Author: Basté, Pere

Title: Testimony of Pere Basté, Interview with Elize Mazadiego and Andrea Davis; July 3, 2009.

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

Description: 4 tapes

Notes: Pere Basté’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in his apartment in Barcelona.

Summary: Pere Basté was born in 1921 in Barcelona. Pere describes the cultural and educational atmosphere of the Second Republic, as well as his particular experiences studying under the directorship of Rosa Sensat. Although Pere was too young to defend the Republic, he was able to join the Red Cross as a voluntary rescue worker during the bombardments of Barcelona (1937–1939). Pere notes the role of the Italians in the bombardments, as well as the function of the Red Cross during the Civil War. He recounts his experiences, discussing the situations he encountered, the personal repercussions of his work, and the general atmosphere and destruction of the city during these years. Pere relates doing mandatory military service in Mallorca after the war and his return to Barcelona in 1944, where he found work in a jewelry company. He recalls moving with his family to Cuba between 1952 and 1963 to continue his work for the same Barcelona-based jewelry company. Pere details what it was like to work for a foreign-based business both in the midst of and following the Cuban Revolution, as well as his experiences with and opinions of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Fidel Castro.

Cite as: Basté, Pere. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009.