Juan Romero was among 7,500 compatriots imprisoned at Mauthausen camp in Austria
A picture Juan Romero kept at his home showing the date of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp by US troops. Photograph: Carlos Hernández
The last survivor of 7,500 Spaniards who were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria has died at the age of 101, just weeks after his heroic anti-fascism efforts were finally recognised by his homeland.
Juan Romero, who was born in Córdoba in 1919, was a teenager when the Spanish civil war broke out and went on to fight for the republicans in some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict, including the Battle of the Ebro, where he was wounded.
After crossing the border into France alongside 500,000 fellow republican exiles in 1939, Romero joined the French Foreign Legion. He was captured by the Nazis in the summer of 1940 and eventually sent to Mauthausen, where 5,200 “stateless” republican Spaniards were murdered or worked or starved to death.
Juan Romero recently. Photo Carlos Hernández