from Guy Debord

To Gerard Lebovici
3 July 1980
Dear Gerard:

Obviously you cannot publish Camacho,[1] who insinuates a truth of which he is completely sure, but who can absolutely not take responsibility for a clear conclusion. He even insinuates with a venomous prudence.

The problem is greatly aggravated by the epilogue, in which he drowns the fish in tombstones. He completely confirms the subjective intention that I attributed to him during my first reading of his book. Through an author's conceit -- and against all of the fantastic new interpretations of the death of Durruti, none of which (he says) "follow the trail of a possible political attack" -- he boasts that he has "insinuated" (exactly!) this possible "theory" since his book's first edition. He now adds, more precisely: "Naturally, as I myself think (or: as I now have the feeling), the bullet could only have come from Moscow, on Stalin's orders." The phrase is deliberately ambiguous: he proposed this hypothesis (this is the meaning that he gives the word "theory), among several other hypotheses, in which he himself believes and, if one rallies to this hypothesis, then one must conclude that Stalin had Durruti killed, just as he had Trotsky killed. Camacho knows well, but does not say it, that it would also be necessary to conclude that the anarchist leadership of the time covered up the crime in the interests of its illusory politics.[2] If one is sure from whence the blow came, perhaps one even knows who was the [equivalent of] Mercader[3] on that day?

Thus, Camacho gives his opinion. As far as opinions go, I have the same one and hundreds of thousands of individuals have also had it. It is actually the most probable: cui prodest?[4] And of what are the Stalinists not capable? etc. Nevertheless, there can be certain doubts about a fortuitous accident. It happened that a man whom Borgia[5] ordered imprisoned died from common indigestion before his arrest could take place.

But the only decisive element that would provide sufficient historical proof -- and even legal proof, if a trial were ever held -- of this assassination would be the entire attitude of the C.N.T.-F.A.I.[6] in Madrid immediately after the event. And it is Camacho-Paz's book that has precisely and for the first time revealed this attitude. But he pretends not to understand, to provide the proof in favor of his opinion without seeing it and contents himself with his little opinion.

Thus, everything has the character of ignoble blackmail. In fact, what he wants to reveal in his epilogue is the entire mystery (which obviously Francoism only deepened) of Durruti's tomb, erected at the time when he was buried by the anarchist leaders: they did not bury him the same day as the funeral procession: too big of a crowd, too late in the day, too much rain, too much mud. The following year, they unveiled a mausoleum, but who was inside it? The old survivors did not remember the day of the ceremony; they had so many cares[7] and they had seen so much in the intervening 42 years, even a world war, Camacho says, fawning.

And the most disgusting thing is the fact that the only crossed out phrase in his manuscript was precisely the one in which he estimated that he risked an insinuation that was too bold:

"And no doubt something truly extraordinary happened (my emphasis) that we can summarize with this question: did one deposit the bodies of Ascaso and Durruti in the mausoleum?" Here begins the phrase that was crossed out by Camacho: "And if this is the case, was it done so that one did not find these remains, particularly the embalmed body of Durruti, in the mausoleum? And if they did not rest in the mausoleum, where did they rest, where were they buried?"

It is thus quite clear that the corpse of Camacho cannot rest in Paz[8] in the catafalque,[9] I mean the catalogue of Champ Libre.

Best wishes. See you soon,

[1] Diego Camacho, author -- under the pseudonym Abel Paz -- of a biography of [Buenaventura] Durruti (cf. Editions Champ Libre Correspondence, volume 2, pp. 63-64).

[2] Translator's note: Durruti died on 20 November 1936. According to Anthony Beevor's The Spanish Civil War (1982), Durruti was killed when a companion's pistol went off by mistake. At the time of the death, the anarchists -- "for reasons of morale and propaganda" -- claimed that Durruti had been hit by a sniper's bullet.

[3] Trotsky's assassin.

[4] Translator's note: "Who profits?" in Latin.

[5] Translator's note: Cesare Borgia (1475?-1507), greatly admired by Niccolo Machiavelli.

[6] Translator's note: Conferacion Nacional de Trabadores / Federacion Anarquista Iberica.

[7] Translator's note: the French phrase here, tant de soucis, suggests both "so many cares" and "so many marigolds." In the Victorian "language of flowers," marigolds symbolized grief.

[8] Translator's note: a pun: Camacho will not remain in Paz (his pseudonym), nor will he rest in peace (Paz in Spanish). Note: Diego Camacho was not dead at the time this letter was written; indeed, he is still alive today. But he was "dead" as far as Debord and Champ Libre were concerned.

[9] Translator's note: a raised structure on which a coffin rests during a state funeral.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 6: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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