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Ernest Miller Hemingway (Oak Park, Illinois, EUA, 21/07/1899 – Ketchum, Idaho, EUA, 02/07/1961) fou un dels escriptors més rellevants del segle XX.

Durant la Guerra Civil Espanyola va treballar com a corresponsal de guerra per la North American Newspaper Alliance. El 1938 va ser a la Batalla de l'Ebre i fou un dels darrers cronistes en abandonar el terreny. La seva primera crònica de Tortosa data del 4 d'abril de 1938 quan arriba per cobrir la defensa del curs baix de l'Ebre: "A les dues d'aquesta tarda, Tortosa era una ciutat quasi demolida, evacuada per la població civil i sense cap soldat. Vint-i-quatre quilòmetres més amunt es lluitava aferrissadament per protegir Tortosa, l'objectiu feixista en la seva avançada cap al mar."

L'any 1940 va publicar la novel·la For Whom the Bells Toll (Per qui toquen les campanes), ambientada a les muntanyes de Segòvia durant els preparatius de la batalla de Guadalajara (març 1937).

El 1953 va rebre el Premi Pulitzer per la novel·la El vell i el mar i el 1954 va ser guardonat amb el Premi Nobel de Literatura.

« Damunt dels nostres caps, al cel alt i sense núvols, flota rere flota de bombarders volava amb estrèpit sobre Tortosa. Quan van deixar caure el sobtat fragor de les seves càrregues, la petita ciutat a la vora de l’Ebre va desaparèixer en un creixent núvol de pols groga. La pols no va arribar a posar-se, ja que van acudir més bombarders i, finalment, va surar com una boira groguenca sobre tota la vall de l'Ebre. »

Ernest Hemingway; Bombing of Tortosa; Spanish Civil War Dispatches, 15-IV-1938.


Des de l'abril de 2015 Hemingway té un carrer dedicat a la ciutat de Tortosa que dóna accés al refugi antiaeri número 4 (sota el barri del Santa Clara-Garrofer) reobert el mateix any per al turisme.

Loyalists Await Tortosa Assault by ERNEST HEMINGWAY[]

Ebro Delta, Spain, April 18-- The irrigation ditch was full of this year's crop of frogs. As you splashed forward they scattered, jumping wildly. A line of boys lay behind a railroad track, each having dug himself a little shelter in the gravel below the rails, and their bayonets pointed above the shiny rails that would be rusty soon. On all their faces was the look of men --boys become men in one afternoon-- who are awaiting combat.

Across the river, the enemy had just taken the bridgehead and the last troops had swum across the river after the pontoon bridge was blown up. Shells were coming in now from the little town of Amposta, across the river, and registering aimlessly in the open country and along the road. You'd hear the double boom of the guns, then the whirling cloth- ripping incoming rush and dirt would fountain brownly up among the grapevines.

Seeking a Vantage Point

War had the pointless and dangerless dumbness that it has when guns first come into action, before there is proper observation and the shooting is accurately controlled, and your correspondent walked down along the railway track to find a place to watch what Generalissimo Franco's men were doing across the river.

Sometimes in war there is a deadliness which makes all walking upright within a certain range either foolishness or bravado. But there are other times, before things really start, when it's like the old days when you walked around in the bull ring just before the fight.

Up the Tortosa road, planes were dicing and machine-gunning. German planes are absolutely methodical, though. They do their job, and, if you are part of their job, you're out of luck. If you are not included in their job, you can go very close to them and watch them as you can watch lions feeding. If their orders are to strafe the road on their way home, you will get it. Otherwise, when they are finished with their job on their particular objective, they go off like bank clerks, flying home.

Artillery "Warming Up"

Up toward Tortosa things looked quite deadly already from the way the planes were acting. But down here on the delta the artillery were still only warming up like baseball pitchers lobbing them over in the "bull pen." You crossed a stretch of road that in another day would be worth your life to sprint across, and headed for a white house that stood above a canal that paralleled the Ebro and dominated all the yellow town across the river where the Fascists were preparing their attack.

The doors were all locked and you couldn't get up to the roof, but down the hard-trod path along the canal you could watch men slipping down through the trees to the high green bank across the river. Government artillery was registering on the town, sending sudden spoutings of stone-dust from the houses and the church tower, where evidently there was an observation post. Still, there was no sensation of danger.

For three days you had been on the other side of the river while General Aranda's troops had been advancing, and the feeling of danger, of suddenly running onto cavalry or tanks or armored cars was something as valid as the dust you breathed or the rain that settled the dust finally and beat on your face in the open car. Now there was contact finally between the two armies and there would be a battle to hold the Ebro, but, after the uncertainty, the contact came as a relief.

Rehearsal Quality Vanishes

Now, as you watched, you saw another man come slipping through the green trees on the other bank, and then three more. Then, suddenly, as they were out of sight, came the sharp, sudden, close clatter of machine guns. With that sound, all the walking around, all the dress-rehearsal quality of before the battle was gone.

The boys who had dug shelters for their heads behind the railway bank were right, and from now on, theirs was the business. From where you stood, you could see them, well protected, waiting stolidly. Tomorrow it would be their turn. You watched the sharp slant of bayonets angling above the rails.

Artillery was picking up a little now. Two shells came in at a fairly useful place, and, as the smoke blew away ahead and settled through the trees, you picked an armful of Spring onions from a field beside the trail that led to the main Tortosa road. They were the first onions of this Spring and, peeling, one found they were plump and white and not too strong. The Ebro Delta has a fine rich land, and, where the onions grow, tomorrow there will be a battle.

Enllaços externs[]

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