Legendary Spanish Civil War Photograph Faked
‘Anti-Fascist’ Legend Falls in Spain
By K R Bolton
Academy of Social & Political Research, Athens
As has been commented upon repeatedly by sundry historians and authors, the Spanish Civil War served as a prelude for World War II, giving the Big Powers and competing ideologies the opportunity to test out their weaponry and tactics. Spain also served as a testing ground for propaganda, and the Franco side has expectedly come off second best, as the Popular Front are still portrayed as noble champions of liberty, regardless of the Masonic-Bolshevist assaults that were perpetrated with the same sadism that had already been manifested in Russia and Hungary.
Like World War I, with the British-US propaganda depictions of Germans bayoneting Belgian babies, and World War II with the Soviet-Allied propaganda which is still being presented to the world as though the war against the Axis remains in full swing, there are several salient propaganda devices deriving from the Spanish tragedy which have endured, one of which has recently been dealt a fatal blow (the other being the legend of the Basque town Guernica, supposedly bombed by German aircraft, but more the victim of Leftist dynamiting, the fires from which the Leftist mayor did not allow the fire brigade from Bilbao to extinguish. See for e.g. the first hand account of British journalist and author, F Yeats Brown, European Jungle, Eyre and Spottiswood, 1939; chapter on Spain available as a reprint from this writer).
The legend that has recently fallen is that of the very famous supposed photograph of the death agonies of a noble knight for democracy (aka a servant of Bolshevism and Masonry), entitled “Falling Militiaman” by Robert Capa.
An Associated Press report describes the photograph as follows:
“Robert Capa’s photograph of a falling Spanish Civil war militiaman became one of the most famous and enduring images of conflict of the 20th century.
“Now, Spanish researchers who have studied events surrounding the picture believe it was staged.” (Civil war photo ‘a fake’, AP Report, Dominion Post, Wellington, New Zealand, July 25, 2009, B3).
The picture was first published in 1936 in the French magazine Vu and then in Life magazine in the USA. The caption said that the photograph depicted the moment a Republican rifleman was killed.
Interestingly, the AP report states that the location was given as Cerro Muriano on the Cordoba front, where Franco’s forces were fiercely engaging “soldieries loyal to the elected Republican government.” Note that even in this passing reference in the AP report, the legend endures regarding the implied legitimacy of the “elected Republican government” (sic) fighting the illegitimate rebels under Franco. Regardless, the legend continues of Republic heroism against evil fascists, with little or no consideration of the causes of the civil war, of the violence perpetrated by the socialists and communists against Rightist and monarchist parliamentarians, of the cowardly shooting of Falangist leader Jose de Rivera while in government custody, of the policy of summary executions used by the anarchists, the burning of churches and the shooting of priests, in a re-enactment of the Russian Bolsheviks two decades previously. (Lately there have been ‘revisionist historians’ attempting to lower the estimates for the number of priests and monks killed by the ‘loyalists’. See for e.g. Antony Beevor, The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939-, Penguin, 2001).).
The AP report continues that the location was probably not Cerro Muriano and that the militiaman was probably not shot. After studying the photograph and new images as part of an exhibition at Barcelona’s art gallery museum, four researchers state the photographs were taken 5 kilometres away in an area where there was no fighting at that time.
‘“It quickly became obvious to us that among the new photographs – 34 attributed to Capa, six to his companion Gerda Taro – there were four that revealed the exact place where Capa had taken the shots,” film maker Raul Riebenbauer said.’ (AP report, ibid.).
Historian Francisco Moreno studied the geographical features of the photograph, including the shape of the hills, the location of two farmhouses and several roads, and identified the location as a hillside east of Espejo township.
The AP report states that “Falling Militiaman” catapulted the career of Capa as the world’s foremost war photographer. Now after over 70 years he can join the sullied ranks of one of the world’s foremost propagandist frauds in the service of the Left.
(K R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research, author of Thinkers of the Right, England, 2003, etc.; and a columnist for The [Kapiti] Watchman, New Zealand).