When we left the camp at Gurs we were taken by train to St Gervais d’Auvergne up in the mountains of the Puy-de-Dôme. While we were waiting at the station for the lorries to come and take us down to the headquarters of the foreign workers group at Manzat we met some Spanish woodcutters. There were a lot of them working in the forests around there and they were free to move about as they pleased. When they saw us they made a collection among themselves and the money was handed over to a man called Espinosa. There was a fair amount but there was some trouble a few days later when he gave us a packet of cigarettes each as our share. Everyone said, ‘That bastard is trying to buy us off with a packet, but he’s kept half the money for himself.’ They wanted to punch his face in. Eventually we were taken down to Manzat by lorry — it’s just a little town with a few shops and bars — and it was already dark when we arrived and the other Spaniards had been waiting for us since late afternoon with a cauldron full of lentils and peas. They gave us so much to eat that most of us were ill during the night.
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- 3.On the role of Spanish Republicans in the Resistance movement in the Puy-de-Dôme see J. F. Sweets, Choices in Vichy France: the French Under Nazi Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986) and L. Stein, Beyond Death and Exile, Chapter 9.Google Scholar