“I was resting on my knees and with my hands attached to their wrists, so they wouldn’t take them off,” Albina Fernandes recalled. Tried on November 17, 1962, following her arrest on December 15, 1961, she took her two children, Isabel and Rui, aged six and two, and kept them close to her in Caxias, as seen in her PIDE identification photograph.
Albina and her companion, Octávio Pato, were in the underground and he too was arrested on the same day. PIDE threatened her with the removal of the children to be delivered to an institution, but Albina managed to get the children delivered to her paternal grandparents in her presence.
“In a moment, and a time out of the ordinary, they put the key in the door. (…) The world fell at my feet when I see my eighteen-month-old daughter in the back of the guard. Running to get her out was the immediate reaction. And from then on everything made another sense. It was for her the we fight for, having her with me was hard. (…)
“Go, daughter, strength in the legs” – that’s what I told her every day, aloud, in her cell and at recess, supporting her in her effort to learn to walk. But I really took advantage of the incentive for myself to gain strength for the next battles. (…)
Today, a made woman, I can only wish you not to give in to bars – whatever they may be. And have strength, a lot of strength in your legs.”
Violante Saramago Matos, 2015 (arrested in 1973), testimony in the long-term exhibition of the Museum of Aljube Resistance and Freedom.
#inthis mother’s day we remember and honor all the mothers who resisted and fought for the freedom of their children and the children of others.