Neus Moran tells the story of the Francoist looting in Caldes de Montbui in 1939.
Dra. Neus Moran, researcher of our Chair, has presented the study “Victims of francoist plunder in Caldes de Montbui, 1939-2023”.
Following the footsteps of the research that published as L'espoli franquista dels ateneus catalans (L’Avenç), Dra. Neus Moran i Gimeno (Valencia 1979) has now published the first part of the study Les víctimes de l’espoli franquista a Caldes de Montbui, 1939-2023 (Victims of francoist plunder in Caldes de Montbui, 1939-2023) at the headquarters of the Centre Ateneu Democràtic i Progressista de Caldes de Montbuí. Before the end of the year, the second part will be available, giving details of the people and families whose houses and land were confiscated by the victors. The report, presented on Tuesday the 21st, is limited to the companies and associations that were victims of the property seizings in a town that in 1939, when Franco's troops entered Caldes, had just over 4,000 inhabitants. The arrival of Italian and Moroccan soldiers aggravated the repression, which was quite harsh: 183 summary trials were opened and 53 people were prosecuted for political responsibility. Some lost all their patrimony and others saw theirs expand, reproducing the dynamic that was repeated throughout the country: “The mechanisms of repression and revenge worked perfectly; the right-wing traditional establishment suddenly rises to power to eliminate [the republicans], and they take advantage of it. It is hard to say, but it is very clear that there is a sector of the population that directly takes advantage of the context of Franco's repression to is able to appropriate other people's property. Some people will build a fortune thanks to that", explains Moran. The collaboration of some local personalities was essential to make the requisition a success: "There was a clear revenge by the reactionary sectors of the town against the people most linked to the left", Morán assures. The new mayor, former lligaire Isidre Anglí Palaudarias, played an important role in these massive confiscations. In Catalonia, according to Moran, the looting of 369 properties (buildings, land, orchards, houses, theaters, cinemas, popular ovens, mills or trullos), which belonged to 244 institutions in the country, has been corroborated. One of the most significant cases is that of the Ateneu Centre Democràtic i Progressista de Caldes de Montbui. The association was founded in 1865 and the members themselves bought the building. When the Francoists occupied the town, on January 29, 1939, all its property was confiscated. Auxilio Social and the Church cohabited in the building until the Falangist organization abandoned it in 1944. Then the Catechistic Board became the sole occupant. None of them, however, paid the city contribution taxes and the building was put up for auction in 1948 for “non-payment of city contribution”. Some of the former members of the entity, when they found out, rescued it from the auction by paying the contribution receipts. The receipts of the contribution, therefore, were decisive in recovering the building in 2000. Other victims of the looting were the Sindicat Agrícola and the Caixa Rural, the most important peasant cooperative in Vallès, which lost a building that no longer exists, in the hands of the Hermandad de Labradores y Ganaderos. There is also the case of the spa at Carrer de Santa Susanna, 2, requisitioned by the army and then, via the Ministry of Finance, sold to a private individual. Little by little he is learning the magnitude of the disaster and the consequences of Franco's victory.