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But the man who got me a visa was Murphy, who became
Ambassador to France later on. He said, “ If you want to be
damn fool enough to go, go ahead. But if anything happens to
you, don't count on the United States Government.” Fred
Thompson and I went with the distinct understanding that nothing
would be done to help us. We went on our own, both Fred and I.
Then Jo Davidson, the sculptor, in Paris decided that he was
going to go with us, too. So the three of us--Fred Thompson,
Jo Davidson, a remarkable man, and I--went down from Paris to
Perpignan, which is in the southern tip of France. We were
seen off like heroes by Vincent Sheehan and Dinah Sheehan.
Practically everybody in the writing world was for Republican
In Perpignan we had great luck. There was a woman going
back to Spain who wondered how she could get across. She had
to take an automobile, and it cost a fortune to go across the
border. It was very dangerous. Her name was La Passionaria.
La Passionaria was the wife of a Basque miner, and she was a
famous woman because she had rallied all of the Basques to the
Republican side with a slogan which became the official slogan
of the Republican forces: “We would rather die on our feet
than live on our knees.” That was the rallying cry. La
Passionaria was a great hero of Republican Spain. Attaching
her to our party was very important because, when we drove to
the border and the Spanish guards saw La Passionaria, they
practically fell on their faces with adoration.
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