Spanish Nazi victims’ chief says was never in camp

The former head of a Spanish association of Nazi concentration camp victims said on Wednesday he was never actually a prisoner in any camp and had lied for almost 30 years about his past.

Enric Marco, who published a book entitled “Memories of Hell” in 1978 about his experiences, confessed he had invented his account of suffering in Germany’s Flossenburg concentration camp.

“Why? It was a way of getting as close as possible to say what I needed to say,” Marco told Telecinco television on Wednesday. “I took on the part of other companions who because of age or other reasons could not play this role.”

The 84-year-old flew back at the last minute from the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen camp in Austria after a Spanish historian said Marco’s name did not figure in Flossenburg’s archives.

He promptly resigned as the head of Spain’s Amical de Mauthausen association.

Marco’s confession provoked outcry from concentration camp victims.

“There are people around the world, revisionists, who could take advantage of these facts,” Rosa Toran, the new president of the Mauthausen association, told Telecinco.

Marco confessed in a statement he had invented his story of fleeing Spain as a leftist exile in the wake of the country’s bloody 1936-1939 civil war. Nor did he join the French resistance during World War Two, as he had claimed.

Instead, he left Spain for Germany as a migrant worker in 1941 and was deported by the German government two years later.

“I was detained by the Germans, by the Gestapo. I was in a prison, tried by a war court. All this is true,” he said.