The anarchist activist Julia Romera Yañez, born into a working class family in Mazarrón (Murcia) in 1916, perished in Barcelona on 6 September 1941. Julia’s father had died on 15 October 1918, at the age of 30, as a result of flu-induced pneumonia. When some other members of the family lost their jobs in 1921 it was determined that the family would relocate to Santa Coloma de Gramanet (Barcelona province) where Julia’s aunt, Mariana Romera Rodríguez had been living for two years already with her husband Diego Berruezo Clement and their two children.
By 1930 Julia was working for Baró Bakeries. Come the Republic in 1931, she began to be active in the CNT and, from 1934 onwards, in the Libertarian Youth. When the revolution broke out in 1936, she was appointed secretary of the Santa Coloma Libertarian Youth, a post she handled in addition to serving as treasurer during the civil war. She also looked after the newspaper Aurora Libre (Free Dawn). A few months after Santa Coloma fell to the Francoist Moroccan Army Corps on 27 January 1939, she was arrested for her Libertarian Youth and UJA (Union of Antifascist Youth) activities, being treasurer of the latter. On 2 July that year she was taken to the Cervantes Theatre in Badalona which had been commandeered for use as a women’s prison. On 31 October she appeared before the military judge in Badalona. From then until the Urgent Summary Court Martial held in the Palace of Justice in Barcelona on 2 January 1940 she was held in the women’s prison in Les Corts. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, which sentence was confirmed on 7 March 1940. Towards the end of the summer of 1941, after a number of fever attacks, the Les Corts prison doctor diagnosed her with TB, a disease exacerbated by the repeated beatings to which she was subjected. Julia Romera Yañez eventually died at 10.00 p.m. on 6 September 1941, having declined “spiritual comfort”, in the infirmary of the Les Corts female prison in Barcelona. She is commemorated by the “Julia Romera People’s Ateneo” in Santa Coloma de Gramanet.
From: http://anarcoefemerides.balearweb.net/. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.
In KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 60, October 2009