A watch has been returned to the family of a man who had it taken from him by Nazi guards at the concentration camp in which he had died in over seven decades ago.
The family of Joan Llado recently recovered a wristwatch that was taken from the then 31-year old man before he died in the Nazi concentration camp of Ravensbruck in Northern Germany in 1944.
Ester Capella, The Minister of Justice For Catalonia, announced that the wristwatch will be returned to the relatives of Joan today (19 March) 77 years after it was taken from him.
The watch has been part of the ‘Stolen Memory’ exhibition hosted by the Exile Memorial Museum (MUME) in the La Jonquera municipality in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia.
The ‘Stolen Memory’ exhibition focuses on telling the story of the holocaust through everyday belongings that had been confiscated from people arrested by the Nazis.
Amongst the items at the exhibition was Joan Llado’s wristwatch.
Joan Llado was born in the town of Manresa in Catalonia on 13th of December 1914.
During the Spanish civil war in 1939, Joan fled the country and sought refuge in France.
However, Joan escaped the war in his home country only to witness the invasion of France by Germany in 1940.
In March 1944 Joan was arrested by the German Gestapo in the Northwestern French town of Rennes accused of being a member of the French revolutionary forces who were fighting to liberate the country from German occupation.
Joan was deported to Northern Germany where he was imprisoned in the Ravensbruck concentration camp where his name was replaced with his prisoner number 30,857.
Joan died of pneumonia in the camp in April 1945 just five days before it was liberated by the Soviet Union.
MUME was aware of who the watch belonged to but did not know that Joan had living relatives let alone that they were in Catalonia.
Eric Torra, Joan’s grandson, reached out to the MUME after finding his grandad’s name on a list of 50 Spaniards arrested by the Nazi’s in the town of Rennes in 1944.
After confirming that the wristwatch was taken from Eric’s grandfather 77 years ago by Nazi soldiers the MUME decided the watch should be returned to Joan’s family.