A graveyard for two armies: the mass graves of El Soleràs (1938-1939)

Anna Camats Malet, Òscar Escala Abad, Andreu Moya i Garra, Noemí Riudor Garcia, Enric Tartera Bieto, Ares Vidal Aixalà

The Republican Army in July 1938, at the height of the 1936- 1939 Civil War, chose the town of Soleràs to treat soldiers wounded in the Battle of the Ebro and the Segre front. The soldiers who did not survive their wounds in the hospital of Soleràs were buried in mass graves in the old cemetery of the village. The same cemetery also served to bury part of the town’s residents, victims of the aerial bombing of 25 December 1938. Once occupied by Franco’s army, the old cemetery also became the place of rest for the rebel soldiers who perished during the Battle of Les Garrigues.

Archaeological excavations of these mass graves were carried out within the framework of the Pla de Fosses project managed by the Catalan government. The excavations not only recovered 126 individuals buried in this cemetery, but offer valuable information about the field hospital and war medicine.

Keywords: mass graves, soldiers, war medicine, aerial bombings, civilian victims.