4 de October de 1937 - Langston Hughes: un bombardeo aéreo (498 + 43)

Tells of Terror of Fascist Raid
Women, Children Huddled in Fear as Bombs Explode
MADRID, Spain–I came down from Paris by train. We reached Barcelona at night. The day before there had been a terrific air raid in the city, killing almost a hundred persons in their houses and wounding a great many more. We read about it in the papers at the border: AIR RAID OVER BARCELONA.
«Last night!» I thought, «Well, tonight I’ll be there.»
It was almost midnight when we got to Barcelona. There were no lights in the town, and we came out of the station into pitch darkness. A bus took us to the hotel. It was a large hotel several stories hight which, before the Civil War, had been a fashionable stopping place for tourists.
We had rooms on an upper floor. The desk clerk said that in case of air-raids we might come down into the lobby, but that a few floors more or less wouldn’t make much difference. The raids were announced by siren, but guests would be warned by telephone as well. That night there was no bombing, so we slept in peace.
[The next day.]
At midnight, the public radios began to blare forth the war-news, and people gathered in large groups on corners to hear it. Then the cafe closed and we went to the hotel. I had just barely gotten to my room and had begun to undress when the low extended wail of the siren began, letting us know that the fascist planes were coming. (They come from Mallorca across the sea at terrific speed, drop their bombs, and circle away into the night again.)
Quickly, I put on my shirt, passed Guillén’s room, and together we started downstairs. Suddenly all the lights went out in the hotel, but we heard people rushing down the halls and stairways in the dark. A few had flashlights with them to find the way. Some were visibly frightened. In the lobby two candles were burning, casting weird, giantlike shadows on the walls.
In an ever increasing wail the siren sounded louder and louder, droning its deathly warning. Suddenly it stopped. By then the lobby was full of people, men, women, and children, speaking in Spanish, English, and French. In the distance we heard a series of quick explosives.
«Bombs?» I asked.
«No, anti-aircraft gun,» a man explained.
Everyone was very quiet. Then we heard the guns go off again.
«Come here,» the man called, leading the way. Several of us went out on the balcony where, in the dark, we could see searchlights playing across the sky. Little round puffs of smoke from the anti-aircraft shells floated against the stars. In the street a few women hurried along to public bomb-proof cellars.
Then for a long while nothing happened. After about an hour, the lights suddenly came on in the hotel again as a signal that the danger had passed.

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[…] totemising of Barcelona's suffering were the light raid he experienced on the night of October 3-4, journalised on October 23 in Carl Murphy's Baltimore Afro-American, perhaps combined with ideas or stories about that raid or with possible (but afaik unrecorded) […]

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