Marina Ginestà

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Marina Ginestà
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Marina Ginestà (29 January 1919 – 6 January 2014) was a French veteran of the Spanish Civil War, who was a member of the Unified Socialist Youth. She became famous due to the photo taken by German Hans Gutmann (later Juan Guzmán) on the rooftop of Hotel Colón in Barcelona. It is one of the most iconic photographs of the Spanish Civil War.


Ginestà was born in Toulouse, France, and moved to Barcelona with her parents at the age of 11. Ginestà later joined the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia. As the war broke out, she served as a reporter and a translator assisting Mikhail Koltsov, a correspondent of the Soviet newspaper Pravda. Before the end of the war, Ginestà was wounded and evacuated to Montpellier. As France was occupied by the Nazis, she fled to the Dominican Republic where she married. In 1946 she was forced to leave the country because of the persecution of dictator Rafael Trujillo. In 1952 Ginestà married a Belgian diplomat and returned to Barcelona. She moved to Paris in the early 1970s. Marina Ginestà died there at the age of 94 in January 2014.

The photograph

The famous photograph was taken on 21 July 1936. It shows the 17-year-old girl posing with a rifle on the top of Hotel Colón. As she was a reporter, it was the only time Ginestà was carrying a gun. The picture was later seen in the cover of the book Las Trece Rosas by Carlos Fonseca.


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