The smoke rising to the sky

By shooting priests and firing churches, the Spanish workers and peasants were not merely seeking to destroy their enemies and the symbol of their power but to rid Spain once and for all of everything that, in their view, stood for obscurantims and oppression. A fervent Catholic, the Basque minister Manuel de Irujo, confirmed such an interpretation when he stated: "Those who burn churches are not thereby exhibiting anti-religious feelings; it is just a question of demonstration against the state, and, if I may say so, the smoke rising to the sky is merely a sort of appeal to God in the face of human injustice."

- from Broué and Témime's The Revolution and The Civil War in Spain

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