Labor camp Nr 2 with International Brigades postmark & censor, 1938

Reference: CT124

Two postal stationery Edifil 79 sent from SIM's Labor Camp number 2 in Hospitalet de Mar, with International Brigades postmark and censor. Only one other piece of correspondence from the Republican labor camps known circulated with International Brigades marks.

€ 5.000

More info

Both post cards sent by prisoner José Blasi Mora. On the first post card there is this sender info:

José Blasi Mora / 1a Cia / 3a Secc / Hospitalet M. (which ist 1st Company, 3rd Section, Hospitalet de Mar). He doesn't mention any labor camp, but the text on the back gives instructions on how to send him packets through SIM's offices in Pueblo Español (Barcelona). "También os dije que los días que recibían los paquetes en el pueblo Español eran miércoles y sábado, pues no, es viernes y sábado. Preguntad al pueblo Español lo que me podéis mandar, no me mandéis nada sin antes preguntarlo a ellos" (I also told you that the days when packages are received in Pueblo Español were on Wednesday and on Saturday, but it is on Friday and Saturday. Ask in Pueblo Español what can you send me, do not send anything without previously asking them).

The second post card gives a slightly different information about his whereabouts: "José Blasi, C.T. nº 2, 1a Cia". "Hospitalet M." is censored and censor wrote instead "Turia 3", which was a code for military mail. "C.T. nº 2" stands for "Campo de Trabajo Número 2", which was in Hospitalet de Mar. In the text on the back, he again refers to Pueblo Español offices: "Parles de portar-me, millor dit d'enviar-me patates, avans d'enviarme pregunteu al Poble Español si es pot enviar" (You say you will bring me, well, you will send me, potatoes; before sending them ask in Poble Espanyol if they can be shipped".

The text, the sender info and the background of the sender make clear the post cards came from Labor Camp number 2. What makes this lot unique is the usage of International Brigades postmarks and censors. No other pieces of correspondence from the Republican labor camps system are known circulated with such marks except one (see certificate CT127). Both post cards bear postmark Heller 62: "CORREO DE CAMPAÑA / B.i. / E. DE C. Nº 4", one dated on 28 June 1938 and the other on 30 June 1938. On the back, both have censor mark Heller 66: "E. C. Nº 4 B.I. / CENSURA MILITAR" in red. The card with postmark of June 30 has also a transit backstamp, belonging to International Brigades again, dated on July 1, 1938 and reading "CORREO DE CAMPAÑA / B.I. / E. DE C. B. MOVIL" (Heller 85).

José Blasi Mora was arrested for sabotage on August 6, 1937 (see Centro Documental de la Memoria Histórica, Signature DNSD-SECRETARIA,FICHERO,8,B0084681) and he was liberated  on February 1939 near the French border, by Division 82 of the nationalist army, after having beeing transferred to Collell sanctuary when the labor camp nr 2 was moved due to the proximity of the front. See La Vanguardia, February 22, 1939, page 4, "Relación de los liberados procedentes del Collell, atendidos en Olot por la División 82".

For more info about SIM's Labor Camp number 2, see Francesc Badia's study, "Els camps de treball a Catalunya durant la guerra civil (1936-1939), Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, Barcelona, 2001,  pages 163-186.

Only one other piece of correspondence from the Republican labor camps known circulated with International Brigades marks. See certificate CT127 here: https://www.colectalia.com/en/info/INFO/certificates-of-authenticity