#OnThisDay October 1940 123rd Catalan President was executed by Spanish government

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Waiting for Spain’s apology

In the summer of 1940, during the dictatorship of Franco, the exiled Catalan President Lluís Companys was detained in France, and was then taken by French and Gestapo officers to Francoist authories in Spain, who executed him. This 15th of October will be the 74th anniversary of his execution.

On 15 October 2008, the Commission on Dignity and the Vice-President’s Office of the Generalitat of Catalonia put together an Act of Amends to ex-President Lluís Companys, along with the Consul of Germany, Christine Gläser, and the Consul of France, Pascal Brice read more...

Catalonia's President Lluís Companys

Arrested by the Gestapo, executed by Franco, still a convict in Spain 2014.
At dawn on October 15, 1940, Lluís Companys, then President of Catalonia, was put before a firing squad in the moat of Montjuic Castle in Barcelona and shot. The detail of soldiers executed the sentence of a court martial, pursuant to regulations recently imposed by General Franco's fascist regime. The German Gestapo had handed over to their fellow Spanish Secret Police only a few months earlier a 58 year old man who represented a country they wanted to ridicule in defeat and to teach a lesson for the future.

Exiled in France after the victory of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War, he was arrested by the Nazi secret police in La Baule-Escoublac (Brittany) on 13th August 1940, an arrest witnessed by a policeman who had come expressly from Spain. Mr Companys was first interrogated by that officer at La Santé prison in Paris, he was placed under his custody and taken to Madrid, where he was tortured read more...

Lluís Companys' Legacy

Companys is sitting while he waits in the living room. They tell him that someone just knocked on the door. “Lluís, les allemandes sont arrivées!” (Lluís, the Germans are here). Calmly, he turns the page of the book he is holding and keeps reading. The members of the German police find him in his chair, reading Vies des saints (Lifes of Saints). Being as he is a liberal politician, of strong unionist convictions, his reaction is profoundly telling. He could have fled many days ago, but he's tired. Besides, he has important reasons for staying in France. His son, Lluïset, ill with schizophrenia, disappeared from the French mental hospital he was in after a bombing by the Germans forced it to be shut down. What will men be capable.... read more

74 years of national and democratic humiliation

On August 13, 1940 began what would become a dark chapter in the history of Catalunya. The Franco regime was about to perpetrate a unique crime: the murder of a democratically elected President. Six men stormed the residence of Lluís Companys, President of the Catalan government, at La Baule in Brittany. He was captured by four men in German Nazi police uniforms and two civilians. One of them was Pedro Urraca Redueles, officially a police attached in the Spanish embassy in Paris, in reality a spy paid by the Franco regime to serve as liaison with the Gestapo and the Vichy Regime and to coordinate in part the repression of Spanish republican exiles in France. On that day Lluís Companys started a journey that would end tragically two months later, on October 15, 1940, with his execution in Montjuïc, Barcelona, after an illegal ... read more

Franco's persecution of the Republican refugees in France

Just after Hitler’s armies had defeated France, Franco's Government took advantage of the victory of its Nazi allies and began to act against the Republican exiles in French territory. On the one hand, it tried to destroy all the organizations that the refugees were maintaining in exile and to expropriate their properties and documentation; on the other hand, with the collaboration of Germany, it tried to get various Republican personalities who were in the "German-Occupied Zone" arrested and transferred to Spain, while getting others who were in the Vichy "Free Zone" arrested and extradited ... (read more)

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