Antonio Rivera took refuge with other Nationalists in the Alcázar during the Spanish Civil War. As a pacifist, the youth refused at first to help defend the ancient stronghold, and was put on latrine duty. When the situation of the besieged became more desperate, he decided that it would not be inconsistent with his principles to aid in the defense, provided that he did not kill in hatred. He was assigned the position of loader to a heavy machine gun. It was said that he would give the signal to fire with the words: "Tirad — pero sin odio." (Fire — but without hatred. )
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.