ABSTRACT

After the war, the superiors of many of the religious congregations asked

those of their members who had stayed in the Republican zone to write

down what they recalled of their adventures. Among those who did so were

the Jesuits and the product of their accounts was the interesting book Los

Jesuitas en el Levante* Rojo. Catalun˜a y Valencia 1936-1939.1 The work

became famous through the question that Father Thio´ asked himself and

Antonio Montero quoted aptly in his widely circulated Historia de la per-

secucio´n: ‘did they persecute the priests because of Christ or Christ because of the priests?’ The Jesuits’ book had appeared anonymously, with only the

letters ‘E.A.S.I’y placed at the end of the prologue by way of signature. Thus the question was quoted without revealing who asked it or even who wrote

the book. Among the Jesuits it was rumoured that ‘E.A.’ were the initials of

the secretary of the Provincial Superior and so the publication came to be

taken as having been authorized, though unofficially, by the Province. I was

therefore surprised to notice, in a book by Father Bernardino Llorca, SJ2 ,

the attribution of ‘Levante Rojo’ to Father Miquel Batllori, who was likewise SJ. I commented on this to Batllori himself, who was then working in

the Library of the Abbey of Montserrat on the preparation of the Archive

of Vidal i Barraquer. He appeared most annoyed by Llorca’s indiscretion

but did not deny his authorship; on the contrary, he explained how the

misattribution came about. When the Provincial entrusted him with the task

of turning into a book all the essays that the Jesuits of Catalonia and

Valencia had written about their experiences during the war, he answered

that the material was historically unusable because the events were too recent and because the atmosphere of ‘Crusade’ and ‘Died for God and for

Spain’ still permeated everything. The Provincial insisted and Father Batl-

lori resisted until, finally, the order became formal. Father Batllori obeyed,

but said that he would limit himself to transcribing the texts and would not

give his name to the book. He did, however, sign the prologue with the

aforementioned initials, which happened to coincide with those of the Pro-

vincial’s secretary, who had acted as intermediary and messenger during the

course of the production. When the book appeared in public, the Provincial

believed that Father Batllori, in retaliation against the order that he had been given, had not only signed the book but had wanted it to be attributed

to the Provincial’s secretary. He sent for Father Batllori and reprimanded

him severely. Father Batllori respectfully suffered the dressing-down and,

when it was over, said in a gentle voice, ‘I’m puzzled that Your Reverence

should not know that, at the end of the prologue, the initials ‘‘EA’’ simply

mean ‘El Autor’’.