La Casa —  Eva Perón

The House — Eva Perón

Today in our series of portraits on the women of CASA Eva Perón the one who names our color Raspberry.

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Maria Eva Duarté was born on May 7, 1919 in Los Todlos, a small provincial town in Argentina. Illegitimate daughter of a servant and a rich peasant, Maria Eva Duarte, and the last of a family of five children, grew up in a popular environment. But the young Eva does not want a modest life in the provinces, at the age of 15 she leaves for the capital, Buenos Aires, with the dream of becoming an actress.

In Buenos Aires, she becomes Eva, dyes herself blonde and goes through auditions. After a difficult start, she ended up landing roles in the theatre, in the cinema and also a lot on the radio, where she became the "voice of the people" while she was in charge of a popular social program. In 1943, she co-founded a union in the radio industry.

It was the following year, in 1944, that she met Juan Domingo Perón, 24 years her senior, who was then Secretary of State. She became the mistress of this politician, who admired the European fascist powers, before marrying him in 1945.

Eva, from now on, Perón helps a lot with the electoral campaign of her husband. Eva's popular origins allow her to easily join the working class and make her loyal to Juan Perón's party. In 1946, Perón was elected president of the republic and Eva then became first lady.

Although it does not have an official political role, it quickly takes on an important place. She notably succeeded in obtaining the right to vote for women. In addition, she set up the Eva Perón Foundation which helps the poorest, by building hospitals, orphanages or even by distributing clothes, food... Her actions for the working classes reinforce her image of "Madonna of the people ".

And although some make fun of her way of doing charity while always decked out in designer clothes and jewelry, she is generally adored by the people as a benefactress who also exemplifies social success. Her name, we call her Evita, and her image are everywhere, she is one of the most important figures in Argentina at the time. On the other hand, she is hated by the senior military officers and other influential rich people because of her social origin and the too important place, for a woman, that she takes in Argentine political life.

It is also largely because of these opponents that Eva Perón finally withdrew from the race for the vice presidency in 1951, despite the great support of the unions, the working class and a majority of the party. of Peron. This renunciation can also be explained by his poor health. Indeed, Eva Perón suffered from cervical cancer, an illness which took her life on July 26, 1952 when she was 33 years old.

His death was followed by a large official funeral, but also a large-scale tribute by the Argentinians. His body is on display at the headquarters of the CGT union center. During his funeral there were almost 3 million people in the streets of the capital. Already at the time, the national mourning was interpreted in several ways, if some journalists saw it as a sincere tribute from the Argentine people, others understood it rather as a staging of the Peronist regime.

In 1955, a military coup, known as the “Liberating Revolution,” ended the Peronist regime. Eva Peron's body is moved, he is buried under a false name in Italy. It was not until 1974 that he was repatriated and buried in the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Sixty years after the disappearance of Eva Perón, she remains an important, although mixed, symbol. Indeed, if some consider her an icon of the people, others see her as the representative of an unjust, authoritarian, populist regime; fascist. Eva Perón has not, in any case, fallen into oblivion even though she is still the subject of books, films (including one where she is played by Madonna) and a Museum is dedicated to her Buenos Aires.

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