Former Catalan health minister Toni Comín, exiled in Brussels, has taken part in the acts of homage to the victims of Nazism at the former concentration camp of Mauthausen, in Austria. The exiled politician told media that he was in Mauthausen in "representation of the Catalan Republic", and stated that he had been invited by the Catalan historical memory association Triangle Blau.
Comín deposited an offering of a triangular Catalan flag made with flowers. He was accompanied by other Catalans carrying pro-independence estelades as well as an anti-fascist flag.
Avui hem estat a Mauthausen amb els amics de @TriangleBlauAT en l'acte anual de commemoració de l'alliberament del camp de concentració. No hi ha avui a Europa cap vivència tan colpidora ni tan necessària com mirar cara a cara l'horror del qual va ser capaç el nostre continent. pic.twitter.com/3L8PI1xg1z— Toni Comín (@toni_comin) 5 de maig de 2019
"Today we've been at Mauthausen with friends from @TriangleBlauAT at the annual commemoration of the liberation of the concentration camp. There is no experience in Europe that is as shocking or as necessary as looking face-to-face at the horror our continent was capable of." — Toni Comín
Comín told Efe that he had been present at this event, but that he only made it public hours afterwards in order to avoid a possible activation of the European Arrest Warrant by the Spanish justice system.
The former minister and, now, JxCat candidate in Europe took part with the Triangle Blau association in the floral offerings in memory of the victims of Nazism during the central event of the ceremony at Mauthausen. However, he was not present at any of the tributes attended by Catalan government representatives or the Spanish government delegation headed by justice minister Dolores Delgado.
The general director of Democratic Memory in the Catalonia administration, Gemma Domènech, who went to Mauthausen on behalf of Quim Torra's government, explained to the Efe agency that she had known "nothing" about the presence of Comín at the commemoration. Earlier, Domènech and Comín had greeted each other at one point, during the central tribute to the prisoners deported to the Nazi camp, as Efe witnessed.
Mauthausen, where around 7,500 Spanish republicans were imprisoned, of whom more than 4,500 died, was known as "the camp of the Spaniards".