Spain and the scars of Franco's dictatorship | DW Documentary

by Super User, 5 years ago
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General Francisco Franco left a lasting impact on Spain. Now old resentments have been resurrected over the issue of relocating his remains.

Many Spaniards are calling for those responsible for the regime’s atrocities to be finally brought to justice. Victims’ families are hoping this will bring some form of belated closure. 97-year-old Martin Arnal has spent years fighting for the body of his brother to be reburied. He was shot dead in the 1930s and buried in a mass grave in Huesca. Over 80 years ago Spain was torn apart by a civil war that resulted in General Franco ruling the country with an iron fist until his death in 1975. The war and the subsequent dictatorship left a lasting impact on Spain. In order to ensure a smooth and conciliatory transition to democracy, an amnesty law was passed in 1977 - preventing those responsible for crimes during the Franco era from being brought to account, with an unholy alliance between the state and church maintaining that status quo to this day. The new left-wing government’s plans to have Franco’s remains removed from the "Valley of the Fallen” monument has led to a political row. Historian and journalist Antonio Gomez has been reassessing the legacy of the issue, and is the founder of the Europa Laica ("Secular Europe”) association in Madrid. He sees the close relationship between state and church as one of the main factors making it so difficult for Spain to come to terms with its past, and has also been determined to reveal the far-reaching links between Catholic clergymen and Francoism. Martin Arnal is glad to be finally seeing dividends from his struggle, and to be able to give his brother a dignified burial and farewell. "I didn’t just do it for my brother, he sways, "but for all victims of Francosim.”


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