Author: Catalá, Neus

Title: Testimony of Neus Catalá, Interview with Elize Mazadiego and Andrea Davis; June 26, 2009.

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

Description: 3 tapes

Notes: Neus Catalá’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in her home in Rubí outside of Barcelona.

Summary: Neus Catalá was born in Els Guiamets in 1915. Neus recalls her early entry into politics, noting that as a young adult she co-founded the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia) and organized the Joventuts Socialistes Unificades de Catalunya (Unified Socialist Youth of Catalonia). She narrates her experiences during the Republic and explains how her life changed during the Civil War. Neus relates moving to Barcelona at the start of the war to study theater and nursing. She later crossed the Spanish-French border with 180 children. Neus discusses her exile to France, providing a thorough account of the bombings of Barcelona. Upon arrival in France she was placed in refugee camps, which she explicitly identifies as concentration camps. Neus details the poor conditions of the refugee camps, highlighting the factors that distinguish these sites as concentration camps. She recounts her participation in the Resistance at the start of World War II and her imprisonment in 1944 at the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. Neus spent two months in jail and sixteen months in Ravensbrück. She describes the camp’s daily conditions and speaks of some of the women she encountered there. Neus tells that at the end of her detention, she was temporarily moved to a nursing home in Switzerland. Subsequently, Neus settled in France and returned to Spain after the dictatorship.

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