Eduard Pons Prades

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Eduard Pons Prades (December 19, 1920 – May 28, 2007), also known as Floreado Barsino, was a Spanish writer and historian,[1] specializing in the 20th-century history of Spain. Pons Prades was also active in the Syndicalist Party of Ángel Pestaña, a member of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), and after Francisco Franco's defeat of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War, a maqui.

Biography[edit]

Pons Prades was born in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. His father, a cabinetmaker, was a Valencian immigrant and a member of the Federal Party of Spain, and founder of a woodworkers' union. His mother, Gloria Prades Núñez, also an immigrant from Valencia, was a member of the Syndicalist Party, and became a member of the Generalitat de Catalunya through the friendship of Martí Barrera, a member of the government.

As a young child, Pons enrolled in the Rationalist School, based on the philosophy of Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia. There he attended the lectures of the engineer and geologist Alberto Carsi. Pons' focus was always teaching, and attended the Industrial School of Barcelona for this purpose, but these studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

That year, Pons' father committed suicide. His uncle, a member of the Federación Anarquista Ibérica, lived to carry the coffin of Buenaventura Durruti in November that year.

Pons' joined the CNT in 1937 and participated in the collectivization of the Consejo Económico de la Madera Socializada and other locations such as the Santa Madrona Church in Poble Sec neighborhood of Barcelona.

Spanish Civil War[edit]

At 16 years old,[1] Pons enlisted in the Republican Army with falsified identification papers. He earned the rank of sergeant, and received his machine gun from Miguel Hernández, then leader of the Spanish Republican Army's 46th Division. Pons was injured on March 17, 1938 while defending Barcelona during a fascist shelling of the city. Once recovered from his wounds, Pons entered the Quinta del Biberón (the "baby bottle brigade"), where he met Joan Llarch. He later fought in the Battle of Brunete, and the Battle of the Ebro[1] at just 17 years old.

Following the defeat of the Republic, Pons helped with the evacuation of injured republicans from hospitals in Barcelona to the French border; from December 15, 1938 to February 10, 1939 10,300 injured were evacuated from the country.

Of this, Pons Prades said "With hearts battered by the violent lash of defeat, some entered France in the coldest days of winter of 1938-1939, with tangled hair, disarrayed, smelly, with beggars' beards, thin and drawn, with uniforms spattered with blood and lead, and with the look of visionaries ... They were the first - the only ones - who had dared to confront fascism in Europe, with weapons in their hands."1

World War II[edit]

In 1939, Pons made contact with the French resistance, fighting against the German army in Belgium and Luxembourg. After the defeat of the French army in 1940, Pons helped form part of the Spanish anti-fascist resistance in France, in a group called Solidaridad Española (Spanish Solidarity), together with Manolo Morató and Tomás Martín, commanding a group made up of French and Spanish fighters, collaborating on sabotage missions, and with the Ponzán Group as well. Pons also joined with Manolo Huet to save the lives of Jews in France. Pons later joined the army of Generals Leclerc and Charles de Gaulle, participating in the liberation of the French department of Aude.[1]

Post-war era[edit]

After the end of World War II, Pons settled in France, from where he made two trips into Spain to make contact with the Syndicalist Party, with the intention of continuing the resistance against Franco. During the day Pons worked a farm, and at night went on guerrilla missions. During a trip when he intended to return to France with a guide from the group of Francisco Sabaté Llopart, Pons was arrested, on January 5, 1946,[1] in Puigcerdà, but escaped three weeks later after bribing the colonel handling the case, and went to Valencia where he had family.

Pons became a writer and historian, contributing from France to various publications, such as Papeles de Son Armadans, edited by Camilo José Cela.

Pons ultimately returned to Spain in 1962, after an amnesty was granted by Franco on the occasion of the coronation of Pope John XXIII. He then started the publishing house Alfaguara.[1]

Pons died in Barcelona's Hospital de Sant Pau,[1] the same hospital from which he had evacuated wounded republicans in 1938-39, on May 28, 2007, without being able to see publication of his book on the political aspects of the life of Pablo Picasso.

Abduction[edit]

Pons relates that he was abducted by a UFO while he was driving his car through the north of Spain. He was so shocked by the experience that wrote a book called 'El mensaje de otros mundos'. The publishing house warned him that his reputation would be damaged by publishing the book, but he decided to publish it anyway.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Novels:
    • La Venganza (1966)
  • Non-fiction
    • Años de muerte y de esperanza (1979) ISBN 84-7475-020-2
    • Morir por la libertad: Españoles en los campos de exterminio nazis (1995) ISBN 84-8218-012-6
    • El Holocausto de los Republicanos Españoles: Vida y Muerte, en los Campos de Exterminio Alemanes (1940–1945) (2005) ISBN 84-96326-24-1
    • Guerrillas españolas: 1936-1960 ISBN 84-320-5634-0
    • Los niños republicanos en la guerra de España ISBN 84-473-4406-1
    • Un soldado de la República: Itinerario ibérico de un joven revolucionario, with Leopoldo de Luis ISBN 84-226-4394-4
    • Los republicanos en la II Guerra Mundial ISBN 84-473-4443-6
    • Los vencidos y el exilio ISBN 84-226-2799-X
    • Los años oscuros de la transición española
    • Los que SÍ hicimos la guerra
    • Francia: verano de 1944
    • Españoles en los maquis franceses
    • Los cerdos del comandante (españoles en los campos de exterminio alemanes)
    • Crónica negra de la transición española 1976–1985
    • Las guerras de los niños republicanos 1936–1995
    • El mensaje de otros mundos
    • Los senderos de la libertad (Europa 1936–1945)
    • La guerrilla española en la II guerra mundial ¡Destruir la columna alemana!
    • Las guerras de Picasso (2007)

Footnotes[edit]

^1 Original: "Con el corazón maltrecho, por el violento trallazo de su derrota, se vería entrar en Francia, en las más frías jornadas de invierno de 1938-1939, a unos hombres de pelo enmarañado, desaliñados, malolientes, con barbas de pordiosero, de carnes escurridas, con los uniformes salpicados de sangre y plomo y el mirar de visionarios... Eran los primeros -los únicos- que habían osado plantar cara al fascismo en Europa, con las armas en la mano."

References[edit]

External links[edit]