Gervásio da Costa
(Fafe, 02-03-1917 – Lisbon, 07-05-1951)
Gervásio da Costa, “o da Ponte”, son of José da Costa and Júlia Fernandes, was born in Fafe, in 1917, where he resided and worked as a weaver in the Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos (Textile and Weaving Company) of Fafe. At the age of 19, he was part of the group of thirty-six oppositionists from Fafe that were arrested by the State Surveillance and Defence Police (PVDE) on 17 October 1936, which included Egídio Gonçalves, Joaquim Pereira Castro and Joaquim Lemos de Oliveira, murdered in the Sub-directorate of the International and State Defence Police (PIDE) in Porto, in February 1957. As a weaving worker, he took part in the fight and demonstration for bread of February 1946. In that same year, he became involved with MUD (Movement of Democratic Unity) and collaborated with the clandestine library, created at the time, which operated in several houses, as not to be easily detected.
In 1947, Gervásio da Costa became a member of the Local Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) of Fafe. Arrested on 13 December 1948 for “subversive activities”, he was taken to the sub-directorate of Porto, where he was brutally tortured, and his health became severely weakened by the terrible prison conditions. As a result, he was admitted to the Hospital of Santo António, in Porto, on 21 March 1949. He was discharged five days later, returning to the PIDE’s headquarters in Porto. Apparently already suffering from tuberculosis, he was released on parole on April 6 of that same year and admitted to a sanatorium in Lisbon, where he died on 7 May 1951, due to tuberculosis and as a result of the torture he suffered. He was 34 years old.