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Flags and family histories at the Battle of Jarama commemoration

By IBMT Trustee Pauline Fraser

 

Pauline was part of the 60-strong IBMT group at the Battle of Jarama commemoration on 17/18 February, which was organised by the AABI Madrid-based Inernational Brigades friendship group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amparo Moreno Parraga (third from right) came into the world 80 years ago while her mother took shelter in an air-raid shelter (pictured) in Tarancón. The Battle of Jarama was raging nearby, claiming the lives of 39 Scottish Brigaders. 

 

On 17 February this year, she and her granddaughter Elena made the journey to Tarancón cemetery to remember, alongside their relatives, both the Brigaders and 44 citizens of Tarancón who were shot or died in prison after the end of the Spanish Civil War, victims of Franco’s bloody repression against fellow Spaniards. 

 

Their memorials stand either side of the stone commemorating the Scottish Brigaders. At the foot of one of the memorials, one name stands out. It is Dositeo Moreno Barrios, who died in a Nazi concentration camp. He was Amparo’s father, the father she never knew.

 

Elena, told us his story, or as much as the family knows. Dositeo disappeared from the family home before his daughter’s birth, and the mystery of what happened to him was only solved in the 1960s, when the family learnt that he had crossed the border into France as a refugee in 1939, where he endured appalling conditions in one of the French refugee camps. 

 

He was given the choice of re-crossing the border back into Spain, which would have risked death, or of joining the French resistance forces. He chose to stay in France and fight fascism. He was eventually captured and deported to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria where he lost his life. 

 

 

Posted on 9 March 2017.