Author: Esteban Franco, Matías

Title: Testimony of Matías Esteban Franco, Interview with Andrea Davis and Scott Boehm; July 10, 2008.

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

Description: 3 tapes

Notes: Matías Esteban Franco’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in his home in Madrid.

Summary: Matías Esteban Franco was born in Vicálvaro. Matías recounts that his father, a member of the Unión General de Trabajadores (General Union of Workers), worked as a tiler and his mother worked as a housekeeper. He explains that before the start of the Second Republic, many children in his impoverished town did not attend school and his own parents were illiterate. During the Second Republic, Matías attended a Socialist school at the age of nine. He later joined the Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (Unified Socialist Youth). Matías relates his participation in the defense of Madrid during the Civil War. He was a sergeant in the Republican Army of Guadalajara, Madrid, and Asturias. Matías recalls that he was detained by the Falange and was physically and psychologically tortured at the local police headquarters in 1940. He spent the next eleven years imprisoned in Madrid and Burgos. Matías discusses being released in 1951 and finding work in a Madrid metallurgical factory. In 1957, as a result of his union activity and participation in the Communist Party of Spain, Matías spent three months in hiding. He then fled to France and remained there until Franco's death. Matías speaks about returning to Spain in 1976 and becoming an activist and a member of the Asociación de Ex-presos y Represaliados Políticos Antifranquistas (Association of Former Political Prisoners and Anti-Francoist Fighters).

Cite as: Esteban Franco, Matías. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2008.