One of the popular communist posters during the war showed the Trotskyite POUM
with a mask beneath, which was the face of fascism.
Erno Gero, who was instrumental in the destruction of the POUM
in Barcelona, became deputy premier of Hungary and called in Russian troops to put down the 1956 uprising.
In The Spanish Cockpit, Franz Borkenau relates an incident in which he met and spoke with a group of POUM
militia women outside the Hotel Falcon in Barcelona, which the POUM
was using as its headquarters, but he does not give any specific information on their actions in battle (Borkenau, 1937, p.
This treatment of POUM
was Orwell's first taste of the totalitarian strategies he would later describe, and he appears to have been disturbed less by the physical violence marshalled against it and its partisans than by the propaganda deployed in the same cause.
But the Trotskyites who acted as Franco agents, working through a political party called the POUM
, wormed their way into high places (317-318).
But he is wrong, and might have learned something had he read the previously mentioned Spain Betrayed; the contribution by the former POUM
leader Julia Gomez Gorkin to the 1963 volume edited by the late Jeane J.
The Spanish Communist Party was minuscule in comparison, although it grew confidently with Stalin's military support and the introduction of the International Brigades, not to mention ruthless tactics used against the Anarchists and POUM
, with whom George Orwell served, labelled as Trotskyite 'Fascists.
The first half of the play is set in the POUM
trenches, where anti-fascist euphoria soon fades in the terrible conditions.
James later admitted to having `read two lines of Marxism' at the time of his first book, but that soon changed: this was the heady era of the United Front, the Left Book Club, The Road to Wigan Pier, POUM
and the International Brigades.
Homage to Catalonia, the third in his triptych of reportages, was on the Spanish civil war and was written after a stint in the POUM
militia, an escapade that nearly cost Orwell his life.
He points out that liberal support for the republicans of the Stalinist Popular Front led to either contempt for or dismissal of the contributions of anarchist groups like the CNT-FAI or the socialist Marxists of the POUM
Though the battle scenes are impressive, Loach concentrates on the memories of David (Ian Hart), an unemployed Liverponl communist who volunteers t resist fascism and falls in with a splinter group, POUM
, the Worker's Party of Marxist Unification.