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"Spain's Open Wounds" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Jan 2019 6:29 a.m. PST

In the course of thirty-seven years, María Martín López sent more than a hundred handwritten letters to the Spanish authorities. She wrote to King Juan Carlos I, and to his successor; to half a dozen Prime Ministers; to judges of the Spanish Supreme Court; and to all the "bigwigs" she could think of. The letters, written in cursive and punctuated by misspellings, made a single request: the right to exhume her mother's remains, which had lain in a mass grave since 1936. Her father, Mariano Martín de la Cruz, had until his last days sought to give his wife a dignified burial. "You'll take her to the cemetery when pigs fly," Francoist rebels told him. Invariably, Martín López signed off her letters as "the woman who is still waiting for pigs to fly."…


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 9:52 a.m. PST

The article seems to feel that it it appropriate for the subject's mother to be buried with her family, but also that it's improper for a dead commander to be buried with his troops OR with his family. The Spanish left was in its day also pretty good at unmarked graves--or just leaving their opponents for the vultures--and still seems to feel the urge.

I must have missed the article in which the New Yorker discussed victims lying in unmarked mass graves in the Former Soviet Union--and known killers there who enjoyed quiet undisturbed retirements.

Gerard Leman16 Jan 2019 1:36 p.m. PST

That's the horror of civil wars, Bill. The war itself may temporarily resolve the political question of which group will hold power, but rarely resolves the underlying causes. Abraham Lincoln spoke of a peace "… with malice toward none, with charity for all…" but was gunned down before he could try to implement his vision. The post-war Republican-controlled legislature (i.e. 1860's GOP – no reference to today's party of the same name) was very disinclined to carry out that vision, and went so far as to try to impeach Andrew Johnson. Concurrently, southerners adopted "The Lost Cause" as one of their national myths. Both reactions helped propel the antagonisms that created the Civil War well into the 20th Century, and beyond. Why would we think the Spanish would have any easier of a time of it?

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

Article from the New Yorker. I'm impressed.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 2:47 p.m. PST

Same Republican Party from 1860 by the way.

Gerard Leman17 Jan 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

Irish, since this is not Blue Fez, I was trying to avoid directly comparing the GOP of 1865 with that of today. Certainly, dealing with the reconstruction of a war-ravaged south and the integration of a population that had recently been in rebellion (the last C.S.A. veteran apparently died in 1959) are not a political and economic issues today.

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