Historyline 14

Family Reunion

Today’s story is about the passage of the Vázquez Marquínez family linked to the Republican Army into exile in the last days before crossing the border and taking refuge in France. The family members are our protagonist s: Manuel Vázquez Seco, Felipa Marquínez Gómez, and their children Carlos, Consuelo, Nieves, Alberto, Adolfo and Carmen.

Manuel Vázquez Seco was a member of the PSOE and the UGT trade union. He completed his military career at the San Fernando Naval School (Cádiz) and was later posted to Maó (Menorca). During the Civil War, he fought with the Republican Army, holding the post of Corvette Captain in the Navy Corps, and was also appointed lieutenant general and head of the radiotelegraph corps.

On 4 February 1939, in view of the Republican defeat, Manuel Vázquez went into exile in France with his family, leaving Roses for Portvendres. In France they were housed in Vernet-Les Bains and later interned in the concentration camps of Argelès-sur-Mer and Rivesaltes. During the Second World War, Manuel Vázquez was forced to work for the German Army, which occupied France, in the camp on the Île d’Aurigny, forced to work in a quarry, and on the so-called “Atlantic Wall”, on the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and in Brest. He escaped from there with his son, but the Germans took them prisoner again. Finally, in September 1944, they were liberated by Allied troops.

When they were able to leave the camp, Felipa and the rest of her children went to stay at the Château de Gramond. They later settled in Gorps, where the whole family would later reunite at the end of the Second World War.

From so far to so close.

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