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10 de març 2015

Barcelona and "The Finest Hour"

Winston Churchill, House of Commons, June 18 1940
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1940/jun/18/war-situation (Diari de Sessions)

"...It is true that their bomber force is superior in numbers to ours, but we have a very large bomber force also which we shall use to strike at military targets in Germany without intermission. I do not at all underrate the severity of the ordeal which lies before us, but I believe our countrymen will show themselves capable of standing up to it, like the brave men of Barcelona, and will be able to stand up to it, and carry on in spite of ...

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...it, at least as well as any other people in the world. Much will depend upon this, and every man and every woman will have the chance to show the finest qualities of their race and render the highest service to their cause. For all of us at this time, whatever our sphere, our station, our occupation, our duties, it will be a help to remember the famous lines: He nothing common did or mean / Upon that memorable scene.1..."

Kingston Gleaner, 19 June 1940.

"... Mr. Vernon Bartlett, M.P., said: "Just before Mr. Churchill gave his speech this afternoon a new Member of the House of Commons wty sworn in. The Bible upon which he takes his oath is kept in the famous box upon which members of the Government for years and years have placed the notes of their speeches. This afternoon the Clerk very nearly put Mr. Churchill's notes back into the box with the Bible and if that had been done and had not been discovered in time, here would have been a very embarrassing search while the world waited. "I say, the world, because the 'world' was represented there. There was M. Maiaky, sitting next to the Duke of Alba. The French Ambassador was absent and it was felt that his absence was due to his feeling too humiliated by the peace for which his Government had asked, Adolf Hitler. The Duke of Alba, the Spanish Ambassador, looked mildly astonished when Mr. Churchill, speaking on our arrangements for Home Defence, said that our people would stand up to the invaders like the brave men of Barcelona who for so long resisted Italian and Gorman bombers working for General Franco..."

Note: The 17th Duke of Alba was Spanish ambassador to the UK during the Second World War.


"...Del que no s'ha dit res, però, és del delit posat per l'ambaixador espanyol de l'època a la Gran Bretanya per tal de fer esborrar del diari de sessions del Parlament anglès, del 18 de juny de 1940, aquesta frase." 

Agustí Soler, Pròleg de Els bombardeigs de Barcelona durant la Guerra Civil, 1936-1939, de Joan Villarroya i Font, p. 7. Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat.

1 = http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173949

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