Francesc Sabaté Llopart

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Francesc Sabaté Llopart (March 30, 1915 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain – January 5, 1960 Sant Celoni, Catalonia), also known as "El Quico", was a Catalan anarchist involved in the resistance against the Nationalist regime of Francisco Franco.

Biography[edit]

At the age of 10 Sabaté left his clerical school and by the age of 17, he had joined the anarchist action group Los Novatos ("The rookies"), a part of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI, also known as CNT-FAI because of its close links to the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo industrial union). This group was involved in insurrections against the government of the Second Spanish Republic in late 1933 and fought against the army's coup attempt at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. In 1935 Sabaté refused military service, the beginning of his life outside the law. Also in this year, Los Novatos carried out its first robbery (characterised by the group as "expropriations") to fund a prison relief group.

During the Civil War, Sabaté fought on the Aragon front with the CNT-FAI's "Young Eagles Column". When this division was forcibly assigned a Stalinist commissar who crushed the free initiative of the column, Sabaté and two of his comrades shot him dead and deserted to Barcelona where they carried out many missions on behalf of the FAI against the Stalinist authorities. Eventually Sabaté was arrested by the Communists, but with the help of his wife, he with a few other militants managed a prison break. When the war ended he was in the 216th Division ("Durruti Column") that crossed the French border. In France during World War II, he spent time in concentration camps and fought with the Maquis resistance against the Vichy regime.

After the end of the War, Sabaté returned to Spain to carry on insurgent activities against Francoist Spain. His first action was the freeing of three anarchists from police custody. In large part these took the form of further robberies from wealthy businessmen and large banks to fund anarchist activities. He also assassinated Falangist notables and Civil Guard members. After attempting to assassinate a police commissioner, accidentally attacking the wrong car, killing its occupants, Quico fled back to France, but was arrested and jailed for six years.[1] He was often described as having been the regime's "Public Enemy Number One" during this time. In 1960, at the age of 45, he was killed in Sant Celoni by the Somaten (a Catalan paramilitary organisation, then mainly formed of Francoist fascists) and the Civil Guard, along with four companions.

See also[edit]

Spanish Maquis

Popular culture[edit]

The character played by Gregory Peck in the film Behold A Pale Horse is loosely based on Sabaté.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beevor 2006, p. 422

Sources[edit]