Lluís Companys i Jover

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Lluís Companys i Jover (Catalan pronunciation: [ʎuˈis kumˈpaɲs]) (June 21, 1882 – October 15, 1940) was the 123rd President of Catalonia, Spain from 1934 and during the Spanish Civil War.

He was a lawyer and leader of the political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. Exiled after the war, he was captured and handed over by the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, to the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who had him executed by firing squad in 1940. Companys is the only incumbent president of a region in Europe to have been executed,[1] and seventy years later the Spanish state has not yet annulled the council of war which sentenced him.

Contents

Life

Companys was the son of farmers Josep Companys and Maria Lluïsa de Jover. After getting his law degree from the Universitat de Barcelona, Companys participated in the political life of Catalonia from a young age. In 1906, as a result of the military burning the writings of Catalan newspapers Cu-Cut! and La Veu de Catalunya, and after the passing of the Ley de Jurisdicciones ("Law of Jurisdictions"), which made speech against Spain and its symbols a criminal offence, he participated in the creation of Solidaridad Catalana.

Later, he became affiliated to the ephemeral Unió Federal Nacionalista Republicana, of which he was president of the youth section. He was investigated for his intense youth activities and was jailed fifteen times, being classified after the Tragic Week of Barcelona as a "dangerous individual" in police records.

With Francesc Layret, Companys represented the left-wing labor faction of the Partit Republicà Català (Catalan Republican Party), for which he was elected councillor of Barcelona in 1916. In November 1920, he was detained together with Salvador Seguí (known as El Noi del Sucre), Martí Barrera, Josep Viadiu, and other trade unionists and was deported to the Castell de la Mola in Mahón, on Menorca. Shortly afterward, Layret was assassinated while preparing his defence.

Despite his deportation, in the 1920 legislative elections, Companys was elected deputy of Sabadell, taking the place of Layret, who was to have taken that seat prior to his assassination. This gave him parliamentary immunity, which secured his release from prison.

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