Michel Torrent (code name Milor René Jules) fled Saint Malo under German occupation and found refuge for himself and his family with his grandparents in Perpignan.
Cultural artefacts have long been targeted by armies as a demonstration of their superiority, dominance and power. The Spanish Civil War and WW2 were no different. Collectors and curators were therefore anxious to protect their cultural heritage.
The war is nearing it’s end. The Germans occupying France are on edge and expecting the Allied Invasion at any time.
Artist Antoni Clavé was one of the many thousands of Spaniards who had to flee from the forces of Franco (the “retirada”) and ended up in a camp near Perpignan.
The shameful camps, over crowded, in-humane, crammed to overflowing with desperate Republicans escaping Franco’s Spain seem an unlikely place for art to flourish. But artists were there as can be seen in the Museum in La Jonquera. And they did not go un-noticed in Perpignan either.
The entire population of the former village of Vallsera, (Balcera) near les Angles, was wiped out by the Black Death at the beginning of the XIV century…..
2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the exodus of the Spanish Republicans fleeing persecution from the Franco regime.
In late January/early February 1939 nearly half a million Spanish civilians and soldiers fled to France. The word Retirada (Spanish for Retreat) was adopted by historians to signify this exodus, which was the biggest single influx of refugees ever known in France.
This year we take the time once again to thank all those ordinary men and women who went on to do extraordinary things 100 years ago – and then again just 20 years later.
The poppy is a powerful and iconic symbol of remembrance in England, but did you know that the French have an equivalent, ‘Le Bleuet de France’, their own poignant reminder of the First World War?