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"I have been an anarchist all my life. I hope I have remained one. I should consider it very sad indeed had I to turn to a General and rule men with a military rod.... I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship."
Buenaventura Durruti (León 1896 - Madrid 1936)
The man who would become a mythic figure of the Spanish anarchism was born in León (Central Spain) and was the son of a socialist railroad worker. He started to work on the railroad when he was 14, and met his first exile in France after the general revolutionary strike in 1917. He didn't come back to Spain untill 1920. In Barcelona, partnered by the Ascaso brothers, García Oliver and other anarchists, found the group named "Los Solidarios" (the solidarian men) close from the FAI (Federacion Anarquista Ibérica, Iberian anarchist federation) ideas. This group attempted a failed bomb atack against Alfonso XIII, the Spanish king by then; particied on the assault against the Guijon sucursal of the Bank of Spain; plus killed the Soldevilla cardinal. Due this reason, he had to escape to Argentina, where he organized anarchist syndicates and was soon pursued by the police forces.
The arrival of the Republic found Durruti either exiled or in prison. In 1932 he was deported to Bata because of his participation on the Anarchist sublevation of Alto Llobregat. He was arrested in 1933 and after the revolution of 1934. The electoral victory of the Frente Popular delivered him from the El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) prison.
In July, 1936, he was one of the most important leaders of the CNT masses that aborted the military sublevation in Barcelona. After the sublevation was suffocated, he inmediately leaded the militia columns whose purpose was to re-take Zaragoza, occupied by the nationalists. He spread his ideas about the 'libertary communism' as he marches by Aragonian lands, being the doctrinal base for the 'communes' established lately.
In November, 1936, convinced by García Oliver and Federica Montseny, arrives to Madrid to defend it against the nationalist army, followed by his column, composed by about 3,000 men. He got the task of defending a sector of the Universitary City, though he was unable to avoid the occupation of the Clinic Hospital by the enemy. The nationalists were still in that hospitan in Nov. 19. That afternoon, Durruti was mortally wounded under not cleared yet circumstances. His body was translated to Barcelona, where he was buried in a ceremony where more than 200,000 people assisted. When he died, all his belongings were a couple of clothes, two pistols, a sunglasses and a pair of binoculars.
His fame of uncorruptable, his activistic life and the doubts generated by his death bacame him in a mith that, in some way, resisted the pass of the time and the years.