Biographical information about Spanish anarchist woodworker and Civil War and Resistance fighter and later pensioners' advocate Juan Brell Piñol.
Juan Brell Piñol
Born 1908 - Valencia, Spain, death information unknown
Born in Valencia in 1908 into an anarchist family, his childhood was 'eventful' due to the banishments and harassment inflicted on his father. He belonged to the anarchist union the CNT's Woodworkers' Union.
By 1936 he was general secretary of the Foyos comarcal federation and at the start of the Civil War he enlisted in the anarchist militias, commanding the Puebla de Farnals centuria which eventually joined the Iron Column.
After some time in the rearguard, he returned to the front; he fought in Somosierra right up until the end of the war, at which point he was captured (in Loma Quemada).
This marked the start of a long calvary through concentration camps and prisons... the monasteries of Santa Espina and Puig, Las Corneras (Valladolid), Madrid, Valencia and San Miguel de los Reyes (in the latter prison he was on death row, having been sentenced in 1941).
In October 1946 he was released on parole, but was back in jail by March 1947. He managed to break out shortly afterwards and, under an assumed name, threw himself into intensive work on behalf of the underground CNT. This ended with his being arrested in 1958. He was released on bail and rejoined the struggle until his advancing years ruled him out of positions exposing him to danger.
With the collapse of Francoism, he, like many another aged CNT member, devoted his efforts to championing the cause of pensioners.
From the Kate Sharpley Library