Author: Hormigo González, José “Pepe”

Title: Testimony of José “Pepe” Hormigo González, Interview with Viviana MacManus and Jodi Eisenberg; July 2 and 3, 2008.

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

Description: 8 tapes

Notes: José “Pepe” Hormigo González’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. In the interview, he refers to his book, Tiempos difíciles: memoria de un trabajador. The testimony was recorded in Sevilla.

Summary: José “Pepe” Hormigo González was born in 1932 in Sevilla. Pepe recounts fleeing with his mother and siblings toward Málaga during the Civil War. His father defended the Republic and was jailed at the end of the war. Pepe emphasizes the contradiction in the justification of the imprisonment of Republicans for “rebellion” when it was the Francoists who had rebelled. He describes the poor work conditions of the prisoners whom Franco forced to construct the Bajo Guadalquivir Canal. Pepe relates joining the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) in 1956, working clandestinely, and co-founding the union Comisiones Obreras (Labor Commissions) in Sevilla. He was imprisoned in 1963 and 1971. Pepe narrates his participation in the political organization of the prisoners in Burgos. He details life under the dictatorship and explains how the situation changed with Franco’s death, noting the psychological effects it had on his daughters. Pepe discusses Colonel Tejero’s 1981 coup d’état, the transition to democracy, the legalization of the PCE, and the Law of Historical Memory. He tells of the founding of the association Memoria, Libertad y Cultura Democrática (Democratic Memory, Liberty, and Culture). Pepe reiterates the need for an institutional recognition of the Francoist repression and the importance of generating historical consciousness in the youth. Pepe and Paula, his wife, comment on the three homages he has received for his enduring anti-Francoist militancy.

Cite as: Hormigo González, José “Pepe.” Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2008.