Spanish hero honoured in Paris

Spanish hero remembered

Angel Víctor Torres, at the tribute ceremony. Credit:

Recently, a ‘forgotten’ Spanish hero was honoured in Paris for his bravery in the defence of freedom.

On 20 February 2024, Angel Victor Torres, the Minister for Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, paid homage to Celestino Alfonso in Paris, a Spaniard who fiercely fought with the French Resistance against Nazi occupation.

Remembering Alfonso

This tribute, held at Mont Valerien, marks 80 years since the Third Reich executed 23 resistance fighters.

Torres highlighted the significance of the event, stating, ‘For the first time, the name of a Spaniard will appear in the Pantheon of Illustrious Men in Paris, as a fighter, resister and defender of freedom.’

Representing the Spanish government, Torres acknowledged how important it was ‘to recognise the courage of the people who defended freedom and the fight against fascism and Nazism with their lives, and to acknowledge the dedication of a Spanish hero, who is being recognised here in Paris today. The Spanish government could not be absent from this event.’

A legacy of courage

The ceremony underscores the unity between France and Spain in commemorating those who fought for freedom.

Celestino Alfonso, who battled in the Spanish Civil War before joining the French Resistance, is celebrated as a beacon of courage.

Torres remarked: ‘An example, especially for future generations. History must always be remembered in order to avoid mistakes and to praise those whose blood and struggle made it possible for us to enjoy democracy today.

‘That war against fascism and Nazism was won, with great loss of life. And that is the importance of this act, that the war was won through the bravery, courage and sacrifice of people like Celestino Alfonso, and other men and women.’

He concluded: ‘They all gave their lives for a noble cause: to defeat totalitarianism and achieve victory.’

An International Tribute

The Spanish delegation, including Ambassador Victorio Redondo Baldrich and other officials, attended the event, emphasising Spain’s commitment to honouring its hero’s memory.

The inclusion of Alfonso’s name alongside French historical figures in the Pantheon symbolises a shared victory over tyranny, a sentiment which is given greater poignancy given today’s world scene.

This tribute not only commemorates a shared history of resistance but also serves as a reminder of the enduring values of bravery, sacrifice, and the pursuit of freedom.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.