'From Badostain to East Berlín'

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'From Badostain to East Berlín'

Remembering the work of two key Catalan educators and activists

Pepita Úriz Pi (Badostain, 1883 - East Berlin, 1958) and Elisa Úriz Pi (Tafalla, 1893 - East Berlin, 1979) were teachers in the Magisteri schools of Girona, Lleida and Tarragona, and the two women took a key role at an international level in the defence of women's and children's rights. They contributed to educational advances in Spain at the start of the 20th century, introducing educational methodologies that wouldn't be officially implemented in the country until more than 50 years later. 

Militant communists with the Second Republic, they were behind the nation's first feminist organisations as well as the Spanish Federation of Education Workers ('Federació Espanyola de Treballadors de l'Ensenyament' or FETE), which was the first trade union for the profession. When World War II broke out, they took a leading role in the epic fight by the French Resistence against Nazi domination, and they were later obliged to go into exile in the German Democratic Republic, specifically East Berlin. And that's where they lived until their respective deaths, Pepita in 1958 and Elisa in 1979, with neither of them ever returning to the birth country.