A short biography of Spanish anarchist trade unionist and writer Felix Carrasquer Launed.
Felix Carrasquer Launed
Born 4 November 1905 - Aragon, Spain, died 7 October 1993 - Thil, France
Felix Carrasquer Launed was born on the 4th November 1905 in the village of Albalate de Cinca, in Aragon into an anarchist family, which included his brothers Francisco, Presen and Juan Pedro. The latter, a teacher, was secretary of the Aragonese section of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) during the Civil War and Revolution and captain in the 25th Division, dying in combat on the Corbalan Front (Teruel). At the age of 6 he left school, never to return, because he objected to the authoritarian way the teacher made him learn the alphabet, deliberately ignoring the fact that he could read already! His family attempted to persuade him to return, but he refused, educating himself with his father’s books and the observation of nature. His favourite reading was Don Quixote.
He took a job as a baker, and throughout his life enjoyed baking bread. He left this job to become a teacher, writer and self-taught intellectual. He emigrated to Barcelona at the age of 14. Here he joined the anarchist trade union the CNT, revolted by the attacks by the bosses’ gunmen on that organisation. He mixed with intellectuals sympathetic to the anarchist cause like the writer Ramon J. Sender, Ramon Acin, Felipe Alaiz, Francisco Ponzan, Evaristo Vinuales and others. In 1929 he returned to Albalate and founded a cultural grouping with a library and night school. This would have great importance in the later development of the CNT in the area with a membership of 4,000, including Manuel Guillen. In 1932, whilst taking part in a play, he suffered an accident that robbed him of his eyesight. This did not stop him carrying on his revolutionary cultural work. He took part in the failed anarchist insurrection of 1933, fleeing to Barcelona.
Here in the Las Corts neighbourhood he founded the Eliseo Reclus School – named after anarchist Elisée Reclus - with his brothers Francisco and Roberto, based on the principles of Francisco Ferrer. He was a member of the Peninsular Committee of the FAI in 1936. In 1937 he returned to Aragon and set up the School for Libertarian Militants in Monzon. In August 1937 the revolutionary Aragon collectives were crushed by the Stalinists and 400 members of the collectives were imprisoned, including all the members of the Monzon committee, who were jailed in Barbastro.
He fled across the border with the victory of Franco, spending four years in the French concentration camps of Vernet and Argeles between 1939-1943. He escaped and the following year he returned to Spain to carry out clandestine work, reorganising the Regional Committee of the CNT in Aragon and Catalonia. He served on the General Secretariat of the underground CNT. He was arrested once and then again in 1947 he was captured and condemned to death. This was commuted to 25 years imprisonment. He served 12 years of this and then went back to France. He took an active part in the reconstruction of the CNT after Franco’s death, moving permanently to Barcelona in 1980.
He wrote many articles and several books, including The Militants of Aragon (1978)
He died in Thil, France on the 7th October 1993.
By Nick Heath, edited by libcom