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Revealing the "inside track" on events in Spain during the Revolution, Miguel Negrin, son of the former Loyalist Premier of Spain, addressed the Youth Group of the League of Nations Association last night.
Negrin, now a student at M. I. T., spent several months in Barcelona while that city was under siege, escaping shortly before it fell. During that period, he remarked, he became acquainted with a wide variety of organizations which constituted Spain's Popular Front.
Fear Germany and Italy
Hatred for Franco and his Moorish troops, and fear of the attempts of Germany and Italy to make Spain a puppet state, served to unite formerly antagonistic groups into a coherent force which held out for three years against overwhelming odds.
"Franco," said Negrin, "was the weakest of the important Spanish generals, and was therefore selected to lead the Revolt." Stronger men, such as Mola, strongly opposed foreign intervention, and were consequently not acceptable to the Germans and Italians.
Italians Run Fast
Speaking of the Italian troops in Spain, Negrin termed them detriments to the Rebel cause, adding that the only reason they weren't completely destroyed at Guadalajara was that "they ran too fast for us to catch them."
German and Moorish aid were, he pointed out, far more effective, and probably represented Franco's margin of victory. However, the use of Moorish troops alienated a large portion of the liberal forces of the Catholic Church from the Rebels.
Praising the morale and spirit of the Spanish people, Negrin declared that the liberal movement in Spain is not dead, but that it now constitutes a powerful underground force which requires constant Government attention and watchfulness.
"My father," young Negrin stated, "was laughed at when he said that he war might last more than a year. Everyone believed it would be over within a month." The "non-intervention" policy of England and France prevented such a conclusion to the war, he added.
Spanish Refugees in Danger
Negrin stated that he has been unable to communicate with his friends in Spain since the Rebel victory. The plight of Spanish refugees in France, of whom there are some half-million, is equally dangerous, for they are new subject to the vengeance of their former enemies.
Like his father, Negrin is an accomplished linguist, having studied in several European countries before coming to the United States. During the early part of the Spanish War he studied in Soviet Russia, where he was attached to the Spanish Embassy.
"The Spanish people have always been independent thinkers, and the idea of dictatorship, especially foreign dictatorship, is distasteful to them. It cannot endure for long," he concluded.
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