Antonio took refuge with other Nationalists in the Alcázar in the summer of 1936 at the start of the famous siege during the Spanish Civil War. As a pacifist, the youth refused at first to help defend the ancient stronghold, and was put on latrine duty.When the situation of the besieged became more desperate, he decided that it would not be inconsistent with his principles to aid in the defense, provided that he did not kill in hatred. He was assigned the position of loader to a heavy machine gun. It was said that he would give the signal to fire with the words: “Tirad — pero sin odio” (Fire — but without hatred).
[Just nine days before the Alcázar was relieved, a grenade shattered Antonio’s arm. The limb had to be amputated without benefit of anesthetic. When the Nationalist forces relieved the Alcázar, Antonio was carried with great honor to his father’s house, but he never recovered, and died two months later.]