A CHILDREN’S history book has come under fire for airbrushing the violent reality of Spain’s civil war.

The text book for Spanish six-year-olds, published by company Anaya, has been accused of omitting key details about the real horror of Francisco Franco’s reign.

Celebrated modern poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca became a symbol of the brutality of Franco’s rule when he was violently executed near Granada in 1936.

The 38-year-old Lorca – author of Blood Wedding and The House of Bernarda Alba – is one of the most internationally recognised victims of the 1936-1939 conflict.

But the chapter merely says: “A little after finishing his last play, The House of Bernarda Alba, Federico died near his village during the war in Spain.”

Luis Naranjo, head of the Andalucian government office for issues relating to historical memory, began campaigning against the book after noticing angry debate on social media.

“There is a big difference between adapting a complex concept for schoolchildren and distorting history,” he said.

He added that children ‘understand very well right and wrong and what a violent death means’.

Naranjo compared the book’s failure to explain the reality of Lorca’s death to ‘talking about Auschwitz and saying that the Jews just fell asleep in the gas chambers’.

Another chapter about the poet Antonio Machado, who fled to France to escape Franco’s forces, concludes: “After a few years he went to France with his family. He lived there until his death.”

The publishing house has been forced to withdraw the book, and will be releasing a revised version.

Imogen Calderwood

About Imogen Calderwood

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