Post card from Labor Camp Nr 3 to Barcelona, 1939

Reference: CT178

Post card with mark "MINISTERIO DE DEFENSA NACIONAL / CAMPO DE TRABAJO / Nº 3 / * SIM *" used as franchise, to Barcelona. Sent by José Maria Agustí and text dated on January 21, 1939. It is not clear if the sender was a guard or a prisoner of the camp, as the card is circulated without stamp. Most probably a prisoner's mail would not have been admitted without franking.

€ 3.000

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Post card with mark "MINISTERIO DE DEFENSA NACIONAL / CAMPO DE TRABAJO / Nº 3 / * SIM *" used as franchise, to Barcelona. Sent by José Maria Agustí and text dated on January 21, 1939. It is not clear if the sender was a guard or a prisoner of the camp, as the card is circulated without stamp. Most probably a prisoner's mail would not have been admitted without franking. (Post card nr. 1207 in Allepuz catalogue)

Text of the postcard:

"Queridos padres:

Estoy muy bien, os deseo igual.

No necesito nada. He escrito a Soledad. Besos mil a tía Rosa, Doctor, etc.

Besos y abrazos de vuestro hijo. José María."

Translation:

"Dear parents:

I am very well, I wish you too.

I don't need anything. I've writted to Soledad. Lost of kisses to aunt Rosa, the doctor, etc.

Kisses and hugues from your son. José María."

Labor Camp number 3 was the toughest of the SIM's camps system, and where a major number of prisoners were assassinated. In september 1938 Camp nr 6 was merged with Camp nr 3.

In the time the post card was written, Labor Camp Number 3 was in the town of Cabó, and two days after it was evacuated to the French border, as the Francoist army was approaching. Prisoners and guards of this camp crossed the French border on February 5, 1939: guards went to exile and surviving prisoners recovered their liberty.

Postal history pieces with marks of any of the six SIM's labor camps that existed are extremely rare. Marks from Camp number 3 are even rarer. And pieces of mail sent in 1939 make this rarity to increase: the camp only lasted 36 days of 1939, and few correspondence could be sent during this time, spent almost all moving from Arbeca to the French border.

Only three other pieces of mail know circulated with Labor Camp Nr. 3 marks. Thirteen pieces known with marks of labor camps number 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, one of them sold by Colectalia in 2017.