The Project Goes On: Getting it all together

Chapter 6 on the Revolution within the Civil War is finished for now.  It took a long time to sort out the information in the government document written in 1938 where testimonies were taken of events during the “dominación roja”.   Martha has no way of knowing how much is correct but she got a clearer idea of the tumultuous times in the village during those first months of the War.  Some testimonies corresponded to what she already knew; others were unfamiliar to her.    Martha is pleased to get dates for momentous events such as the burning of religious images, when the nuns were rescued from the convent, killings of priests and Conservative extremists, and the collectivization process.

During the first three weeks the villagers experienced a profound change in their lives.  The Left came into power and governed through an Anti-fascist Committee that hoped to bring about a peaceful Revolution.  They lost control when Anarchists in other places like Barcelona or Benicarló began to dictate what happened in the village.  That is when the ruthless killings began although no one in Càlig pulled the trigger, so they said.

Martha feels for people who were aware their friends or relatives were being killed and they didn’t know how to help them.  “We hid in our homes,” one woman said.  Her brother realized that if he had tried to save a close friend, he would have been killed.  Only those with some authority in the new village regime could prevent a killing, such as the medical student who was the nephew of a beloved priest, “el canónigo rojo” or one of the members of the Anti-fascist Committee who saved a wealthy friend on the Right from wild-eyed Anarchists from Barcelona.

Martha is looking forward to writing up the interviews on the Collective, particularly those from the collectivists who felt those days were the happiest of their lives.

Fabián is organizing the files of the interviewees on the computer, filling in the information sheets, and digitizing tapes.  We have begun looking through the journals Martha kept and finding nuggets to include both on these sheets and in chapters.   Fabián is also transferring the videos from the interview year 1991-92 from the Costco DVDs to an external hard drive.

The oral history project is now backed up in cyberspace and on various external hard drives which in itself has been a lot of work.

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