This article discusses the testimonial writings of the Catalan-Galician political activist Mercedes Núñez Targa who was imprisoned in Spain, France and Germany at the end of the Spanish Civil War. In her works, Cárcel de Ventas (1967) and Destinada al crematorio (1980), Núñez Targa details the horrific conditions that Republican prisoners endured and documents the widespread practice of gendered violence inflicted on women in Francoist camps and prisons. This analysis focuses particularly on her description of her experiences in Ventas women’s prison in Madrid. Núñez Targa deploys the testimonial genre to recount both her own experiences and those of her fellow prisoners, highlighting the particularly cruel treatment directed at pregnant women and mothers as part of the regime’s efforts to prevent the transgenerational transmission of left-wing ideologies.
Gendered repression. Sexual violence. Ventas prison. Mercedes Núñez Targa.