell into the trap of the Popular Front when it entered the political arena. The cost of this unfortunate experience has been a new blood-letting in the proletarian ranks.

As for the political positions of the POUM before 19th July, this violent evolution of the Popular Front was clearly a theoretical victory, since they had forecast and warned against it.

As for Stalinism, for the first time it was unmasked as an open enemy of the proletarian revolution, placing itself on the other side of the barricades, struggling against the revolutionary workers and in favour of the bourgeois Popular Front, of which Stalinism is the creator and main defender.

{In the} future the working class cannot have any doubts about the role of the Popular Front in any country.

The danger of intervention

The fear amongst certain sectors during the May events concerning the danger of armed intervention by England and France, shows a lack of understanding of the role played by these powers up until now.

Anglo-French intervention against the Spanish proletarian revolution has been going on, more or less openly, for months, This intervention is carried out by means of the domination exercised by these imperialisms, through Stalinism, over the governments in Barcelona and Valencia. This was seen in the recent struggle – as always involving the Stalinists - within the government in Valencia which ended with the elimination of Largo Caballero18 and the CNT. It can also be seen in the “non intervention” agreements which have only been observed and carried out in order to weaken the Spanish proletariat. The open intervention of war ships and occupying troops will only change the form of the intervention. This open or hidden intervention will have to be defeated or it will defeat us.

Like any workers’ revolution, our’s will have to eliminate our national exploiters, but it will also have to wage the inevitable struggle to defeat all the interventionist efforts of international capitalism. No revolution can be victorious without confronting and overcoming this aspect of the war. Trying to avoid this, amounts to renouncing victory, because the imperialists will never willingly stop trying to intervene in our revolution.

A correct international policy on the part of revolutionary Spain could arouse in our favour the proletariat of those countries which want to mobilise against the Spanish proletariat, and even turn them against their own government, as in the example of the 1917 Russian revolution.

Discussion of the movement

Faced with the spontaneous movement, there were two principle positions that can be taken (we exclude inhibition):

  1. Consider it as a protest movement, in which case it was necessary to rapidly show its short term nature and take the necessary measures to avoid useless sacrifices. In July 1917, the Bolshevik leaders exerted themselves to stop the premature movement of the proletariat of the capital and this didn’t lessen their prestige, since they knew how to justify their decision.

  2. Consider the movement as decisive for the conquest of power, in that case the POUM, since it was the only revolutionary Marxist party, should have firmly, resolutely, and unswervingly taken the leadership of the movement in order to lead and coordinate it. Naturally, in this case it was not enough to hope to become the revolution’s leadership by accident: it was necessary to act quickly, extending the struggle, spreading it to the whole of Catalonia, unhesitatingly proclaiming that the movement was to be directed against the Reformist government, making it clear from the outset that Defence Committees and their Central Committee had to be formed without delay, organising them so that at all costs they became organs of power against the government of the Generalitat, and attacking the strategic places without delay taking full advantage of the long hours of disorder and panic that afflicted our adversaries.

However, the POUM leadership’s fear of confronting the CNT leaders from the beginning - afterwards it was too late - was a surrender to the detriment of the Party, that is to say, it went against the initial measures taken up when the movement broke out and against the political independence of the POUM. The possible excuse that the party was not in a condition to take up the leadership, is no less against the interests of the party, since the POUM could only play the role of a real Bolshevik party, taking up the leadership and precisely not declining the resolute orientation of the working class movement out of "modesty". It is not enough for the party which calls itself revolutionary to be on the side of the workers in struggle, rather it must be in the vanguard.

The POUM would have come out of the battle enormously strengthened if it had not vacillated and waited, once again, for the opinion of the “Trentist” (the openly reformist – translator’s note) elements of the CNT’s leadership, even in the case of defeat, persecution and illegality.

The only group that tried to take a vanguard role was the Friends of Durruti, which without adopting totally Marxist slogans, had and has the indisputable merit of having proclaimed that they were struggling - and calling on others to struggle - against the government of the Generalitat.

The immediate results of this workers' insurrection represent a defeat for the working class and a new victory for the pseudo-democratic bourgeoisie19.

Nevertheless, if the leadership of our party had carried out a more effective and practical activity, this could have led to at least a partial workers' victory. In the worst case, it could have organised a Central Defence Committee, based on representatives from the barricades. For this it would have been enough to first have held an assembly of delegates from the POUM and some of CNT-FAI barricades, in order to elect a provisional Central Committee. This Central Committee, through a short manifesto could have called a second meeting inviting delegations from the groups not represented at the first assembly, and so establish a central defence organ. In a situation where it was thought there was a need to call a retreat, it would have been possible to conserve this Central Defence Committee as an embryonic organ of dual power, that is to say, as a provisional committee of the Revolutionary Workers' Front, which through its democratisation by means of the creation of Defence Committees in the work place and the barracks, could have continued the struggle with better advantage than now against the bourgeois governments20.

But we cannot exclude an infinitely more favourable situation. Once a Central Defence Committee had been constituted, in the manner indicated, it could have perhaps taken political power. The forces of the bourgeoisie - demoralised and surrounded in the centre of Barcelona - could have been defeated through a rapid and organised offensive.

Naturally, this proletarian power in Barcelona, would have repercussions throughout Catalonia and many places in Spain. All the forces of national and international capital would have been used to defeat it. Its destruction would have been inevitable, however, if the following measures to strengthen it were not carried out: a) the unhesitating determination of the POUM to act as a revolutionary Marxist vanguard, capable of orientating and leading the new power in collaboration with the other active sectors of the insurrection; b) the organisation of the new power on the basis of worker's, peasants' and soldiers' councils, or at a minimum, based on the democratically and properly centralised Defence Committees; c) the extension of the revolution throughout Spain, by means of a rapid offensive in Aragón; d) the solidarity of workers in other countries. Without these measures the Catalonian working class would not be able to maintain themselves in power for long.

In order to finish this part, we want to say that the hypothesis put forward here are a contribution to the general discussion that May Days are going to cause in the revolutionary milieu for a long time to come.

Conclusions

1. The working class is still in a defensive situation but is now in worse conditions than before the May insurrection. It could have begun its offensive in May, if it had not been for the partial defeat caused by the betrayal and capitulation, though this is not [yet] a definitive defeat for the present revolution. The workers now have more arms than before May, and if they can avoid being pulled into a premature struggle caused by provocation, they could once again be in a condition, within a few months, to could take the offensive.

2. The class didn't know how to take power in July 1936, in May 1937 it undertook a second insurrection. The defeat suffered now, has made a new armed struggle inevitable and we have to prepare for this. As long as the bourgeois state has not been overthrown, against which we have to direct our revolutionary struggle, the armed proletarian insurrection remains something for the future.

3. The May movement demonstrated the real role of the Anarcho-syndicalist leaders. Like all the other reformists, in all epochs, they are - consciously or unconsciously - tools within the workers’ ranks of the enemy class. The revolution in our country can only triumph through a simultaneous struggle against the bourgeoisie and the reformist leaders of all colours, including the CNT-FAI.

4. We have seen that a real vanguard Marxist party doesn't exist in our revolution and that this indispensable instrument for the definitive victory still remains to be forged. The party of the revolution cannot have a vacillating and continually waiting leadership; it has to have a firmly convinced leadership which will go to the head of the working class, orientating it, impulsing it, conquering with it21. It cannot base itself only on accomplished facts, but has to have a revolutionary political line that will act as the basis for its activity and stop opportunist and capitulatory tendencies22. It cannot base its activity on empiricism and improvisation, but has to use to its advantage modern principles of organisation and technique. It cannot allow the slightest shallowness at the top, because this will spread painfully throughout the base, leading to indiscipline, a lack of abnegation and a loss of faith amongst the least strong, in the triumph of the proletarian revolution.

5. Once more the inevitable necessity of the Revolutionary Workers' Front has been demonstrated; this can only be formed on the basis of a profound struggle against the bourgeoisie and its state, and against Fascism on the fronts. If the leaderships of the workers' revolutionary organisations don't accept these bases23 - which would certainly clash with their actions since July - it will be necessary to push for its formation through pressure from below.

6. None of the lessons that have been learnt will be of any use, if the proletariat and above all the marxist revolutionary party, do not enter into an intense practical work of agitation and organisation. It is the same for the struggle against the threats and restrictions of clandestinity, this requires an untiring activity, if we don’t want to be hopelessly defeated. The idea that the party must not be plunged into clandestinity, this can only be understood as the expression of the intention once again to adapt and renounce the revolutionary struggle in these moments24, an intention which may prove decisive.

J. Rebull


1 Cf the book the ICC has brought out in Spanish: Espana 1936: Franco y la republica masacran a los trabajadores, Valencia, April 2000, 159 pages.

2 See for example Histoire du POUM, Victor Alba, editions Champ Libre, Paris, 1975. A history written by an old member of the POUM.

3 See for example the work on Rebull done by A. Guillamon in Balances no. 19 and 20, October 2000.

4 El Bloque Obrero y Campesino was founded in March 1931 in Terrassa, a town in the industrial outskirts of Barcelona.

5 Born in 1896 in Bonanza, in the province of Huesca, Maurin was influenced by the Russian revolution and by anarcho-synicalism. In 1919 he was a member of the CNT. He participated in the second congress of the CNT where he met Andres Nin and along with him pronounced in favour of joining the Communist International. The congress approved this position. Maurin was then a member of the Spanish Communist Party and one of its leaders until his expulsion in 1930 together with the Catalan-Belearan Communist Federation, which represented about a third of the party.

6 Nin was born in 1892 in Vendrell in Catalonia. He followed the same political trajectory as Maurin. He became one of the secretaries of the Red Trade Union International in Moscow until 1928. Having expressed sympathy for Trotsky, he was relieved of his post. When he succeeded in leaving the USSR and getting back to Spain in 1930, he became part of the International Left Opposition. After his break with the Opposition, he was part of the group which called itself the Communist Left. Nin’s proposal to fuse with the Workers’ and Peasants’ Bloc was rejected by the latter in 1934, but on 29 September 1935 it went ahead and the new party called itself the POUM. Nin was assassinated in 1937 by agents of Stalin’s NKVD.

7 Nin did not assume the post of general secretary in order to make it clear that Maurin still had this position.

8 Marx was able to salute the Commune but he also recognised that because of its isolation it could only end in a bloody defeat. For Marx, the workers had “stormed the heavens”.

9 During the July Days in 1917, Lenin was able to say that the moment was not favourable for the working class; from September however he pushed for the preparation of the insurrection.

10 In “Order reigns in Berlin”, Luxemburg recognised that after the failure of the uprising in Berlin, the bourgeoisie would unleash repression. She was not able to draw all the conclusions from this, and the error cost her dear because she was murdered along with Karl Liebknecht.

11 There are two versions of this text by Josep Rebull. The first was published in the Bulletin of the Local Committee of the POUM, and was dated 29th May 1937. The second was published in the Discussion Bulletin edited by the Defence Committee of the Congress (of the POUM), Paris, 1st of July 1939. The parts of the text that correspond to the 1939 text appear within brackets: ( ). The most relevant modifications are indicated in footnotes. The rare remarks by the editor of this text are indicated by: {}

12 The UGT was the second trade union in Spain, after the anarchist CNT. It was under the leadership of the PSOE, the Spanish Socialist Party, but in Catalonia it was under the control of the Stalinist PSUC.

13 In the 1939 text the English word “handicap” is substituted for the Spanish word “desventaja”

14 {Rebull’s first note was suppressed in the version published in 1939}: Cell 72 has a plan of Barcelona with the barricades and positions of both sides during the struggle. It is very interesting to examine this. It is at the disposal of all comrades.

15 {The distinction that Josep Rebull makes between the local Committees of Barcelona and the higher national and regional committees should be noted. Within the CNT, in Barcelona, there was an informal organisation of factory and neighbourhood defence committees, coordinated by Manuel Escorza. Cf in agreement with Abel Paz: Viaje al pasado (1936-39). Ed. Autor, Barcelona, 1995.}

16 {“Since the workers struggling in the streets had neither concrete aims nor a responsible leadership, the POUM could do nothing else than order and coordinate a strategic retreat…” (Resolution of the CC on the May days, point 3) }. {This note did not appear in the 1937 version}

 

17 [“Part of the national and foreign press have made the most extraordinary efforts – and they needed to be extraordinary- to present us as the ’agent provocaters’ of the events that unfolded in Barcelona last week… If we had given the order to begin the movement of 3rd May we would not have hidden it. We are always responsible for our words and our actions… What our party did – we have already said this on several occasions and we repeat it clearly today – was to take part in it. The workers were in the street and our party had to be alongside the workers…” (Editorial of La Batalla, 11th May 1937. The emphasis is ours)]. {This not was not published in 1937}.

18 Left wing socialist leader, described by some as “the Spanish Lenin”

19 {Note added by Rebull in 1939}: [The POUM leadership, on the contrary, understood the order to retreat as a workers’ victory. The epilogue to this "workers' victory"was bloody repression]

20 {A note that already existed in the first text published in 1937}: [During the Tuesday evening the L(ocal) C(ommittee) of Barcelona worked for this coordination, but the leadership’s lack of enthusiasm meant they were not able to carry it out]

21 {Josep Rebull argued that the POUM was not a revolutionary party, nor could it become so with the political strategy of the then EC}

22 {This is a direct criticism of the then EC of the POUM}

23 {Note added by Rebull in 1939} : (Bases that form part of the political counter-theses which we mentioned at the beginning)

24 {Note added by Rebull in 1939}. (In fact, the leadership didn’t take the necessary measures in order to work illegally and organise clandestinely. Unfortunately, the same leaders, as we have seen, were the first victims of their mistake.) {This is the first warning issued by one of the leaders of the POUM on the imminence of repression against revolutionaries and therefore the urgent necessity to prepare for clandestinity, which began on the 16th June with the banning of the POUM, the arrest of its leaders, the kidnap and killing of Nin, and the persecution of its militants}