Sunday, July 26, 2009

On July 26

On this day in ...
... 1909 (100 years ago today), began Tragic Week (in Catalan la Setmana Tràgica, in Spanish la Semana Trágica), a series of bloody confrontations between the army and the working classes of Barcelona and other cities of Catalonia, who were backed by the anarchists, socialists and republicans. (above, demonstration during this week, credit) In mid-July, military reserves had been called to active duty due to renewed military-colonial activity in Morocco. Many reservists were desperately poor and stridently anti-colonial Catalan workers who were not willing to risk their lives for the wealthy. Antiwar feeling ran high throughout the country, and resulted in a general strike throughout Spain. In Catalonia, the strike degenerated into riots, convent burnings, and street fighting. By the end of the week, the army and the police had lost 8 dead and 124 wounded, while 104 civilians were reported killed.
1906, Irena Morzycka-Iłłakowicz (right) was born in Berlin, Germany. She would become a Polish second Lieutenant of the National Armed Forces, a polyglot, and an intelligence agent. (photo credit) After the 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany, she joined the Polish resistance movement. She began service as an intelligence agent, and was assigned to conduct military, economic and information reconnaissance in Berlin, as she was a fluent German speaker. Between 1941 and 1942, the Germans destroyed her intelligence section, She was arrested by the Gestapo but was freed after being subjected to harsh interrogation. Later she returned to Warsaw and started working on the Soviet intelligence network in Poland. She was murdered under unknown circumstances in October 1943.

(Prior July 26 posts are here and here.)

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