Historyline 4

The hiking hairdresser

Antoni Fradera Mayolas was born in 1914 in Badalona. Our protagonist was a professional hairdresser and a hiking enthusiast. In 1934 he actively participated in the October Events. He managed to avoid repression and imprisonment because he could hide in the family country house.

At the start of the Spanish Civil War he joined the Pyrenees militias of the Mountain Battalion and was stationed in different locations in the Catalan and Aragonese Pyrenees.

During the war, he participated in the famous Bolsa de Bielsa battle against Franco’s troops. He went into exile after the occupation of Catalonia in February 1939. In France, he was interned in various concentration camps. At the start of the Second World War he joined the Company of Foreign Workers in the Meuse Department, on the Maginot Line. During the Second World War, because of his status as a civilian member of the French army, he was arrested by the Germans upon his arrival in France in June 1940.

As a prisoner of war he remained in Stalag V-D Strasbourg from June to December 1940. He was later deported to the Nazi concentration camps of Mauthausen, then Gusen. Fradera survived until the liberation of the camp in May 1945.

Between 1945 and 1949 he lived in Perpignan and Paris and, with the help of his exiled friends and also the American Quakers, he did a hairdressing course in Paris and slowly recovered from the depression and dejection into which he had fallen.

He went back to Barcelona in 1949, and in 1952 he married Maria Giró Marsal, his fiancée since 1935. He lived in Barcelona, had two daughters and died in November 1974.

Moreover, it is worth noting Antonig Fradera’s friendship with his wife’s brother, Modest Giró, who will be the protagonist of our next Historyline.

From so far to so close.

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