Neus Català

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Neus Català
Neus Catala 7491 resize.jpg
Català in October 2015
Neus Català i Pallejà

(1915-10-06)6 October 1915
Died13 April 2019(2019-04-13) (aged 103)
Els Guiamets, Catalonia, Spain
  • Resistance fighter
  • political activist
Known forOnly Catalan survivor of Ravensbrück concentration camp

Neus Català i Pallejà (6 October 1915 – 13 April 2019) [1] was a member of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (Catalan: Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, PSUC) during the Spanish Civil War and was the only Catalan survivor of the concentration camp of Ravensbrück.

Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia dissolved political party

The Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia was a communist political party active in Catalonia between 1936 and 1997. It was the Catalan referent of the Communist Party of Spain and the only party not from a sovereign state to be a full member of the Third International.

Spanish Civil War War between the Republicans and the Nationalists in Spain from 1936 to 1939

The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, Monarchists, and Catholics, led by General Francisco Franco. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, and different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism. The Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.

Ravensbrück concentration camp Womens concentration camp in Germany during World War II

Ravensbrück was a German concentration camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück. The largest single national group consisted of 40,000 Polish women. Others included 26,000 Jewish women from various countries: 18,800 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch. More than 80 percent were political prisoners. Many slave labor prisoners were employed by Siemens & Halske. From 1942 to 1945, medical experiments to test the effectiveness of sulfonamides were undertaken.



Neus Català was born on 6 October 1915 in Els Guiamets, Tarragona, Catalonia. [2] However, her godmother officially registered her birth on 15 June that year, because of the disappearance of the documentation of the Municipality of Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War.[ citation needed ] Català obtained her nursing degree in 1937 and moved to Barcelona at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.[ citation needed ]

Els Guiamets Municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Els Guiamets is a municipality in the comarca of the Priorat in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated in the south of the comarca. A local road links the village to the N-420 road between Falset and Móra la Nova. The Guiamets reservoir is on an affluent of the Siurana (Tarragona).

Province of Tarragona Province of Spain

Tarragona, is a province of the southern part of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Castelló, Terol, Saragossa, Lleida and Barcelona and by the Mediterranean Sea.

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

In 1939, she crossed the French border, taking with her 182 orphaned children [2] of the colony Las Acacias from Premià de Dalt, better known as the Children of Negrin,[ citation needed ] which she later repatriated or arranged to be adopted. [2] While in exile in France, she collaborated with her husband, the Occitan, Albert Roger, [3] in the activities of the French Resistance, centralizing (at her home) the reception and transmission of messages, documents, weapons, and sheltering political refugees.[ citation needed ] She was reported to the national socialist authorities by a pharmacist of Sarlat. She and her husband were later arrested by the Nazis in 1943.[ citation needed ] Català was imprisoned and mistreated in Limoges, and in 1944 she was deported to Ravensbrück, where she was forced to work in the armaments industry. There, she was part of the "Lazy Commandos" (Spanish: Comando de las gandulas),[ citation needed ] a group of women who boycotted the manufacture of weapons in Holleischen, a factory which depended on the concentration camp of Flossenburg. [4] [ citation needed ] Thanks to sabotage, the facility produced about 10 million faulty bullets and marred numerous weapons making machines. [5] After her release, she returned to France where she continued her clandestine struggle against Francoist Spain. She lived in Sarcelles, near the city of Paris, and chaired the Association of Victims of Ravensbrück. [3] She continued her membership in the Communist Party of Catalonia (PCC), United and Alternative Left (EUiA), and the Pere Ardiaca Foundation, of which she was a member of honor at the time of her death.[ citation needed ]

Premià de Dalt Municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Premià de Dalt is a municipality in the comarca of the Maresme in Catalonia, Spain. It has a population of 9,788.

French Resistance collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime

The French Resistance was the collection of French movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy régime during the Second World War. Resistance cells were small groups of armed men and women, who, in addition to their guerrilla warfare activities, were also publishers of underground newspapers, providers of first-hand intelligence information, and maintainers of escape networks that helped Allied soldiers and airmen trapped behind enemy lines. The men and women of the Resistance came from all economic levels and political leanings of French society, including émigrés, academics, students, aristocrats, conservative Roman Catholics, and also citizens from the ranks of liberals, anarchists and communists.

Neus Català's graphic material about Spanish Civil War, Germany Nazi, concentration camps, 1933-2006. [6] It is located in the Pavelló de la República CRAI Library - University of Barcelona.[ citation needed ]

Pavelló de la República CRAI Library

The Pavelló de la República Library joined what is now the UB's Learning and Research Resources Centre (CRAI) in 1996. It has since grown to become one of the world's leading archival libraries on subjects such as the Second Spanish Republic, the Spanish Civil War, exile, Francoist Spain and Spain's transition to democracy. In addition, the library has important materials on the Soviet Bloc and on the international political history of the twentieth history, particularly the World War II.

She died on 13 April 2019, at the age of 103. [7]


Stolperstein for Neus Catala in Els Guiamets Stolperstein fur Neus Catala Palleja (Els Guiamets).jpg
Stolperstein for Neus Català in Els Guiamets

The Generalitat of Catalonia awarded her the Cross of St. George in 2005, and later she was chosen Catalan Person of the Year in 2006 for her defense of the memory of the more than 92,000 women who died in Ravensbrück. In 2006 she also received the Award for Alternative granted by the United and Alternative Left. On 29 October 2014, at the age of 99, the Barcelona City Council awarded Català the Gold Medal of Civic Merit, in recognition for her work to preserve historical memory, the fight against fascism, and the defense of women. In 2015, she received the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia, for her struggle for justice and democratic freedom, the memory of those deported to Nazi death camps, and the defense of human rights. [8]

Cross of St. George Russian military order

The Cross of Saint George is a state decoration of the Russian Federation. It was initially established by Imperial Russia where it was officially known as the Decoration of the Military Order of Saint George between 1807 and 1913. The Cross of Saint George was reinstated into the Russian awards system in 1992.

United and Alternative Left Political party in Catalonia, Spain

United and Alternative Left is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. EUiA has 4000 members and it is the Catalan correspondent of the Spain-wide United Left (IU).

Barcelona City and municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

Neus Català's Year

Catalonia dedicated 2015 to the memory of Català, who, about one hundred years old, was the last living person in Spain who survived Ravensbrück. This commemoration paid tribute, by extension, to all those who suffered the consequences of war, the Third Reich, and internment in prison camps and death camps. During the presentation, the Minister of Welfare and Family said, "She is a strong and caring woman, an antifascist fighter, a survivor of the Nazi death camps, and the reference and testimony for all the women who fought in the Spanish Civil War and World War II." [9]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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  1. [ dead link ]
  2. 1 2 3 Women War & Peace: Women's Stories of WWII from Ireland, Spain, Germany, and Poland. Instituto de Formación y Estudios Sociales. Smashing Times Theatre Company. November 2016. ISBN   978-0-9957376-0-0 . Retrieved 15 April 2019 via
  3. 1 2 Creus, Jordi (2007). Dones contra Franco. Barcelona: Ara Llibres.
  4. ACN, Falset (14 June 2015).
  5. «Neus Català».
  6. República, Universitat de Barcelona CRAI Biblioteca del Pavelló de la (2006). "Inventari del Fons FP, Subsèrie Neus Català, del CRAI Biblioteca del Pavelló de la República de la Universitat de Barcelona".
  7. Colell, Elisenda (13 Apr 2019). "Muere a los 103 años Neus Català, superviviente de los campos de exterminio nazi". elperiodico. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  8. March, Oriol.
  9. Catalunya dedica el 2015 a Neus Català, l'ùltima supervivent de Ravensbrück.