Notebook

Hemingway was an individualist who believed in discipline for everyone else. He supported communist broadsides against the anarchists, but backed their methods only because he thought them necessary to win the war. “I like the communists when they’re soldiers,” he remarked to a friend in 1938. “When they’re priests I hate them.” … A number of other writers were to have their idealism undermined far more by the events they witnessed. Simone Weil, who supported the anarchists, was distressed by killings in eastern Spain. She was particularly affected when a fifteen-year-old Falangist prisoner from Pina was captured on the Aragon front and shot after Durrutti spent an hour with the boy trying to change his politics and giving him until the next day to decide.

Antony Beevor, “The Battle for Spain”.

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