The same issue of the paper also mentioned the executive secretary of the North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, Rev. Herman F. Reissing's words: "Sooner or later we must decide whether we favour democracy or fascism. The only way to permanently establish peace is to remove the major causes of the war, of which the greatest is fascism" (the New York Times, Feb 20, 1937).
Robert Jordan joins the guerrilla forces in Spain and fights along with Pilar, Maria, Pablo Anselmo and their fellows because of his idealism at first and then due to his conviction that he has taken the right side. The American public is starting to become aware that besides strictly reading in the news about the War on Europe soil, they will also feel the victory of the evil forces of the fascism on their own territory, some day.
The reports in the news in the second year of Spanish Civil War were not strictly about what as happening on Spanish soil, but they started to present the situation from a chess board perspective that involved the European powers on different sides of the table. The New York Times was writing in its issue of August 22, 193 about "a grim diplomatic chess game" between the major European political players and their smaller supporters. It is true that for Whom the Bell Tolls never actually tackles the matter of the war from an international perspective, but the title of the novel itself is destined to make one wonder on the effects this war really has on individual's but also on a nation's destiny. The lack of capability in finding a solution to the Spanish inner conflict is expressed in one single question Robert Jordan asks: "Was there ever a people whose leaders were as truly their enemies as this one?" Hemingway, p. 163).
The issue of world powers not seeking to gain some advantage out of this civil war that was self destroying was presented in the final lines of a New York Times article from February 7, 1937. The officially assumed neutrality at all costs, for the sake of justice from the part of the international European powers was proved to be only at a diplomatic level. The European powers, Italy, Germany and the smaller Portugal, one side, and France, Britain, the smaller Czechoslovakia and Russia on the other, actively supplied the two combatants with the necessary means for the battle to continue, but at some point, an article from the Hew York Times revealed that they were beginning to ask themselves if it was worth their efforts and expenses, after all. "Italy and Germany have both solemnly promised not to seek territorial advantage in Spain, and thus from all points-of-view, whatever they may have expected to get out of it, the nations concerned have come to the conclusion they have nothing to gain from going further into the Spanish imbroglio." (James, the New Your Times, Feb 7, 1937).
Robert Jordan, the hero in Hemingway's novel on the Spanish Civil War is also pondering the reasons and the outcome one third party might have out of going into some battle that is not his, but although his conclusion is similar to that James reaches in his article, the reasons are quite different: "It is right, he told himself, not reassuringly, but proudly. I believe in the people and their right to govern themselves as they wish. But you mustn't believe in killing, he told himself. You must do it as a necessity but you must not believe in it. If you believe in it the whole thing is wrong" (Hemingway, p. 304).
Buckley, Ramon. "Revolution in Ronda: The Facts in Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls.." The Hemingway Review 17.1 (1997)
Hemingway, E. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Tandem Library. 1968
James, E.L. New Activity Starts in Spanish Revolution. Insurgents in Fresh Drive on Malaga as Diplomats Run into Trouble in Arranging for Blockade. Russia Wishes to Take Part. The New York Times. Feb 7, 1937.
James, E.L. Fresh Complications in Spanish Civil War. The New York Times. Jul 11, 1937.
Kluckhohn, F.L. Death in the Afternoon - and at Dawn. The New York Times.Oct 4, 1936.
Martin, Robert a. "5 Hemingway's for Whom the Bell Tolls: Fact into Fiction." Blowing the Bridge: Essays on Hemingway and for Whom the Bell Tolls. Ed. Rena Sanderson. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992. 59-64.
Molesworth, Charles. "7 Hemingway's Code: the Spanish Civil War and World Power." Blowing the Bridge: Essays on Hemingway and for Whom the Bell Tolls. Ed. Rena Sanderson. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992. 83-97.