As you will remember I have posted in a number of occasions about my mother’s uncles, Josep and Conrado Miret Musté, who fought both in the Spanish Civil War and later in France, taking part in the French Resistance against the occupying German forces. My cousin Joan Molet sent me another article talking in more detail about both brothers and their roles during the French resistance. I’ve translated the article below and include a link to the original article at the end.
The first contacts with the direction of the O.S. (Special Organisation) were made within the family as it were, because most of the leaders were French ex-combatants with the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Nadal, Spanish leader of the first period, gives us his testimony:
“It was a summer’s day of 1941, and I had an appointment with a French colleague in a café near the metro station of Sèvres-Babylone. It was my first contact with colonel Dumont, who was the leader of the 14th International Brigade in Spain. He asked me to choose some comrades with experience fighting behind enemy lines, for the armed groups. (Dumont also asked, in the same period, the support of the Italian comrades of the 12th International Brigade “Garibaldi”). Following his instructions I asked Buitrago, former head of the 14th corps of guerrilla fighters during the Spanish War, to come from Burdeos, and José Miret introduced me to his brother Conrado who volunteered to fight in the urban guerrilla.”
The heroic fight of the Miret brother and their tragic deaths deserve the respectful memory of all the members of the Resistance.
José Miret Musté, member of the executive commission of the P.S.U.C. (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia, a Communist nationalist party) and of the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya, was also commissar of the 43rd Division during the war in Spain. In France, he was political leader and organiser of the Spanish resistance within the occupied zone. He was arrested by the police in November 1942, he was immediately transferred under German jurisdiction, and after being jailed and tortured in Fresnes, he was deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp on the 27th Auust 1943 with the inscription “Natch und Nebel” (by night and fog) that meant, according to Hitler’s words, “Death sentence, but total silent to the families about the fate reserved to the prisoners”. On the 10th September 1943, José Miret was sent to the exterior commando of Schwechat, and he died the 17th November 1944 during the bombing of the Florisdorf commando. The truth is that José Miret and his partner of misfortune, Juncosa Escoda, were only wounded, but S.S. Streitwiesser, kommando leader, ordered that they were finished off with a bullet to the back of their heads.
Conrado Miret Musté (Lucien for the comrades of the O.S.) was nominated leader of the armed groups of diverse nationalities, organised by the M.O.I. In early times the recruitment was selective and limited, and Conrado Miret took part in numerous operations with French comrades.
Alber Ouzoulias (colonel André) writes in his book ‘Youth Battalions ’:
“The immigrants anti-fascists have their own organisation: Lucien (Conrado Miret-Musté), of the Spanish Communist Party, leads the armed units formed by anti-fascist men and women of all the countries members of the M.O.I. (Immigrant Workers).”
Ouzoulias specifies that Lucien was in charge of weaponry, and gives detailed account of two operations that took place in 1941 where Conrado Miret fought with the French Groups of the O.S.: the arson attack on a German garage, in number 11 of Paris Street (Vincennes) on the 5th September, and the attack with Molotov cocktails to the German Garage HKP 503, in number 21 Boulevard Pershing in the XVIII district.
For the snipers of the M.O.I., Conrado Miret was Alonso. Georghe Vasilichi, a Rumanian member of the resistance, explains that “the organisers of M.O.I. bring together in combat groups all the immigrants under the command of Conrado Miret (under cover known as Alonso). Carlotta Gruia, another Rumanian member of the resistance who was deported to Ravensbruck concentration camp in July 1943, also talks about Alonso (alias of Conrado Miret Musté):
“Bocsor turned up at the apartment in boulevard of the Chapel with a stranger, and this apartment became the main “arsenal” of the O.S for the fighting groups of the M.O.I. The strangers told us he was called Alonso, and it wasn’t until much later that I discovered he was really called Conrado Miret Musté. He was a Spaniard who had fought in the Republican Army and according to the link between Bocsor and his superiors he had studied Chemistry…”
“Alonso had brought me a dozen of revolvers that some Spaniards in Paris had given him and he told e to give them to the combatants of the O.S.”
Carlota Gruia describes the process of fabricating bombs and granades, and also the necessary chemical experience required by Conrado Miret and Bocsor to be able to fabricate explosive, and their plan to derail a train transporting German troops using the simplest possible method, although unheard of during these early times, removing the rails using a wrench…
In October or November 1941, they arrested comrade Alonso (Conrado Miret Musté). Immediately Bocsor came to see me in the street of the suburb of Saint Denis, to tell me that we had to evacuate quickly the apartment of the Chapel Boulevard. He said that he was convinced Alonso was strong enough not to say anything, but it was more prudent not to go there for a few weeks…
We had nothing to fear. His leader had died a hero, tortured by the Gestapo.”
Carlota Gruia doesn’t share Ouzoulias’s opinion about the date of Conrado Miret’s arrest. She and Boris Holba, who later will become leader of the groups F.T.P-M.O.I, give a vague date (October, November 1941, or the latter part of 1941). Albert Ouzoulias, affirms that he was arrested in February 1942: “In February, other comrades were arrested, among them, Conrado Miret Musté (Lucien), founder of the snipers groups of the M.O.I.”
Conrado Miret was already dead, tortured and assassinated by the Gestapo, but the time his brothers in arms went to trial:
“On the 15th April 1942, the second trial of the “Youth Battalions” and the O.S. begins in the House of Chemistry. The Nazis said that it wasn’t a second trial but the continuation of the one that had taken place in the Chamber of Representatives.”
“The charges inculpate twenty-seven combatants, the twenty-eighth, Conrado Miret Musté, leader of the snipers of the M.O.I. is not present. He was tortured to death before the beginning of the trial. “
Original article can be found here:
Thank you for reading and if you have enjoyed it, please feel free to comment and share! And if you have any orther information I, and particularly my cousin, would be very grateful.
- Why the Spanish Civil War Still Fascinates (washingtonmonthly.com)