Spanish Civil War: Forgetting, in Order to Move On Reply

Spanish War Victims

Omar Encarnación writes for the NY Times, January 6, 2014–Spain was ready to let bygones be bygones. After the demise in 1975 of the Francisco Franco dictatorship, the nation’s leading political parties negotiated the so-called Pact of Forgetting, an informal agreement that made any treatment of the most difficult episodes of Spanish history, such as the horrific violence of the Civil War, unnecessary and unwelcomed. Far from seeking “justice,” “truth” or “reconciliation,” the nation chose to forget and move on, even passing a comprehensive amnesty law making it all but impossible to prosecute the human rights abuses of the old regime.

The pact to forget meant that in Spain there would be no accountability for the thousands of people who perished during the Civil War (1936-39), or for the many more who were executed, forced into exile, tortured in prison or sent to labor camps in the postwar years for simply having defended democracy against Franco’s fascist coup.

Read more on the NY site:


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