Ferrer i Guàrdia was a Catalan free-thinker and anarchist.
He was born in Allela (a small town near Barcelona) to Catholic
parents. A follower of Spanish republican leader Ruiz Zorilla, Ferrer
was exiled to Paris with his wife and children in 1885. Divorcing
in 1899, he remarried a wealthy Parisian teacher shortly thereafter.
1901 he returned to Spain and opened la Escuela Moderna (The Modern
School) to teach middle-class children (then) radical social values.
In 1906 he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with Mateu
Morral's attack on King Alphonso XIII and released uncharged over
a year later. His school failed and closed while he was incarcerated.
in the summer of 1908, after his release from jail, he wrote the
story of the Modern School. The work was entitled The Origins
and Ideals of the Modern School and was translated into English
by Joseph McCabe and published by the Knickerbocker Press in 1913.
the declaration of martial law in 1909 during the Tragic Week,
he was arrested and executed without any proof by firing squad
at Montjuich Fortress in Barcelona on October 12.
after his execution, numerous supporters of Ferrer's ideas in
the United States formed what were called Modern Schools, or Ferrer
Schools, modeled after la Escuela Moderna. The first and most
notable Modern School was formed in New York City in 1911.
is a conspicuous fact in our modern Christian society that as
a result and cumulation of our partriarchal development, the woman
does not belong to herself.... Man has made her a perpetual minor."
thier god and his exploiters cease to be adored and served, we
shall live like comrades in mutual affection."
desire that on no occasion ... shall demonstrations of a political
or religious character be made before my remains."
"Let no more
gods or exploiters be served Let us learn rather to love one another."