January 25, 2021

Camacho's family gives Culture the archive of the founder of CC OO | Culture

Camacho's family gives Culture the archive of the founder of CC OO | Culture


The family of Marcelino Camacho, founder of the Comisiones Obreras union and its first secretary general between 1976 and 1987, has donated to the Ministry of Culture the personal archive of the writer, politician and trade unionist. The donation, which has not had any financial consideration, is made up of more than 7,000 documents, mostly handwritten letters sent from prisons where he was imprisoned for 14 years during the Franco regime and which he used to write with tracing paper and keep a copy, because he feared that the prison would intercept his letters, something that happened on many occasions. Yénia and Marcelo Camacho Samper, the two sons of the founder of CC OO, have delivered the documents to the General Director of Fine Arts, Román Fernández-Baca, the same day on which the 101st anniversary of the birth of the worker leader is celebrated.

"My father lived fundamental stages of recent history from a working class family, it is a product of his class and from that assumption of values ​​defended the Republic, he went through concentration camps, through exile, through Franco's prisons and after the Transition he fought for the difficult conquest of freedom and the search for equality was pending, "said his daughter Yénia at the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture in Madrid.

Prison card of 1940, the first time Marcelino Camacho entered prison, in the prison of Las Comendadoras (Madrid).
Prison card of 1940, the first time Marcelino Camacho entered prison, in the prison of Las Comendadoras (Madrid).

The file will be deposited in the Documentary Center of Historical Memory (CDMH) in Salamanca and the public will have free access to all the letters, essays, reflections, books and press clippings that Marcelino Camacho treasured during his life, once the center has digitized the whole. "Now a period is opening for the description, digitization and conservation of this great legacy that will be available for consultation at the end of this year," said the head of Fine Arts. The consultation can be done free of charge through the website of the Portal of Spanish Archives (Pairs) and it will be complemented with what is preserved in other institutions such as the General Archive of the Administration, in Alcalá de Henares.

"This file is the file of an illustrated self-taught worker who believed in knowledge as a method to change history and who has now entered the big door to the rightful place," said Marcelo Camacho.

Telegram of 1973 in which the pardon is communicated to the leaders of CC OO after the famous Process 1001, in which the dictatorship judged the main leaders of the union.
Telegram of 1973 in which the pardon is communicated to the leaders of CC OO after the famous Process 1001, in which the dictatorship judged the main leaders of the union.

Marcelino Camacho (Osma-La Rasa, Soria, 1918-Madrid, 2010) joined the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) in 1935, fought in the Civil War on the Republican side, after the war was imprisoned and sentenced to forced labor in Tangier, from where he managed to escape in 1944 to exile in Oran (Algeria) until he was pardoned in 1957. He then resumed his profession as a metalworker in Spain and his union activities that brought him back to jail in 1967. He spent nine years in the prison of Carabanchel until he was pardoned in 1973.

In addition to founding and presiding CC OO until 1988 and being its president until 1996, he was a Communist deputy for Madrid between 1977 and 1981, year in which he resigned because he disagreed with the labor standards that Parliament approved with the support of the PCE. Marcelino Camacho narrated his vital vicissitude -CC OO convened the first general strike to the Government of Felipe González in 1985, mobilizations against NATO …- in his memoirs I confess that I fought (1990), a book that featured a prologue by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.

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