Spain and the War

By Leaders of Spanish Thought

[The New York Times/Current History, September 1915]

Some Spanish intellectuals have published the following manifesto, which appeared in the British press late in July. It will be observed that among the signatories, are members of all Spanish political parties. Side by side with Radicals, Reformists, and Republicans appear the names of Conservatives, and even Traditionalists or Carlists. Along with the name of the great Republican and Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence, Señor Azcárato, appears that of Azórin, the famous author of "Voluntad," who is counted among the Conservative followers of Señor Maura. The name of the author of "Episodios Nacionales," Señor Perez Galdós, whose anti-clerical campaign is well known to all, runs together with that of the priest Don Julio Cejador, famous for his philological studies. It is also noteworthy how many of the signatories have had ties with Germany. Señores Maeztu, Araquistain, both journalists of European reputation, and Perez de Ayala, the novelist, have lived in Germany; Señoras Zuloaga, Anglado-Camarassa, Acosta, and Romero de Torres have obtained the highest awards in German exhibitions, while others have been open admirers of German literature and science. Among the names appear those of Señor Simarro, Professor of Experimental Psychology; Señor Cossio, Professor of Education; Señor Ortega y Gasset, Professor of Metaphysics; Señor Unamuno, Professor of Greek in the University of Salamanca; the dramatist Señor Martinez Sierra, the novelists Señores Valle-Inclán and Palacio Valdés, the poets Señores Machado and Mesa, and Señor Acebal, the editor of the review La Lectura.


Modestly and soberly we raise our voice to utter these words as Spaniards and as men. It is not fitting that in this, the greatest crisis in the history of the world, the historian of Spain should say that she was inarticulate and indifferent to the course of events; that she stood on one side, a barren and insensate rock, or turned her back to the future, to reason and to morality. It is not fitting that at this moment of profound gravity and intense emotion, when the human race is racked with intolerable suffering, in giving birth to a closer and firmer fraternity of mankind, Spain, in her blindness, should remain unmoved by the pangs with which the world is torn. Worse still would it be that her part should be to stir up the bitterness of voices inflamed by unreasoning passion and the insults of mercenary writers and newspapers.

We have no time to speak, except that given by quiet lives devoted to the pure activities of the mind, but we feel that, in order to serve our country by being honest and useful citizens of the world, and so we are confident that we are doing our duty as Spaniards and as men by declaring that we share with all our .heart and soul in the conflict which is shaking the world to its foundations. We shaking the world to its foundations. We stand firm on the side of the Allies, inasmuch as they represent the ideals of liberty and justice, and therefore their cause coincides with the highest political interests of the nation. Our conscience reprobates all actions which detract from the dignity of mankind and the respect which men owe to one another, even in the fiercest moment of the struggle.

Most ardently do we hope that when peace comes the lesson may be turned to the honor and profit of all nations, and we trust that the triumph of the cause that we hold to be just will lead to the recognition of the essential part which the life of each nation, great or small, weak or strong, has played in the progress of mankind, will destroy the riot of egoism, domination, and devilish brutality which led to the catastrophe, and will lay the foundation of a new international fraternity in which force will be directed toward its true object, namely, the preservation of reason and justice.

The letter is signed by:


Gumersindo de Azcaráte.
Nicolás Achúcarro.
Domingo Barnés.
Odon de Buen.
Adolfo Builla.
G. R. Lafora.
Eduardo Lopez Navarro
Juan Madinaveitia.
Gregorio Marañón.
Ramon Menendez Pidal.
Manuel G. Morente.
José Ortega y Gasset.
Gustavo Pittaluga

Enrique Diez Canedo.
Américo Castro.
Julio Cejador.
Manuel B. Cossio.
José Cejador.
Luis de Hoyos.
Adolfo Posada.
Fernando de los Rios.
Luis Simarro.
Ramon Turró.
Miguel de Unamuno.
Rafael Ureña.
Luis Urrutta.
Luis de Zulueta.


Manuel Falla.
José Turina.

Rogelio del Villar.
Amadeo Vives.

PAINTERS (con primer a medalla.)

Herme Anglada Camarasa.
Ramón Casas.
Anselmo Miguel Nieto.
José Rodriguez Acosta.

Julio Romero de Torres.
Santiago Rusinol.
José Villegas.
Ignacio Zuloaga.


Julio Antonio.
Miguel Blay.
Juan Borrell Nicolau.
José Clara.
Enrique Casanovas.
Manuel Castanos.
Mateo Inurria.

José Puig Ferrater.
Mateo Fernandez de Soto.
Joaquin Sunyer.
Jerónimo Villalba.
José Villalba.


Franciso Acebal.
Mario Aguilar.
Gabriel Alomar.
Luis Araquistain.
Manual Azaña.
José Carner.
Eduardo G. Baquero.
Francisco Grandmontagne.
Amadeo Hurtado.
Ignacio Inglesias.

Antonio Machado.
Manuel Machado.
Ramiro de Maetzu.
Gregorio Martinez Sierra.
Enrique de Mesa.
Armando Palacio Valdés.
Benito Perez Galadós.
Ramón Perez de Ayala.
Ramón de Valle-Inclán.

© J. Fred MacDonald, 2013

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