Author: Conejero, Juan

Title: Testimony of Juan Conejero, Interview with Jodi Eisenberg and Jessica Cordova; July 1, 2009.

Published: Vélez-Málaga, Spain, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2009.

Description: 4 tapes

Notes: Juan Conejero’s testimony is in Spanish without subtitles. The testimony was recorded in his home in Vélez-Málaga.

Summary: Juan Conejero was born in Arenas in 1926. Juan recounts that when the Civil War broke out, his family fled with thousands of people on the road to Almería. Juan recalls that when they reached Motriz, the Falange told people that if they had not killed anyone they could return home without fearing an attack. His father thought that his family would be safe and they returned to Arenas. Juan explains that upon returning, his father was arrested, trialed quickly without a lawyer, witnesses, or evidence, sentenced to death, and later was shot and thrown into a mass grave where the bodies were covered with quicklime. His mother became the head of the family, working picking olives and washing clothes. His family experienced hard times and usually did not have enough to eat. At age twenty, Juan went to work in the border region of France for three years. He then moved to Barcelona, where his sisters lived. He worked at a cosmetics factory in Barcelona for thirty-eight years. Juan details how he joined the union and was fired twice for union activity, but was rehired since he fought and won both of his trials. He describes helping found the union Comisiones Obreras (Labor Commissions) in Barcelona. Juan relates his current participation in the recuperation of historical memory and his views on the importance of unearthing mass graves.

Cite as: Conejero, Juan. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2009.