Author: González Polonio, Rafael

Title: Testimony of Rafael González Polonio, Interview with Elize Mazadiego and Andrea Davis; July 8, 2009.

Published: Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2009.

Description: 2 tapes

Notes: Rafael González Polonio’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in his apartment in Sant Feliu de Llobregat, outside of Barcelona.

Summary: Rafael González Polonio was born in 1933 in Montilla, Córdoba. Rafael recounts that his father was one of the founders of the Communist Party in Montilla. He notes that his father fought in the Republican Army during the Civil War and escaped to the refugee camps in France after the fall of Barcelona. Rafael tells of his correspondence with his father during this time and of being notified of his death in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. He recalls the difficulties of life in Montilla after the war. Rafael moved to Barcelona in search of work, first alone but soon followed by his mother and brother. He describes his experience and the conditions of emigration. Rafael explains that his mother began receiving a widow’s pension from the German government starting in 1949 and this money allowed them to buy a house in Barcelona. He discusses his militancy in the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia) and his experiences at strikes and demonstrations in Barcelona, especially in the Baix Llobregat zone, during the 1960s and 1970s. Rafael relates his participation in various organizations for the recuperation of historical memory, his recent visit to the museum of the Mauthausen concentration camp, and his opinions of the current political situation.

Cite as: González Polonio, Rafael. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009.