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Author: Bruno Thursday 5 March 2020

I’ve always thought that living through a war must be a very hard experience. We, fortunately, have not lived through one. My grandmother, still alive at 96, has explained to us several times what it meant for her to live through a complicated period like the Civil War. She has always made me think that you can’t really have an idea of what a war is if you haven’t lived through one. Víctor Amela, in his new book NOS ROBARON LA JUVENTUD (They stole our youth, published by Plaza & Janés in Spanish and Rosa dels Vents in Catalan), has wanted to make his own tribute to all those young people who were called up during the Civil War.

This generation of young people was known as “la Quinta del Biberón”, and many of them were not even eighteen years old when they lost their lives in the cruel Battle of the Ebro. The survivors of this war eventually ended up in prisons and jails, in concentration camps or in disciplinary battalions. All of them kept forever the terrible memory of that war in which they fought with espadrilles and without cartridges.

NOS ROBARON LA JUVENTUD presents a great work of investigation that the author has carried out in an excellent way. Amela has compiled the valuable witness of twenty-five survivors to reconstruct in this book the memory of these boys who were forced to give up their youth. In this way, the author has created an incredible human story that pays homage to all the anonymous heroes of the Quinta del Biberón on time to celebrate the centenary of the events. We hope that books like these will make us think about the past and not allow another generation to lose their youth.

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