1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Francisco Franco Rip ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Topics' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    891
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Some of you may recall a monument on top of a hillside that is located on camino frances between Villafranca Montes de Oca and San Juan de Ortega. This is the Monumento de los Caidos. Not much is mentioned in Brierley's guide book; he notes that this is a "stark monument to the fallen of the civil war". The first time I saw this I reflected that the camino frances covers some ground during Spain's civil war that was held by the Nationalists (Franco) and some ground that was held by the Republicans. I've read several books on Spain's civil war and there were many atrocities committed by both sides.

    Monuments are constructed to recall those that perished on both sides of the war and to help the healing. One of our walking companions during several days of our 2017 camino was "Michael", an Irish citizen and mayor of a small town. The topic of the Spanish civil war came up and he commented that one of his uncles fought in the civil war on the Nationalist side. Many historians paint Francisco Franco as a monster. However, he fought fiercely for the Catholic church and kept Spain from becoming a Communist country. In addition, Franco kept a neutral position during WWII, keeping Spain out of the war.

    There is an even more well known monument to the fallen, located a short distance from Madrid. It is called "Valley of the Fallen". There is a huge granite cross that can be seen for miles. It sits on top of a mausoleum which houses the remains of victims killed on both sides of the civil war. The body of Francisco Franco is buried there. I first visited the Valley of the Fallen in 1978 during one semester abroad. I thought the entire monument inside and outside was very dignified.

    Over time, some have complained that it glorifies Franco's regime and feel strongly that his remains should not be buried near his victims. In last weekend's WSJ there was a story with the title "Spain says Franco's Remains to be Moved from Public Burial Site". Spain's center-left government has decided that Franco's remains will be exhumed in coming months and will be reburied in another site. Spain's parliament will likely approve amendments to existing law to allow the move. Past governments have been reluctant to make any changes since there were many supporters of Franco and its best to not reopen many wounds of the past.

    The WSJ further reports that the leader of Spain's socialist party is eager to solidify his popularity in a divided political left. "Measures to remove remnants of the Franco era from the Spanish public life tend to be popular amount left leaning voters."

    Let's all hope that the change by Spain's current socialist government do not provoke anger or retaliation by many in Spain that have a more balanced view of history.
     
  2. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    1,047
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    20170519_025535.jpg There were many of these in the sidewalks of Pamplona.
     
    dalebob, raymond john, Cilla and 2 others like this.
  3. raymond john

    raymond john Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    639
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Hi BC Bob
    I enjoyed reading your post which was excellent and a well balanced view on the reason for monuments /memorials for those who have perished on both sides of the war/ conflict. As you said, they were constructed as a sign of remembrance/ healing. There are no winners in war only casualties, trauma and a sense of needless loss. Moving Franco's remains will not change anything , other than stirring up deep seated emotions being exploited by Politicians for their own Political ends, causing more trouble and division/ upheaval within Spain.
     
    UnkleHammy and BROWNCOUNTYBOB like this.
  4. dalebob

    dalebob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Merseyside UK
    Thanks Bob for you note and your views. I have seen this monument and found it dignified and powerful! Until I came home and asked why was it there, who was it for and why ? Now 5 years on and my fascination with Religious and Political history consumes much of my time. As one reads and asks questions about the history of Europe from the 1st World War to date the Religous/Political entwined stories are very strong. The arguments whether Franco was good or bad are somehow enhanced by these factors and reinforced by the accounts,books and articles which promote their Nationist/Republican views. I agree with your comments that neither side have clean hands. And I hear my late Grandmother remarks here “that two wrongs don’t make a right”.
    Whilst Germany went through de-Nazification. In Spain this has not happened. Many neutral observers have claimed that the definitive account of the Spanish Civil War cannot be written because the opposite sides and the Church refuse to atone for the past ! And as such the Spanish Civil War is still not over ? Many I know will not agree with this.
    It’s often quoted that the first the first casualty of war is truth. In civil war, the truth is assassinated twice,once by each camp.
    Within my own City of Liverpool we have began to atone and face our history of our major roll in the Slave trade in the past. With many magnificent buildings and houses a legacy of those days often named after wealthy slave traders. It’s not always comfortable to come to terms with what we sometimes do to each other.
    dalebob
     
    raymond john and BROWNCOUNTYBOB like this.
  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    765
    Likes Received:
    1,047
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Nicely phrased, thanks.
     

Share This Page