Garzon backs Franco victims in the search for truth

LAST UPDATED: 8 Jun, 2013 @ 16:36
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Garzon backs Franco victims in the search for truth

VICTIMS of the Franco regime are calling for a new initiative to ‘clear up the crimes of the Spanish Civil War’.

Over 40 separate associations which help those affected by Franco’s regime joined forces with human rights activists to introduce the Platform for a Truth Commission at a conference in Madrid.

Former High Court judge, Baltazar Garzon, who was suspended from judicial activity while investigating crimes committed under Franco’s dictatorship, is publically supporting the proposed initiative.

Garzon, who is about to testify before an Argentinean judge investigating Franco said the umbrella organization is needed to investigate ‘the crimes of the Francoist dictatorship, the suffering endured by those who were forcefully made to disappear, and the victims of assassinations, extrajudicial executions, summary trials, baby theft’.

“History and reason is on our side. The institutional omission is as clamorous as it is shameful,” added Garzon.

Julia Merino, 79, the daughter of a couple who were executed during Franco’s dictatorship said at the conference: “We’re dying. There are very few of us left. Our last hope lies in the truth commission.”

Cristina Almeida, a lawyer and longtime member of Spain’s Communist Party added at the conference:”In order to forget, as they ask us to, first we need to know.

“Everyone wants to turn the page of war, the page of dictatorship; but in order to turn a page, first you have to read it.”

18 COMMENTS

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  1. It is fascinating how we – rightly – vilify Fascists and Nazis, but the world seems to ignore the atrocities committed by, for example, Stalin, who cheerfully murdered more than 20 million of his own people. Or Mao (70 million) or Pol Pot (‘only’ 3 million) We still see students wearing T shirts with CCCP who would never wear one with a swastika. Why are people so blind to the horrors of Communism ?

  2. P.M.: It’s not that people ignore the atrocious regimes you list. It’s that those regimes were never by any stretch of the imagination, true Communism. Which of course, due to horrible human nature, never has, and probably never will, exist.
    Oh sure, they wore the label, but that’s all they had, being a million miles from Marx. A savage dictatorship can call itself anything it wants, but communism it’s not.
    Josh: You’re darn tootin’ they do.

  3. stefanjo: But Nye Bevan, and several other socialists of that era, was a staunch apologist for Stalin. People need to have a look at Paul Bogdanor – deniers. “Decent people dismiss Holocaust deniers and other far-right propagandists with ridicule and contempt. But far-left apologists for mass murder rarely elicit the same reaction.”

  4. P.M. “Nye Bevan” That was then. This is now,half a century on and we all know better. Or should do. The point is, scabby monsters will cloak themselves in any convenient cover. We don’t have to be daft enough to believe them.
    Tony Bliar for instance, called himself “Labour”. It didn’t take half a century to figure that porky out. I repeat, none of these pigs were ever Communists, or even Socialists.

  5. stefanjo,
    spot on but the recht stront don’t want to hear that. It would be entirely accurate to describe the regime of the paranoid madman that the little South Ossettian was as State Capitalist.

    This also would be an accurate description of China as well. After all as the top apparachnics send there sons to Eton and MIT and other seriously expensive USA unis.

    That nasty little turd Lenin knew what Stalin was, had he been a real Communist he would have taken Stalin out in front of the people and executed him himself -he did’nt and the rest is history.

    Funny how all those party apparachnics suddenly became billionaires after the fall of State Capitalism, with the help of the drunken Yeltsin and the Red Army commanders who were to become extremely rich heroin traffickers.

  6. Spain should move ahead and put the civil war into the history books. Both sides in this war committed vile cruelty.
    But do not forget Franco got Spain into the E.U. Without which Spain would have been unable to modernise its roads, railways, etc. and the olive oil industry also receiving billions.
    Always taking money from the E.U. and never putting 1 cent back into it in 30 years, by the way Stefanjo please read Das Kapital again nowhere does propose a workers utopia.

  7. T Allen,
    that’s what the Austrians and Germans said – less than 0.5% of Austrian and German war criminals received any punishment at all, let alone being executed.

    Franco usurped a democratically elected government with lots of help from the French and English elites and of course Hitler and Mussolini. He brought over ‘special’ Morroccan troops to commit atrocities in the Asturias right at the beginning of his illegal campaign.

    The atrocity of openly bombing civilians at Guernica, copied from the RAF actions in Syria and Afghanistan – and you were’nt taught that at school were you!

    The Catholic church and it’s priests were ruthlessly hunted down especially in Catalunya and who could blame the Anarchists/Socialists and Communists for doing this – time to study Spanish history.

    If you T Allen had come from one of the Spanish families who suffered over half a million murders by the Fascists, not forgetting the vile Catholic nuns that stole babies from their mothers you might want retribution.

    When we lived in Galicia, I well remember hearing the stories of those Galicians who were’nt Fascists telling me how their grandfathers and fathers were taken for ‘a walk in the night’ from which they never returned – the Costa del Muerte is well named and not only from dead sailors.

    These Spanish want justice, especially when they can see that those self same Fascist families still calling the tune.

    It’s well known that most of the British and Americans treated the Austrian/German scum far too leniently, I’m glad to say that one of my uncles who was a professional soldier before WW11 began did’nt. As a Nazi seeker after the war he hunted down and killed lots and lots of Nazis rather than sending them to a ‘tribunal’ where they would get a smack on the wrist.

    The British and Americans never dismantled the Nazi government machine – they left it intact, not to mention the German families who ran the Nazi war machine.

    But then what do 6 million Jews, half a million Gypsies, 4 million Russian POWs, the destruction of Warsaw, whole French villages, not to mention all the Allied dead including my 2 uncles mean – not a lot to those like you.

    I’ve got an idea why don’t you express your opinion to a family who lost many to Fascist murderers – should be an interesting encounter.

  8. In answer Mr Crawford to your misinformed rant.
    Yes Franco did depose a government that was making a total mess of governing, the anarchists, socialists and communists would not agree on anything. But I think this same band of misfits deposed a legal government some years before.
    Yes Hitler and Mussolini supported him as they and the western part of Europe did not want a spread of the extreme left, not forgetting communists in Spain were supported with money and arms from Russia.
    These same Leaders of the poor Spanish people decamped to Moscow with the Spanish gold reserves which has never been returned. It went missing Ha Ha
    Yes he brought his troops with him he was their commander after all.
    I think the Turks bombed the Arabs in Syria first.
    Yes study Spanish history but from both sides, I do not hold hold a torch for Franco or the leftists. All politicians come out of office far richer while the poor stay poor.
    As you well know Mr Crawford all the figures of murders on both sides are open for debate.

    Yes we all have members of our families who fought in the two world wars.

    You know very well why the western allies supported Germany after the war.
    The total figure for all the Russian dead was more like 16,000,000 but then Uncle Joe murdered far more of his own people.
    Yes I would like to give my views of the Spanish Civil War to people who had loved ones murdered by both sides.
    Yes I can give you a Spanish history a lesson, how far back would you like to go. I long ago dismissed any history taught at school as social engineering.

  9. T. Allen: Nowhere did I mention workers or utopias. You are so keen to have a rant (which you loftily accuse Stuart of doing) that you can’t even be bothered to read the posts you’re slagging off. Right wing blinkers firmly in place ?

  10. Mr Allen, I am sorry to say that if I have ever heard an ill-informed rant it is your post above. I find it difficult to believe that you have seriously studied modern Spanish history; you seem to have regurgitated a load of second hand distortions of the trueth.

  11. Oh dear I seem to have upset the left wing in what ever guise it may come in, if you do not agree with them, then you have to be right wing.
    Who is going to give evidence to a truth commission.
    If a 20 year old fought or was directly affected by the conflict any still left would be 97 years old or more.
    Will this commission track down all witnesses from Francos side as well as the Anarchists/Communists side.
    What are they going to do exhume bodies and put them on trial.
    All this is going to do is open up old wounds and in some cases in families who had members fighting on both sides.
    Neither side can come out of this with any honour as both were guilty of wicked acts.
    I think the reason behind all this is politics looking ahead to next general elections in spain.
    All history going back beyond a certain time scale is second hand and this conflict is just in that time scale.
    Even books written just after are biased in one direction or the other. There are some books out there unbiased if you care to read an unbiased account.
    Read one of Micheal Portillos books his father had to leave spain and his uncle was a supporter of Franco this was how divided families were.
    Well my wife I are off to a former communist country to do real historical research so this will have end until we return.

  12. Time for a few history lessons-

    PM Refers to 500+ killed by the Communists in Ronda during the first three months of the war. I suggest he consults Paul Preston’s superb book ‘The Spanish Holocaust’. Preston writes; “Ronda had suffered a pitless repression at the hands of anarchists led by a character known as ‘El Gitano’. Initally,the CNT committee had maintained a degree of order although churches were sacked and images destroyed, but soon there were murders being carried out by anarchists from Malaga and also by locals. However there is no substance to the claim, first made by Queipo de Llano in a broadcast on 18 August and popularized by Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom The Bell Tolls that a large number of prisoners were killed by being thrown into the Tajo. The many rightest victims were shot in the cemetery.” Can I suggest that anyone wanting to know what Franco’s butcher’s bill amounted to read Preston’s book.

    T. Allen dismisses history lessons. He states that Franco took Spain into the EU. From beyond his grave? Franco died in 1975, Spain joined the EU in 1986.

    There endeth the history lesson.

  13. Can’t understand why my retort to T Allen was removed it was all factual.

    Does’nt matter too much, he destroys himself. Bob Cuddihy – I thought T Allen’s statement about Franco and the EU was so hilarious I left the crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to someone else and he’s off to do historical research – LOL.

    The killing of priests and destruction of churches has to be seen in the context of just how ruthless the Catholic church was in repressing the ordinary Spanish people.

    maybe this post will be deleted as well – esta la vida.

  14. I put Franco and the Common Market as it was then together, to show that without his input Spain would not have advanced so quickly after WW2.
    For those who cannot see the big picture, of course Franco was not involved in the formal talks from 1979 to 1986.
    But as you may know, or not know in some cases, talks were going on in Francos time, even Britain was rejected more than once.
    He went to the USA for aid and was at first told no but he told them if he lost power a communist government would take over he got the aid.
    Sorry but his ruling junta were also responsible for starting the ball rolling on the tourist bonanza from the 1960s onwards.
    Like him or hate him he pulled Spain up by its boot straps and also less some people forget Spain would not have a monarchy.
    I repeat again Spain should move on, unite its people not bicker over something that cannot be changed.
    People in northern Europe have had to move on after the war started by the NAZI party i.e. National Socialist Party.
    Todays world belongs to the young, they do not wish to be burdened by events over which they have no control.
    Spain is a Fine Country to live in otherwise we would not be here. History is a fine debating subject, it is just that but it is full of smoke and glass and with each new generation with new means of research the goal posts are moved.
    So Spain keep united.

  15. Let me quote T. Allen’s words: “But do not forget Franco got Spain into the E.U.” This statement is clear and unequivocal, it was Franco who did it which of course is a nonsense. After World War II Franco ruled an economic basket-case with much of the land stalked by hunger, poverty and unemployment – the Spanish people had damn few boots let alone straps to be pulled up. Franco’s so-called ‘corporatist’ policies were a drag on economic development for more than 20 years.

    Spain’s path to Brussels opened up following Franco’s death with the establishment of democratic government. I would even suggest that with the King’s swift action following the coup attempt in February 1981 those watching outside the country realised Spain was ready to take her rightful place at Brussels with other European democracies in 1987. This had nothing to do with Franco and everything to do with the Spanish people and the democracy they had built.

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