Francisco Rubio Lopez
- Date of Death: 10 October 1979
- Place of Birth: Puebla de Guzman, Huelva, Spain
- Place of Death: Prat-Bonrepaux, Haute-Garone, France
- Date of Deportation: May 1944
- Address when Deported: Camp du Vernet, Ariege, France
- Place of deportation: Alderney
- Sites deported to: Norderney,
By Jordi Artigas i Brugal, AIC - Amical Islas del Canal (Amical of the Channel Islands)
FRANCISCO RUBIO LOPEZ, nicknamed Lanchete, was born on January, 17th, 1901 in Puebla de Guzman, province of Huelva, Andalucia. A peasant, he took part in the formation of the UGT (General Union of Workers, a Spanish trade union, historically affiliated with PSOE, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) in his hometown. When dictator Franco’s military coup took place, in 1936, he fled to Portugal. On 10 October of that year, he embarked from Lisbon on the steamship Nyass, bound for Tarragona, Catalonia, for fighting in the Republican army. At the end of the Spanish civil war he went into exile to France.
Antonio was sent to the refugees camp of Bram. On December 1939 he enlisted the CTE nr. 113, working in Vendresse (Ardennes) , and later in Genté (Charente ).
Sent back to a refugee camp, to Argelès, on July 1940 until January 1941 when he joined the GTE nr. 408, based in Rodez (Aveyron, Occitanie). He escaped from the GTE until he was arrested at the beginning of 1994 near Pamiers (Ariège). He was imprisoned in Foix prison, from where he left for the Vernet d’Ariège camp on March.
On 27 May 1944, he left Vernet in a convoy with 180 prisoners, heading for the Mortier military base in Paris, where they were divided into two groups: the younger ones were deported to Germany (probably to KZ Dachau) and the older ones were taken to the Norderney camp (according to Francisco Rubio’s own testimony).
Soon after the D-Day, the Germans began the evacuation of the prisoners. The group was evacuated on the night of 26-27 June, via Guernsey and Jersey, to Saint-Malo, where they arrived on 1st July.
They were placed on a train to Germany. But constant bombing by the Allies prevented the transfer from reaching its destination, so they were imprisoned in the convent of Charenton, in Paris, and transferred to Dreux (Eure-et-Loir) to work loading howitzers.
Soon after, on the 10th of August, Francisco escaped with a relative and a friend. Once he had escaped, he joined the liberation forces.
After the war, Francisco remained in France working in various occupations. In 1952 he was able to gather almost all his family (his wife, Felipa Dominguez Ponce, and two of his children, Francisco and Josefa) with the exception of his other son, Antonio, and settled in Prat-Bonrepaux (Ariège, Occitanie). He worked in a quarry until he retired and moved to Montauban-de-Luchon (Haute-Garone, Occitanie).
He died on October 10, 1979, at the age of 78. He never returned to Spain.
Jesús Ramírez Copeiro del Villar: En tierra extraña. El exilio republicano onubense. Huelva, 2011. ISBN: 9788461510412
Photo: Fundación Pablo Iglesias photographic archive
Arolsen Archives: Tracing request concerning RUBIO FRANCISCO 1901-01-17. Reference Code
Camp d’Argelès. File number 94572
RETIRADA – LES REFUGIÉS DANS LES CAMPS: Camp de Bram et Listes de Refugiés. Document Ref. 4M790, Listes Nominatives par Quartier et Baraques (1939-1940)
- Cemetery / Mass Grave
- Concentration Camp
- Forced Labour Camp
- Worksite / Fortification