The Cordellats

How to cite: Montse Feu. "The Cordellats." Fighting Fascist Spain --The Exhibits. Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections. Accessed [DATE].

Long-established performers became part of the SHC executive committee. For example, Cuban American María Cordellat and her husband, Valencian baritone Vicente Cordellat (1893 - 1956), regularly performed on the SHC stage along with Reid: María played the piano, and Vicente sang. The Cordellats significantly contributed to raising funds and helped pay the rent for the SHC and its periodical España Libre headquarters.

Beyond fundraising, María Cordellat excelled in her role as the SHC secretary. The SHC received numerous petitions for help from refugees because of the transnational reach of España Libre (1939-1977 New York) and its clandestine infiltration in Spain. To aid refugees, Cordellat leaned on several SHC networks. She (1) contacted Immigration Detention Centers and the Department of Justice to inquire about Spanish refugees, (2) visited detainees, (3) found ways for the ships’ insurance to pay for the fares of transshipping to visa-granting countries for arriving stowaways, (4) sought additional funds by asking other aid organizations, (4) informed lawyers and assisted with the paperwork, (5) corresponded with North American Government officials, (6) and provided much-needed answers to relatives seeking information about their family members.

She visited Ellis Island twice a week. She was known there as the “Spanish Mother” (“María está enferma”11 Nov. 1949). For more details on her activism, see Feu, Fighting Fascist Spain (2020), 91-94.