“In 1936, the great-grandfather of Elena Rubio Viu, with his brothers, their wives and children decided to leave the village where they were living, Leciñena (Zaragoza – Spain), owing to their alleged links to the Republican Left.
They headed east. Elena Rubio Viu has gathered various episodes in those places where they had to stop to find work in order to feed their families who made up the group of travellers.
In the days following their arrival in Barcelona, the battles and fights of the Spanish Civil War in that geographical environment propelled them to take the decision to cross into France.
There, they sought refuge in Couilliere, sharing lodgings with Antonio Machado.
Following the advice of close friends, they decided to move to Argèles Sur Mer, with the hope to meeting more of their Spanish compatriots and to start a new life. Disillusion set in when they discovered that it was a Nazi concentration camp.
From that moment, family members decided to take different routes. Some were forcibly removed to Saint Ciprien; others continued their journey through France until they reached the Maginot line. Elena Rubio Viu’s great-great uncle, called Francisco Franco was captured and taken to Mauthausen concentration camp where he worked as a cook. In 1941, he was taken to Gusen concentration camp where the final destination was the crematorium.
Elena Rubio Viu’s great-grandfather, his wife and a small group returned to their home in Spain. They were captured and served a sentence in Torrero prison for being members of the Republican Left.