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Mercedes Núñez Targa

Mercedes Núñez Targa was born in Barcelona in 1911. Despite a middle-class upbringing, the turbulent social and political atmosphere of the 1920s and '30s impacted her profoundly and she became an active member of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia from an early age. Working as secretary to poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda during his time as Chilean consul in Barcelona, her outrage at Franco's military coup in 1936 galvanised her commitment to the fight against fascism. She was arrested in November 1939 and spent most of the next six years in fascist prisons, firstly in Spain, and then in Nazi Germany. Freed at the end of the war, Núñez Targa continued to campaign against the Franco regime while in exile in France. She was finally able to return to Spain after Franco’s death in 1975. She died in Spain in 1986.