Rafael Gómez Nieto

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Rafael Gómez Nieto
Inauguración del Jardín de los Combatientes de la Nueve en Madrid 14.jpg
Rafael Gómez in 2017 during the inauguration of the Jardín de los Combatientes de La Nueve in Madrid.
Born(1921-01-21)21 January 1921
Almería, Andalusia, Kingdom of Spain[1]
Died31 March 2020(2020-03-31) (aged 99)
Strasbourg, France
AllegianceSecond Spanish Republic Spanish Republic (1938–1939)
France France (1939–1982)
Service/branchRed star.svg Spanish Republican Army (1938–1939)
Free France Free French Forces (1939–1945)
French Army (1945–1982)
Years of service1938–1982
UnitLa Nueve
Battles/warsSpanish Civil War

World War II

Algerian War
AwardsLegion of Honour
Medal of the City of Paris

Rafael Gómez Nieto (21 January 1921 – 31 March 2020) was a Spanish soldier and veteran of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

Born in Almería, Andalusia, Gómez Nieto moved to Badalona, where he was called up to the "Lleva del Biberó" and fought for the Spanish Republican Army in the Battle of the Ebro (July–November 1938).[4]

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)[5] 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.[6] 146 of the 160 men in the company were Spaniards.[7] Only a dozen survived the war.[7]

Gómez Nieto died on 31 March 2020 at a nursing home in Strasbourg, France from COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic.[8] He had lived in that city since 1955. He was the last living survivor of La Nueve.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GOMEZ Raphael". deces.matchid.io. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  2. ^ Fallece el último superviviente de la compañía que liberó París de los nazis (in Spanish)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Uría, Lluís (25 August 2019). "El último de La Nueve". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.