Ever since he died in 1975, Franco the dictator has been buried in the Valley of the Fallen, some 64 km from Madrid. On Thursday he’ll be moved to the family mausoleum.
This is controvercial. The right w ing say that moving Franco’s body will just open wounds while others say that it will close the wounds of hose whose family members died on the republican side.
Officially the Valley of the Fallen is a memorial to everyone killed in the Civil War, but there’s Franco in pride of place and it was built partly with slave labour from political prisoners.
I’m not a fan of Franco. I few years ago i did a little research for a possible future novel.
I knew divorce was forbidden under Franco, and that a woman who ran away from a violent husband would be brought back by the police, who, like as not, would tell the husband to give her a good hiding to teach her not to run off again. I wasn’t a bit surprised to hear that abortion w as illegal, but so were contraceptives. And you had no right to refuse sex.
“Women could not become judges, or testify in trial. They could not become university professors. Their affairs and economy had to be managed by their father or by their husbands. Until the 1970s a woman could not have a bank account without a co-sign by her father or husband.”
You know what? Women were arguably better off under Saddam Hussein! At least women were legally people in Iraq.
Franco and his party killed 150,000-200,000 civilians and PoWs during the war, and maybe 200,000 were killed after the war. (The red side –the elected government– killed “38,000 to 110,000, with most estimates closer to the former.”)
Franco’s family don’t seem particularly apologetic about this. They’re very much againt having the bones moved, which I can understand. On the other side one old man says, “At least they know where their grandfather is. I don’t.” His grandfather being one of the thousands of people who simply disappeared. The bit that really lost my sympathy was hearing who they want to say mass at the reburial – the son of the man who held up the Spansih parliament at gunpoint in 1978 in an attempt to reimpose the dictatorship.
No, I’m not a fan.