Labor Camp Number 2, detachment in Tivissa, and Preventorio C in Barcelona

Reference: CT039

Archive of correspondece belonging to a prisoner in Labor Camp Number 2 and Preventorio C, finally liberated and enroled in a military unit.

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Archive of correspondece belonging to a prisoner in Labor Camp Number 2 and Preventorio C, finally liberated and enroled in a military unit.

Very interesting lot of an improvised post card and 8 postal stationery sent by Joan Jorba Reventós to his family in Collbató (Barcelona). None of them bears the mark of the camp, but the text gives no doubt that the sender is in Labor Camp Number 2.

1.- May 29, 1938, improvised post card, unreadable roller postmark. The text says "estem més lluny de Hospitalet, al campament de la 2a companyia" (we are far from Hospitalet, in the camp of the 2nd company) And the post scrptum "cuant porteu paquet poseu la direcció 1a Secció 2a Companyia" (when you send packets use as address 1st Section 2nd Company). It corresponds to the Labor Camp Number 2 in Hospitalet de l'Infant (Tarragona), detachment in Tivissa (1st Section, 2nd Company).

2.- June 5, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 79N with no references marking the origin in the S.I.M. labor camp, but in the chronology.

3.- June 15, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 79M where he explains that "el diumenge varex rebra el paquet que vos em bara porta a Hospitalet" (past Sunday I received the packet you brought me to Hospitalet) and also asks to receive future packets through the S.I.M. shipping system in Pueblo Español, Barcelona: "El paquet feu com diu el Josep a casa seba, porteulo al Poble Espanyol (Recinte de la Exposicio)" (With the paket make what Josep tells home to do, bring it to Pueblo Español, to the building of the Exhibit).

4.- June 18, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 80N that mentions again the S.I.M. shipping system through their offices in Pueblo Español: "Avui escrivim junt amb el Josep per dirvos que ens enviem el tabaco tan pronta com el tingueu i el paquet al Poble Español" (Today we write with Josep to ask you to send us tobacco as soon as you get it, and the packet to the Pueblo Español). The text gives confirmation that the sender is a prisoner: "Nosaltres ens creiem sortí en llivertat molt aviat" (We believe we will be freed very soon).

5.- July 6, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 78N written in Spanish quoting for third time the S.I.M. system to ship packets through Pueblo Español: "el lunes recibi el paquete que me mandais por el Pueblo Español" (on Monday I received the packet you sent me through Pueblo Español) and later "de manera que ya lo sabeis que los paquetes ban muy bien por el Pueblo Español" (so you already know it, the packets arrive very well through Pueblo Español)

6.- July 10, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 79N without references pointing to its origin in the S.I.M. camp, but in the chronology.

7.- September 8, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 77N written in Spanish where the sender mentions the end of the shipping service through the S.I.M. offices in Pueblo Español: "Supongo que ya deveis estar enterados de que en el Pueblo Español ya no admiten paquetes" (I guess you may be aware that no more packets are admitted in Pueblo Español). He also explains that a fellow prisoner was freed: "Hace tres o cuatro días que se a marchado el amigo Bartolome, supongo que ya vendra a verte" (It is three or four days ago when frind Bartolome left, I guess he will visit you). Stains.

8.- October 9, 1938, postal stationery Edifil 77N sent from Preventorio C in Barcelona (the Seminar), written in Spanish: "Queridísima madre, estoy bien en Barcelona, en el Preventorio C. Puedes mandarme paquete comida a calle Muntaner 55. Recuerdos a todos, Juan Jorba. Juan Jorba, Preventorio C - Muntaner 55, Piso Principal (sala 1ª)". (Dearest mother, I am all right in Barcelona, in Preventorio C. You can send me food to 55 Muntaner street. Regards to all, Juan Jorba). Big stains that make difficult to read the text.

9.- October 26, 1938, postal stationery Edifli 80N written in Spanish, that mentions a military unit as the sender's address, which proves he was freed froom the S.I.M. camp. "Mi direccón es Juan Jorba Rabentos, 34 Division, 218 Brigada Mixta, Base de instruccion, Base 8ª, C.C. Nº 10" (My address is Juan Jorba Rabentos, 34 Division, 218 Mixed Brigade, Instruction Base, 8th Base, C. C. Nr 10).

Undoubtedly this is the most extensive known archive of correspondence of a S.I.M. labor camps prisoner, and reveals the system to ship packets to the camps through the S.I.M. offices in Pueblo Español, Montjuïc, Barcelona, which was working until August 1938, as we lear from the post card number 7. It also shows his transit from Labor Camp Number 2 to Preventorio C i Barcelona and, more infrequently, his liberation and enrolment in a Mixed Brigade of the Popular Army. It also shows certain easiness to receive packets with food and tobacco in the labor camp, what enters in contradiction with the studies published up to date, and the sender only follows the strict communication rules limiting the texts of the post cards to 20 words in the postal stationery sent from Preventorio C. The other texts are more extensive, mention the place where are written and the post cards do not bear the mark of the camp, used also as censor.

The Labor Camp Number 2 in Hospitalet de l'Infant was operative from April 1938. As its prisoners fortified in the mountain of Coll de Balague and they were building a road near Tivissa, it was decided to create a detachment near that village, but far enough of the center, to avoid waisting time marching from the main camp to the labor site. On September 23, 1938, the Labor Camp Number 2 and its detachment in Tivissa were moved to Seu d'Urgell (see Francesc Badia, Els camps de treball durant la guerra civil (1936-1939), pags. 163-186).

The absence of specific marks makes difficult to see that the cards 1 to 7 were written in the Labor Camp Number 2, but it is made clear from the text, which makes the full assembly very difficult. It would also be impossible to guess that the cards 2 and 6 were written from the Camp. with no marks neither specific mentions, if they were not included in the chronologic gap that the other pieces show that the sender was in the camp.