Gustavo Durán

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Gustavo Durán Martínez
Birth name Gustavo Durán Martínez
Born 1906
Died 1969
Allegiance Second Spanish Republic Spanish Republic
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1936–1939
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands held Mixed brigade (1936), chief of the SIM in the Central zone (1937), Division (1936-1938)
Battles/wars

Spanish Civil War

Gustavo Durán Martínez (1906–1969) was a Spanish composer,[1] Lieutenant Colonel in the Spanish military, diplomat and United Nations official.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1906, he moved with his family to Madrid at the age of four, and studied music. During his piano studies he befriended Federico García Lorca,[1] Salvador Dalí, Buñuel, Rafael Alberti (some of whose poems he set to music) and other Residencia de Estudiantes guests.[3] In 1927 he composed a ballet, Fandango del Candil, for Spanish dancer Antonia Mercé, La Argentina, and accompanied her on a European tour. In 1929 he moved to Paris where he studied under Paul Le Flem of the Schola Cantorum and served, until 1934, as manager and secretary to the Spanish painter Nestor. In 1933 he became an employee of the Spanish section of Paramount Pictures, and continued in that role, after returning to Madrid, at Fono-Espana, Inc., where he dubbed and scored films[4] for the Latin American market. Before the war, he was a leading figure in the Motorizada, the motorized section of the socialist youth movement associated with Prieto.[5]

Spanish civil war[edit]

He served in the Army of the Spanish Republic from July 18, 1936 until the end of war. In 1936 he was the chief of staff of Kleber.[6] Later, he joined the PCE.[citation needed] After that, he was the republican commander of one Mixed Brigade in the Second Battle of the Corunna Road in November 1936[5] and in the Segovia Offensive[7] and the Battle of Brunete he led the 69th division.[8] He covered the retreat of the republican forces in the Maestrazgo during the Aragon Offensive[9] and was one of the Republican commanders in the defense of the XYZ Line in 1938.[10][11] He also served briefly in SIM, the (Servicio de Investigación Militar), as chief of the department for the Army of the Centre.[12] In March 1939, when Franco's troops had reached Valencia, Durán escaped from Gandia, Spain, aboard a British destroyer, landing at Marseille and, eventually, London.

Exile[edit]

In May 1940, Durán emigrated to New York City, where he was employed by the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to work at the Museum of Modern Art. From there he moved to the Music Division of the Pan American Union, Washington. In 1942, he was granted US citizenship and was transferred to the Havana embassy[13] on the recommendation of his old friend Ernest Hemingway, who had made him a character in his novel For Whom The Bell Tolls. In May 1945, he went to Buenos Aires, where he served as assistant to the Ambassador, Spruille Braden.

UN officer[edit]

In October, 1946, after rising to the position of special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State, he resigned from the State Department and entered the United Nations,[13] where he served as an officer in the Social Department of the Refugee Division. He was accused that year by a U.S. Representative, J. Parnell Thomas, of being an agent of the Russian police and a member of the Comintern. In 1951, Senator Joseph McCarthy, drawing on a report written for the Spanish Falangist journal Arriba (Madrid), denounced him as a communist and member of the Communist-dominated military intelligence, SIM.[13][14] As a UN officer, he helped start Unesco, CEPAL and was sent to Congo in 1960. He died in Athens in 1969 and he was buried in Alones of Rethymnon in Crete.[15]

Family[edit]

Durán married Bontë Romilly Crompton, in Totnes, Devon on 4 Dec 1939.[16] Bontë (15 May 1914 - 6 January 2002) was the eldest daughter of David Henry Crompton and Lillian MacDonald Sheridan; she was a great-granddaughter of John Romilly, 1st Baron Romilly, her sister Catherine married Baron Henry Walston.

Durán and Bontë were the parents of Cheli Durán Ryan, an author of children's books; Lucy Durán, ethnomusicologist; and Jane Duran, poet.[17]

In fiction[edit]

His figure inspired Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, Andre Malraux's L'Espoir.[18] and Max Aub's Campo de Sangre. Horacio Vázquez-Rial wrote El soldado de porcelana about him.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution & Revenge. Harper Perennial. London. 2006. p.112
  2. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. pp.477
  3. ^ Gustavo Durán: memoria de un español polifacético, Jorge de Persia, Centro de Documentación, Residencia de Estudiantes.
  4. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. pp. 476-477
  5. ^ a b Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. p. 477
  6. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. p. 478
  7. ^ Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Penguin Books. pp.275-276
  8. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. 278
  9. ^ Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution & Revenge. Harper Perennial. London. 2006. pp. 282-283
  10. ^ Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution & Revenge. Harper Perennial. London. 2006. p.287
  11. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. p. 810
  12. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. 305
  13. ^ a b c "CONGRESS: Weighed in the Balance". Time. October 22, 1951. 
  14. ^ United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Subcommittee on Senate Resolution 231 (1950). "State Department employee loyalty investigation : hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Eighty-first Congress, second session pursuant to S. Res. 231, a resolution to investigate whether there are employees in the State Department disloyal to the United States". Internet Archive. Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "The tomb of Gustav Duran in Crete". Internet Archive. 
  16. ^ "BONTE R. CROMPTON IS WED IN ENGLAND; Daughter of Rye, N.Y., Couple Married to Gustavo Duran of Madrid on Dec. 4". The New York Times. December 13, 1939. 
  17. ^ Duran, Lucy. "Jane Duran's 'Spanish Peasant Boy' featured as part of Radio 3's Poetry Season". Enitharmon Press. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Gustavo Durán en las novelas de Ernest Hemingway y André Malraux, Javier Rupérez, Revista de Occidente, ISSN 0034-8635, Nº 307, 2006 , pages 51-80

References[edit]

  • Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain. The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Penguin Books. London. 2006. ISBN 0-14-303765-X
  • Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, Revolution & Revenge. Harper Perennial. London. 2006.
  • Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. ISBN 978-0-14-101161-5
  • Myers, Jeffrey (Autumn 1985). "The Quest for Hemingway". VQR Online. 61 (4). Retrieved 20 October 2014. 

External links[edit]