Gedächtnisallee 5
D-92696 Flossenbürg

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Jaume Rebassa Garcías

January 3, 1889 – December 24, 1943

  • Jaume Rebassa as head of police in Palma, 1931 (private collection)

A Failed Escape to Africa

Jaume Rebassa Garcías was born in Palma de Mallorca on the Balearic Islands. After his mother died, he grew up with four siblings in modest circumstances. He followed his father into shoemaking and soon became active in numerous trade union organizations. He was elected general secretary of the UGT trade union and joined the Spanish Socialist Party. In 1931, he became a member of the Palma city council and later was appointed head of police.

Jaume Rebassa (back row, second from left) in the Palma city council, 1932 (private collection)

After the 1936 military coup and the ensuing political repression, Jaume Rebassa went underground. Three years later, he joined an opposition group that attempted to fl ee Mallorca for North Africa. The group was intercepted in the ocean by the Italians. Jaume Rebassa was detained by the police as an anti-fascist and sent to various internment camps. In the camps, he was able to correspond with his family.

After the occupation of northern Italy, the Germans deported political prisoners to concentration camps. Jaume Rebassa was among the first prisoners from Italy to arrive at the Flossenbürg concentration camp in early October 1943. Several days later, he was transferred by the SS to the Buchenwald concentration camp, and fi nally to the Dora subcamp. There he was put to work in heavy labor expanding the underground tunnel network used for rocket production. He died on Christmas Eve 1943, at age 53. After the war, Jaume Rebassa Garcías was listed among the missing. His family did not discover his fate until 2008.

Jaume Rebassa during his internment on the island of Ventotene, 1941 (private collection)