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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Cerf:

Yes. But it all was maddeningly difficult. This picture was made under handicaps because, as soon as the bombing raids came, all of the electricity was turned off and usually in the middle of a shot being made. Malraux was going crazy. I think he smoked about 900 cigarettes that day. He once had two in his mouth at one time. He was a bundle of nerves. Of course, these were the days when he was a leftist and then gradually shifted and, as you know, became De Gaulle's righthand man.

Q:

How well had you known Malraux before you went?

Cerf:

Not terribly well. We had published him and had a lot of correspondence, but I had only met him once. But we became very good friends, of course, living together. We all considered ourselves a band of heroes.

I was a hero until they wanted me to go up to the Ebro, where the fighting was. I said that I had done enough. Nothing doing. That was the end of my bravery. Why should I go to the Ebro? That was where the big battles were taking place and where the tide finally turned in Franco's favor.

He was overwhelmingly supplied with arms and planes and the Republicans were fighting with spit, but they put up a great show. Hundreds of thousands of young Spaniards were killed or wounded. Of course, they didn't realize that the Russian Communists were pulling the strings. It was a shameful exhibition because it really was a fight between the Communists





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