Author: Borrell Pérez, Carmen

Title: Testimony of Carmen Borrell Pérez, Interview with Scott Boehm and Daniel Rojo; February 17, 2009.

Published: Madrid, Spain, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2009.

Description: 1 tape

Notes: Carmen Borrell Pérez's testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in Madrid.

Summary: Carmen Borrell Pérez was born in 1921 in Madrid. Carmen relates joining the Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (Unified Socialist Youth) at an early age during the Republic. She narrates that during the Civil War, she was detained at age sixteen for her militancy and imprisoned in the Las Ventas women's prison for one year and fifteen days. Carmen remembers arriving in Ventas six days after the Trece Rosas (Thirteen Roses) were executed. She details life in Ventas, emphasizing the hunger and overcrowding. Carmen explains that the wardens were Falangists who treated the prisoners with cruelty. She describes the fear she experienced daily when the wardens read aloud the names of the prisoners who would be executed every night. Carmen notes the abuse women suffered when they were interrogated in the Dirección General de Seguridad (General Security Directorate), recalling a woman whose infant child was killed and a very old woman who was horribly beaten. She retells being released on provisional liberty. Carmen sings songs of the Resistance that she learned in prison. She recounts working for the Auxilio Social (a Francoist welfare institution), where all of the keepers were Falangists and the children were sons and daughters of political prisoners. Carmen tells of helping the children clandestinely by taking them to see their parents in jail. She discusses Franco's death and the importance of historical memory.

Cite as: Borrell Pérez, Carmen. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009.