The Mercat del Ninot remembers those deported to Nazi campsThe horror of the Spanish Civil War and the republican defeat forced hundreds of thousands of people to cross the Pyrenees. Many of those exiled ended up being deported to Nazi concentration camps. One of them was Eliseu Vallalba, a civil servant with the City Council during the Second Republic, survivor of the Mauthausen camp and a founder member of the association Amical de Mauthausen.
The association Amical de Mauthausen, with collaboration from the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Markets and specifically the Ninot market, decided to pay homage to Villalba by putting up a commemorative plaque.
Villalba was the sub-director at the Mercat del Ninot during the Repulic, going into exile in France in 1939. Between 1940 and 1944 he was held at the Mauthausen concentration camp, later being transferred to Gusen before being liberated on 5 May 1945. He returned to Barcelona three years later but was prevented from resuming his work with the City Council due to a decree to rout civil servants from the republican period out of their posts.
The plaque, on the wall inside the market entrance in C/ Mallorca, was unveiled by his daughter, M. Lluïsa Villalba.
Support for the return of deported Spanish citizens
The Amical de Mauthausen, which also provides support for those from other camps and all Nazi victims from Spain, was set up in 1962. The association was founded by people who had been deported, such as Eliseu Villalba, and their relatives, in order to provide support for people returning from exile. At present, the association continues to work on the prevention of fascism, to stop events such as those which took place in Nazi camps ever being repeated, as well as preserving the historical memory of the republican deportation.
Democratic memory against oblivion
The act was held with participation from the office for Memory Programmes at Barcelona City Council, which is committed to keeping the city’s democratic, historical and popular memory alive. Barcelona has been the scene of important social conflicts and struggles in history which now form part of people’s cultural heritage.