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Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:43 PM

Spain digs up Franco-era graves, 80 years after civil war that brought him to power.

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

Spanish activists dug up a mass grave yesterday in a search for victims of the country’s civil war and the fascist dictatorship it put in place, as an Argentine court presses Spain to confront its troubled past. The exhumation, expected to last several days, is the first agreed to by a Spanish court after a campaign by Argentine investigators working on a case being advanced by Argentine Federal Judge María Romilda Servini de Cubría.

Hundreds of Spaniards turned to the Argentine court system two years ago for help in uncovering crimes committed during the 1936-39 civil war and the subsequent 36-year dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, by using an international human rights law.

On the edge of a cemetery in Guadalajara, some 50 kilometres from Madrid, volunteers dug open a grave believed to hold 22 or 23 bodies after a campaign by 90-year-old Ascensión Mendieta, who is seeking her father’s remains. “I’m overwhelmed by all this, but I know we’re going to get there and get what we wanted,” she said. “After this I can die in peace.” Her father Timoteo, who fought against Franco’s forces, is believed to have been shot amid reprisals after the war ended.

Hundreds of thousands of people died during the conflict, with atrocities committed on both sides. The victors under Franco went on to execute thousands of people after the war, according to British historian Paul Preston’s book The Spanish Holocaust.

Forty years after Franco’s death, the Argentine-led investigation into possible crimes against humanity during his rule could revive a movement to confront Spain’s past, which gained prominence after the Socialists came to power in 2004. A historical memory association, which helped with the dig in Guadalajara, has carried out several exhumations in recent years at the request of families. But building legal cases in Spain has been impossible. The country passed an amnesty law in 1977 which pardoned the crimes of the Franco government.

Read more: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/207091/spain-digs-up-franco-graves-80-years-on

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Reply Spain digs up Franco-era graves, 80 years after civil war that brought him to power. (Original post)
forest444 Jan 2016 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2016 #1
BillZBubb Jan 2016 #2
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2016 #3
forest444 Jan 2016 #8
forest444 Jan 2016 #4
rtracey Jan 2016 #7
LanternWaste Jan 2016 #10
DFW Jan 2016 #5
forest444 Jan 2016 #9
jtuck004 Jan 2016 #11
forest444 Jan 2016 #14
jtuck004 Jan 2016 #15
forest444 Jan 2016 #17
DFW Jan 2016 #23
jtuck004 Jan 2016 #27
DFW Jan 2016 #12
forest444 Jan 2016 #13
DFW Jan 2016 #20
forest444 Jan 2016 #21
DFW Jan 2016 #22
forest444 Jan 2016 #24
DFW Jan 2016 #25
forest444 Jan 2016 #28
DFW Jan 2016 #29
Solly Mack Jan 2016 #6
Stimoyo Jan 2016 #16
forest444 Jan 2016 #18
Jesus Malverde Jan 2016 #30
forest444 Jan 2016 #19
Reter Jan 2016 #26
DFW Jan 2016 #31

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:43 PM

1. Proving once again that Francisco Franco is still dead.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:46 PM

2. And good riddance.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:48 PM

3. Maybe you don't remember the ongoing Franco joke on SNL

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:53 PM

8. Good one! I fell for it too (see below).

The was a rumor at the time (November 1975) that Franco's recently-deceased corpse had been paraded on the dictatorial palace balcony to fool people into thinking he was still alive while the different factions of fascists jockeyed for power.

Sounds outlandish; but I wouldn't put it past them (ever see Richard Dreyfuss in Moon Over Parador?).

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:48 PM

4. They're referring to the thousands buried in Franco-era mass graves.

Although since you mentioned the old fascist fart himself, there is an ongoing effort in Spain to remove him from his grand, taxpayer-funded mausoleum.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article3848412.ece

(note the fascist salute among his visiting admirers)

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:49 PM

7. and

 

And how many young true to heart liberals have no idea what that means, yet me as a 57 year old true to heart liberal 1. almost peed my pants with laughter thinking the same f'n thing. and 2. the young kids in the lab are looking at me and sadly asking who Franco was and why am I laughing at him being dead.

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Response to rtracey (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:57 PM

10. Me too.

 

Me too. Any time I see Chevy Chase in anything, that line comes to me.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:48 PM

5. I lived in Spain during the last years of the Franco era

My first brush with a totalitarian government. Very weird, and the restrictions took a lot of getting used to.

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Response to DFW (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:55 PM

9. Amazing!

DFW, you must be the only one here on DU with first-hand experience with life under the Generalissimo.

If it's ok to ask, what was your most striking memory from the time?

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Response to forest444 (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 04:22 PM

11. One of the most successful cooperatives in the world created while he was in power.

 

A business form that fights for freedom, against inequality and tyranny by its very existence.



...
The determining factor in the creation of the Mondragón system was the arrival in 1941 of a young Catholic priest, José María Arizmendiarrieta, in Mondragón, a town with a population of 7,000 that had not yet recovered from the Spanish Civil War: poverty, hunger, exile, and tension.[2] In 1943, Arizmendiarrieta established a technical college that became a training ground for generations of managers, engineers, and skilled labour for local companies, and primarily for the co-operatives.[3]
Before creating the first co-operative, Arizmendiarrieta spent a number of years educating young people about a form of humanism based on solidarity and participation, in harmony with Catholic social teaching, and the importance of acquiring the necessary technical knowledge. In 1955, he selected five of these young people to set up the first company of the co-operative and industrial beginning of the Mondragon Corporation.[4] The people were Usatorre, Larrañaga, Gorroñogoitia, Ormaechea, and Ortubay, and the company was called Talleres Ulgor, an acronym derived from their surnames, known today as Fagor Electrodomésticos.
In the first 15 years many co-operatives were established, thanks to the autarky of the market and the awakening of the Spanish economy. During those years, also with the encouragement of Don José María, two bodies were set up that were to play a key role in the development of Mondragon: Caja Laboral (1959) and the Social Welfare Body Lagun Aro (1966). The first local group was created, Ularco, the embryo of the industrial co-operative associativism which has been so important in the corporation’s history. In 1969, Eroski was set up by a merger of ten small local consumer co-operatives.[5]
During the next 20 years, from 1970 to 1990, the dynamism continued, with a strong increase in turnover, the launch of new co-operatives promoted by Caja Laboral’s Business Division, the promotion of co-operative associativism with the forming of local groups, and the setting up of the Ikerlan Research Centre in 1974.[6]
...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:16 PM

14. Whenever I mention that today's GOP meets all 14 criteria for fascism, I always add this caveat:

That the GOP suffers from all the vices of past fascist regimes; but share none of their (few) virtues.

As opprobrious as most fascist regimes in 20th century world history were (Hitler, Mussolini, Suharto, Park, Marcos, Pinochet, the Brazilian junta, Salazar, and of course Franco), they had that one redeeming quality: that they believed in public works and, as long as they could control it, national development.

They were brutal, intolerant, bigoted, misogynistic, boorish thieves; but at the very least, they could usually boast a legacy of public works and economic growth - which of course today's GOP cannot (Dubya was a financial and economic calamity, and if they win this year the next Rethug president promises to be even worse).



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Response to forest444 (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:27 PM

15. Might add - Franco had nothing to do with this, and tried to kill them. The people were stronger.

 

They won. And he's still dead.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:44 PM

17. Good to know. Thanks!

They like development; but they like control much more - and your post is an excellent reminder of that.

As far as fascist regimes in general, our GOP is a lot more like the Argentine dictatorship from 1976 to 1983: craven, crooked, and useless in every way - and just as murderous, except that whereas the junta attacked its own people, Dubya attacked others.

As they say in Argentina, ¡Nunca Más!

Never again.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 09:07 PM

23. Look at those names. No bell ringing here?

Usatorre, Larrañaga, Gorroñogoitia, Ormaechea, and Ortubay, not to mention Arizmendiarrieta.

Every one of them a Basque. They were never the Fascists' friends.

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Response to DFW (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 02:12 AM

27. Yup. It takes people standing together. n/t

 

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Response to forest444 (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 04:22 PM

12. That is a tough one

We were told to some degree what we could say and not say, and what the sensibilities were before we got there, so I really didn't get any shocks. By that time, too, Franco had been in power for 30 years, and knew he would never be violently overthrown, so he had relaxed some of the stricter controls.

One thing none of us knew, that only came out after Franco died, was that he had told his intended successor, King Juan Carlos, that "you will be able do to things I never could," so he knew how many people still hated him for the Civil War, and what he did in its aftermath.

The bland media and the control over the news was shocking. I was used to Dan Rather as CBS new anchor, after all. It was national TV news when Franco's wife went to pray at this cathedral or that, and a documentary on the Second World War mentioned the "heroic Blue Division," which was Franco's concession to Hitler for helping him win the Civil War, but it never explained what they did. He sent what was in essence a suicide division to the Russian Front to thank Hitler for his position as Caudillo. Most, if not all of them perished. This was never mentioned, and I had a heated argument with the mother of the family I was staying with, because in all those years, she never even knew that Franco had sent a division to fight with Hitler. She only shut up when her husband told her that yes they did. The family was all Catalans, but the parents were supporters of Franco because the Republicans has assassinated members of both their families during the Civil War, and they understandably harbored grudges. If you read any detailed history of the Spanish Civil War, you'll read that the Republic was SO fractured, it looked almost like GDP today, except that everyone backed up their opinions with firing squads.

What also struck me was that local languages were forbidden or suppressed. Catalan was forbidden in schools, and was taught--in Catalunya!--at the university level as a foreign language. Same for Basque. Catalan is alive and well today, but Basque is so complicated, if it is not taught from birth, it is very difficult to learn. Of course, as rebellious 17 year olds, we all learned Catalan, and some of us took pains to get informal courses in it. This was forbidden, but not pursued. I go back down there regularly, and always get a warm reception as "that American who speaks Catalan." Due to that course I took, I can write it, too, which few foreigners can.

One more thing--in Castilian ("Spanish" you never use a double "s." Generalísimo. Italian and Catalan use it, but Spanish never! I can imagine your next question--why then "Picasso?" Although he grew up around Málaga, his family was of Catalan origin, that's why!

I'll bet I'm the only one on DU who has met Salvador Dalí, too! (another story for another time, but it was during that year in Barcelona)

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Response to DFW (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:01 PM

13. Thank you for that, DFW.

Such vivid imagery, and so much context. Your observation that "the bland media and the control over the news was shocking" at the time certainly recalls much of the corporate, cookie-cutter news media here in the U.S. over the past 15 years or so (if not longer).

On a lighter note I'll leave you with a postcard of Madrid's Puerta del Sol, taken in Franco's last full year in power. Enjoy!


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Response to forest444 (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 06:49 PM

20. I can believe that's an old photo!

Downtown Madrid these days is traffic-choked. I go in and out of Barajas only by train to the city center, never by taxi.

Media control by a one-party state's government can't be compared to for-profit competing stations today. People who wanted to, found out anyway, but those who CHOSE only to swallow the Falange line did so, much as back in the day of the "truly existing socialism (that's what they called it)" of the so-called GDR (East Germany).

I mean CNN is bland to mildly RW, and Fox is so over the top, I think they are secretly amazed themselves at how many people actually take their drivel seriously. But watching Franco's "news" and that of the East Germans, gave me an accurate idea of what a government-controlled propaganda station looks like. Fox is their bastard child. Not even CNN comes close.

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Response to DFW (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 07:24 PM

21. Spain - and the world - have gotten so fast-paced since then, haven't they.

It was before my time; but my impression of the era between World War II and 1974 is that, while certainly not perfect (just ask the Vietnamese!), the world really was by and large a kinder, gentler place back then.

I agree with observation on today's media. Were it not for Raygun's rescission of equal time media guidelines, and of course the illegally-licensed Faux News, public opinion among most right-wing Americans would probably resemble that of their counterparts in Western Europe, Canada, or Australia - rather than the fanatical hate-group mentality they as a group have now.

Fox News and pied pipers like Pig Boy Limbaugh have a lot to do with that extremist shift - as did many televangelists and the church in general, just as the Opus Dei helped keep conservative Catholics on Franco's side at the time.

God help us all.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 08:49 PM

22. Spain of the 1960s and early 1970s was a place of another era

I remember as a 19 year old, going back to Barcelona in 1971 and meeting up with a French girlfriend, going by train down to Sitges, a touristy, but cute beach resort south of Barcelona, and getting us a nice big airy hotel room for 300 pesetas a night, about $4.25 at the then-prevailing exchange rates.

Of course, when you're 19, in perfect health, in college and not yet in need of a job, and earned enough pocket money during the year to finance a trip to a very cheap Europe during the summer, what doesn't look beautiful? I met my wife during one of those perfect summers (1974)--playing guitar in a folk cabaret in West Berlin, both of us age 22, what could possibly bother us?

Of course, horrors were going on even then, but they seemed so far away. Sure, the hated Nixon was in power, but the same summer I met my wife, Nixon was forced to resign, and everything was looking up. Franco's health was declining, Salazar was out in Portugal, things did look less complicated.

It's not the fast pace I mind. I'm now going to be 64 this year, and I don't mind my James Bond-paced job of being in a different country every day, even now. I've been with the same outfit since 1975, and it's still cool. But the bureaucracy, the nastiness, the imposition of false realities that so many people want to be true (Fox and Limbaugh, e.g. as you mentioned)--all that has either vastly increased in volume, or else my openness to perceive it is now greater, like people with the overly-acute hearing syndrome, to whom a pin dropping sounds like a bomb going off.

Even so, I refuse to let all the depressing things get me down. My wife, who will also be 64, fought her cancer, bounced back and looks 20 years younger, our daughters are gorgeous, got sustaining jobs all on their own (one making enough to join the 1% at age 30, although she gives a lot of it away). If my native land, with all its vast resources and wealth of human talent, really wants to sink into a Republican morass when it is completely unnecessary, I will just come back for visits and vacations, and watch from a distance, much as I do now.

Both my parents and ALL of their siblings had cancer. With me, it's not a question of "if" but "when." The last thing I plan on doing is sitting around in a pool of anger, waiting for it to happen.

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Response to DFW (Reply #22)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 11:12 PM

24. Congratulations on 40 years of a beautiful marriage, DFW.

And on having brought up such wonderful and accomplished people as daughters.

It's hard on the other hand to hear about health problems in your family. At the risk of imposing, please make sure to keep your body's Ph as high as possible - and from what I understand you'll keep such risks to a bare minimum. Taking a little Apple cider vinegar every day, I was told, would keep you as far away from illness as one can reasonably get. If you decide to try it, remember: it must have the 'mother' (Bragg's is my favorite).

Thank you as well sharing some glimpses into what must have been a full and incredibly interesting life so far for you and the Mrs. (I myself can't make that claim).

All the Best to you and yours, DFW.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 12:47 AM

25. Thanks for the warm sentiments. We have no choice but to play the genetic hand we're dealt

I take lemon or lime on everything and prefer oil and vinegar on salads, so I come close. Living in Europe, I have access to some of the best olive oil there is, including a small Catalan producer to whom a friend in Brussels has tight connections. Only the genetic lottery has kept me around until now. I already lost a cousin to cancer when he was 41.

My dad was one of the last print journalists in Washington, had been there 50 years when cancer cut his career short, since nothing else looked like it was going to. That is one of the main reasons I got to hang with Senators, Presidents and the likes of Helen Thomas starting at such an early age. It's not like I did anything brilliant in my childhood that warranted such august company.

As for the Mrs. and our daughters, I am just incredibly proud of them (my brother is on the right). My wife wears her 63 years with uncommon grace, and, like me, refuses to let her medical history become an obsession with her.

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Response to DFW (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 10:34 AM

28. Here's to you and your loved ones, DFW.

­­­¡Salud!

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Response to forest444 (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 10:44 AM

29. Moltes gràcies!

As they say in Catalunya

(or, as they say in Euzkadi, eskerrik asko!).

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 03:49 PM

6. K&R

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:33 PM

16. Franco is in hell

 

As we speak.

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Response to Stimoyo (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:50 PM

18. But his maggoty corpse is in a much better spot:



My hope is that Spain gives him a proper burial someday - in some Mardid landfill.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 10:47 AM

30. Built by POW's AKA slave labor and managed by the catholic church...nt

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Response to Stimoyo (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 20, 2016, 05:51 PM

19. And welcome to DU, Stimoyo!

Happy editing!

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 01:11 AM

26. For someone who is referred to being the least brutal of the four major fascists the last century...

 

He was still brutal as hell. A total tragedy.

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Response to Reter (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 21, 2016, 11:10 AM

31. A cartoon used to circulate, clandestinely, of course

While Franco was still around, the cartoon showed him on his knees, praying to "padre nuestro, que está en los cielos (our father, who art in heaven)" and in his mind, there is a big picture of Hitler.

But he turned out to be the clever one, saw which way the wind was blowing way before Hitler or Mussolini did, declared neutrality before the war ended, and survived. One of his generals once declared, after a French politician had said that Europe ended at the Pyrenees, that the Pyrenees were not where Europe ended, but where Spain began, skirting the issue completely. Franco and his cronies became very adept at skirting any issue dealing with the problem of "España es diferente (their phrase)."

Ironically, Franco wasn't the fascist General originally intended to be their Caudillo. That was supposed to be the much older General Sanjurjo. But that old bastard, intending to take a small plane from his exile back to a triumphant return to a safe Fascist bastion in Spain, insisted on taking way too much weight in uniforms and decorations with him. He was warned that the small plane had too much weight loaded into it to safely fly, but the vain general insisted. The plane crashed and that was the end of him, just 2 days after the fascist uprising started.

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