Biographical information about Spanish soldier, anarchist and Civil War fighter Macario Tejada.
Macario Illera Tejada
Born 1913 - Vitoria, Spain, died in date and place unknown
Tejada was born in Vitoria in 1913, into a very poor family, he spent some time in the workhouse.
At the age of 14 he joined the army as a drummer boy and was based in the Zaragoza military academy in the days when Franco was the director there; when the academy was shut down under the Republic, he transferred to an engineers regiment, first as a drummer and later as a rifleman.
Posted to stand guard on the prison in Zaragoza, he found himself jailed for talking to the inmates, and a short time later he happened to attend a CNT meeting in the city (in 1932).
This made a deep impression on him and decided to join the anarchist ranks. A little later he crossed swords with his sergeant and was discharged from the army. In 1933 he was living in Vitoria, a CNT member and when the fascists captured the city in 1936 he fled (24 July) into the mountains and made his way to Bilbao.
He fought in San Sebastien, Tolosa and Irun and later, having enlisted with the Bakunin Battalion, in Chivarte, Sollube and Murguia as well, right up until the Bilbao front collapsed, at which point he left for Santander where (thanks to treachery by the Basque nationalists) he was arrested along with several thousand others in August 1937 and taken to Santoña. This was the start of a lengthy series of calamities (which included being sentenced to death) and a voyage through the prisons of Bilbao and Burgos, until he was released on parole in March 1943 and banished to Benicarló (Cervera) where he became a goatherd.
After some months he made his way back to Vitoria, tried his hand at a number of trades and threw himself into the underground struggle (becoming a member of the Alava comarcal committee).
In 1947 he tried to escape to France but was arrested in Navarre and was jailed for some months in Pamplona and Vitoria. Sickened by the workers lack of fight, he decided to switch trades and became a boot-black, keeping the torch of anarchism aloft for many a year in Vitoria, where he became an exceptionally popular figure.
From 1967 on, a series of thromboses sapped his strength but this did not stop him from being one of the first to volunteer his help when the CNT started to rebuild in Vitoria.
A Tolstoyan advocate of a pacifist libertarianism, tremendously strong-willed and impervious to loss of morale, he was unbending in his principles which led him to repudiate consumerism. He was the very symbol of the tireless militant of indestructible faith.
From the Kate Sharpley Library