Jaume Aguadé's Answers


If you are not well informed about the Spanish War, you should know that it was not only a war between fascism and democracy. It was also a war against Catalonia and so the victory of the fascists started a true genocide of the Catalan people. Using our language was forbidden as it was anything related in any way to the Catalan culture, from newspapers to literature. Books were burned. Schools and Universities were closed. Libraries and archives were destroyed. Scholars and intellectuals had to leave the country. Many were killed. The names of towns were changed. The names of the people were changed. Children could not learn to read or write in their own language.

When I was born, Franco had been the ruler of Spain for 14 years and like everybody else in Catalonia I could not be registered with my own (Catalan) first name. My parents had to use a Spanish translation of it. It was not until 1976 when I was able to use my true name. When I was a child, I was not able to spell my (Catalan) name or write (in our language) a Christmas card to my parents. Much later, I was attending some clandestine evening lectures were I learned to write and read, and I learned also a few basic facts about our classic literature.

My case is completely standard of what happened to the people in my generation. In some sense, I was fortunate: First of all, I survived and was never imprisoned or tortured like a lot of my fellow citizens. On the other side, I was able to learn what we could not learn at school. I should consider myself fortunate, but I will never forget and I will never forgive what the fascists did to my country.