One Million Dead

One Million Dead

One Million Dead

One Million Dead

Excerpt

The first volume of my announced trilogy, entitled The Cypresses Believe in God, embraces the period immediately preceding the Civil War in Spain, that is, the epoch of the Republic, which began in April 1931 and ended in July 1936. The present volume, entitled One Million Dead, is a sequel to that, and covers the entire period of the war, which lasted from the 18th of July, 1936, to the 1st of April, 1939. The third volume covering the period of the present, of the postwar years, is needed, then, to close the ring. The outlines of that volume already have been traced, but it presents extraordinary difficulties, owing to the interposition of the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, to the dynamic Odyssey of the exiles, and the labor, still actively in progress, of restoring in our country a system of laws and mental attitudes.

One Million Dead is an immediate continuation of The Cypresses Believe in God. The Alvear family remains the psychological nucleus of the dramatis personae, whose members or components are changed permanently by the war. The city of Gerona remains its geographic center, but to the rhythm of the episodes of the war the stage broadens, until it has reached out to the four corners of Spain.

The story opens in Gerona, with Ignacio's visit to the cemetery in search of the body of his brother César, and ends with the shudder that ripples across the entire land at the announcement of the end of the war.

My plan has been to give a panoramic view of what our struggle was and what it meant; to try to strike a balance by canceling out one happening with another, and to synchronize the situations on the two sides, the side called "Nationalist" and the side called "Red." Such an aim posed extremely difficult problems of construction for me from the beginning, given the diversity of the two theaters of action and the spasmodic quality of events. May God grant that I have resolved them, that the undertaking has not proved beyond my abilities.

I have written the book three times from start to finish over the past five years. The first version was a chronological arrangement of the facts. It consisted largely of drawing up a sort of catalogue of horrors. The sec-

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