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Soldiers of Salamis

by Javier Cercas

Sanchex Mazas, one of the leading lights of the Spanish Falange, escapes from a Republican firing squad at the end of the Spanish Civil War. An emotional novel which poses many questions for the reader about human nature and man's inhumanity to one another.

Extract

Toward the end of '37 he escaped from the Embassy and left Madrid hidden in a truck, perhaps with the aim of getting to France. However, they arrested him in Barcelona and, when Franco's troops were about to reach the city, took him to Collell, up near the border. That's where they shot him. It was an execution by firing squad en masse, probably chaotic, because the war was already lost and the Republicans were rushing helter-skelter for the Pyrenees, so I don't think they knew they were executing one of the founders of the Falange, and a personal friend of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera at that.
Translated by Anne Mclean

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