My mother’s family lived in a small town in Cuenca called Mira. They lived through the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship “better”- so to speak- than people did in big cities like Barcelona or Madrid, able as they were to keep on working the land and leading a more or less normal existence, apart from the odd problem caused by my great-grandfather’s connection with the trade union.
Around 1967 the regime set in motion plans to build a reservoir exactly where the town was located, it was to be covered by water and they were forced to emigrate. A lot of my grandmother’s family emigrated to Valencia because some relatives had moved there after the war. My grandfather’s family, however, emigrated to Catalonia.
I am still not totally sure what made my grandparents move there instead of Valencia, but my grandmother says that my grandfather had always wanted to go to Catalonia, whereas he had already been to the province where Valencia is situated and didn’t like it. One thing is for certain, if they hadn’t emigrated to Catalonia, my parents would never have met because my father was born in Reus and lived in a small town in the Valles area called La Garriga. If none of this had happened, neither my brother nor me would be alive today, and so in some ways I am happy things happened as they did, if not my parents wouldn’t be who they are and my brother and I would not exist.
I would like to make it clear that from an ethical point of view I do not approve of the way history happened, as is often the case. The wealthy received most help from the Regime and once again the land owner was prioritized, whereas the tenants were surely more in need. I do however approve of the consequences of the reservoir being built, because without this, my family would not exist as we know it.