POSTS IN ENGLISH: POST TWO
HOLOCAUST WAS LEGAL, YOU KNOW?
Currently Spanish Government is drafting a law to remember those who where killed by Franco’s regime. Among them there are thousands of republicans prisoners assassinated on the ground, others assassinated after being sentenced by court martials with no guarentees , and even those republicans exterminated at nazi camps, with the complicity of Franco’s regime.
(Right: Hitler-Franco meeting, 1940)
It is interesting to know that there are more than 50.000 missing people buried somewhere. Most of them were republicans prisoners assassinated on the ground, with no trial, no defense. Massive graves have been localized in València, containing between 8.000 and 25.000 bodies, depending on sources. There are plenty of graves (containing 5,10, 16, 25 bodies) in forests, praires. Only few of them have been disclosed.
Thousands of families have no idea where their relatives died, and where to go to honour their memory. These families were humiliated during the 36 years-long Franco’s regime, and the coming of the consitutional regime in 1978 implied no change, since it was built on a deal that include the renounce to prosecute francoist elements for the sake of “national reconciliation”. Even worst, the new regime renounced to know the truth. So there was no South-African style Truth Commission, where individuals accepted to publicly confess their crimes and reveal where to found their victims in exchange of judicial immunity.
After years of silence and fear, now there is a growing demand to know the truth about the fate of fathers, grand-fathers, brothers, uncles that disappear with no trace. Some civic groups are pressing to approve a protocol in order to open graves and recover the remnants.
In order to cope with this demand, current Spanish government has give a green light to the draft of a Law for the Historic Memory. This decision has raised a torrid debate among supporters and foes. Right wing vocals consider this Law a kind of revenge that breaks the founding rules of the current political regime. Supporters deny that claim. They consider that the Law only wants to restore dignity to both victims and their families, and that no charges will be brought.
(Right: Eisenhower-Franco meeting, 1953)
But inside the supporters side there is not a common stand. Some of them consider that the draft avoids other hot issues, such as the demand to declare void all the death penalties sentenced by Francoist court martials. Drafters consider that these sentences were legal at the time, and as a consequence it is impossible to invalidate them. Of course this argument is false, since the defendant guarantees in those trials were almost inexistent.
But this argument emphasizes something more important. Since the current spanish regime is the legal evolution of francoist regime –as you know there was no break up of dictatorship legality- we can say that Spain is the only country in the world where fascism has not been defeated by military means, like in Italy or Germany. So current government, pressed by powerful right-wing groups, including judiciary and media ones, renounces to clean spanish political system of any trace of fascist heritage. This behavior is unacceptable. Holocaust, the Final Solution, in nazi terms, was also legal in Germany at the time, but no one consider that current german legislators have to accept it, right? But Spain is (continues to be) different.