This afternoon at 6 p.m., the Centro Sefarad-Israel in Madrid will host the historian Rosa Toran, secretary of Archives and Publications of Amical de Mauthausen, who will present her two latest publications, Joan de Diego, third secretary of Mauthausen and Eliseu Villalba, survivor of Mauthausen.
Professionally and personally linked for many years to the subject and the world of those deported to the Nazi camps, the professor and historian reconstructs the life journey of one of these survivors: Joan de Diego Herranz (1915-2003), a young man from Barcelona with democratic and leftist ideas who, after participating in the Battle of the Ebro, went to France and, enlisted in the French army, fell into the hands of the Germans. De Diego’s experience is also particularly valuable because, from March 1941 until the liberation of Mauthausen, he worked in the camp’s Secretariat, where he was the third secretary; a position that placed him at the very heart of the bureaucratic structure that made the Mauthausen complex function and which allowed him to help many fellow prisoners and at the same time gave him access to privileged information about the murderous mechanics of the system.
The work dedicated to Eliseu Villalba, born in Barcelona in 1905, tells how in the last years of his life he devoted part of his time to writing about his tragic experiences in Mauthausen. But he did not limit himself to recounting the events of his four years of slavery in that concentration camp, but narrated in precise language his itinerary, from his integration into the ranks of the People’s Army of the Republic, the arduous march towards exile and his transit through the French camps of Argelès and Agde, until his capture by the Germans in Dunkirk made him a prisoner of war. His fighting spirit found solidarity frameworks, in which he was committed to reclaiming the moral and material rights of all those survivors, ignored and even persecuted by the dictatorial regime. This activity is part of the exhibition “Mauthausen: shared memories” and of the Holocaust Remembrance Month #HolocaustMemoryMonth. Free admission, prior confirmation at this link.