"Knowing where our relatives were is very important"

There are already 1,752 Civil War fighters registered on 24 plaques at the Camposines Memorial, in La Fatarella. Yesterday, Sunday, the plaque with the 62 names that have been incorporated during 2022 in the Census of disappeared in the Spanish Civil War was inaugurated. It was during an emotional ceremony where they were paid tribute to their relatives, who left carnations in their memory at the monument.

The event was accompanied by speeches from different personalities such as the mayor of La Fatarella, Francisco Blanch, the Minister of Justice, Rights and Memory, Gemma Ubasart or the host of the event, Lídia Berbis, who read letters from relatives of combatants who could not attend. . Everything was complemented with music by the Ebrense singer-songwriter Montse Castellà, who performed songs made from literary creations about the war episode or the song 'Ay Manuela' by Pete Seeger dedicated to the fifteenth brigade.

Among the attendees was the presence of relatives from other areas of Catalonia and Spain, but also from other European countries or even from the American continent. This is the case of Karla de Lathouder, clean of the Dutch brigade members Willem de Lathouder and Evert Ruijvenkamp, ​​​​who traveled to Terra Alta from Murcia to pay tribute to her relatives and be part of an act "essential for families can hold closure regarding their loved ones who lost their lives in this battle."

There was the presence of relatives of brigade members who came from Ireland or the United States

Among many others, there is the story of Lathouser, who remembers his grandfather, one of the first Dutchmen who traveled to Spain in 1936 to join the international brigades, where he was sent to Catalonia and where he met the nurse Rosario Plana Soler in the Campaña de Ascó hospital after being wounded. Later they married and had a son before the brigade member fought again and died in July 1938. Before, he asked Ruijvenkamp to take care of his family, and he did.

From further afield, from Oregon, United States, came Amber Lea Schwartzkopf, bisniece of American brigade member William Newton Miller, who was missing during the Battle of the Ebro and whom they have not yet been able to find.

"My mother's wish was to find out where he was, since we never knew where he was, but until recently we had no information. Now, mom has left us and I do this for her, for me and for my family, it's a confinement. We have come where he was captured and where he probably died. We have seen many places where he probably was », she details, visibly moved, stating that, «knowing where he was was very important. Now we have a place to go, to talk about. I liked getting to know the land where the soldiers were. I feel a lot of connection to this place, especially after touching the ground and smelling the air. I feel that I am with him and that he is with me."

an act of recovery

“This is an act of reparation. We are aware that there are still many people looking for relatives and we will not stop until we have all the people identified. Here, in the Camposines, and throughout the country", said Minister Ubasart, highlighting the work being done to recover historical memory, "so as not to have to build more Camposines, neither here nor anywhere".

Likewise, he also thanked the commitment of those who fought in favor of democracy and republican values.

On the other hand, the councilor announced that the new map of graves will soon be presented, "a very useful instrument to guarantee the right of citizens to know the facts of the civil war and Francoism".

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