Add comment August 6th, 2013 Headsman
That identification, stretching all the way back to the club’s formative early-20th century years (“History of FC Barcelona” enjoys its own voluminous Wikipedia page) put the Barca president at the end of fascist guns on this date in 1936.
Josep Sunyol was born into the Catalan elite, and had a varied career in the public eye: left activist, parliamentary deputy, newspaper founder, and, come 1935, president of FC Barcelona. He’d been serving on the Barca board of directors since 1928. There’s a lengthy Sunyol biography here.
It was in his political, rather than his footballing, capacity that in August 1936 — just days into the Spanish Civil War — Sunyol traveled from Barcelona to Madrid to meet with fellow Republicans.
On the return trip from Madrid, Sunyol’s chauffeured car flying the Catalan senyera was stopped by pro-Franco Falangist forces in the Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid. It may have been only inadvertently that Sunyol crossed this checkpoint of nationalists, who were already gathering for an attack on Madrid that would eventually inspire For Whom The Bell Tolls. (Indeed, this novel is set in the Sierra de Guadarrama.)
Whatever Sunyol’s intention, he was quickly recognized and detained by his foes on the evening of August 6. Shortly thereafter, they decided to shoot him out of hand.
The civil war and the era of Franco are still sensitive topic in Spain, but FC Barcelona’s politically engaged supporters have pushed the present-day club (with partial success) to more overtly embrace its anti-fascist “martyr president”.
On this day..
- 2013: Nguyen Anh Tuan, Vietnam's first lethal injection - 2016
- 1883: James Burton, William Marwood's last - 2015
- 1788: John and Robert Winter, father and son - 2014
- Corpses Strewn: All in the Family - 2014
- 1759: Eugene Aram, philologist - 2012
- 1942: Janusz Korczak and his orphans - 2011
- 1795: Pomp, a Negro - 2010
- 1628: Johannes Junius "will never see you more" - 2009
- 1890: William Kemmler, only in America - 2008