Rafael Gómez Nieto

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In 2017

Rafael Gómez Nieto (17 January 1921 – 31 March 2020) was a Spanish soldier and veteran of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Born in Adra, Andalusia, Gómez Nieto moved to Badalona, where he was called up to the "Lleva del Biberó" and participated in the Battle of the Ebro (July–November 1938) with Spanish Republican Army.[3]

After the war, he went to France where he was interned in the Saint-Cyprien camp. Four months later he was able to reach Algeria with his father, who was in the Argelés internment camp. After the invasion of North Africa by the Allies during World War II, he became part of the 9th Company (La Nueve)[4] of the French 2nd Armored Division. This company, made up predominately of Spanish Republicans, was the first Allied military unit that entered Paris after its occupation by the Wehrmacht.[5] 146 of the 160 men in the company were Spaniards.[6] Only a dozen survived the war.[6]

Gómez Nieto died on 31 March 2020 at a nursing home in Strasbourg, France from COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic.[7] He had lived in that city since 1955. He was the last living survivor of La Nueve.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fallece el último superviviente de la compañía que liberó París de los nazis (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Lefebvre, Michel (5 April 2020). "La mort de Rafael Gomez Nieto, dernier soldat de la compagnie "Nueve" de la 2e DB". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Fallece con coronavirus Rafael Gómez, último superviviente de 'La Nueve', la compañía de españoles que liberó París de los nazis". El Diario (in Spanish). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  4. ^ Fernández, Juan José (31 August 2019). "Rafael Gómez, el último de La Nueve: "No hagáis guerras, solo las ganan los ricos"". El Periódico (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ Uría, Lluís (25 August 2019). "El último de La Nueve". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b Minder, Raphael (5 April 2020). "Rafael Gómez Nieto, Last Member of Unit That Helped Liberate Paris, Dies at 99". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  7. ^ Willsher, Kim; Jones, Sam (1 April 2020). "Ex-soldier's death casts light on Spaniards who helped liberate Paris". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  8. ^ Gil, Iñaki (31 March 2020). "Muere por coronavirus el último superviviente de los españoles que liberaron París de los nazis". El Mundo (in Spanish). Unidad Editorial Información General, S.L.U. Retrieved 1 April 2020.