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Otília Castellví

From Barcelona’s Secret Police Headquarters to Nazi Germany

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Acantilado

November 2008

188 pages

Biographies and memoirs

Original Title: De las checas de Barcelona a la Alemania Nazi

Like so many others, in 1939 Otília Castellví, a dressmaker with ideals and a strong will who had lived in Gracia, had to take the road to exile. Before that, however, she had lived through the upheaval of the events of October 1934 and had suffered in her own person the ghastly reality of the dungeons of the secret police headquarters, where she was imprisoned because she belonged to a Trotskyist party (the POUM). “That day death reached Barcelona. All of us could feel it coming. And, unfortunately, we were not mistaken.” With exile, there began for her a long journey, marked by the French concentration camps on the beaches of the south of France (a time that this book evokes with horror), the Nazi occupation of France and her transportation to Germany, where she was told that she would be given work and opportunities. Without frills of any kind, this book is an exceptional historical and humane account of a crucial period.

Praises

«However much historians write about the Spanish Civil War, the events of May 1937 and exile, it is only when we read a first-person account that we manage to realise the whole dimension of the tragedy».
Xavier Moret, El País

Details

Acantilado

November 2008

1 pages

Biographies and memoirs