Francoist concentration camps

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Memorial monument to the political prisoners who built the Bajo Guadalquivir channel

In Francoist Spain between 1936 and 1947, concentration camps were created and coordinated by the Servicio de Colonias Penitenciarias Militarizadas. The first concentration camp was created by Francisco Franco on July 20 1936 and was located in the castle of El Hecho in Ceuta.[1] The last concentration camp, located at Miranda del Ebro, was closed in 1947.[2]

Inmates of these concentration camps were republican ex-combatants of the Spanish Republican Army, Spanish Republican Air Force or the Spanish Republican Navy, as well as political dissidents, homosexuals, and regular convicts. From 1940, the supervisor of these camps was the general Camilo Alonso Vega. The main function of the camps was to detain Republican prisoners of war. Those who were regarded as "unrecoverable" were shot.[3]

The prisoners were used as forced labourers[4] for reconstruction works (Belchite), to mine coal, extract mercury, build highways and dams, and dig canals. Furthermore, thousands were used in the construction of the Carabanchel Prison in the Valley of the Fallen[5] and the Arco de la Victoria. Later their work was subcontracted to private companies and lawnowners, who used them to improve their properties.[6]

List of concentration camps[edit]

More than 190 concentration camps, holding 170,000 prisoners in 1938[7] and between 367,000 and about half or less million prisoners when the war ended in 1939. All the camps were created during Spanish Civil War and a few were created in the following years.[8] This is a partial list:

  • Los Merinales concentration camp, Dos Hermanas, Sevilla
  • La Corchuela concentration camp, Dos Hermanas, Sevilla
  • El Palmar de Troya concentration camp, Utrera, Sevilla
  • Hostal de San Marcos de León concentration camp, which held 7,000 men and 300 women from 1936 until 1939
  • Miranda de Ebro concentration camp[6]
  • Castuera concentration camp
  • Península de Llevant concentration camp, Mallorca
  • Formentera concentration camp
  • La Isleta concentration camp, Gran Canaria
  • Lazareto de Gando concentration camp, Gran Canaria
  • Cartuja de Porta Coeli concentration camp, Valencia[9]
  • Los Almendros concentration camp, Alicante
  • Albatera concentration camp, Alicante
  • Pasaje Camposancos – A Guarda concentration camp
  • Ronda concentration camp, Málaga
  • Betanzos concentration camp
  • Horta concentration camp, Barcelona
  • Poblenou concentration camp, Barcelona
  • Monasterio de Corbán concentration camp, Santander
  • Soria concentration camp
  • Burgo de Osma concentration camp, Soria

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Beevor 2006, p. 64.
  2. ^ Preston 2006, p. 309.
  3. ^ Preston 2006, p. 308.
  4. ^ Graham 2005, p. 131.
  5. ^ Preston 2006, p. 313.
  6. ^ a b Beevor 2006, p. 405.
  7. ^ Beevor 2006, p. 342.
  8. ^ Beevor 2006, p. 404.
  9. ^ Montaner 2008.


  • Álvarez Fernández, José Ignacio (2007). Memoria y trauma en los testimonio de la represión franquista (in Spanish). Barcelona: Anthropos Editorial. ISBN 84-7658-810-0. 
  • Beevor, Antony (2006). The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-303765-X. 
  • Graham, Helen (2005). The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280377-8. 
  • Preston, Paul (2006). The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution & Revenge (Revised and updated ed.). London: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-00-723207-1. 

External links[edit]