Carme Casas i Godessart

“I was hoping to find a welcoming land, a safe place to stop and rest, far from the reach of the fascists. A nice place that would compensate for the loss of my parents, as I did not know where they were or whether I’d ever see them again. France was ideal, a sort of paradise of good food where we would find warm clothes and beds to sleep in without being awakened by the sound of air raid sirens. However, on getting to Cervera station, I was greeted by a large crowd of people, with packages and suitcases, with women crying, old people crying, and children and men also crying. And those stacks of weapons that were taken from the soldiers, with families then separated, men on one side, women and children on the other, and all those scenes of disdain and mistreatment by the gendarmerie and French army. I felt all those blows from rifle butts when they wanted us to move faster, and the shouts of “Allez, allez”, which was the only thing they said.”

Carme Casas i Godessart (Alcalá de Gurrea, Huesca, 1921 - Tarragona, 2013) settled in Catalonia in 1934. Affiliated with the the Joventuts Socialistes Unificades de Catalunya, she went into exile in France alone. She spent time in concentration camps until she was reunited with her family. In France she worked in the resistance, returning in 1944. She was arrested and locked up in Figueres prison for a month. She then began secretly working against the Franco regime, but was detained, tortured and imprisoned. After her release, she worked for the PSUC party and the CCOO union in Tarragona. In 1997, she was one of the co-founders of the organisation Les Dones del 1936. She left an account of going into exile through Cervera de la Marenda.
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