Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Discussions on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War including the Condor Legion, the Germans fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
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B5N2KATE
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Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby B5N2KATE » 26 Apr 2008 13:17

Ladies and Gentlemen.........

Recently, a couple of forum members have pulled me up for the slogan at the bottom of my posts.

They point out that it is the other way around to what I have at the bottom of my posts.....if you look down you will see.
They maintain that it is incorrect....Better to live on your feet than die on your knees....

I wondered at this assertion....

If I were a propagandist or speachmaker, I certainly would not be exhorting anybody to die on their knees..
So........in the spirit of this forum, I did a little checking.

Here's what I found..........
Wikipedia lists this quote....and in Spanish it reads...."Prefiero morir de pie que vivir siempre arrodillado!"

which translates thus.............."It's better to DIE on your feet than LIVE on your knees."
Other translations...................................."I would rather die standing than live on my knees"
........................................................"I prefer to die standing than live on my knees."
....................................................."Prefer death on your feet to living on your knees"

This is attributed to Mexican revolutionary EMILIANO ZAPATA SALAZAR, apparently a leading figure in the revolution against Porfirio Diaz, 1910.
He took it directly from Cuban hero of their independance movement....JOSE MARTI.
It is often attributed to "Che" Guevara Arabhi.
or, in it's most famous incarnation to DOLORES IBARRUI (1895- 1989), "La Pasionara", as she was known. Ibarrui popularized it for Nationalist forces in a series of radio broadcasts to the women of Spain, exhorting them to FIGHT. She is first said to have broadcast it September 3 1936, but "La Pasionara" says she first used it on July 18, 1936.

So, much for the facts....but think about it.

I most certainly would not tell ANYONE to "live on your knees" if I were trying to whip up fervor and passion in my oratory.
Who wants to live on their knees?....I most certainly don't....in the words of another song.......

"BRI-TAINS NEVER NEVER NEVER,
SHALL BE SLAVES"........



Thanks for tuning in

B5N2KATE (a.k.a. Christopher)
"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas!"
("It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!")

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Ironmachine
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby Ironmachine » 27 Apr 2008 17:24

By the way, the slogan at the bottom of your posts is not correctly translated.
"Prefiero morir de pie que siempre arrodillado!"

means something like "I'd rather die on my feet than always on my knees"
and the correct translation of
"It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!"

would be "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas".

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B5N2KATE
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby B5N2KATE » 27 Apr 2008 19:08

Thanks to Ironmachine for clearing that one up.....I'm not a speaker of Spanish, so was unable to translate....

Goes to prove whoever was at Wikipedia does not speak the great language of Spanish either!!

Correction well noted....I will change this at the bottom of my posts forthwith!

Regards

Chrsitopher.
"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas!"
("It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!")

Bloke
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby Bloke » 11 Jan 2010 07:10

"So, much for the facts....but think about it.

I most certainly would not tell ANYONE to "live on your knees" if I were trying to whip up fervor and passion in my oratory."

Did you really say that on purpose??? You may read history but you've just displayed crass ignorance of any comprehension of it!!!
"sigh"

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The Edge
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby The Edge » 11 Jan 2010 11:48

B5N2KATE wrote:Recently, a couple of forum members have pulled me up for the slogan at the bottom of my posts.

They point out that it is the other way around to what I have at the bottom of my posts...
They maintain that it is incorrect....Better to live on your feet than die on your knees...

I wondered at this assertion...

Being one of "a couple" :D - I was referring to the famous quote from "CATCH 22" :wink:

Capt. Nately: Don't you have any principles?
Old man in whorehouse: Of course not!
Capt. Nately: No morality?
Old man in whorehouse: I'm a very moral man, and Italy is a very moral country. That's why we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated.
Capt. Nately: You talk like a madman.
Old man in whorehouse: But I live like a sane one. I was a fascist when Mussolini was on top. Now that he has been deposed, I am anti-fascist. When the Germans were here, I was fanatically pro-German. Now I'm fanatically pro-American. You'll find no more loyal partisan in all of Italy than myself.
Capt. Nately: You're a shameful opportunist! What you don't understand is that it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Old man in whorehouse: You have it backwards. It's better to live on your feet than to die on your knees. I know.
Capt. Nately: How do you know?
Old man in whorehouse: Because I am 107-years-old. How old are you?
Capt. Nately: I'll be 20 in January.
Old man in whorehouse: If you live.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065528/quotes
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victoriaw
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby victoriaw » 14 Feb 2011 14:32

This phrase is attributed to several authors, but with several differences. And also, "de pie" also means "on walk".

Benito Juárez García, Mexican president of the XIX century, and Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, said:
"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas" (Better to die on walk, than live on your knees)

José Martí:
"Vale mas un minuto de pie que una vida de rodillas" (Is worth a minute's walk to a life of knees)

Dolores Ibárruri:
"Creo que es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas" (I think it's better dying on walk, than living on your knees)

José de San Martin, before leaving his charges in Lima, Perú said:
"El enemigo es grande si se lo mira de rodillas" (Enemy is big if it's seen from the bottom)

José Moreno Salazar during the Spain civil war in 1936 and Sierra Morena (Cuba) said it too.

Ernesto Che Guevara said:
"Prefiero morir de pie a vivir arrodillado" (I prefer dying on walk, than living on my knees)

And in 1951, in Albert Camus book, "El hombre rebelde" it is quoted:
"Antes morir de pie que vivir arrodillado" (Before dying on walk, than living on knees)

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Xavier
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby Xavier » 14 Feb 2011 16:22

"..better to die standing than to live on servitude...."
Xavier
Der Autodidakt

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Ironmachine
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby Ironmachine » 14 Feb 2011 17:38

Some funny traslations here, though not very accurate:
Is worth a minute's walk to a life of knees

Enemy is big if it's seen from the bottom

Before dying on walk, than living on knees

:lol:

JonS
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby JonS » 15 Feb 2011 21:21

I much prefer Heller's version.

I also quite like "before you question a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way you're a mile away, and you've got his shoes"

HFK
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby HFK » 18 Feb 2011 21:04

Hello Christopher,
The first post on this topic is highly interesting. However, Dolores Ibarruri exhorted the Republican women to fight, not the Nationalists. Harry

CaptainWill
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Re: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Postby CaptainWill » 20 Feb 2011 02:56

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Both versions have similar meanings - that you shouldn't give up or submit to your enemy or oppressor.


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