From an antifascist family
Conxita Grangé Beleta was born on 6 August 1925 in Espui, a town in the municipality of Torre de Capdella (Pallars Jussà). At the age of two, she went to live with her aunt and uncle in Toulouse due to her mother’s illness. When the Civil War broke out, she returned to Catalonia with her aunt and uncle to fight on the side of the Republic.
After the war, she returned to France with her relatives. There, she and her cousin Maria Castelló continued to fight against fascism as informants for the French Resistance.
Conxita Grangé, Maria Castelló and Elvira Ibarz (Conxita’s aunt) were arrested on 24 May 1944. They were imprisoned, tortured and deported to Germany. They crossed France from south to north on the “ghost train”, along with seven hundred other prisoners, on a two-month journey under allied bombing. On 9 September 1944, they entered the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp.
After the Second World War, Grangé settled in Toulouse and married a former Catalan guerrilla fighter. She was awarded various decorations by the French Republic, including the Legion of Honour and the Resistance Medal.
She died on Tuesday, 27 July in Toulouse, a month after a ceremony in her honour was held in Vall Fosca (Pallars Jussà), where she was born. During the ceremony she placed a memorial plaque on the house where she was born. Grangé devoted much of her life, right up until her final days, to keeping alive the memory of the deported women and relating her eyewitness account to youngsters.