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Jul 21 20 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Heimrich Himmler inside the Cheka (communist torture and execution installation) Vallmajor, Barcelona 1940.

Why is there some kind of pattern on the wall?

These were cells inspired by the Bauhaus and Surrealist art movements. Let's see who built them and how they worked

1/17🧵 Image
This Cheka was designed by the Austro-Hungarian Slovenian Alfons Laurencic, also the designer of the Zaragoza Cheka. His main inspirations were the paintings of surrealist Salvador Dalí and the color theories of Wassily Kandinsky. Image
It was located inside the Convent of Les Magdalenes Agustines, built using forced labor by prisoners such as painter Víctor Ripaux, accused of aiding priests hiding from the red terror. He and other Conservatives were forced to destroy all of the sacred elements of the church.
Within these chekas, administratively known as "preventorium D", members of the Republican factions introduced their prisoners into a world of pain.

The cells featured beds at a 20-degree angle that were almost impossible to sleep on.
They also had irregularly shaped bricks on the floor that prevented prisoners from walking. The walls in the 2 m x 1 m cells were covered in surrealist patterns designed to make prisoners distressed, and lighting effects were used to make the artwork even more dizzying.
Some of them had a stone seat designed to make occupants instantly slide to the floor, while other cells were painted in tar and became tremendously hot in the summer.
Circles and a board were painted and some greenish crystals were installed that filtered a diffused light, bringing out a strange aspect to the drawings. Laurencic chose the color green, he said, to produce in the prisoner “the effect of a sad, rainy and hopeless day” Image
At night a red light was turned on, making the shapes vary considerably. The spirals and dice forms implied points of suggestion for the prisoners while the circles and lines produced an irritation on the nervous system.

A clock was also placed in these cells, arranged in such… Image
…a way that during a whole day it would not mark more than four or five hours, with the aim of causing disorientation in the prisoner.

Laurencic and his closest collaborators designed a firing squad wall in the courtyard of the Cheka… Image
…in which a kind of big grave had also been erected. There, a large number of mock executions were carried out on almost all the prisoners. The objective was to create a climate of permanent panic among the inmates. Image
For the more resistant prisoners "La Campana", or “The Bell”, was used. Its diameter was about fifteen feet and the walls were deep black, with a layer of tar. In the center of the ceiling, a very powerful spotlight had been installed, covered with a metal frame… Image
…to prevent the prisoners from breaking the lamp. Laurencic built this cell with a double wall, which contributed to increasing the resonance of the stimuli. There was no ventilation of any kind. Image
The inmates only ate twice a day and their menu consisted of a ladle of some kind of broth with a few beans or chickpeas, a piece of black bread and a daily glass of water. This diet would soon cause diseases among the inmates that would end the lives of many of them. Image
Before being executed, Laurencic publicly acknowledged that he had designed this Cheka at the request of the Popular Front government, the order came from the 23-year-old PSOE member Santiago Garcés, head of the SIM (Military Information Service) at the time. Image
Historian Stanley G. Payne has suggested that Garcés, who was one of the men involved in the assassination of opposition leader Calvo Sotelo, might be an agent of the Soviet NKVD. He was, therefore, one of the people directly responsible for the instigation of the war. Image
The night before his execution, Laurencic stated: "Although I know I'm going to die, long live Generalissimo Franco." After confessing and receiving Communion, he was transferred to Campo de la Bota at 4 in the morning of July 9, 1939.

In front of the firing squad, he refused…
…to have his eyes covered and just before receiving the shots, he raised his arm and performed the Fascist salute.

Himmler also visited the Montserrat monastery, were 23 monks were killed by anarchists, some burned alive…The rumour is that he asked them about the Holy Grail.
@FeanorSSS Also, foreign historians also call them Cheka.
@FeanorSSS This topic is universally known. The soviets were paid in Gold.

Just read Stanley G. Payne or Bolloten who was a communist and was there. Everybody knows that the Soviet police and intelligence was working for the Republic.
@FeanorSSS Here Burnett Bolloten explains in his book The Spanish Civil War why they were called Checas or Chekas. Image

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More from @BorealBaron

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Masakado was a 9th century samurai.

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1/6 🧵 Image
He was friends and collaborator with the top artists at the time: Buñuel, Picasso, Neville, Ros, Lorca…and was a student at the San Fernando Academy with Dalí.

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El descanso (The dream), 1931. Image
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I read this same take about Saint Francisco Franco again and again, and I have to say that this amounts to a complete whitewashing of the revolutionary aims of the Spanish left and the success of Franco's counter-revolution. Let me explain: Image
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