Testimony of Jaume Botey Vallès, Interview with Elize Mazadiego; July 21, 2010
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The digital Archive of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship is an initiative of UCSD in collaboration with several Spanish civic associations, such as the ARMH (Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica), the Asociación de Ex-presos y Represaliados Políticos, the Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria and others. With the assistance of these human rights organizations, since the summer of 2007 several teams of graduate students have been recording audiovisual testimonies of militants, witnesses, and victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist repression
Jaume Botey Vallès was born in Barcelona in 1940 to a working class Catholic family. As a child he experienced hunger and deprivation throughout the early years of the Franco dictatorship. He grew up in the Pueblo Nuevo barrio of Barcelona, where his family stood out as Catholics among nonbelievers and sympathizers of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT). One of his brothers became a priest and went abroad. When this brother returned to Spain he worked among immigrants and gitanos in Campo de la Bota (Barcelona), where hundreds of executions were carried out during and after the Spanish Civil War. In the late 1960s this brother was incarcerated for two years as a result of his steadfast defense of gitanos who suffered under police repression. The sentence was delayed until Franco established a jail in Zamora especially for priests. Botey notes this prison, which functioned until 1977, as among the toughest, cruelest, most sadistic of the regime. Botey, also a priest, participated in a noted peaceful protest of over 100 priests on May 11, 1966 in Barcelona. The march was violently repressed by hundreds of police officers, leading to a national scandal. In 1972, inspired by Vatican II and already separated from church hierarchy, Botey organized a parish without a church in Hospitalet. He was soon approached by clandestine leftist political groups asking him to agree to having a church building that could double as a political meeting place and community center. After consulting with fellow parishioners Botey agreed, and church construction by anarchists and communists began in 1974. This "Casa de la Reconciliación," as the church was dubbed, fostered community reconciliation and understanding between believers and nonbelievers, immigrants and locals, illiterates and the literate, young and old. Manuel Sacristán, a noted philospher, came there to teach literacy classes to adults. One of the roles of the Casa was its support of conscientious objectors, which helped lead to the end of forced military service. Botey left in 1978. Later he helped build seventy-three schools in Hospitalet in partnership with the local Communist government. He mentions favorably a group called Christians for Socialism which started in Chile to support Allende in 1971, which later spread to Spain. He cites this group as a precursor to the Liberation Theology movement. In addition to his work as a priest, Botey has a career of over thirty-five years as a university instructor
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (http://libraries.ucsd.edu/collections/sca/)
Botey Vallès, Jaume. Testimony of the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist Dictatorship. University of California, San Diego, 2010
Barcelona, Spain :, Spanish Civil War Memory Project, 2010
- California Digital Library
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- Spain--History--Civil War, 1936-1939--Interviews
Hospitalet de Llobregat (Spain)
- Hospitalet de Llobregat (Spain)
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- Testimony of Jaume Botey Vallès, Interview with Elize Mazadiego; July 21, 2010. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb7509781x. (Accessed December 15, 2018.)
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- Testimony of Jaume Botey Vallès, Interview with Elize Mazadiego; July 21, 2010. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb7509781x
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