Title: Testimony of Luis Berlinches, Interview with Scott Bohem and Jessica Plautz; January 20, 2009.
Published: Madrid, Spain, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2009.
Description: 3 tapes
Notes: Luis Berlinches' testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in Madrid.
Summary: Luis Berlinches was born in 1927. Luis recounts being a child during the Civil War and describes the bombardments of Madrid, the food shortages, and the difficulties his family endured. He remembers that his family experienced considerable hunger during the postwar. Luis comments that his mother belonged to a Republican family. He identifies seeing how the Fascists captured his mother's brother who had been hiding in their home, as his first contact with the dictatorial power. Luis recalls that he began working in a goldsmith shop in 1944. He narrates joining the Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (Unified Socialist Youth) and carrying out a series of acts of resistance against Franco with other youth from his neighborhood. Luis relates that as a result of those acts he was detained in the Cuatro Caminos police station, interrogated in the Dirección General de Seguridad (General Security Directorate), jailed in Alcalá de Henares for nine months, tried in Carabanchel, and jailed in Burgos in 1946. He details life in Burgos, noting the solidarity amongst the prisoners and the political and cultural education they developed. Luis tells of being released on provisional liberty in 1952 and returning to Madrid. He explains that he found employment but was fired after it became known that he had been in jail. Luis discusses the Transition, the Law of Historical Memory, and the new government.
Cite as: Berlinches, Luis. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2008.