H

Historical memories

LIFE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF A REPUBLICAN

I’m a very lucky person, because my grandmother, Dolors, has a great memory. Dolors, was born in difficult times.

My grandmother was born on 13th December 1933, during the II Spanish Republic. She was born in Vilardaga, in Sagàs (Catalonia), the village where I am living right now. It’s a little village with 150 inhabitants. The houses are distributed unequally. When my grandmother was born, the majority of people were dedicated to the agriculture. Our family had land properties. In those times they were playing with balls, cards, domino, etc. My grandmother, lived the outburst of the Civil War (1936-1939).

My grandmother, as I said before, was born in Vilardaga. There, she lived with our parents, our brothers and our uncles. My grandmother’s father, worked as a trader. One hobby of my great grandfather was photography. He received a lot of trophies.

My grandmother, when she was young, went to school in the village. Here, she didn’t have a fascist education. Later, when she was older, she went to Mataró. Here, she suffered the fascist education. She had a teacher from la Falange, a fascist political party.

When Franco won the Civil War, the names in streets were changed in favour of Franco.

My grandmother got married in 1958, in our house. They never had any problem to speak Catalan in Spain, because they loved to travel there. In 1975, the dictator, Francisco Franco, died in Madrid. That supposed a great relief for the Spanish population!

THE STORY OF RAMON AND TERESA

We locate ourselves in Prats de Lluçanès in 1936, year when Ramon Font was born. At that moment, the Spanish Civil War had just started, something that changed that peaceful and quiet scenario that an inhabitant of a little village could live in the Spanish state. Teresa was born some years later, in 1940, in Sant Feliu Sasserra, but she was born specifically in Oristà. Teresa also heard about the war, but when she was aware of it, the war had already finished. Despite this, she was a testimonial of the consequences of the war.

Time passed by, and Teresa and Ramon met, creating a love relationship that would last till the present time. They met when they were only teenagers, when they had to start working. They started at the age of 13 in a textile company, and their timetable was very strict: they worked from 6 am to 2 am, and from 2 am to 10 am. This schedule was from Monday till Friday, and on Sunday they went to  church. They claimed that their salary was neutral, and they sometimes received a money supplement if they did more meters of sewing. Both went to catholic schools, and their classes were full of kids of different ages, and there was a lack of teachers. The classes where taught in the Spanish language, and they were obliged to sing the song calledCara al Sol, song made by  Franco’s regime, a dictator who leaded the country. They were forbidden to speak in Catalan in the streets and the school, so they talked in Catalan discreetly.