The execution of Muñoz Seca: “To humiliate his figure, they cut off his mustaches”

Three groups were shot before their eyes while awaiting their turn. In one of them, a sailor with his two children, ages 14 and 13. His time has come. He lined up next to an Augustinian priest from El Escorial. The firing squad consisted of fourteen Republicans with rifles and three who were dealing with an effective machine gun. Don Pedro shouted “Long live Christ the King!” and all fell dead or badly wounded. Don Pedro, dying, needed the coup de grace.

It was 10:30 am on November 28, 1936. According to the order signed by Santiago Carrillo Solares, they had been “transferred” to Valencia. In a mass grave in Paracuellos de Jarama, a few kilometers from Madrid, they buried the bodies of those executed. Eighty-five years later, his bones remain together in the common grave.

Don Pedro Muñoz-Seca He was born in 1879 in Puerto de Santa María, Cadiz. He deceived his biographers. Some of them date their date of birth in 1881. Don Pedro did not pretend to take years off, but to respond to his Andalusian humor. The year 1881 was the capicúa of the nineteenth century, and the capicúa years, they say, are lucky. He had it in life, overflowing with work, successes, a few failures and a long family. He studied Law and Philosophy and Letters in Seville and received a doctorate in both races. But his vocation was the Theater, and the Theater was Madrid. He got a position as an intern at Don Antonio Maura’s law firm. He had met the woman who was the love of his life, Asuncion Ariza Diez de Bulnes, from a well-known family from Puente Genil. He announced to his parents his intention to marry, and the parents went to Puente Genil, Córdoba, to meet their future daughter-in-law. The father wrote to his son: “Asunción has seemed extraordinary, intelligent, deeply religious … All very well. In my opinion, with only one defect. At your side, she is quite short.” Don Pedro replied:

You are not wrong.

Asuncion is so short,

That when he is by my side

It touches my heart.

And I like the sea

That defect that he alleges,

Well you can not deny me

What is a woman who arrives

Where it should go.

Nine children. Joaquín, Asunción ‒my mother‒, Mercedes, Rosario, Pedro, José María, Milagros, Alfonso and Rocío. Two sisters nuns and two brothers doctors. Don Francisco, who practiced all his life in the Port, and Don José, a famous pediatrician in Madrid. Ever since he left El Puerto to seek glory and fortune in Madrid, he wrote his mother a postcard every day. He settled in a flat on Calle de Salustiano Olózaga, in front of the National Library. Ten days later the concierge of the property died, and four days later, the doorman. An elderly marriage – retirement as such was not effective in those times – which formed an exemplary marriage. And they were buried together in La Almudena. The son, who inherited the gatehouse from his parents, asked Don Pedro to write a versified epitaph for his parents’ tomb, and Don Pedro left the cumbersome assignment with ease.

His goodness was so great,

Such his industriousness

And the virtue of the two,

That they are for sure

In Heaven, next to God.

He ignored the matter. In the mornings, I work as a lawyer and in the afternoons, after Gathering of “Miller”, to write theater. The son of the porters returned to ask for a new epitaph.

“Didn’t you like it?”

―I have liked and moved me a lot, Don Pedro, but it seems that not so much the Bishop, who says, and perhaps he is right, that you are nobody to ensure that my parents are in Heaven, together with God.

Don Pedro was amused by the situation. And he wrote another epitaph:

The two were very close together,

Each other in pos

Where the one who dies always goes.

But … they are not with God

Because the Bishop does not want to.

Second bishop refusal. Third option, written without possibility of success.

Floating their souls go

Through the ether, weakly

Without knowing what they will do

Because unfortunately

Not even God knows where they are.

And there they continue, a century later, the poor porters. No epitaph on his grave.

Don Pedro becomes the most followed, applauded, and reviled author of the Spanish Theater. In December 1918 he premiered Don Mendo’s Revenge, written in verse, with a command of exceptional polymetry and an overwhelming grace. Today, one hundred and two years later, it is the most represented theater piece of the Spanish Theater, a long way from the second, Don Juan Tenorio scored by José Zorrilla. Thousands of performances and different versions in Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile … all of Spanish-speaking America.

Paracuellos Cemetery Cross

Don Pedro was a resounding Spaniard, a deep Christian ‒today, when I write these lines in an advanced process of beatification by the Holy See‒, a monarchist and friend of King Don Alfonso XIII and collaborator of ABC and Black and white, the publications of his dear friend Don Torcuato Luca de Tena and later of his son Juan Ignacio. I highlight these four characteristics because they were the four accusations that the Socialist People’s Court and communist they gave it more importance. They offered him freedom and life in exchange for publicly manifesting their rejection of God, the Unity of Spain, the Monarchy and the ABC. “I prefer death.” The execution of the sentence took place two days later.

During his life he wrote ninety-one comedies. One of them, The Four Walls, released four years after he was assassinated. Eighty-three in collaboration with Don Pedro Pérez-Fernández, who died Muñoz-Seca did not premiere any comedy. And twenty-five more with different collaborators, among them Azorín and the great Enrique García Álvarez, more lazy than a guard’s jacket.

I confess with great eagerness

And deep feeling

That I am the most lazy

That God has put in the world.

Invented with The Extremeños Touch musical comedy without music. But above all his comedies, his great classic, Don Mendo’s Revenge. Benavente (Nobel Prize in Literature in 1922), Azorín, Pemán, and even the fearsome Valle Inclán, surrender to his work. “Take away,” Valle Inclán wrote, “from Muñoz-Seca’s theater his humor; undress him as a caricature; take away his satirical talent and facility for parody, and you will continue before a monumental playwright.”

Don Pedro, in the years from 1931 to 1936 writes, premieres and is acclaimed and persecuted, a critical and scathing theater against the Republic. Azaña hates him. Enrique de Mesa, a poor poet and theater critic, lashes out at him in his criticisms. They ask him “Have you read the latest Mesa review?” And he responds: “No, I still don’t care about the opinion of the furniture.”

It premiered in Barcelona on July 18, 1936 The Curl Fool. The news from Madrid is devastating. His family is safe. On July 20, he and his wife were arrested in the Plaza de Catalunya. Four political commissars take them to Madrid, via Valencia. His wife is released at the station, and Don Pedro enters the Jail-Checa de San Antón. There he becomes the good angel and friend of all his companions in torture. Organize Spiritual Exercises, gatherings and write little works. He wrote 34 postcards and 7 letters to his wife. He asks, first of all, for warm clothes and medicine for his stomach ulcer. In one of them he begs him to send him a mustache. Don Pedro’s physical characteristic was that of his enormous mustaches with raised tips, à la D’Artagnan. “My mustaches are so droopy they have gotten into the soup at the ranch.” He regains his haughty mustache. Peel lentils in the kitchen. Even the most brutal of his jailers, “Dynamite”, shows him respect.

He contemplates with infinite sadness the exits of the trucks packed with companions in martyrdom on the way to death. “Do not be fooled – he tells Julián Cortés Cavanillas and Cayetano Luca de Tena -. All those who have left today have already been murdered by these criminals.”

On November 27, he senses, after the farce of the popular trial, that he has only a few hours left. He locks himself up in the early morning of November 28 with the Augustinian priest, also murdered, Don Tomás Ruiz del Rey. He confesses. And with perfect spelling, on a small corner table in his cell, he writes his farewell letter to his wife. He wants to encourage him, but in the end he makes him see the irremediable. This letter would be received by his wife after the Civil War from the hands of a Mexican diplomat.

Don Pedro, who was in love with San Sebastián, wanted to buy a villa in Ondarreta called Txoko-Maitea, which still exists, and rename it. He was a friend of the Barcáiztegui, who lived in Toki-Ona (La Villa Grande) and the Padillas who did it in Toki Eder (The beautiful Villa “). Don Pedro dreamed of baptizing his house Toki the Timbre. In 1940, it is not known how, a handwritten envelope with the handwritten letter of the King in exile arrived at my grandparents’ house in San Sebastián. The envelope reads: “Mrs. Dña. Asunción Ariza. Widow of Muñoz-Seca. Toki the Timbre. Ondarreta. Saint Sebastian. Spain. “His fun dream came true.

His farewell letter reads:

Dearest Asuncion:

I’m still very good; When you receive these lines I will be out of Madrid. I am resigned and happy. God above everything. I have a spare change of clothes. Here I leave the mid-season coat for you to send for it. With the money you sent me I bought Bismuth. I leave here a few debts, because I have spent up to nine pesetas a day and you didn’t send me more than five dollars from time to time. I am very calm knowing that everyone is fine and that you will continue to be everyone’s good angel. You have always been mine, and if God is willing that we never see each other again, my last thought will always be for you.

Don’t forget about my mother. Make sure that Pepe, my brother, substitutes for me in my duties towards her, and you tell her when you see her that her memory has always been with me.

I have nothing to order from you for the children. I know that all of them, imitating me, will always fulfill their duty, and will be for you, as I have been for my parents, a model. It’s the only thing I can brag about.

I am sorry to provide you with the displeasure of this separation, but if we must all suffer for the salvation of Spain, and this is the part that has corresponded to me, blessed are these sufferings.

I am writing to you very quickly because the news took me a bit of surprise. Goodbye, my life. Many kisses to the children, affection for everyone, and for you, who were always my happiness, all the love from your Pedro.

November 28.

PS As you understand, I am very well prepared and clean of guilt.

When he was called, Don Pedro came out smiling, calm, with immense sadness in his eyes. They pounced on him and took off a coat that was folded over his arm. They took his wallet and watch. His hands were tied behind his back with a string of twine. A militiaman, somewhat more human, removed the chain with the medal of the Virgin of Miracles, Patroness of Puerto de Santa María, and with a quick movement put it in the right pocket of his jacket. To humiliate his figure, they cut off his mustaches.

He was fifty-seven years old. He did nothing but good in his life. God, Spain, the Crown and ABC it was his crimes.

He fell as a martyr and a mighty man.

He forgave those who were preparing to kill him.

Article published in the book ‘Historical Memory, threat to Peace in Europe’, a book published by the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists, in which Vox is a member.

We would like to thank the author of this short article for this outstanding material

The execution of Muñoz Seca: “To humiliate his figure, they cut off his mustaches”