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RETROSPECT

FROM ALL SIDES I WAS ADVISED NOT TO PUBLISH MY “letters from Spain,” as they were written and as they here appear. A kind friend wrote from Holland:

“From every quarter he will be attacked and persecuted. His best comrades will isolate him if they can. If they do not murder him with weapons, they will attempt to starve him into submission. They will spread rumours about him and tell his comrades at the front that he fled from them like a coward. Against their better judgment he will be dubbed a Trotskyist, only to be reviled and persecuted by the Trotskyists. The Volk newspaper will be furtively jubilant at his conversion, and the Volksdagblad will bellow something about “corrupt intellectuals” a la Gide and Last. Boris Raptschinsky will write a smart and mannered article in the Handelsblad about the revulsion of feeling that has come over “the best spirits in Red Spain” who have been taught by grim

experience what “brutish humanity” is like, but who, like all revolutionary socialists, are too unintelligent to realize yet that society is changing. The Telegraaf will issue a warning that one of the leaders of the press-gang has returned to Holland to lure a few more innocent victims to the ‘perilous land of murder.’ In short, anybody who arrives at a definite and personal point of view is outlawed, because freedom of opinion in general is frowned upon and, consequently, outlawed.”