Às escondidas, elas também fizeram a revolução – EN

Às escondidas, elas também fizeram a revolução – EN

Hidden away, these women also made the Revolution

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The story of 25 April 1974, the date of Portugal’s revolution, is nearly always told by courageous captains, poets and singer-songwriters, revolutionaries, intellectuals and leaders of parties. Always men. Women, who were also on the frontline in the fight against fascism, have been sidelined. They suffered the threat of imprisonment, torture and death just like men, but they also renounced their family and even their own identity.

Who are these women?

Where are the houses where they lived out their underground struggle?

And what was their role in the Revolution, really?

Hidden away, these women also made the Revolution

Maria Machado PulquérioMaria Machado Pulquério grew up in secret yards and presses. When she turned 17, she went to study in the former Soviet Union, where finally she could open up to the world. She was part of the armed branch of the Portuguese Community Party.
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Luísa Tito de MoraisForced exile took Luísa Tito de Morais to Paris, Prague and Algiers. When she returned to Portugal to join the underground resistance, she discovered that being a women—and a mother—limited her more than she had expected.https://www.elas-fizeram-revolucao.divergente.pt/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/storyposter-luisa-morais.jpg
Adélia Correia Terruta20/03/1939GrândolaMaria, Isabel Maria, Alice Maria de Sousa7 years, 9 months and 25 days2 years, 6 months and 27 days38.71896400343032, -9.168226815344193
Aida da Conceição Paula9/12/1918LisboaGenovena, Rosa, Marta, Isabel, Maria Fernanda Soares18 years, 6 months and 8 days10 years, 10 months and 20 days38.72872451952526, -9.15689015767213
Aida de Freitas Loureiro Magro04/04/1918Huíla, AngolaEva12 years5 years, 8 months and 8 days38.72783964238743, -9.1202587865069
Albina Fernandes05/01/1928Soissons, FrançaRosália, Clara da Silva12 years, 2 months and 15 days6 years, 6 months and 27 days38.76338112824799, -9.23214442209012//38.704991609520306, -9.196873671163951//38.69725933604765, -9.426691360138761
Amélia Maria Estêvão25/04/1937CorucheIrene, Maria Augustax4 years, 11 months and 22 daysx38.639401642518415, -8.958865392128912
Cândida Margarida Ventura30/06/1918Maputo, MoçambiqueJoana, Rosa, André, Rosário, Catarina Mendes, Vitória17 years and 3 days2 years, 11 months and 8 days38.74795080132133, -9.1471365
Casimira da Conceição Silva08/09/1917Vila Franca de Xirax7 years, 3 months and 9 days2 years, 7 months and 4 days38.72386479166239, -9.120303128836051//38.69614097178122, -9.376078587204788
Colélia Maria Alves Fernandes07/02/1929LouresMaria Reis Silva Valença, Leonor Borges, Inês11 years and 18 daysx38.70998191259282, -9.146153639520879//40.16561575020548, -8.87479081563405
Domicília Maria Correia da Costa25/01/1946Vila Franca de XiraDeolinda, Daniela, Cilinha17 yearsx38.70265424774109, -9.183924840371642//41.16480277839713, -8.57198048705239//38.70034247981826, -8.95342518436088
Fernanda de Paiva Tomás08/11/1928MortáguaMaria, Maia, Ana9 years, 1 month and 6 days9 years, 9 months and 18 days38.70265424774109, -9.183924840371642
Georgette de Oliveira Ferreira25/07/1924Vila Franca de XiraHelena, Paiva9 years, 2 months and 6 days4 years, 10 months and 18 days38.5726044627039, -8.884524115722934//41.16275546424744, -8.611124908794544
Ivone Conceição Dias Lourenço03/04/1937Vila Franca de Xirax12 years, 6 months and 23 days6 years, 6 months and 17 days38.72386479166239, -9.120303128836051//38.63485911427887, -8.914537091374722
Joaquina Gomes Martins03/06/1910Barreiroxx1 year, 4 months and 22 days38.7412885452666, -9.161644060217277//38.79904546314229, -9.343041235256043
Laura dos Santos Correia Serra14/10/1924Lisboax24 years, 4 months and 28 days3 days38.72555544452864, -9.11773777778397//40.21370914241402, -8.426379413491853//38.72705727464558, -9.133835382563376//38.711739205515165, -9.162535230688391//38.929826724407555, -9.224903056666216//41.333491353673416, -8.726876552427393//38.78437839079273, -9.28157903829519//40.76141553412432, -8.567427973571325//41.154305730935114, -8.626956135745534//38.71868628788669, -9.161162843479588//40.1949371821525, -8.402658948968005//38.80014633111673, -9.381986499999998//38.796387397193925, -9.472590355917676//38.723124439950475, -9.155258787124424//38.655101074186064, -9.072972302468765//40.95220931523974, -8.655187237270551
Luísa da Conceição Paula25/12/1898Lisboaxx5 years, 3 months and 12 days38.72872451952526, -9.15689015767213
Luísa Rodrigues07/03/1903LisboaLaura, Maria7 years, 1 month and 11 days7 months and 22 days40.65214969833657, -8.452165452758114
Maria Adelaide Dias Coelho Aboim Inglez27/03/1932Castelo BrancoMaria Luísa Santos Costa, Margarida da Silva Lopes5 years1 year, 9 months and 20 days38.711868756407696, -9.168035249173624//38.71862052384588, -9.122356238338648
Maria Alda Barbosa Nogueira19/03/1923Lisboax15 years, 3 months and 13 days9 years, 1 month and 21 days38.72991263821518, -9.125993260586833
Maria Alice Dinis Parente Capela12/07/1941Vila Franca de XiraOlga, Teresa, Maria Cristina13 years, 11 months and 13 days4 years, 9 months and 10 days38.70613419977984, -9.17708828465695//38.721442185627744, -9.122797042327901//38.74581615076835, -9.22318213093614//38.70614673797134, -9.177131202547082//38.75809010073179, -9.140766870598837
Maria Clementina da Conceição Coelho Amália16/11/1915SetúbalJúlia, Rosa, Mariax6 months and 3 days38.75809010073179, -9.140766870598837//41.16275546424744, -8.611124908794544//41.160271234383124, -8.59457170889804
Maria Clementina de Jesus25/05/1909Óbidosxx1 year, 4 months and 9 days38.736625196438176, -9.122625786750616
Maria da Conceição Rodrigues de Matos Abrantes21/12/1936São Pedro do SulMarília, Maria Helena4 years, 5 months and 21 days1 year, 8 months and 10 days38.70935421797186, -8.969123488609338
Maria da Glória Simões24/08/1916Vagosxx4 years, 5 months and 2 days38.716247068055324, -9.172568265349188//38.70388570049834, -9.200803971333182//41.19001225554312, -8.640511500655961//38.70614673797134, -9.177131202547082//38.75809010073179, -9.140766870598837//38.71619255729365, -9.172678923607606//38.72234521626995, -9.131024196399382//41.155716110696446, -8.610004646790992
Maria da Piedade Gomes dos Santos10/12/1919Marinha Grandex16 years, 6 months and 5 days5 years, 9 months and 14 days38.70103165066484, -9.206183744796254//38.70141445379226, -9.183178810407522
Maria dos Santos Machado25/02/1890Calheta, AçoresRubina3 years, 10 months and 7 days2 years, 8 months and 21 days39.845260412171974, -8.348733968485305
Maria Fernanda do Patrocínio Ferreira Alves Rodrigues03/07/1931LisboaCecília4 years, 3 months and 6 days4 years, 9 months and 9 days38.73938508676227, -9.147215602466355
Maria Fernanda SilvaxMadalena, Elsaxxx41.164388535725, -8.6016213063034//41.16252180852459, -8.638394702394809//41.36265911678506,-8.748530506385965//41.19266917156419, -8.611315151181651//41.16051791713879, -8.632547453028796
Maria Lourenço Calção Cabecinha17/03/1933Montemor-o-NovoLina16 years, 1 month and 12 days5 years, 5 months and 7 daysx38.639401642518415, -8.958865392128912
Maria Luísa Mealha Tito de Morais19/08/1942Lisboax2 yearsx38.74325388656493, -9.141569716261335//38.7389510907608, -9.120504858203983
Maria Luísa Palhinhas Costa Dias15/10/1916CoimbraMaria Cecília19 years4 years, 5 months and 2 days38.47964166938074, -8.993510982835849
Maria Machado Castelhano Pulquério22/12/1949SerpaLeonor, Maria, Maria Helena15 yearsx38.774738502430736, -9.269485416010884//38.75428705244665, -9.200600055819756//38.78893046554234, -9.182927800169352//38.74634418768019, -9.221993248573552//38.75740210033964, -9.207073848681834//38.77971454208465, -9.325846871905926//38.74403460772287, -9.156751129071719//38.735336339330054, -9.4107285624052//38.96156557830097, -9.355367530816801//38.82408325103448, -9.271625715957157
Maria Margarida Carmo Tengarrinha Campos Costa07/05/1928PortimãoLeonor15 yearsx38.750238328311774, -9.137207542327902//38.69592864391, -9.218948573264482
Mariana Rafael MoraisxAlmadaMaria, Clara20 yearsx38.72232422942424, -9.131011049417376
Sisaltina Maria dos Santos05/04/1926SinesZulmira, Maria Carolina dos Santos Pereira21 years10 months and 27 days41.17822890585785, -8.581996046649131//40.29842604751102, -7.506157438940834
Sofia de Oliveira Ferreira01/05/1922Vila Franca de XiraElvira, Zélia, Soares, Maria Adelaide13 years and 10 months11 years, 9 months and 14 days40.64028324334186, -8.446982122753568//40.38387533868018, -8.381080700085821//38.795090122874704, -9.16645191312348
Teodósia da Conceição Vagarinho Gregório11/01/1935Montemor-o-NovoLucinda16 years and 9 monthsx38.69592864391, -9.218948573264482
Úrsula Machado Castelhano Pulquério28/02/1924Serpaxx4 years, 3 months and 1 day38.774738502430736, -9.269485416010884//38.75428705244665, -9.200600055819756//38.74634418768019, -9.221993248573552//38.75740210033964, -9.207073848681834//38.77971454208465, -9.325846871905926//38.74548797033444, -9.223569419316158
Victória Barbosa Nogueiraxxxxx38.72991263821518, -9.125993260586833
Zita Maria de Seabra Roseiro25/05/1949CoimbraTeresa, Helena Vaz da Silva8 yearsx41.17951057907975, -8.369235515431809//41.619042923956414, -8.631796044378927

CONTAMOS COM O TEU APOIO PARA CONTINUAR A REVELAR SILÊNCIOS.

WE COUNT ON YOU TO KEEP ON UNVEILING SILENCES.

Maria Machado Pulquério

1. With your home on your back

By her own account, Maria Machado Pulquério spent no more than eight months in the house that held the best memories of youth. “Normally [safe] houses didn’t last very long, something would always happen to make us leave. It was really complicated, but that’s how it was.” But that house, a small, single-storey house with a view of the Rio de Mouro hills, in Sintra, won a special place—it marked the return of her younger sister to the family.

The arrival of Zezinha, as they all call her, broke the solitude to which she’d become accustomed, and put new wind in her sails. Now she had someone her own age to get up to mischief with.

Maria was born in Vale do Vargo, a small village between the Guadiana River and Spain. It was 1949, and the hangover from the hunger marches in the 40s lingered. Labourers, fishermen and peasants from Lisbon and the Ribatejo demanded “bread and such like” in protest against the food rationing imposed by Salazar.

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“That land saw a lot of suffering because it was covered in estates and people had seasonal work picking olives, doing the harvest… They didn’t have a regular job and there were lots of struggles as a result. I remember a protest with everyone in the street shouting. I went with my mum and my older sister, and my mum said, ‘Shout, girls, shout that you’re hungry!’. And it was true, we did go hungry.”

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At the end of the 1950s, the wage of a rural worker, excluding harvest time during the summer months, averaged around 26 escudos (nearly EUR 0.13), which barely covered the cost of a litre of olive oil (15 escudos), a dozen eggs (9 escudos) and a litre of beans (5 escudos).

They left before the sun came up, and returned after sundown, working arduous 14-hour days—when there was work at all. The struggle for better salaries and shorter working days was fought in the praça de jorna, town squares where workers sold their time and labour to large estate owners and their foremen.

Dear sirs I’ve come to market
To offer my body 
This shell of a body
To be bought and to sell
To be bought and to sell 
To haggle a deal 
In the deal being struck
Without which I won’t earn a buck.

Minhas senhoras e meus senhores…: vida, fome e morte nos campos de Beja durante o salazarismo, Paulo Lima e Susana Correia

Throughout the country, the National Republican Guard (GNR, acronym in Portuguese) surrounded, beat and arrested the protestors. For a child, who didn’t understand the regime’s repression, or the struggle for better working conditions, the authorities were just the “baddies”. 

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“As 1 May approached, the GNR went knocking on the doors of the more active protestors. My dad was one example, the next door neighbour another… So, I got the idea that the police were bad, they came to take away people who’d done nothing wrong.”

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In 1954, on the eve of 1 May, Labour Day, came the knock at the door. Her mother managed to hide copies of the then banned communist newspaper, Avante!; but they took her father away anyway. It happened again, and again, forcing Maria’s family to leave Vale do Vargo and move to Barreiro, on the south side of the River Tagus. Firstly, in a semi-clandestine state—a transition period, spent in the houses of other Portuguese Communist Party “comrades”, during which time they progressively cut ties with friends, family and their previous lives; later fully underground, in rented houses with false identities. Maria was the only one of the three sisters who didn’t go with them: first she stayed with her uncle and aunt; then with her grandparents, so she could finish primary school.

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“It was distressing being separated from my parents for so long. I remember once on the way home from school along the train line—I walked five kilometres to school and another five home—I saw someone walking up in the hills and thought, “It’s my dad!”. But it wasn’t; it was another comrade who had come to find out how things were. It was a terrible disappointment.”

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The end of the school year was approaching and Maria grew increasingly desperate to see her parents again: “Sooner or later, they’ll turn up”, she thought. The wait suffocated her with each passing day. 

Six years after having separated herself from her family, Maria’s mother came to find her at her grandparents’. By now, Maria was 11 years old. She was finally reunited with her mother, sisters and father. “I had little political awareness, at the time I didn’t even really know what it meant. I just wanted to be with my parents. That’s how and why I went underground, because I wanted to be close to them, like any child would.”

Maria returned, Zezinha left—it was the youngest’s turn to go to school. “We couldn’t go to school in hiding. We had false names, false addresses. We couldn’t.” A short time later, the oldest sister, Úrsula, went to study in the Soviet Union, in the Moscow Conservatory, and stayed there. With the comings and goings of underground life, Maria spent a large part of her childhood being separated from her sisters. The three would regroup only 13 years later, after 25 April 1974. 

When they talk about going underground, Communist Party activists talk about “diving”. They dived into a life that wasn’t theirs: they changed their hairstyle and clothes; they invented a past, a profession and a backstory to justify why they were living in a specific house, in a specific location. From peasants or students, they became teachers, translators or housewives. They practised their story countless times, they couldn’t get caught out by a curious and attentive neighbour or tradesman. They learned to respond, automatically, to a name that wasn’t their own.

“I learned to be an actress. I think people living underground are great actresses. (…) I had so many false names that, when I was imprisoned while pregnant with my son, they took me to the Alfredo da Costa Maternity Ward (…), I arrived at the window to register with my legal name and for a fraction of a second, I thought, ‘What am I called?’—I couldn’t remember. I didn’t remember my own name, my real name.”

Fernanda Alves Rodrigues in the book Mulheres da clandestinidade by Vanessa de Almeida

Not all women dove underground like Maria Machado Pulquério, a child who just wanted to be close to her parents. For some it was a choice in their adult life, for their own convictions, or to accompany their husbands or to try to escape the PIDE, the Portuguese secret police. Some went through a semi-clandestine phase, others simply dove in, no time for much preparation.

Margarida Tengarrinha—also called Maria, Marta and Leonor—is one of the most active voices among the women who went underground during the dictatorship, that the history books also call the Estado Novo [New State] (1933-1974). At 93, she still speaks with an unrelenting energy. “It is no New State, it is a dictatorship”. Unlike Maria Machado Pulquério, Margarida only went underground at 27, after a time studying Fine Arts at Lisbon University and in the ranks of the Democratic Unity Youth Movement (MUD, acronym in Portuguese). Originally from Portimão, she also had to hide her accent. “As I could never say that I was from the Algarve, I had to be very careful (…) I learned to speak with an anodyne, neutral accent, saying that I was from Coimbra or Estrada da Beira, or from Santarém, but always avoiding my old Algarve-type accent”, she explains to Cristina Nogueira in her book, Vidas na Clandestinidade.

Records of the times these women spent underground are scarce. Communist Party officers were advised to write as little as possible, document as little as possible. They memorised the information and, when it had served its purpose, they forgot it. As a rule, they kept no objects, photographs, documents. So, those living underground ran less risks, and moving house—which became routine—was easier. Perhaps because of this, Margarida Tengarrinha’s autobiography, Memórias de uma Falsificadora: a luta na clandestinidade pela liberdade em Portugal has become such a key work in contextualizing the daily lives of these women. 

These rules were yet to have relevance for Maria when, still a girl, she joined her family in clandestine life. She knew she wasn’t supposed to play with other children or speak about what happened at home, and that,  if anyone knocked on the door, she should say that her parents weren’t in. With all the restrictions of underground resistance, she had a very different life to other children. Even so, like any girl, sometimes she got into trouble.

For those living in hiding, having one, two or even three scares was more than expected. Today, remembering each stumble, Maria laughs; but at the time she felt a nearly palpable anxiety. The possibility that the PIDE would burst into a house was enough to make anyone’s blood run cold. But the house where she lived was different: behind the entrance, decorated with a vase of flowers and a picture, to spruce it up a bit, was a PCP printing device, used to print clandestine newspapers and pamphlets like Avante! or O Militante, a newsletter for Communist Party Members that encouraged theoretical reflection.

The type, Maria explains, was handmade: “There were no machines, it was all done manually. I helped my parents do this, we composed the text with the letters one by one.” When one page was completed, it was placed in an iron casement and the lead letters were squeezed to fix them in place and create a type of stamp. A layer of ink was painted on, a blank page placed on the top and pressed down with a heavy metallic roller covered in flannel. You would do a first pass, to check for spelling mistakes. Then the automatic muscle-memory production started—spread the ink, apply the sheet, roll the roller; spread the ink, apply the sheet, roll the roller; spread the ink, apply the sheet, roll the roller. “While primitive”, she remembers, it came out well. 

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“The time at the press, having produced Avante! and O Militante and all those leaflets, forced me to write correctly. It was funny. I find it much harder to write now.”

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The radio on, being extra careful—work continued. “Working also kept your mind busy”, says Maria. Living underground, no distraction was enough.

Discovering and dismantling the presses was a high priority for the secret police. At the beginning of the 1960s, the PCP Central Committee put a number of press offices to work in the north, middle and south of Portugal at once. Even when one press fell into the hands of the PIDE, others continued their work, meaning that Avante! was published uninterrupted from 1941 to 1974.

They also printed other newspapers and newsletters in these clandestine printers, such as O Militante, A Voz das Camaradas, O Corticeiro, O Camponês, and O Têxtil.

Moving a press to another house was, in the words of Manuel da Silva, the person responsible for the clandestine press between 1951 and 1963, “a hell of a job”. The roller alone weighed nearly 30 kilos. Maria’s parents undertook this task on a number of occasions around different districts in Lisbon.

2. Lines of defence

8 March 1971. It’s nearly one in the morning, and it’s pitch black. The Air Base No. 3 hangar, in Tancos, is full of planes and helicopters. Ângelo de Sousa and Carlos Coutinho are inside, holding torches that light up little more than their own feet. Their movements are light—they mustn’t wake anyone in the barracks. 

Ângelo de Sousa was an acting sergeant in the Armed Forces and was serving his obligatory military service. For him, getting a key to access to the pavilion wasn’t exactly a Herculean task—during military life, he saw how officers and sergeants snuck around filling their own cars with plane fuel before leaving for the weekend; the person responsible for the hangar key had no choice but to collaborate. “What could he do… say no… to his superiors?! It did involve a bit of hassle though. Really, who cared, the petrol wasn’t his; if he got caught, he’d say he knew nothing,” says Raimundo Narciso, PCP officer operating underground from June 1964.

The plan was made; Ângelo asked for the key: “The petrol is for Canejo’s car, he’s in a bit of a bind and is scared to ask.” A copy was made, meetings and reconnaissance missions agreed. They practiced one, two, three times. The most important thing was to not wake the barracks. They couldn’t get caught in the hangar, particularly with all those explosives.

In Santarém, Raimundo waits impatiently in the car. Why the hell are they taking so long? Has something gone wrong? His chest was tight; his face, if he had looked in a mirror, would have been white. Carlos and Ângelo return to the car past two in the morning, and, at around 3:20 am, the barracks awake suddenly to the sound of explosions. Raimundo remembers how the explosive charge and the petrol from the tanks “caused a big fire that partially destroyed the hangar” and put the 28 aircraft in it out of service.

The act of sabotage—the largest in Portugal and in which Maria Machado Pulquério was also involved—was executed by the armed branch of the PCP, the Armed Revolutionary Action or ARA. It wasn’t the first time—that was the Cunene, a troop transportation vessel moored in the maritime dock of Alcântara (Lisbon) in October 1970. Others were to follow: the PIDE Training School and the United States Cultural Centre in November 1970; the recently built COMIBERLANT facilities, the general barracks for the NATO Iberian Atlantic Area Command, in Oeiras, in October 1971, and the high-voltage electricity towers in Porto, Coimbra, Alhandra and Belas in August 1972. The objective was always the same: sabotage the military and logistical apparatus that sustained the dictatorship and the Colonial War.

The bombs used in many of these actions were assembled in a laboratory in Arruda dos Vinhos, district of Lisbon, where Maria and Raimundo lived. They met in 1967, when they travelled to Moscow with hundreds of other young communists from around the world to attend a political course at the Komsomol school—what was called the Communist Youth of the then Soviet Union. There, they studied Political Economics, Philosophy (with a particular emphasis on dialectical materialism), History of the International Workers and Communist Movement and, one of Maria’s favourite subjects, Russian—“Dobroye utro, tovarishch”, which was how they speedily said hello to the elderly supervisor when entering the dormitories.

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I went to Porto alone. My dad put me on the train to Porto at Braço de Prata [Lisbon]. When I arrived, I waited until someone turned up and I went with them. A crazy thing happened at that house, it wasn’t normal. The person who picked me up was married to an aunt of mine, my mum’s sister, also underground. We used to exchange letters sometimes to see how each other were doing. Through the party, obviously, not the mail. And so after a bit, I go with this person—I didn’t know who he was, I didn’t know him, I didn’t know he lived with my aunt.
But after a while he said, “Close your eyes”. I know we were in Porto, but exactly where I have no idea. After a while, we stopped and he said, “Now you can open your eyes”. And the door  opens  and there’s my aunt, who I’d not seen for years. So many years. I was terrified, well, shocked, because the party didn’t do this sort of thing. Either they didn’t know, or they thought, “Well, she saw her aunt as a kid, she’ll have forgotten her completely, she won’t know it’s her aunt.” So, I got a real fright because I couldn’t say I was her niece. She didn’t recognize me. Only that one day, I was studying French on my own, and I had a notebook with words and meanings. I showed her my book after a while. She looked at the book and said, “Wow, your handwriting’s the same as the letters from my sister!” And then, I said, “Of course, I’m your niece, Maria.”

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At 17, Maria became Leonor. She snuck over the border from Trás-os-Montes to Spain; then from Hendaye, on the Spain-France border, she caught a train to Paris, and then headed to Zurich, Switzerland; from Zurich, a plane took her to Prague, in the then Czechoslovakia, and finally landed in Moscow, then Soviet Union. It was also the first time she had caught a plane. For someone who had spent the last six years underground, life in Moscow was a breath of fresh air. There, she went to the opera, the ballet, the theatre… On Saturday nights, there were dances in the common room and loved-up youths serenaded the objects of their affections. This is also where she fell in love with Raimundo. 

Maria returned to Portugal at the end of the 1967 school year. In March the following year, she said goodbye to her parents without knowing when she would see them again and went to live with Raimundo in the first safe house they would share together—on the first floor of number 2 Rua Veloso Salgado, in Lisbon. A conventional wedding was impractical, so they held a symbolic ceremony. There was no priest, no family, no wedding, no veil—just the blessing from a comrade, suckling pig and sparkling wine. 

Already in 1968, Raimundo was selected to join the ARA leadership and there was no time to lose: they rented storerooms and cars; they accumulated pistols, machine guns, watches and electronic materials; and they acquired plastic and trinitrotoluene, better known as TNT—a light yellow chemical substance used primarily in explosives.

At the time, Maria also had other concerns—on 22 December, her twentieth birthday, the couple’s first daughter was born. They called her Leonor, the same name her mother used at the time. Even so, she continued to support her comrades in technical work, in the preparation of devices and actions, in the printing of communiqués and propaganda. “The laboratory was a house that we rented in the countryside to spend the holidays, and where we kept things: we took up a bit of the floor, dug it out, and everything was kept underneath.” The three would go on long walks to study targets. The little one had no idea.

The Armed Revolutionary Action gave Maria many sleepless nights. She would wait for news, heart in her mouth. “I wouldn’t sleep until he got home.” At times of uncertainty, the same doubts would come to her as Raimundo—What if the bombs explode as they plant them? And if they get caught? A few months prior, on 21 March 1971, noise and a torch light shining through the window woke them up with a start. Panic immediately set in. It could only be the PIDE, they thought: the State police was known for raiding houses in the middle of the night. Maria had already lit a match to destroy documents, when a familiar voice whispered on the other side of the window: “It’s me, Alfredo!”. He came with an urgent message that couldn’t wait until morning.

Matches were an essential part of the role of  women living this underground life. When defending the house, the most important thing was to destroy all documents that might reveal details about the clandestine structure of the PCP, or incriminate officers, members or people who sympathised with the party. In the book Quadros da Memória, Margarida Tengarrinha says that at the start of one of the first meetings they had, the minder—the point of contact who accompanied each group of workers—told them: “Expenses include an extra 80 escudos [40 cents] for a box of matches. That box should always remain beside the most conspiratorial material, with a bottle of flammable liquid, so that you can burn them at any time of danger.” From then on, “that box was called ‘the party matches’.” 

Under the PCP’s direction, nearly all women living underground were tasked with defending the home. As soon as she left the presses and went to live with Raimundo, this also became Maria’s main role.

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“It was a big change, I was responsible for a house. I was always aware of what was going on, when I went out, I couldn’t go to a cafe, or the cinema. On rare occasions I went with my daughter to a garden near the Odivelas convent. Defending the house meant keeping watch and leaving a sign when comrades paid a visit. I would leave an old, twisted nail in a specific place so they knew the coast was clear, they could come safely. It needed to be something of no use to anyone. The old people in the neighbourhood would pick up absolutely anything. Often, there would still be backup: you would put a cloth on the line that could be seen from some distance.”

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Clandestine life involved many tasks: printing newspapers and leaflets and distributing them round the country, organising regional or local committees, forging identification documents, guaranteeing illegal passage across borders. And, of course, defending the home, the essential task underpinning all the others, and which was the responsibility of the women. 

Being aware of the goings on in the street; noting down licence plates; being cordial—but not too friendly—with the neighbours; listening to conversations in the corridor; having a credible response to any question that might arise; communicating suspicions; faking an air of normality at home; studying party materials—if you knew how to read; managing the money to get to the end of the month; cleaning the house, making the food, and above all, not going out too much. This was a non-negotiable: defence of the home was about being at home. 

Aida da Conceição Paula
“The most difficult thing for me was the isolation. The time I was underground, I tried, any way I could, and with the camaraderie we shared, to stop the solitude from affecting me too much.” 

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

Maria Alda Barbosa Nogueira
“I must say that we had no contacts apart from neighbours or people we worked with. Life was hard, our circle was very restricted. This made some comrades feel very alone and anxious.”

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

Maria Machado Pulquério
“There wasn’t a heightened risk, but for women underground, at least from my experience, we were very lonely. He [Raimundo] worked in the organization and left home for meetings; I only had occasional contact with the comrades who came to the house. I had no other contact with anyone. It was a very solitary life.”

If isolation is a recurring theme in the testimonies of women living underground, fear is another. Fear of being reported, fear of being caught by the PIDE, fear of being imprisoned, tortured, killed. Even so, “you get used to it”: “I had to learn to live with fear, I couldn’t be permanently in panic, not getting anything done. If they caught me, that was that. What could I do about it?”

3. On the outside

Maria was lucky, if that’s what you can call it. Despite a lot of scares, she was never caught. But not everyone had the same luck. Shortly after wither relationship with Raimundo began, in August 1968, she found out that her parents and younger sister had been detained. Zezinha was 14, but even so was incarcerated in Caxias, where she remained for 18 days: “The holding of children in the Estado Novo prisons is something that is yet to enter Portugal’s collective memory”, highlights Vanessa de Almeida, in her book Mulheres da Clandestinidade.

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“I found out more after talking with my sister. She gets very upset when she talks about it… I couldn’t do anything, I was underground. They were submitted to terrible torture; my mother tried to commit suicide in prison, these things are complicated. I couldn’t do anything, or I’d be throwing myself to the wolves too. My sister had to deal with it all herself, poor thing.”

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 Protected by a plastic sleeve, Maria still has the interview that her mother, Úrsula Machado, gave to the journalist Gina de Freitas, which was published in the book, A força ignorada das companheiras. Before reading it, she never really knew what had happened to her in the prison; she never had the courage to ask. The threats, the beatings and the sleep deprivation, that extended up to 12 days and 12 nights, left Úrsula very weak, even after she returned home.

“I was so sick at that time! I struck myself twice here on the wrist—can you see the marks? Then I was admitted to the Miguel Bombarda Hospital. They messed my head up. I was completely mad. I thought my daughters had died, I went into mourning for my husband because I thought he had died, that they had shot my Zezinha at the door of the prison, you name it! I didn’t even want to go to the visits because I had no one left. I went on a hunger strike for four days. I threw all the food they brought me away. I always have headaches, I am nervous… Well, my health is shot, really.”

Úrsula Machado in the book A força ignorada das companheiras by Gina de Freitas

Úrsula’s story isn’t unique. In May 1961, 13 women inmates at Caxias managed to get letters written on cigarette papers out of the prison. They were sent to international democratic and feminist organizations to reveal that there were political prisoners in Portugal, to call for international solidarity and to tell of the violence they suffered.

Following these testimonies, there were more from other women who had also passed through prisons during the dictatorship. During interrogations, they were frequently beaten—sometimes with whips—, they were made to get undressed, insulted, humiliated. They were kept in isolation for days on end; they saw their relatives and friends threatened. “The punishments were never-ending,” Aida Magro remembers in the book Mulheres Portuguesas na Resistência. Sometimes, the women were prohibited from washing, changing their clothes and, during interrogations, they would refuse to let them go to the toilet—anything to make them talk.

Maria da Conceição Matos
“I was so stressed that, with all that, I couldn’t stop vomiting. They stripped me, slowly, and tried to make me clean up all the mess with my clothes. I decisively refused and they had to mop up the excrement and urine with my clothes themselves. Tinoco was ruder in his provocations, he offended my dignity as a woman.”

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

Maria Alice Dinis Parente Capela
“I was tortured by being kept awake for five days and five nights. I couldn’t sit or lie down, I had hallucinations, I saw ugly faces coming out of the wall and then saw my baby and I was rocking him to sleep. I burst out screaming and they covered my head with a damp towel. I screamed ‘murderers, murderers’ and they punched and slapped me, they threw me against the wall, they insulted me, ‘whore, witch’.”

Até Amanhã Mãe, Delas

Aida da Conceição Paula
“After 18 days in isolation, I entered the PIDE at 9 in the morning. The interrogations started straight away, accompanied by sleep deprivation, that went on for four days and four nights. I was undergoing psychiatric treatment when I was detained, so the sleep deprivation had a terrible effect on me. At the height of it, I would take nineteen tablets a day, prescribed by a doctor, but nothing could make me sleep through a whole night.”

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

Aida de Freitas Loureiro Magro
“One day, in the North wing of the Caxias Fort, Georgete Ferreira and Maria Ângela, sang revolutionary songs so I wouldn’t feel so alone. Singing was banned! (…) Each comrade was punished with a month of what they call disciplinary cell. No visits, no snack, no newspapers, nothing! (…) It was a prison within a prison.”

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

Maria Albertina Ferreira Diogo
“On the fifth day of torture, day or night, I don’t know, (…) my legs and feet started to swell which meant I had to take my shoes off. I then started to feel generally unwell, aggravated by fierce waves of dizziness that made me vomit over and over. I tried to walk to distract myself, but this was very hard as the floor felt like it was wonky. When I started to convulse with vomiting, they called for a mattress that they put on the floor. I lay down a bit, but I couldn’t rest.”

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

The pressure was enormous, but these women just endured, and endured and endured. No one said anything. They knew that, whatever happened, they mustn’t respond to the PIDE inspectors’ questions or reveal information that would expose the clandestine organization of the party. In prison, the recommendation was the same for men and women: be stoic. Betrayal was unforgivable, even if speaking under torture. The fear of speaking was worse than fear of the violence they suffered.

“If they catch you, comrade…”, starts a well-known Communist Party brochure, first distributed in 1947, that described, over 32 pages, how those who were detained should behave, what they should expect, how they should deal with the isolation, torture and hallucinations. 

When underground, news that came from prison was scarce and infrequent—direct contact with relatives was banned. Úrsula left Caxias prison on 20 November 1972, four years and three months after being detained. Maria would only see her mother again after the 25 April 1974 revolution.

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One week prior, Raimundo came back from a meeting and that night when he got home, I was there half asleep, and he told me, “Next week is the time”. And I said, “For what? Leave me be, let me sleep”. It was a done deal. A week later, more or less, I heard a racket on the stairs and when I got up to try to figure out they were saying, each one went home, but it seemed strange. Dona Irene was at home, another two too.

After ten minutes, again. Everyone talking away, so I got up and what I heard was, “Dona Irene, don’t go out, everything is fenced off, troops in the streets, no one can enter or leave Lisbon, it’s best to stay home”. Oh, I was… I went straight to warn Raimundo, “Something’s up”.

And of course, we couldn’t start to celebrate because we didn’t know how it was going to turn out, you know?

So, this is how we found out about 25 April, the revolution.

My freedom started on 1 May. Because at the time, PIDE still hadn’t freed… the prisoners still hadn’t been let out of the prisons, the political and other prisoners, you know? But afterwards we started to see PCP members coming and going, Álvaro Cunhal will arrive on 30 April, “And you didn’t tell us a thing?! Not a word. Let’s go and see my parents!”

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Maria got in a taxi with Raimundo and the children—José Alexandre, the youngest child, who had been born one month previous—and they left straight for Maria’s parents’ house. They rang the bell, banged on the door, but no one was in. Maybe they were already at the demonstration. In the hubbub of the Revolution, they left the baby with the neighbour opposite and went on to what is considered, still today, the largest popular demonstration in Portuguese history. 

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You can’t change the past. We can’t change what happened. At the time, we thought it was the right thing to do, and I still do…

But I regret not having asked more questions, you know? About their lives, and about my own life that I don’t remember because I was a child. With my parents it was different. It was hard. My mum, to give that interview that she gave at the start, it was really hard for her to talk about those things. She didn’t want to talk. And so, people close in a bit. Later, I found out from my younger sister, who accompanied them, who visited them in prison, sometimes to Caxias, sometimes to Peniche, because my dad was in Peniche and my mum was in Caxias. One day we went to the Poets’ Park in Oeiras and then we went to Caxias, and she said, “That’s where I’d go in to see mum. Through that door there.” And when I went with my aunt they got on the train and went to Caixas on foot. It was the only way they could. Once when she went to see my dad, and they were in a cafe, they had arrived late for the visit and she was talking with my aunt or my uncle who went with her. “And where will we stay now?” and so on. And a lady asked, “what are you here for?”, “we came to visit my dad, he’s in prison here”. “Ah, don’t go anywhere, stay at mine”.

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If there is one thing that characterises Maria, it is her smile. When she talks, it grows, creeping over her face and lighting up her eyes. Even when she remembers the efforts and the frights during her time underground—many of which were not funny at all—, she speaks as if she knows that whoever is listening will smile and laugh with her. It is nearly as if we were back next to the child who grew up in hiding, who learned to spell with the clandestine press, who played with her sister in the small yard that hid them from the world. The only time when her voice breaks is when she digs out what her parents and Zezinha went through. She wouldn’t have done anything different, and she had no other choice, but not having been there weighs on her. Not having been there is the greatest burden she bears from her time underground.

Maria Machado Pulquério—who was Leonor, Maria Helena and Maria, just Maria, like so many women around her—, only became Maria Machado Pulquério again after 1 May 1974. She officially married, for legal purposes, on 27 November the following year. A marriage, again, with no priest, no relatives, no wedding, no veil. Raimundo was caught up in the frenzy of meetings held after military deployments on 25 November, he only had time to come out, sign the papers and return. It legitimized their daughter, Leonor, who had been registered as illegitimate prior to that; and José Alexandre who, as Raimundo likes to say, was “doubly clandestine”.

Today they live in Odivelas, in a house with books and photos climbing up all the walls, less than 20 minutes’ walk from their last house during their time underground.

CONTAMOS COM O TEU APOIO PARA CONTINUAR A REVELAR SILÊNCIOS.

WE COUNT ON YOU TO KEEP ON UNVEILING SILENCES.

END-BLOCK

Luísa Tito de Morais

1. Anatomy of an exile

Luísa Tito de Morais grew up in Lisbon, in a house that breathed politics and defied the status quo of the era. Her parents and grandparents were antifascists. She never attended the Portuguese Female Youth—a compulsory youth organization for seven to fourteen year-olds that sought to instil Portuguese girls with “foresight, collective work, a taste for domestic life and to serve the common good”. Nor did she attend Religion and Morality, taught in all schools, unless educators explicitly requested a waiver for her non-attendance. Luísa and her four siblings were always on the wrong side of “decency”. “Nearly all the teachers supported the regime and there were very few people like us, so we suffered at school.” Despite the sideways glances from her peers, she was always proud—of who she was and of the values her family defended.

Her grandfather, Tito Augusto de Morais, had been a prominent Republican Party activist. On 4 October 1910, at just 30, he left the Marinheiros Barracks in Alcântara, Lisbon, to command the first squad to face the monarchy’s forces in the fight to install a Republic. For the rest of his life, every 5 October, he raised the Portuguese flag in the window. 

Luísa was born 32 years after the birth of the First Portuguese Republic and 16 years after the coup d’état that toppled it and brought António de Oliveira Salazar to power. Europe at the time was shrouded by war. For a child it wasn’t always easy to understand what these things meant: the republic, fascism, a world war, concentration camps. She was more bothered about the little things, like why milk was sweetened with hard-boiled sweets: —”Why is there no sugar?”, she’d ask. And her dad, would patiently try to explain as simply as he could what the war had to do with their morning breakfast. The world, Manuel Tito de Morais would explain, is split into the “good” and the “bad”: “good”, even “beautiful”, people wanted equality, they wanted freedom; then you have the “baddies”, the “ugly ones” who, just like in children’s stories, cruelly and relentlessly persecuted the good. And while it’s true that, when we grow up, we tend to understand that the world isn’t divided into the good and the bad, we also know that, sometimes, simplifying the matter can be used to give a sort of order to things, making it all more manageable.

Luísa Tito de Morais: They’re very simple images, but they left a mark on me.

Rafaela Cortez: The PIDE were the ugly ones?

Luísa Tito de Morais: They were the bad and the ugly.

Luísa was only four when her dad, who belonged to the Central Commission for the Movement of Democratic Unity (MUD, acronym in Portuguese)—a political organization that opposed the dictatorship—, was detained by the Portuguese secret police (PIDE). In 1948, after being detained again, Manuel Tito de Morais—later to be a founder of the Socialist Party, and President of the Assembly of the Republic between 1983 and 1984—saw how, time and again, doors were closed to him. He was forced out of the Instituto Pasteur, a biomedical science research centre where he led the electromedicine department and, in 1951, he moved to Angola. The Salazar regime left Luísa fatherless for years: “Why did they take my dad away?”, she asked.

She inherited his revolutionary genes, though. At 15, she got involved in the campaigns that opposed the Salazar regime and founded the Pro-Association Commission for High Schools with friends. She started to read Avante!, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP, acronym in Portuguese) newspaper and books such as The Mother by Máximo Gorki or The 10 days that shook the world by John Reed. It wasn’t long before she became a PCP activist herself.

One day, she ran into Manuel Tito de Morais in a protest in Rossio, downtown Lisbon. She was proud to show that she was made of the same stuff, that she was scared of nothing. He was apprehensive, concerned, aware of what the police were capable of. At her age, her father had also made his debut in the student strikes, where he took “a hiding from a cavalry soldier in the National Republican Guard who invaded the Camões high school”—the first blow from the regime. “Oh love, we can’t all get burned at the same time”, her father warned her. Luísa remembers his words as if it were yesterday.

His concerns were not unfounded. When she finished her high school exams, Luísa travelled by train to Paris, where she planned to continue to Moscow for the Youth and Student Festival. However, she never made it to her destination.

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I arrived in Paris and the plan was to go to the USSR embassy there. I went there and they actually had my name down to give me the visa, but they said that it wasn’t worth going because it had started and I wouldn’t get in. This had happened with two other people who travelled later.

I was very sad, because I wanted to go, but guess what I decided? I decided to stay in Paris to wait for the delegation and then we would return to Portugal. Around this time they arrived back. There was a guy who was detained at the border and who—amazingly—had the delegation list. I was still in Paris when they told me, “Look, the PIDE has the delegation list and your name is on it”… I’d be detained at the border, no doubt, so I decided to stay. I told my parents and I stayed to give it a bit of time, a year or six months; I got some work, anything would do.

Ah, and also, there was a lawyer friend of the family, who heard that my name was at all the borders: air, sea and the land border with Spain. On all the borders. So, I would definitely be detained [if I returned]. 

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When she packed her bags and said goodbye to her mum, Maria da Conceição Mealha, planning to return a few days later—she never imagined that she wouldn’t be able to return for many years. But these weren’t times for making plans, particularly for those who opposed the regime.

Luísa’s story takes us into exile—first in Paris, France; then to Prague in the then Czechoslovakia; and finally to Algiers in Algeria. We don’t know exactly how many people were forced to leave their country by the dictatorship—maybe we never will. Students, like Luísa, and teachers; artists and political activists—from revolutionary and leftist armed action movements to progressive Catholics; nurses, doctors and deserters from the Colonial War. They crossed borders under the radar, with false documents or without any papers at all, and fled any way they could: jumping the border, going by train, by foot, by car with other comrades, some even swimming. The luckiest got a few days to plan the trip, sort out some contacts, say goodbye to family. Others had no choice but to leave suddenly, without warning. The one thing they had in common was that they were all one-way trips, no return date. 

Stuck in Paris, with little money, Luísa cared for babies and children to get by. She slept in a chambre de bonne (what the old “maids’ room” was called, and located on the top floor) and when she could get something to eat she would have pain d’épices—a cake flavoured with cinnamon, anis and cloves—that she “can’t bear the sight of”. So, she awaited news and organized what she could.

In the 1960s, she officially became a PCP officer and earned a fixed, but low, wage. She enrolled in Sociology at the Sorbonne University, although she says she made more of the accommodation and the canteen than the lessons. She moved to Notre Dame—known as Paris’ art quarters—where she got involved in students’, intellectuals’ and Portuguese workers’ meetings and organized the Western European Countries Conference for an Amnesty on Portuguese Political Prisoners and Exiles.

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“I loved working with the workers. They were people who had suffered so much, who sometimes had had good professions in Portugal but ended up on building sites or working in car factories. They lived in terrible conditions in the Parisian shanty towns—only later did the French government order those enormous, identical buildings, to be built in the suburbs of the capital, to put an end to the shacks. They were people who had such interesting life stories, who it felt good to support and were good to talk to.”

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She also came back into contact with Pedro Ramos de Almeida in Paris. She would live with him for nearly a decade. They had met a few years prior in Portugal, on Students’ Day at the Lisbon Technical Institute—Luísa was at high school and Pedro at Lisbon Law School. “They introduced us, we chatted a bit, and then he made such a good speech I was besotted.” 

Luísa and Pedro never got to put down roots in Paris. They had been married for less than two years when, in 1963, they moved to Prague on the PCP’s orders. Nuno, their child, was born there.

Isolated from the rest of the family and with Pedro so involved in political work, being a mother was practically Luísa’s sole purpose during Nuno’s first year. She was stuck at home and far from the political awareness-raising work she had loved so much when she was single in Paris. “I ceased to be an activist, and became the wife of one. Although I was the same person and had the same skills, I was relegated to the backseat.” Despite being over the moon with Nuno, exile started to weigh on her. “I thought of my mother—’why isn’t my mother here with me?’. If I were in Portugal, I would be surrounded by family for support, it would be very different.”

Not even two years since arriving in Prague, in 1964, it was time to move again. This time the destination was the north African coast. Pedro had been chosen as the representative of the National Patriotic Freedom Front of the Communist Party in Algeria and the family had to follow. In Algiers, Luísa worked as a radio presenter on Rádio Voz da Liberdade, a Portuguese broadcaster operated from the capital. She did the honours for the station for five years, three times a week: “This is the Voice of Freedom, broadcaster for the National Freedom Patriotic Front”. She returned to Portugal in 1970, but her voice would be heard for years to come, at the opening of each broadcast.

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“At the time José Pimenta, a young deserter from the Colonial War did the male voice, and I did the female one. The texts were drafted by various people, mainly those in charge of the movements. A year after I started, Manuel Alegre [poet who later became a Socialist Party representative and Vice-President of the Assembly of the Republic] arrived and became the male voice. Alegre and I sometimes said, ‘Well, one day we’ll go back to Portugal, and at least we’ll know how to do this.’”

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Of all the places she lived while exiled during those nine years, Algiers was perhaps where Luísa felt most at home. There, she regained contact with her father, who she had seen little of since she was nine. Manuel Tito de Morais met his grandson for the first time and Luísa had the chance to get to know her dad.

She split her days between work on the radio, trips to the beach and dinners and time spent with friends. She had a full, stimulating and unburdened life. But this wouldn’t last: in 1970 it was time to pack her bags again; but this time, to return to Portugal, in hiding.

2. The separation

Few books can better describe the experiences of children living underground than Crianças Emergem da Sombra: Contas da Clandestinidade (Children coming out of the Shadows: Stories of life underground) by Maria Luísa Costa Dias, doctor, political activist and former PCP officer. Published in 1982, it tells the story of eleven children who, like the author, grew up hidden from the surrounding world: from António who asked why he couldn’t speak about what his parents did; from Ivone who, sitting on the latest edition of Avante!, refused to get off the sofa when a neighbour burst in the house; from Madalena who, the first time she got a taxi with her dad, couldn’t talk to the driver because he might be one of the “bad guys”, one of the “angry people”, who didn’t like noisy children in the car. 

As they got older, the list of things they couldn’t do just grew and grew: 

You can’t play in the street. Don’t open the curtain. Don’t talk about what your parents do. Don’t make noise. Don’t put the papers in your pockets. Don’t talk about this outside. Don’t open the door to anyone. Don’t tell them your parents are home. Don’t use the flush. Don’t touch these papers. Don’t say anything about what happens at home. Don’t talk about your sister. Don’t talk about your brother.

Don’t…

Don’t…

Shu…ush!!

For years, children living in hiding rarely went outside, to nursery, and were seldom allowed to play with other children… They explored the world through windows, through the radio or, in Nuno’s case, through the gaps between the bars on the balcony, a sort of passage that connected him to life outside. Within four walls they invented and multiplied games: chess, hide and seek, books, rags that became dolls and footballs. It was impossible to replicate all the stimuli outside, so they tried to fill their free time, tried to make their childhood as normal as possible.

“From the window, they tried to link the child to the outside world, to the people or animals that passed by, they sought out programmes with children’s voices on the radio; in the newspapers, magazine prints or even coloured paper from the chemist’s they looked for anything that described real life. And then came his first word: ‘nené’ [baby]. He said it before saying mum or dad, but it was a magic word, so much better to hear, because it showed that he understood that there were other children, other ‘nenés’.”

Crianças emergem da sombra: contos da clandestinidade, Maria Luísa Costa Dias

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“We played with him a lot, gave him books, made up games, spent time with him. (…) We wanted the boy to always have something to play with. His dad played football with him, in the corridor, with a rag ball so it made no noise. A comrade gave us an old TV, but we were looked down on for accepting it: a party populated by the working class sometimes had the wrong idea about what was ‘bourgeoisie’. The kid needed something to do beyond those four walls, you know?”

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Of all the sacrifices and restrictions that being underground entails, few were as difficult as living in hiding with children. Until they turned six or seven, children were a welcome distraction that could even help with the disguise—who would suspect a couple with a new-born child? But, as they got older, things got more difficult. Every movement increased the possibility of a risky encounter; each new word, the danger that they could tell someone out there what happened at home. Starting school brought additional challenges: they couldn’t give the real names of the parents or present birth certificates. This, nearly always, split the family. 

Margarida Tengarrinha, 13 years living underground
“It still hurts today to remember the moment we were separated; when Teresinha, who was five and a half, went to live with my sister-in-law Maria Sofia. (…) In the car, on her aunt’s lap, our daughter turned to us and asked, “You’re not coming with me?”—even though she knew we weren’t. She covered her face with her hands and they left.”

Memórias de uma falsificadora: a luta na clandestinidade pela liberdade em Portugal, Margarida Tengarrinha

Teodósia Gregório, 16 years living underground
“I left him when he was four and a bit, and only saw him again when he was 11. It was so, so hard. (…) I would hear the youngsters crying outside and it would start me off… but it’s over now. It was very hard being without my son, but I was relieved in a way because I knew my parents would look after him.”

Vidas na clandestinidade, Cristina Nogueira

Maria Lourenço Cabecinha, 16 years living underground
“It was one of the worst things… I have always said that it was harder than prison, than living underground, harder than everything.”

Mulheres da clandestinidade, Vanessa de Almeida

Jaime Serra, 22 years living underground

“For most people, we were a ‘childless couple’, something which was doubly painful when someone mentioned it–having to say you have none, when you really have four.”

Eles têm o direito de saber… o que custou a liberdade, Jaime Serra

When children got to school age, you chose either to send them to a family member, or to a boarding school called Internatzionalny Dom, also known as Interdom, 300 kilometres from Moscow, in the then Soviet Union. The Institution was created three decades earlier to receive the children of the Spanish Civil War revolutionaries. In the following decades, it was home to thousands of children of Communist Party revolutionaries and supporters from all over the world. Luísa didn’t like either of these options, so she chose a third.

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“The third was that I come out of hiding with him [her son Nuno]. I was always against the school—the idea of a boarding school sounds horrible. It wasn’t my son’s fault he was born. Despite the limitations, as a child, we had to make things as stable as possible for him, so he could be happy; to try not to harm him. If he had gone to live with relatives, he could stay with them, but he had lived in exile—he had only met my mum two or three times, and Pedro’s mum just once. They were all strangers. I decided to leave with him. I told Pedro that we would see each other when we could. And when we couldn’t, we wouldn’t, that was that. Pedro left the decision up to me because, in the end, it wasn’t him who had to decide whether to come out of hiding or not.”

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That is how Luísa came out of nearly two years of clandestine life in Portugal. Through her dad, who had contacts at the Italian embassy, she travelled to Rome where she got a temporary passport.  She came back into Lisbon, this time, legally. She spoke with Nuno, who was seven at the time, about the probability they would be detained as soon as they touched in at Portela Airport in Lisbon. She had it all planned: if she was detained, she would be taken to Caxias prison with her son, and her mum would come and get him. Fortunately, this didn’t happen. Luísa still doesn’t know how she escaped prison. “Marcello Caetano was in power by then, not Salazar. I’m not sure if that changed anything… I also don’t think they even knew that Pedro and I were clandestine officers.” Even so, Luísa and Nuno had PIDE on their backs for nearly a year.

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“The PIDE was at my door, always watching what I was doing, where I was going. It was just like in the books and the police shows—he had a trench coat and dark glasses. He didn’t fool anyone: we would always spot him as soon as we left the house.”

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Having an unstable childhood, having to deal with the things clandestine life imposes on you, it affected children deeply. So deeply that it is still there today: the fear and anxiety that was embedded in them, the family ties never remade, these are scars that no April celebration can heal. 

“The boy, who had had until now a wide, permanent smile, now displayed a grimace of anxiety of someone who needed help. Around adults, he showed signs of genuine panic. He was unable to differentiate between the various people who had come into his life so swiftly, who he never had time to get used to, and he became scared, agitated, untrusting and avoided everything and everyone. He cried violently when anyone came close, when anyone spoke loudly, when the doorbell rang.”

Crianças emergem da sombra: contos da clandestinidade, Maria Luísa Costa Dias

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“I only had one son, which is a shame. It was too complicated to have many, but motherhood is beautiful. I don’t regret it, nor having been less politically active. I never did. I paid a price for that choice because I had a good relationship with my husband, I liked him a lot. I think he was my favourite, despite marrying again and having a good relationship then too. But it was the only way. My son today is a healthy man, in large part because I didn’t make his life even more difficult than it was those first years. Our separation was on the cards; each of us lived our own life. As it happens, it was Pedro who fell in love with someone else, but it could have been me. We saw each other little, and when we did, it was mainly for our son to see his father. Life always throws up obstacles, but if you asked me today what I want for my son, I would say I want him to be happy.”

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3. A woman’s place

Cândida Ventura, who was also Joana, Rosa and André, was the first woman to win a seat at the Portuguese Communist Party Central Committee and to reach beyond the walls that hid nearly all the female party officers. She was born in 1918 in the old city of Lourenço Marques, today Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, but she spent a large part of her childhood in the Caldas de Monchique, in the Algarve. Her father worked managing the Monchique thermal baths and instilled in her a love of nature, for dialogue, for respect of others. “I didn’t understand how life could be more than, on the one hand, the search for knowledge, and the other, a feeling that we were responsible for justice and freedom amongst men”, she wrote in her autobiography O ‘Socialismo’ que eu vivi (The socialism I lived), published in 1984. She was interested in History, Philosophy and Natural Sciences, which she would end up studying later at university. 

She always read a lot. She sought truth in literature, in theatre, and keenly followed everything happening in the world. Unlike Luísa Tito de Morais, who was too young to process the political movements of the time, Cândida closely followed the sequence of events that led to World War II: the growth of fascism in Europe, the blaze that sent thousands of books around Germany up in smoke and Dimitrov, the International Communist leader who was tried in court for setting fire to the Riechstag, the German Parliament. 

Cândida read Dimitrov’s defence, which he took on himself, from beginning to end. She wanted to join the winds fighting the fascism that blew over the world. She couldn’t stand aside. She finished her course in Historical and Philosophical Sciences in 1943 and, in August of that year, got involved in organizing the S. João da Madeira shoe workers’ strikes, in which more than 2000 people fought for better salaries. After this, she went underground: “against fascism, for freedom”.

It didn’t take long for Cândida to realise how isolated women were, not to mention the unequal distribution of tasks, the high levels illiteracy and the lack of support from the men they lived with. In 1946, she proposed the creation of the newsletter 3 Páginas (3 Pages) in an attempt to combat inequality between genders and increase PCP female officers’ political skills. “I proposed to the Secretariat that we did a newsletter for women, that women start to attend meetings held in the illegal houses and that male officers help the women to overcome their scant reading skills. The Secretariat agreed, and from then, I started to write this newspaper, 3 Páginas, for the female comrades in the Party houses”, she also tells us in the book The ‘Socialism’ I lived.

Male party officers were encouraged to help them to read the newspaper and to write letters to the editors. In total, 68 editions were published over the 10 years it was in print. A short time later, Margarida Tengarrinha, PCP activist and document forger during the dictatorship, followed in the footsteps of this legacy and created the pamphlet A Voz das Camaradas (The Voice of the Female Comrades), with a new graphic image, issued until 1970.

It was not the first time, nor the last, that the Portuguese Communist Party would investigate the gender inequality in its ranks. The issue was discussed during the first illegal Congress, in 1943, and also in the second one, in 1946. Records recognise that “the organization of women” was still in “embryonic stages”, thanks to the “bourgeoisie prejudices of superiority about the stronger sex that penetrate the working classes and even the ranks of the Party”. At the time, Álvaro Cunhal, a famous communist leader, also reflected extensively on the matter. “It is hard to say that this idea lives in communists’ heads (…). Our people are held back by tradition and education that tend to distance women from social and political life. These condemn women to cooking, children and the Church. Everything about life in today’s society is organized to enslave women. And this education and tradition still weigh heavy on our own comrades in our ranks.”

In 1946, in an opinion piece published in the 3 Páginas (3 Pages) newsletter, a woman using the pseudonym Rosária wrote, with little optimism, “We must be vigilant in the face of some comrades who don’t recognize the importance of a woman’s role and what she can do in all revolutions by a man’s side.” The passage of time confirmed that Rosária’s concerns were not unfounded. In the Fifth Party Congress, in 1957, the low number of female activists came up again, and, in September 1960, the party leaders sent out a questionnaire aimed specifically at “female comrades living underground”.

“Dear Comrade: your work and your dedication have ensured the continuity and defence of the Party homes where you are based. (…) We have found, however, a number of serious shortcomings in the support offered to you (for your political and cultural involvement) as well as in the contribution you can make to the Party work in general, and in the work of the Party officer with whom you live, in particular. To better understand these shortcomings, and in seeking to rectify these, please respond to the following questions:

What are your current tasks? Do you have any tasks beyond those of the domestic chores in the house in which you live?

Are you happy with your role?

What political support have you received? Does the comrade who lives with you and any visitors to the house speak with you about political news and Party activities?

Do you like to read and study? Do you have any studies? How can the Party Executive help in this regard?

Can the Central Committee Secretariat help with anything about your situation, your life, your work?

Various responses confirm that the work was, mainly, domestic or house defence. And that there was little support for women to gain a political education or actively participate in the party.

a) It is everything related to housework.

b) No. I would like my work for the Party to be more useful to the Party.

c) Very little. My comrade at the house sometimes tells me about Party politics and activities. Our comrades who come to the house don’t talk about this.d) I like to study, but I put relatively little time into it. I have no study books, or we have none, more like. The Party Directorate could help me to buy study books.

A WARM COMMUNIST GREETING

VAZ

a) They are all tasks related to domestic life, defence of the home, and also I put aside some time for typewriting, reading and making newspaper cuttings.

b) I feel satisfied with the work I do. But I would like the Party Directorate to give me more support in tasks to help me to develop politically.

c) Currently, very little time. As regards my comrade at home, he has informed me of some activities that have taken place in our struggle. Comrades who come to the house talk only during meal times. From this, I don’t think they really care that a female comrade at the house is always interested in learning more about the evolving political situation and people’s struggle.

d) I like to study but, at times, I hold back because of my lack of political knowledge. I have no books for study. I have the Party printed materials.

e) Providing me with books or other materials that can help me learn.

A WARM COMMUNIST GREETING

May 1960
SILVA

a) I am working…

b) I am quite satisfied with my role.

c) They do talk to me about the political situation and Party activities.

d) I like to read and study, but I tend to avoid studying a bit, perhaps because I find it difficult to understand the majority of things. Sometimes, I try to explain to myself why I don’t pick up our materials more. It’s not because my comrade, “my partner”, doesn’t remind me to do it; I think it’s more because I don’t understand a lot of it and I have to resort time and again to dictionaries or I have to note down lots of things to ask my comrade later.
However, don’t worry dear comrades, I’ll do what I can to improve.

e) We have some study materials. As for books, we only have “Two Tactics”, “Karl Marx and his doctrine”, “Child illness”.

A WARM COMMUNIST GREETING

OLGA

To the Secretariat

I carefully read the document sent to me by the Secretariat to respond to the following questions:

a) As regards my current role, besides the domestic chores, I also contribute through the press, always helping comrades in anything I can to ensure the work is done on time.

b) I am very satisfied with this role despite knowing little. I would like to know more, but I have no time to do so.

c) In terms of political support, I attend meetings with the minder [the point of contact who accompanied each group of workers] where we talk about the political situation and Party activities, but this would be more useful to me if the controller could pull out key points of what I read. My house comrade helps me very little because it isn’t normal for him. In this regard I feel a bit intimidated, it seems that I don’t know how to respond to questions as I should be able to; I am very aware that I don’t contribute to the Party as I should.

d) I like to read and study, I have books and materials from our Party, but I confess I read little. Often days pass without picking up a book. I blame my lack of time, I always have things to do. But, at the same time, I know it is also mine and my house comrade’s fault too for not having a study programme, which would help me and my comrades to undertake the Party tasks.

e) About my current situation, I would I like to be able to communicate safely with my family.

ELISABETE

While it is true that since the 1940s the role of women within the PCP was a constant concern for the Central Committee, the repeated discourse revealed a continued vacuum between theory and practice. Although over the years, women gained space and came to have their presence felt in Communist Party meetings, genders continued to be mismatched in the ranks.

Luísa Tito de Morais, living underground from 1968 to 1970, personally experienced this. She took on the tasks of the household and defending the home, while her husband formed part of the Communist Party Central Committee. She had to note down the licence plates of the cars that stopped in the street, chat with the neighbours, keep the house secure, erase the faces, names and addresses of previous houses. Forget everything that was linked to the past, as if that were possible. The less she showed she knew, the safer she was. 

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“Pedro had grey hair from 18. It ran in the family. Underground, he dyed his hair, grew a moustache—he had never had a moustache in his life. I dyed his hair with a horrible dye that we bought from a chemist. Once, because it was raining a lot I think, the dye started to run. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but Helena Pato [a maths teacher and one of the founders of Democratic Women’s Movement] recounts this in her book [A noite mais longa de todas as noites (The longest night)]. I did everything: cut his hair, dyed it… I became a hairdressing specialist.”

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For Luísa, it was easier to disguise herself: all she needed were some non-prescription glasses; everything else she left as before. In the end, she says, “he was the one with a life outside”.

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“I think that I was just a cog in the machine, my life was a very small part of it. Some people led extraordinary lives, that I respect and admire immensely, but at the same time everything that I did, I did with great dedication and wishing for a better world. It’s a cliche, but I did. For that, I’m happy with the life I led. Within my political trajectory, I think I could have given more and done more without those limitations. Women were looked down on to a degree, even if they say we weren’t; and certain aspects of our life, specifically clandestine life, also reinforced this. Tasks were split in a way that meant we had a more idiotic life. We ended up with a secondary role. It’s not that I wanted to be a prima donna, but I think I was capable of doing more.”

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Women who went underground didn’t know how or when they would be able to go back to their “old” lives. Some spent years underground, others for ever. Behind the windows, the curtains, the walls, the prison bars—and also, in fewer numbers, on the street—women protected the clandestine houses where they lived, managed domestic life, ensured “subversive” newspapers and pamphlets were printed, and forged identity documents, driving licences, passports.

Even though some of them, like Luísa, may feel that the same opportunities were not offered to them—and that they could have given more—, without the work to defend the home, the clandestine machine that helped to bring an end to the dictatorship would have been quickly dismantled. The “cog in the machine”, as Luísa described, was what kept the struggle going. It was what made it possible for dozens of military officers to get into war tanks and, on 25 April 1974, to hijack the Carmo Barracks in Lisbon.

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I married for the second time on 30 March, shortly before the 25 April revolution. I was with my husband and with Nuno, and Nuno’s head teacher called me at 6 a.m. asking “what should I do, I’m hearing this on the radio, I don’t know if I should tell the kids to come to school or start calling round to stop them from coming because they’re warning people to stay home.” And I said, “Look, Adriana, I think it’s best to tell them to stay home, let’s see which side it is—right, or left”. 

I immediately put Rádio Clube on, which she said she had… She used to get up very early because school opened very early; she was the one who told me. I went to bed and said to him [my husband] “it looks like a revolution”. “What time is it?”. I said, “Six something”. And he said, “no revolution starts this early” and carried on sleeping. Later, the music I started to hear… lots of people were unsure whether the revolution was being led by the left or the right, because Kaúlza [de Arriaga] also wanted to stage a coup. But me, I don’t know if I just willed it so much not to be so, along with the music they played, but I didn’t doubt for a minute. Nearly not a second. When I spoke with Adriana, I said “well let’s see what it is”, but afterwards, when I heard what was on the radio, I decided it must be the left and took to the street.

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The uprising that started on the 25 April carnation revolution set off a wave of strikes and demands, companies were occupied by the workers, part of the economy was nationalized, they created unions and planned an agricultural reform. In the upheaval of the Revolution, Luísa lived outside, between demonstrations and meetings with people who believed that it was possible to build a freer Portugal. “They were wonderful days”, she remembers. 

In 1974 she also got her family back: her younger sister, Teresa, who had been exiled in Switzerland since 1965, returned after spending three months in Caxias prison; as did her brother, João, who had sought refuge in France, Germany and Brazil to avoid fighting in the Colonial War. She even got her father back, who returned to Portugal on 28 April, on the so-called “Freedom train”, which brought back historic figures from the Socialist Party such as Mário Soares, Maria Barroso and Francisco Ramos da Costa. Sunday dinners came back too, which Luísa’s father was so fond of. 

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“When I was in exile, no country really felt mine; I remembered my house, my street, my neighbourhood. Clandestine life now feels like a black period that didn’t exist. And later, when I came out into the open, for a normal life, it took me a long time to feel that Portugal was mine again, that Lisbon was mine—I felt very uprooted. And it is funny because, when I was out there, I thought that I would come back and the world had stopped, that I would come back and feel at home. But no, I didn’t feel that I was at home. Only through work, living together, friends… After 25 April, all the exiles returned and we had a big party. Now Portugal is mine and no one will take it away from me.” 

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A few years ago, on the eve of one 25 April, Luísa drew a carnation on the living room window with an oil paint. Nothing very extravagant—if you are looking in, it’s hard to make out. It was just “a bit of fun”, a sketch to be wiped off in the next clean; but her granddaughters, who have celebrated April since they were young, didn’t let that happen. Since then, the windows can only be cleaned on the outside—so the sketch of the carnation remains there, auspicious. Despite the isolation, the sacrifices, the instability, Luísa is a proud woman—of the carnation that she drew but, more than that, of the carnations that she helped to plant and that continue to live on through her granddaughters.

CONTAMOS COM O TEU APOIO PARA CONTINUAR A REVELAR SILÊNCIOS.

WE COUNT ON YOU TO KEEP ON UNVEILING SILENCES.

END-BLOCK

Backstage

Afternoon turned to night and my feet traced the edge of the patio at home, as they always do when I speak on the phone. I don’t remember what day it was, or what month… In 2021, time got tied into such a knot that I can’t pick it apart. I do, however, remember exactly when I shared my idea with Margarida Tengarrinha—Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) activist who forged documents during the dictatorship. I wanted to produce a report that mapped the houses where women had lived during the underground resistance before the 25 April 1974 Portuguese revolution. “A good idea, but I don’t think it’s realistic”, she told me at the time, more or less in those words.

We knew it would be a difficult task. To ensure the survival of clandestine activities, the PCP didn’t allow these sorts of records to exist. What would happen if a document like that fell into the hands of the Portuguese secret police (PIDE)? Without a list of names and addresses to base my search on, the report I was proposing had to rely on testimonies from those who lived in those houses, on memories that fade over time, and on the archives from the era. Margarida Tengarrinha says that even she started to forget some of the houses and where they were. To make a start, I needed information, an anchor I could grab onto—but where could I find it?

The first of July 2021. The swelteringly hot day outside was distant to those of us who, like me, had decided to spend the afternoon in the reading room at the Torre do Tombo National Archives, Lisbon. The process was always the same: make up to five requests (pandemic restrictions) and, the next day, take out the requested documents at the desk, one at a time. There is little about Torre do Tombo that isn’t striking on your first few visits. The cardboard boxes full of sheets that smell of time itself, the small aluminium carts full of stories that circulate the corridors, the imposing nature of the building—a façade in the shape of two Ts, the thick, white concrete walls, the gargoyles that watch the people on the street, as if protecting the spoils kept inside… 

The Torre do Tombo is home to documents from as far back as the Middle Ages and is the Portuguese State’s central archive. It holds, among other things, the Portuguese secret police (PIDE/DGS) archives and, for this reason, it became my office. There I would sit in the reading room—large, silent, with wooden panels that warm up when the sun shines outside—and with my back to the portrait of King Pedro V, consulting various documents compiled by the PIDE about the women who went underground (dove, as they say in Portuguese) and the clandestine houses they lived in.

There are thousands of pages in which the State Police describe how these women “abandoned” their children to dedicate their lives to “criminal activities”, the interrogations that document the detentions and women’s constant refusal to respond to questions, the handwritten letters, sent to the head of the PIDE, to ask him to “show kindness” and grant them a visit from their families. Thousands of pages document these requests, nearly always refused, that pay testament to the prolonged dehumanization to which these “dangerous” women were subjected. 

The map

As I trawled these documents, I started to find varying levels of details about the houses they passed through—roads, neighbourhoods, towns. And the Excel list I created at the beginning grew with each passing day. The “good but unrealistic idea” was, after months of research, starting to take shape.

I had the addresses referenced in the PIDE/DGS Archive, and to these I added the ones described in interviews and books spread about other rooms: in the PCP national headquarters lobby, where I consulted the Historical Archives of the Bureau for Social Studies; in the auditorium of the Aljube Museum, where I attended various presentations by women who, underground or not, resisted the regime in Portugal; in Maria Machado Pulquério’s and Luísa Tito de Morais’ living rooms, who opened their houses to me and gave me the key to their chest of memories; in the Lisbon second-hand bookshops where I found out-of-circulation books with testimonies from women who are no longer with us; in my own living room, where books, post-its and notebooks multiplied in a small chest of drawers that, for lack of space, doubled up as my desk. 

The map we present in this report is the result of this process, a compilation of information never produced before now. Even so, there are missing addresses—probably hundreds, many which may have been lost forever; and missing stories—not only of clandestine PCP officers, but of all the women who, hidden away, made the Revolution.

For this reason, we want the report to be a work in progress and are asking for your help: if you know a woman who worked underground in resisting the dictatorship, or if you know where to find information about the houses where they lived, please email us at info@divergente.pt

DIVERGENTE contributors have access to the table with all the names of women, the addresses where they lived and the years they spent underground as well as the time they spent detained.

The women

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“When I read the stories published about comrades, it strikes me that they talk about important political events, highs and heroic moments in the struggle, but they never talk about the daily issues that we, as women, patiently bore. Was our tedious and hidden day-to-day somehow less heroic?”

Quadros da Memória, Margarida Tengarrinha

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That experienced during the struggle against the dictatorship provides a mirror to Portuguese patriarchal society. While it’s true that law under the dictatorship saw women as inferior and confined them to domestic life—to marriage, to bringing up the children, to housework; it is also undeniable that the clandestine organization of the Portuguese Communist Party followed similar lines of discrimination, dividing tasks between those for men and those for women, and resigning the latter, in the majority of cases, to the role of “defending the home”. If men tell us about the struggle on the street, women bring us stories of resistance from within four walls—the constant vigilance needed to protect the family, how they managed the neighbours, the domestic chores, the isolation, how they were forced to give up their children. 

The foundations of the Revolution were built from within the home—without that, freedom would still be a chimera. This report is, therefore, also a struggle against oblivion and against how the singular narrative surrounding the 25 April revolution has effectively erased other parts of the story over the last forty years. No project has ever consumed my body, head and heart like this. I would like the same to happen to you—for you to immerse yourself in these stories and to share them. So that the dedication of the women who lived underground during the dictatorship can be recognised. So that finally, the houses where they lived can be opened and everything that happened within can be brought out into the open.

Rafaela Cortez

CONTAMOS COM O TEU APOIO PARA CONTINUAR A REVELAR SILÊNCIOS.

WE COUNT ON YOU TO KEEP ON UNVEILING SILENCES.

END-BLOCK

Project team

Information architecture

Diogo Cardoso

José Magro

Luciana Maruta

Rafaela Cortez

Production

Rafaela Cortez

Interviews and text

Rafaela Cortez

Photography and sound

José Magro

Archive search

Rafaela Cortez

Data organization and review

Beatriz Walviesse Dias

Luciana Maruta

Rafaela Cortez

Sofia da Palma Rodrigues

Design and web development

Miguel Feraso Cabral 

Illustration

Yuran Henrique

Video animation

Pedro Lopes

Editing and coordination

Diogo Cardoso

Luciana Maruta

Sofia da Palma Rodrigues

Narration

Luísa Tito de Morais

Maria Machado Pulquério

Portuguese text editing

Alda Rocha

Translation to English

Sandra Young

English text editing

Felicity Pearce

Communication

Raquel Henriques

Bibliography

Books, theses and newspapers

Maria Machado Pulquério

Cronologia das lutas sociais no Baixo e Alto Ribatejo entre 1943 e 1947, Portuguese Communist Party

O sindicalismo português entre 1933 e 1974: orientações políticas e estratégicas do Partido Comunista Português para a luta sindical, PhD thesis, Maria Filomena Rocha Lopes 

Memórias da resistência rural no Sul—Couço (1958-1962), PhD thesis, Paula Cristina Antunes Godinho

Os campos do Baixo Alentejo na década de 1950 revisitados, Constantino Piçarra, in an interview with Diário do Alentejo, 9 August 2019

As lutas de um povo, RTP documentary, 23 May 2000

Praça de jorna, Soeiro Pereira Gomes

Minhas senhoras e meus senhores… : vida, fome e morte nos campos de Beja durante o salazarismo, Paulo Lima e Susana Correia

100 anos de luta ao serviço do povo e da pátria pela democracia e o socialismo, Edições Avante! 

A Greve de 1943 no Barreiro: Resistência e usos da memória, Vanessa de Almeida, in the Lanifícios Museum online magazine (part of the Beira Interior University)

Vidas operárias. A reconstituição etnográfica de contextos históricos em processo de (profunda) erosão social, João Valente Aguiar, in Configurações, 9, 2012

A fome saiu à rua: as greves de 1943 vividas pelas operárias de Almada, Sónia Ferreira, in the FCSH magazine (part of the NOVA University Lisbon), 2006

Mulheres da clandestinidade, Vanessa de Almeida

Vidas na clandestinidade, Cristina Nogueira

Mulheres contra a ditadura, Cecília Honório

Memórias de uma falsificadora: a luta na clandestinidade pela liberdade em Portugal, Margarida Tengarrinha

Memórias de um tipógrafo clandestino, Carlos Pires

Estórias do tempo de outra senhora: episódio 4—tipografias clandestinas, RTP documentary, 10 May 2016

A Voz das Camaradas das casas do partido pamphlet, no. 11, May/June 1957

Da clandestinidade para a liberdade: histórias de vida de mulheres comunistas, master’s dissertation, Sara Alexandra Calado Gonzalez

Organização da clandestinidade política do PCP: da ditadura militar ao 25 de Abril de 1974, master’s dissertation, Márcio José Monteiro Matos

60 Anos de Luta, Edições Avante! 

Vozes femininas da clandestinidade comunista: 1940-1974, master’s dissertation, Vanessa Andreia dos Santos de Almeida

A.R.A: a história secreta do braço armado do PCP, Raimundo Narciso

A foto—e o reencontro meio século depois, Raimundo Narciso

Quadros da memória, Margarida Tengarrinha

Mulheres portuguesas na resistência, Rose Nery Nobre de Melo

A força ignorada das companheiras, Gina de Freitas

Elas estiveram nas prisões do fascismo, União de Resistentes Antifascistas Portugueses [Portuguese Union of Antifascists Opposing the Regime]

A história da PIDE, Irene Flunser Pimentel

Até amanhã mãe, Delas magazine, 1 May 2016

Se fores preso, camarada…, Edições Avante!

Reportagem de Adelino Gomes, 25 April 1974, Associação 25 de Abril [25 April Association]

Edição especial do Telejornal no dia 25 de Abril de 1974, RTP Archive, 25 April 1974

A Força do 1.º de Maio, Visão magazine, 1 May 2015

1.º de Maio de 1974, o primeiro em liberdade, RTP, 7 January 2017

Até amanhã, camaradas, Manuel Tiago

Cartas da clandestinidade, José Magro

Foi assim, Zita Seabra

Gente comum—uma história na PIDE, Aurora Rodrigues

Memórias de um inspector da P.I.D.E.: 1. A organização clandestina do P.C.P., Fernando Gouveia

Relatos da clandestinidade—O PCP visto por dentro, J. A. Silva Marques

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC CI (2), UI 18423

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC PC 1791/68, UI 6052, pages 172, 198

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC PC 1295/68, UI 6032, pages 12, 288, 417

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC SR 1089/60, UI 3004, pages 8-11

Luísa Tito de Morais

Decreto n.º 37:112, em Diário do Governo, I Série, n.º 247, 22 de Outubro de 1948 

Decree no. 37:112, in Government Gazette, Series I, no. 247, from 22 October 1948 

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive] PT/TT/TM 

Manuel Alfredo Tito de Morais: Homenagem ao antigo Presidente da República no centésimo aniversário do seu nascimento, Divisão de Edições da Assembleia da República [National Assembly Editing Division], May 2010 

Tito de Morais um dos corredores de fundo da liberdade e da justiça, in Acção Socialista no. 641, 9 May 1991

Memórias do exílio, Ana Aranha e Carlos Ademar

Os comunistas portugueses no exílio (1960-1974), PhD thesis, Adelino Filipe Saraiva da Cunha

O Estado Novo persegue os católicos, Mário Soares Foundation/AMS—Mário Soares Archive

Rádio Voz Da Liberdade broadcast July 1970, accessed from the soundcloud of Joana Lopes

Exilados portugueses em Argel: a FPLN das origens à rutura com Humberto Delgado (1960-1965),  PhD thesis, Susana Maria Santos Martins

Mulheres da clandestinidade, Vanessa de Almeida

Vidas na clandestinidade, Cristina Nogueira

Crianças emergem da sombra: contos da clandestinidade, Maria Luísa Costa Dias

Eles têm o direito de saber… o que custou a liberdade, Jaime Serra

Memórias de uma falsificadora: a luta na clandestinidade pela liberdade em Portugal, Margarida Tengarrinha

A clandestinidade roubou-lhes a infância, Público newspaper, 24 April 2016

Férias contra a ditadura, Expresso newspaper, 6 August 2021

O ‘Socialismo’ que eu vivi, Cândida Ventura

And yet it moves!: concluding speech before the Leipzig Trial, Georgi Dimitrov

Greve vitoriosa em S. João da Madeira, Avante! newspaper, Series VI  no. 40, September 1943

3 Páginas para as camaradas das casas do partido newsletter, no. 1, January 1946

3 Páginas para as camaradas das casas do partido newsletter, no. 68, January 1956

II Congresso ilegal do Partido Comunista Português. Resoluções, Mário Soares Foundation/AMS—Mário Soares Archive/DMJ — 50.º MUD Juvenil [Juvenile Movement of Democratic Unity] documents

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], TBH, 2.º JC, Proc. 92/62, cx. 704, 6.º vol.

Mulheres contra a ditadura, Cecília Honório

As lutas sociais nas empresas e a Revolução do 25 de Abril: da reivindicação económica ao movimento político — 1.ª fase, Maria de Lourdes Lima dos Santos, Marinús Pires de Lima e Vítor Matias Ferreira

A noite mais longa de todas as noites, Helena Pato

O pulsar da revolução: cronologia, 25 April Documentation Centre, University of Coimbra

A Revolução no Alentejo: memória e traumas da reforma agrária em Avis, Maria Antónia Pires de Almeida

‘Comboio da liberdade’ de Mário Soares evocado em Santa Apolónia, Diário de Notícias newspaper, 28 April 2017

3 Páginas para as camaradas das casas do partido newsletterA Voz das Camaradas das casas do partido pamphlet

Feminismos em Portugal (1947-2007), PhD thesis, Maria Manuela Paiva Fernandes Tavares

O PCP e o papel das mulheres na luta clandestina, O Militante newsletter, no. 254, September/October 2001

Archive Images

This work wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of various archiving and documentation institutions that allowed us to publish images which were essential to the illustration of the report. As it is not possible to individually identify each of the images within the body of the work, we specify here, in order of appearance, the origin of each image and its reference number.

Map

OpenStreetMap

Leaflet

Maria Machado Pulquério

1. With your home on your back

Lisbon Municipal Archive – Ref PT-AMLSB-ART-003431

Lisbon Municipal Archive – Ref PT-AMLSB-ART-003442

Lisbon Municipal Archive – Ref PT-AMLSB-ART-004114

Lisbon Municipal Archive – Ref PT-AMLSB-ART-022112

Margarida Tengarrinha, Personal archive

A Voz das Camaradas das casas do partido pamphlet, no. 11, May/June 1957

Avante! newspaper, Series VI, no. 304, First half of August 1961

O Têxtil newsletter, 2nd series, no. 61, May 1971

O Corticeiro newsletter, no. 11, April 1958O Militante newsletter, no. 61, September 1950, p.1

2. Lines of defence

Air Force archive

Maria Machado Pulquério and Raimundo Narciso, Personal archive

Google Maps

3. On the outside

Elas estiveram nas prisões do fascismo, União de Resistentes Antifascistas Portugueses [Portuguese Union of Antifascists Opposing the Regime]

Se fores preso, camarada…, Edições Avante! 

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS P Beja PI 4707, UI 58, page 7ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC E/GT 8179, UI 1556, page 3

Luísa Tito de Morais

1. Anatomy of an exile

Sem eleições livres não votes, Mário Soares Foundation/DMJ — 50.º MUD Juvenil [Juvenile Movement of Democratic Unity] documents 

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC CI(2) 3467, UI 7270, pages 30 e 39

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], PIDE/DGS SC GT 481, UI 1414, page 10

Luísa Tito de Morais, Personal archive

As mulheres portuguesas na luta pela liberdade, Mário Soares Foundation/Isabel do Carmo/Carlos Antunes

2. The separation

Luísa Tito de Morais, Personal archive

3. A woman’s place

Cândida Ventura, Personal archive

3 Páginas para as camaradas das casas do partido newsletter, no. 1, January 1946

3 Páginas para as camaradas das casas do partido newsletter, no. 68, January 1956

A Voz das Camaradas das casas do partido pamphlet, no. 1, June 1956

A Voz das Camaradas das casas do partido pamphlet, no. 3, August 1956

ANTT [Torre do Tombo National Archive], TBH, 2.º JC, Proc. 92/62, cx.704, 6.º vol

Date of publication

25 April 2022

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