Only three Spanish authors can be included in the translated literature of the Great War: Fernando Lozano y Montes (1844-1935) and his Por los Aliados. No se puede ser liberal y ser germanofilo. Articulos, translated as Pelos Aliados. Nao se pode ser liberal e ser germanofilo [For the Allies. One cannot be liberal and pro- Germany] (1916) by Carlos Trilho (?-?); Vicente Blasco Ibanez (1867-1927) who wrote Cuatro Jinetes del Apocalipsis - Os quatro cavaleiros do Apocalipse [Title of the English translation: The four horsemen of the Apocalypse], translated in 1924 by Raul Proen^a (1884-1941) and in 1976 by Arsenio Mota (1930-?), and Mare Nostrum, published in a Portuguese translation by Agostinho Fortes (1869-1940) in 1927. The third Spanish author was Wenceslau Fernandez Florez (1885-1964), whose Los que no fuimos a la Guerra was translated by Abilio de Campos Mon- teiro (1876-1934) in 1930 under the title Os que nao foram a guerra [Those who did not go to war].
In Germany the experience of war brought about very significant political and social consequences. Between 1928 and the end of the Third Reich, the so-called Kriegsliteratur literally flooded the book market. Apparently the pacifist novel Im Westen Nichts Neues by Erich Maria Remarque triggered a heated, and sometimes even violent, controversy, and many other novels were published in order to oppose Remarque’s view on war. The Kriegsliteratur expressed the two opposing points of view: on the one hand, the pacifist perspective according to which war meant horror and inhumanity and, on the other, the nationalist point of view, which presented war as the ideal environment to strengthen heroic and manly qualities. Despite all controversy, this kind of literature became enormously successful. Some considered that success resulted from the fear of a new tragedy, which was felt as imminent. Others, on the contrary, attributed it to the stability and confidence felt by the middle class, which allowed to expect that war was completely over and could be remembered without any fears.
From 1933, under the national-socialist regime, the pacifist novels were censored and silenced.
Pacifism was a controversial issue also in Portugal and, during the 1930s, public opinion was divided. In the 27th January 1934 edition of Diario de Nottcias, we can read:
In this gloomy atmosphere, illuminated by the desire of peace, what does communism do? The answer is simple and easy: it makes propaganda against war, it is true, but it also makes war. The shots we hear, the grenades, the bombs that explode here and there are of their responsibility, they have their origin in their deceitfully pacifist ideas... [...] Peace! Peace! Peace! And they keep making war with remarkable incoherence and audacity all over the world.
[Nesta atmosfera sombria, iluminada pelo desejo da paz, que faz o comunismo? A resposta e simples e facil: faz a propaganda contra a guerra, e certo, mas tambem faz a guerra. Os tiros que se ouvem, as granadas, as bombas que rebentam aqui e alem, sao obra sua, sao destrui^ao sua, partem das suas ideias hipocritamente pacifista... [...] Paz! Paz! Paz! E vao fazendo a guerra, com notavel incoerencia e audacia, por todo esse Mundo.]
Also the Portuguese translations of German novels reveal that antagonism. On the side of the so-called pacifists several authors can be named: Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) - Im Westen nichts Neues; Ludwig Renn (1889-1979) - Krieg; Arnold
Zweig (1887-1986) - Der Streit um den Sergeanten Grischa; Ernst Johannsen (1898-1977) - Vier von der Infanterie, ihre letzte Tage an der West-Front 1918 and Theodor Plivier (1892-1955) - Des Kaisers Kulis.
Representing the “nationalists” are mainly the narratives of sea battles by Graf von Luckner (1881-1966) - Seeteufel; Ludwig von Reuter (1869-1943) - Scapa Flow: das Grab der deutschen Flotte; Fritz Witschetsky (?-?) - Das schwarze Schiff; the Prince Franz Joseph von Hohenzollern (1891-?) - Emden: Meine Erlebnisse aus S. M. Schiff «Emden»; Georg von Hase (1878-1971) - Skagerrak and Johannes Spiess (1888-?) - Sechs Jahre U-Boot-Fahrten.
Some of these novels were also adapted to the cinema and were very successful among the Portuguese viewers. Scapa Flow (1930) could count with a major attraction, which was the presence of the Portuguese actor Artur Duarte, who played a role in this film. It is advertised in the newspapers (Seculo, 3rd July 1930) that there would be an autograph session with the actor himself. Quatro de Infantaria [Vier von der Infaterie] (1931) had several sessions on some Sundays on account of its enormous success. Apparently, the book was not so enthusiastically accepted when it was published, but after the film release a new book edition was accomplished in five days. There was also the film O sargento Grischa [Der Streit um den Sergeanten Grischa] (1931) and A Oeste nada de novo [Im Westen nichts Neues] (1931), which was even attended by members of the government.
The interest among the Portuguese people in German films and narratives is not surprising considering the political context of the time. Salazar’s dictatorship was openly pro-Germany.
For example, on the 12th February 1936 the visit of the German war vessel “Schlesien” was reported in O Seculo as follows:
The militaries saluted while the band of the “Schlesien” played the Portuguese and the German national anthems and the Nazi anthem. The latter two were then played by the Portuguese bands. While the anthems were being played, numerous members of the German colony gathered on the sidewalks and made the Nazi salute by raising the right arm.
[Os militares fizeram a continencia, enquanto a charanga do “Schlesien” executou os hinos nacionais portugues e alemao e nazi. Estes dois ultimos foram, depois, tocados pelas bandas portuguesas. Durante a execuqao dos hinos, numerosos membros da colonia alema, que se aglomeravam nos passeios, fizeram a saudaqao nazi, levantando o braqo direito.]
According to the news published in the national press, the Lisbon sea harbour was very busy in the 1930s. The “Schlesien” was not the only war vessel visiting Lisbon. Detailed accounts can be found concerning the presence of German, Swedish and English cruisers in 1935; of an English destroyer, a Dutch cruiser, one German and two English dreadnoughts and eleven war vessels in 1938 and later an Italian navy division, among others.
Other translated authors
The only Czech author translated into Portuguese was Jaroslav Hasek. O valente soldado Chveik was translated from the French version Le brave soldat Chveik, but as late as 1961 and 1988.
Two North-American novels about the Great War - Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and Three Soldiers by John dos Passos - were also translated into Portuguese, but long after World War II, i.e., in 1954 (O adeus as armas) and 1966 (Tris soldados) respectively. Since the translations of the Czech and the North-American authors are out of the time scope of this study, they will not be discussed here. Additionally, the first translations of North-American authors in general, and of Hemingway and John dos Passos in particular, met completely different purposes (Moniz 2012).