Eugeni Xammar (Barcelona, 1888 – L'Ametlla del Vallès, Vallès Oriental, 1973) was a journalist, translator and diplomat.
As a young man his main training was with the pro-Catalan political and social association CADCI (Pro-Autonomy Centre for Factory and Shop Assistants), which he joined as a tradesman. From an early age he wrote for the Catalan nationalist press of the day, notably La Tralla and El Poble Català.
A restless spirit, he set out for Paris and Buenos Aires in 1909, after which he settled in London as a correspondent for the newspapers El Diario Gráfico and La Publicidad. In 1917 he was appointed editor-in-chief of the pro-Allies review Iberia and he also wrote for the Madrid-based press. In 1923 he went to Berlin, where he met the writer Josep Pla. Both men wrote powerful articles for La Veu de Catalunya and La Publicitat. At this time he also translated works by authors including Thomas Mann and Walter Scott.
His was a critical spirit but he was a staunch upholder of the Republic and supporter of the Catalan President Francesc Macià. In this period, he occupied several different positions in embassies in the main European cities, including Paris, Berlin, The Hague and Stockholm. In exile, he was Chief-of-Staff for President Irla while also writing for Catalan publications abroad as well as for the Argentine press. After the end of the Second World War, he worked in a number of international organisms, among them the FAO, WHO and the United Nations.
Towards the end of his life, he narrated his memoirs, Seixanta anys d'anar pel món (Sixty Years Roaming the World), an exceptional human and historical testimony, to Josep Badia i Moret, who was also from l'Ametlla del Vallès.
Web Page: Francesc Viñas for AELC.
Photographs: © Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC). Fons Eugeni Xammar.
Translated by Julie Wark.