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By Manuel J. Peláez, María del Carmen Amaya Galván and Cristina Castillo Rodríguez


The main aim of the fourth part of this article is to continue publishing service notes by René Baulard, lieutenant colonel, later colonel, and Special Commissioner for the Andorran Valleys, regarding his second term of office, between 1936 and 1940. The recent release of the film «There Be Dragons», directed and written by the British Roland Joffé, is a truly significant event related to the above. This film had a different previous screenplay written by a North American screenwriter, Barbara Nicolosi (a former nun), whose plot focused on the escape of a group of characters, who would become more significant with time, from Madrid to Valencia, from there to Barcelona, then to Pallerols, and, finally, from Pallerols to Andorra. These characters represented all those who escaped from the Republican zone towards Andorra in order to cross the border at Hospitalet and Ax-les-Thermes towards Hendaye, thus reaching the National zone. Many historical facts (which do not belong to the world of film fiction) related to this route have already been published in Octavio Rico and Dámaso Ezpeleta’s book, which describes facts until Andorra is reached, and Alfred Llahí and Jordi Piferrer’s work, which focuses on the stay in the Co-principality of Andorra. The film director, Roland Joffé, who had decided to make a film which bore his personal imprint, discarded the existing screenplay and wrote a story where fact and fiction intertwine, and actual and fictional characters coexist. However, we are not interested in these fictional characters since we are only concerned about the actual story. The recent book by Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, co-producer of the film, is a good guide about the film and its making-of for it answers many questions posed by the film through his annotated interview with Roland Joffé. The part of the fugitive priest, who would later become Saint Josemaría Escrivá and reached Andorra as a political refugee, is played by the British actor Charlie Cox, and, according to many, it is a very realistic performance because of the way the saint is depicted during the Republican period and the Spanish Civil War. Unax Ugalde plays the mathematician Pedro Casciaro and he also bears a remarkable resemblance to the actual character. On the contrary, Alfonso Bassave does not look like professor Juan Jiménez Vargas but is able to portray this Human Physiology lecturer’s high-spirited character. Pablo Lapadula does look like the engineer Isidoro Zorzano Ledesma but it is difficult to pinpoint other political refugees in the group such as Miguel Fisac, Francisco Botella Raduán, Tomás Alvira Alvira, Manuel Sáinz de los Terreros Villacampa, and José María Albareda Herrera. There is an actual event, which is approached as fictional in the film, and it is not completely unrealistic so it might as well have happened. We refer to the celebration of Mass in the Ribalera ravine, a very well-known event which has given rise to two moving descriptions by two eyewitnesses but they have nothing to do with many literary recreations which merely repeat a witness’s testimony, who was not a member of Jiménez Vargas’s group, by biographers who did not witness the event. The first description is Pedro Casciaro’s and the second one by the young Catalonian Antonio de Dalmases Esteva, who wrote some unpublished memoirs whose manuscript includes a completely breathtaking description. In «There Be Dragons», the film’s antagonist, Manuel Torres, is having a gun aimed at Saint Josemaría while he is celebrating Holy Mass in the Ribalera but the gun is held by another militiaman, who tells Torres the target is within range and he is going to shoot with or without his permission. Then Torres asks him to wait a moment and, right away, he, who is a nationalist infiltrated in the Republican army, shoots the militiaman in the head with his own gun, exactly the same way he used to do in the Madrid barricades with Ildiko, who is an anarchist in the International Brigades and female lead in the film. Torres felt rejected by this woman, who had given birth to a child as a result of an affair she had had with an anarchist who had committed suicide, and her son would be later adopted by Torres. Moreover, Manuel Torres had executed another anarchist in Madrid in exactly the same way, that is, with a shot in the head at close range. This type of situation in which one would be within shooting distance of the militia rifles might have taken place several times during the escape through the Pyrenees, and especially in the vicinity of the entry into Andorra. «Political refugees» did not give the impression of having been aware of being in danger even in Andorran territory (Antonio de Dalmases was indeed aware of it when he entered Andorra). Colonel René Jules Baulard’s service notes and other correspondence forwarded to the Eastern Pyrenees Prefect and Permanent Delegate in Andorra, and to the Commander in chief of the XVIth Military Region, prove it. Spanish militia would frequently enter Andorra and shoot those fleeing Republican Spain. This was the case on 12th March 1937, when René Baulard recounted the threats by some anarchist groups in Seo d'Urgell against Andorra and how he was determined to establish a defence plan for the Valleys based upon two hypotheses: the first one, an attack against Sant Julià de Lòria; and, the second one, another attack against Andorra la Vella. He also mentioned a possible attack on the Escaldes electric power station. On Tuesday 28th September 1937, Baulard reported the Prefect that «an injured refugee had been captured by the Spanish border guards», while the rest had managed to escape but without specifying whether they were still Spain or they had entered Andorra. Refugees were still entering Andorra by the dozen. However, it is particularly relevant to the present case how, on 30th November 1937 Baulard pointed out to the Prefect that «the influx of Spanish political refugees, which had been particularly significant during the month of October –over a thousand refugees had gone through the Valleys during that period– has decreased by more than half in November. The reasons for this might be that clashes, usually bloody, between border guards and refugees on the border may have increased, and, on top of that, surveillance along the 20-kilometre border has become more intense». On the other hand, clergy was especially in danger. In the second half of July 1936 some fifty priests of the Seo d'Urgell diocese took refuge in Andorra, and from there they headed towards France crossing the border. A French priest was murdered, in Andorran territory, by some Spanish anarchists who forced him to get off a bus and then left his dead body riddled with bullets on the road. We can also find a coincidental reference to a monetary claim in the documentation published in this article, on the occasion of Papinaud’s official mission in Andorra in 1886, which was later included in a well-known report. Pierre-Louis-Clovis Papinaud was the Subprefect of Prades and carried out research, commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Andorran Valleys which clearly revealed how the situation there was completely peaceful and did not deserve any special concern by French authorities. He then had to carry out several other activities in the Co-principality. Papinaud was a peculiar character, who was married to an attractive woman, known as “the beautiful Pepa”, Joséphine Pujol, who had attracted the Herculean Subprefect despite the age difference between them. Papinaud was also the mayor of Cuxac and had a brilliant career in French colonies where he held several offices such as Governor of Mayotte, from 4th May 1888 to April 1893, and from March 1899 until the Samson of Conflet (Papinaud was a very strong man) died in Suez in July 1900 when he was returning to France. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs was very significant in relation to Andorra in the period of our research, that is, from 1881 to 1965, since it was the usual channel of communication between the Presidence of the Republic and the Prefect of the Eastern Pyrenees, who was Permanent Delegate for Andorran affairs. The following ministers of Foreign Affairs in the French Third Republic are worth mentioning as regards documentation contained herein and in the previous parts of this article: Charles-Louis de Saulces de Freycinet, Émile Flourens, Alexandre Ribot, Stéphen Pichon, and Paul Reynaud, minister of Foreign Affairs from 11th March to 18th May and from 5th to 16th June 1940; once the Vichy Government was set up, the most interesting Foreign Affairs ministers were Paul Baudouin, from 16th June to 28th October 1940, and, above all, Pierre Laval, who held the Foreign Affairs portfolio from 28th October to 13th December 1940, and from 18th April 1942 to 20th August 1944. As for final documentation with respect to education in French in the Co-principality of Andorra, the key figure was the minister Maurice Couve de Murville, who headed the portfolio from 1st June 1958 to 30th May 1968. However, the most relevant Foreign Affairs ministers in our research are those during the second Special Commission of the Valleys, which was headed by René Baulard. During this period, the Foreign Affairs ministers were Yvon Delbos, Josep Paul-Boncour, Georges Bonnet, Édouard Daladier, and the aforementioned Paul Reynaud and Paul Baudouin. The last part of this article will be devoted to the publication of other official documentation by the Rector of the Academie de Montpellier, by the Prefect of the Eastern Pyrenees, and by the Veguer of France in Andorra, regarding the implementation of new French studies in the Andorran PrincipalityThere Be Dragons, Cruzando la noche. Caminos difíciles en tiempos dramáticos», Pierre-Louis-Clovis Papinaud, René-Jules Baulard, Roland Joffé, Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, Charlie Cox, Jacques-Marie-Geoges Lafargue, Jules-Adrien-Jean Bonhoure, Fernando de los Ríos Urruti, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, Jean-Auguste Brutails, José María Albareda Herrera, Manuel Sainz de los Terreros Villacampa, Francisco Botella Raduán, Tomás Alvira, Miguel Fisac Serna, Juan Jiménez Vargas, Jean-Louis Hague Roma, Justí Guitart i Vilardebó, Ramón Iglesias Navarri, Manuel Moreno Ferrer, Pedro Casciaro Ramírez, Jordi Piferrer, Alfred Llahí, Pedro Rodríguez García, Special Colonel Commissioner, Foreign Affairs Minister, French gendarmerie, Consulate General of France in Barcelona, Special Commissioner in Foix, Political refugees, Vicar Capitular in Urgell, German properties in Andorra, Andorra’s Parliament, Joint sovereignty rights, Andorra’s constitutional history, Eastern Pyrenees Prefect

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