Author: Balbás, Rufina

Title: Testimony of Rufina Balbás, Interview with Jessica Cordova and Omar Pimienta; July 15, 2008.

Published: Madrid, Spain, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2008.

Description: 3 tapes

Notes: Rufina Balbás' testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in her home in Madrid.

Summary: Rufina Balbás recalls that her father was banished in Segovia and Valladolid during Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. Rufina notes that during the Republic her father was a delegate for the Republican Left and Secretary of the Valle de Manzanedo Municipal Council. She remembers that at the start of the Civil War, the Falangists detained her father in Burgos before killing him in 1936. Rufina explains that after her father's death, she suffered a severe trauma, became ill twice, and had an operation. She describes the methods the Falange used to terrorize the population. Rufina expresses gratitude to President Lázaro Cárdenas and the Mexican people for their solidarity with the Spanish exiles. She recounts that when the war ended, the town priest whose brother was the head of the Falange denied subsidy to her family. Rufina narrates moving to Madrid to find employment and tells that her mother fished crabs for a living. She relates becoming a nurse in Madrid and working for the Red Cross, where she refused to reveal details about her personal life because the doctor and nurses were Falangists. Rufina details her difficult struggle to locate her father's burial place and highlights that in 1970 she discovered that he is buried in a mass grave in the Humarraña cave. She speaks about Franco's death. Rufina recites poems and songs of the Republic.

Cite as: Balbás, Rufina. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2008.