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Français : Résistants de la 2ème guerre mondia...

Français : Résistants de la 2ème guerre mondiale dans la région d’Huelgoat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

http://www.geocities.ws/combatcommuniste/combat006.htm

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.

Related articles

conrado%20et%20jose[1]

Hi all:

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll remember that I’ve posted on a few occasions about my mother’s uncles, Josep and Conrado Miret, and the research that one of my cousins, Juan Molet, is pursuing trying to find all the information possible about their fates and stories.

Both brothers were involved in politics (PSUC, Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya) in Catalonia (Barcelona) and Josep was in the government of the Generalitat at the time of the Spanish Civil War. When this was lost to Franco’s troops both brothers exiled to France where they continued their political task and got involved in the French resistance, reorganising the party abroad.

Josep was captured, sent to Mathausen and died in Florindorf.

Members of the French resistance group Maquis ...

Members of the French resistance group Maquis in La Tresorerie, 14 September 1944, Boulogne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conrado’s (the one on the right) fate is a bit more mysterious. With his brother he got involved in the French Resistance against the Nazis, and it seems that he had a role protecting some important members of the militia and also intimidating the traitors. (I know he was a rugby player, so I suspect he must have been quite a strong man). He was in charge of the OS-MOI (armed groups of various nationalities fighting with French resistance). Amongst other actions they were involved in destroying two German military convoys, setting fire to a German garage, and attacking the factory SOGA with Molotov cocktails.

He was arrested in February 1942 during a fight and he disappeared without a trace. He was not present at the trial of all his colleagues, and it is suspected that he died tortured at the hands of the Gestapo. My cousin received a letter from the French Ministry of Defence where they could only confirm that he had been arrested and imprisoned in Fresnes ‘for terrorist activity’ on the 27th February 1942. The prison had not death certificate or other documentation about him.

Thanks so much for reading and if you have any information or know of somebody who studies the field and might have access to sources we’d be very grateful.

conrado%20et%20jose[1]

Hola a todos:

Si seguís mi blog puede que recordéis que he publicado varios posts sobre los tíos de mi madre, Josep y Conrado Miret, y sobre mi primo Juan Molet, que lleva tiempo intentando compilar información sobre sus destinos e historias.

Los dos hermanos estaba metidos en política (el PSUC, Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya) en Cataluña, (Barcelona) y Josep estaba en el gobierno de la Generalitat durante la Guerra Civil Española. Cuando los Republicanos perdieron a manos de las tropas de Franco, los dos hermanos se exiliaron a Francia donde siguieron con su tarea política y participaron en la resistencia francesa, reorganizando el partido en el exilio.

A Josep lo capturaron, lo enviaron a Mauthausen y murió en Florindorf.

El destino de Conrado (el de la foto de la derecha) es algo más misterioso. Con su hermano se metió de lleno en la resistencia francesa contra los nazis, y parece que una de sus responsabilidades era proteger a importantes miembros de la milicia y también intimidar a traidores (sé que jugaba a rugby así que sospecho que debía ser un hombre fuerte). Estaba a cargo de la OS-MOI (l’Organisation special-Main d’ouvre immigrée) un grupo armado con milicianos de varias nacionalidades que luchaban con la Resistencia francesa. Entre otras acciones tomó parte en la destrucción de dos convoys militares alemanes, le prendió fuego a un garage alemán, y fue uno de los que atacaron la fábrica SOGA con cócteles Molotov.

Members of the French resistance group Maquis ...

Members of the French resistance group Maquis in La Tresorerie, 14 September 1944, Boulogne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lo arrestaron en Febrero del 1942 durante una acción, y desapareció sin dejar rastro. No estuvo presente en el juicio de varios de sus compañeros, y se sospecha que murió bajo tortura de la Gestapo. Mi primo recibió una carta del Ministerio de la Defensa Francés donde solo pudieron confirmar que lo habían arrestado y había estado en la prisión de Fresnes ‘por actividades terroristas’ el 27 de Febrero del 1942. La prisión no tenía certificado de defunción ni otros documentos sobre él.

Para más información leed este post. Cualquier pista se agradece.

Gracias por leer.

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/historias-de-familia-josep-y-conrado-miret-gerra-civil-resistencia-francesa-psuc-mauthausen/

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Para que no os olvidéis os dejo un video fabuloso sobre el grupo de escritores autores indies, que ha creado nuestra compañera Mercedes Gallego:

http://youtu.be/js1zdU0M5B4

Y este post de mi amigo Javier Almenar, donde habla de mí:

http://javieralmenar.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/para-los-amantes-de-la-lectura-en.html

conrado%20et%20jose[1]

Hi all:
You’ll remember that I recently wrote a post about my cousin (second cousin on my mother’s side), Juan Molet, who is doing research into the family history, in particular about two of our grandmother’s brothers, Josep and Conrado Miret. They were both involved in politics in Catalonia (in the era of the Second Republic, pre-Franco), and Josep was the equivalent to a minister in the government and belonged to the PSUC (Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, a communist nationalist party, still in existence today).

Español: Bandera de España durante la Segunda ...

Español: Bandera de España durante la Segunda República (1931-1939) Diseño inicial de proporciones 3:5. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My cousin has been kind enough to share some of the information he has been gathering and I thought I’d offer you an update. Josep was involved in the French Resistance after he exiled himself to France during the Spanish Civil War, and he had a daughter with a woman in the French resistance. His daughter, Magdalena (is a name that runs in the family…My mother and one of her aunts are also called Magdalena) now lives in Australia. Unfortunately (but understandably in the circumstances) she has no information about her father.

Josep Miret Muste 1939

My cousin also sent me copies (translated to English) of testimonies from men who were with Josep during his period in France and later in the concentration camp. I enclose one of them, that I found very moving.

Memories of Miret – by André Arlas

Toward the end of 1941, the inter-regional head of the French Communist Party introduced me in Bordeaux to a ‘comrade’ so that I could in turn introduce him to the leader of the Spanish freedom fighters in Gironde and with whom I was in contact.

After having set a place and a time for that meeting, this ‘comrade’ whose name had not been given to me, left.  We had exchanged not more than 20 words and our meeting had lasted less than 5 minutes.  However, the brief meeting had made quite an impression on me and what had struck me about this comrade was his concise way in which he expressed himself, together with an air of authority and strong personality which inspired trust.

I had not realised then that I would get to know him better and in circumstances such that qualities, faults, greatness and smallness cannot be hidden.  I met this comrade for the second time in June 1943 and I found out his name:  Josep Miret known as ‘Emile’.  It was in the nazi extermination camp of Mauthausen.  A few days later, we left together for the Schwechat commando and from that time on I stayed with him until his death.  We had been assigned to the same kind of work and I was working opposite him at a welding bench.

During those long months of suffering I was able to appreciate his exceptional qualities.  He had the gif of attracting friendship and for those privileged enough to know him, he was a source of benevolent warmth.  He had a sunny disposition – how many songs had he sung for us – a great dynamism and vitality, he enabled us to share his enthusiasm and his unshakeable trust in the future.  Very modest, he never tried to put himself forward.  It took me months, following my questions, to discover what had been his important responsibilities in the Spanish Communist Party  in Catalonia, in the Spanish Republican Army, as a Minister , or in the resistance movement in France.  But most of all, he stood out with his unique personality, his calm courage and his very lively disposition.  One must add his instinctive kindness.  How precious have his support, solidarity, moral as well as material, each time he was able to demonstrate it towards his comrades, Spanish and French.  How precious as well have been his wise advices which have guided us.

Following the bombing of Schwechat, we were taken to Florisdorf.  During the air raids, we were sent to caves.  Josep Miret, lover of life, sun, ‘lover of freedom’ as he called himself, could not stand being underground like rats.  He therefore asked to be assigned to the fire fighting kommando.  Unfortunately, shortly before the camp was liberated, he was wounded and an SS shot him dead.

We were of course used to see death on a daily basis but his death had been considered by all who knew him as the most unjust.  He was a very dear friend, a beloved brother, the one we admired most and that we all mourned.

So, it seems normal, after so many years, that his memory has remained so vivid and I am certain that is the same for all who have had the privilege to know him.  Miret had always been very discreet about his private life.  He was telling me that now was not the time to be soft and wonder about the fate of our loved ones as we had no answer.  He felt that we should instead harden, and keep our strength to survive until the victory.

Thus, upon my return from the camp, when I heard about the terrible ordeal suffered by Miret, with infallible courage, my admiration for him grew even more. The death of Miret, who died so young, has certainly deprived d the Spanish Communist Party of a great leader.  By his demise, the Spanish people have lost one of their brightest sons and France lost a great friend.

For my part, I could never forget the exemplary man, in every way, that Josep Miret had been.

André Arlas

Deported resistant fighter to Mauthausen

Number 34482

I hope there might be more posts to come with further information. And as I mentioned before, if you have an expertise on the subject or know somebody who does, we’d be very grateful to hear form you.

Thank you for reading. And on Friday…I’m waiting for confirmation of a guest post, but if that doesn’t happen I have some ideas…And an announcement to make about a free giveaway!

Spanish Second Republic Flag

Spanish Second Republic Flag (Photo credit: Asdfesque)

conrado%20et%20jose[1]

Hola a todos:

Creo que se deben acordar de que recientemente escribí un post sobre mi primo (primo segundo de parte materna), Juan Molet, que está investigando la historia familiar, en particular sobre dos de los hermanos de nuestras abuelas, Josep y Conrado Miret. Los dos estaba metidos en la política Catalana en la época de la Segunda República (pre-Franco), y Josep era miembro del PSUC (Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya) y del gobierno Catalán durante la época de la Guerra Civil.

Mi primo ha sido muy amable y me ha enviado información que ha estado recogiendo poco a poco, y pensé que podría ofreceros más detalles. Josep (y creo que Conrado también) después de exiliarse a Francia estuvo trabajando con la Resistencia Francesa, y de hecho tuvo una hija con una mujer parte de la resistencia. Su hija, Magdalena (es un nombre de familia. Mi madre y una de sus tías también se llaman Magdalena) ahora vive en Australia. Desgraciadamente (aunque es lógico dadas las circunstancias) no tiene información sobre su padre.

Josep Miret Muste 1939

Mi primo también me envió copias de testimonios de hombres que estuvieron con Josep durante su época en Francia y más tarde en el campo de concentración. Incluyo uno de ellos, que yo encontré muy emotivo.

Memorias de Miret- por André Arlas

Hacia finales del 1941 el cabeza regional del Partido Comunista Francés me presentó en Bordeaux a un ‘camarada’ para que yo se lo pudiera presentar al líder de los Luchadores por la Libertad Españoles en Gironde con quien yo estaba en contacto.

Después de haber concretado lugar y hora para el encuentro, este ‘camarada’ cuyo nombre no me habían revelado, se fue. No habíamos  intercambiado más de 20 palabra y nuestra reunión había durado menos de cinco minutos. Sin embargo, el breve encuentro me había impresionado, en particular lo que me había hecho más impresión fue la forma concisa en que este camarada se expresaba, combinada con un aire de autoridad y una personalidad que inspiraba confianza.

Yo no sabía entonces que le llegaría a conocer mucho mejor en circunstancias tales que las cualidades, faltas, lo positivo y negativo de uno no se pueden ocultar. Encontré a este camarada por segunda vez en Junio 1943 y descubrí que se llamaba Josep Miret aunque le conocían como Emile. Fue en el campo de exterminación nazi, Mauthausen. Unos días después, fuimos transportados juntos al comando Schwechat y desde aquel momento estuve con él hasta su muerte. Nos habían asignado el mismo tipo de trabajo y yo estaba en la banqueta de soldador frente a la suya.

Durante los largos meses de sufrimiento llegué a apreciar sus cualidades excepcionales. Tenía el don de atraer la amistad de todos aquellos suficientemente privilegiados que llegaron a conocerle; era una fuente de calor humano. Tenía un carácter alegre – cuántas canciones nos cantó- un gran dinamismo y vitalidad, nos ayudó a compartir su entusiasmo y su incansable confianza en el futuro. Muy modesto, nunca le gustaba hablar de sí mismo. Tardé meses, a base de preguntas, en descubrir cuáles habían sido sus importantes responsabilidades en el Partido Comunista Español en Cataluña, en el Ejército Republicano Español, como ministro, o en el movimiento de la resistencia en Francia. Pero más que nada, destacaba por su personalidad única, su calmado coraje y su disposición animada. También hay que añadir su amabilidad instintiva. ¡Que privilegio haber podido contar con su apoyo, solidaridad, moral y material, cada vez que podía mostrarlo hacia sus camaradas, Españoles y Franceses! ¡Que privilegio el contar con sus sabios consejos para guiarnos!

Después del bombardeo de Schwechat, nos llevaron a Florisdorf. Durante los bombardeos aéreos, no enviaban a las cuevas. Josep Miret, que amaba la vida, el sol, ‘el amante de la libertad’ como se solía llamar, no podía soportar estar debajo de tierra como las ratas. Así que pidió que le asignaran al kommando luchando para apagar los fuegos. Desgraciadamente, poco antes de que liberaran el campo, lo hirieron y un SS lo remató.

Por supuesto estábamos acostumbrados a ver la muerte cada día pero su muerte la consideramos todos los que lo conocíamos, la más injusta. Era un amigo muy querido, un adorado hermano, el más admirado y al que todos lloramos.

Por eso es normal que después de tantos años su memoria se mantenga tan vívida y estoy seguro de que le pasa lo mismo a todos los que tuvieron el privilegio de conocerle. Miret siempre fue muy discreto sobre su vida privada. Me decía que aquel no era momento de ser débil y preguntarse por el destino de nuestros seres queridos ya que no obtendríamos respuesta. Creía que en lugar de eso teníamos que endurecernos y mantener nuestra fuerza para sobrevivir hasta el momento de la victoria.

Cuando al volver del campo me enteré de las experiencias terribles que sufrió Miret, con coraje infalible, mi admiración creció aún más. La muerte de Miret, que murió tan joven, ha privado al Partido Comunista Español de un gran líder. Con su muerte, el pueblo español ha perdido uno de sus hijos más ilustres y Francia ha perdido un gran amigo.

Por mi parte, yo jamás podré olvidar al hombre ejemplar que fue Miret en todos los sentidos.

André Arlas

Luchador de la Resistencia Deportado a Mauthausen

Número 34482

Espero que habrán más posts con más información. Y como había dicho antes, si sois expertos en el tema, o conocéis a alguien que los sea, estaremos muy agradecidos si nos contactais.

Gracias por leer. Estoy esperando confirmación de artículo de autora invitada para le viernes, pero si no…tengo algunas ideas y anuncio de una promoción gratis que está al caer.

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/historias-de-familia-josep-and-conrado-miret-guerra-civil-mathausen/

PSUC Civil War poster

PSUC Civil War poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all:

I usually prepare my posts early (if I can), the weekend before, because during the week, with full time job, the gym and everyday life I have very little time and don’t want to do a rushed job. I was wondering what I would post on the Tuesday, because the guest post was already sorted. I had some ideas but I wasn’t 100% convinced by any of them. And then my mother phoned me on Saturday morning (in the middle of a computer crisis) to tell me that a cousin (a very distant cousin as he’s the grandson of one of my mother’s aunts) had gone to visit them the previous day and he was in the process of researching information for a book he was planning on writing. Of course, once they got talking about books I came up and my parents gave him my details. And now we’ve just established e-mail contact.

And that made me think. I wasn’t surprised he wanted to write about his chosen topic. You see…My cousin wants to write about the family, well, about our grandmothers’ two brothers, Josep and Conrado Miret Musté. I don’t know very much about it. I

Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia
Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

remember my maternal grandmother, Juana (who was always known as Juanita) telling me things about her brothers. Josep was the eldest. She always used to tell me that they were very tall and strong and they played rugby. Both were involved in Catalan politics (according to what my  grandmother used to say, Josep had reached quite a high position in the executive of the PSUC [Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia, a communist nationalist party] and in the government of the Generalitat (the autonomic government of Catalonia) at that time, and during the Spanish Civil War, Josep had a responsible position in the supplies department. Although the three sisters (Francisca, but always called Paquita by the family, Juanita and Magdalena, Magda) remained in Barcelona, as they hadn’t been directly involved in politics, the two brothers went into exile when Barcelona fell to Franco’s forces and it was clear the war was all but lost. Like many others they went across the border into France. If I remember correctly both of them had families (I know for certain Josep did) but they remained behind. The history/legend is that Conrado disappeared in Paris (the suspicion has always been that the Nazis caught him when they invaded France and killed him), and the Nazis definitely caught Josep because he ended up in Mauthausen. And never left alive.

I remember my aunt Magda lent me Montserrat Roig’s book ‘Els Catalans als camps de concentració nazis’ (‘Catalans in Nazi Concentration Camps’), that like other books by the sadly late author I strongly recommend. In this book there were sections about Josep Miret, what he did in the camp, how he tried to help others, there were pictures of postcards and letters he had sent back home, including some to his sister Magda…Fascinating and horrible at the same time. My cousin is right. There are many things we don’t know about what happened. Although the dead don’t talk, I hope my cousin is lucky and can find information that helps fill up that void.

Thank you very much for reading, and please, if you have any knowledge of the subject, connections that might know, or just an interest, any support would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading. And on Friday, guest post by author Michael Brookes.

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