Could you imagine in Germany a monumental ensemble in homage to Nazism and exalting and worshiping the figure of Adolf Hitler?
In Spain there is the “Valley of the fallen” (El Valle de los Caidos). The Valley of the Fallen is a Spanish monumental complex built between 1940 and 1958 by 20,000 Republican prisoners captured during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). In this place the Spanish civil war is commemorated, and the Francoism and the figure of the dictator “General Francisco Franco” is exalted. This place is maintained with public money and is the largest common grave in Spain with 33,833 buried dead (the great majority, the Republic workers who built it).
Could you imagine an Adolf Hitler Foundation dedicated to praising the greatness of its figure?
In Spain there is the Francisco Franco Foundation. This is a private institution whose objectives are to maintain current the memory and spread the work of Francisco Franco. The foundation is a recipient of public subsidies from many of the democratic Spanish governments. The foundaition also manages the “Pazo de Meiras“, Franco’s summer state while he was alive. The “Pazo” is used by the foundation mostly to praise the “greatness” of the dictator.
In Spain there is also the Jose Antonio Foundation. This foundation sees Jose Antonio as a pre-fascist Spanish dictator (1923-1930), and as a figure to be “fully valid, not as a prerequisite reference but for the twenty-first century.”
Could you imagine that in Germany every year a mass was celebrated to honor Adolf Hitler?
Every year, a Mass is celebrated in the Sant Francis of Borja parish to honor Franco and other Francoists.
Could you imagine that trials against Hitler’s enemies in Nazi Germany being still valid today?
As of today, Spain has not yet nullified the Francoist trials. At the request of the Catalan parties on 11/2017 it was accepted to modify the law of historical memory so that they could be nullified. Recall that the dictator died in 1975.
Could you imagine members of the German government paying tribute to the Nazi soldiers?
The Spanish government pays tribute to the Francoist combatants of the Blue Division who fought for Hitler on the Russian front. The government also brings home the corpses of fallen soldiers of the Blue Division, but it leaves “in the ditches” the corpses of Republican soldiers fallen in the Spanish Civil War.
Spain has shown a high tolerance for fascist aggressions perpetrated against Catalan civilians. For example, in 2013, members of the national socialist party, La Falange, were sentenced to prison for a violent assault on people attending a Catalan Government institutional event in Madrid. As of today, the men found guilty of those charges have not yet been imprisoned after multiples delays by the court. The Falange gang leader, Manuel Andrino, has significant links to senior members of the Government and the Popular Party.
Manuel Andrino’s resume includes a stint as a volunteer fighting in Mosul, along with Christian, Iraqi, Kurdish and other right-wing Spanish militias.
In Spain, the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil!” is not a crime. This salute is tolerated by the police, and high-ranking officers practice the salute in private acts.
Currently in Spain, there are multiple ultra-right wing and fascist groups, organizations, and political parties like La Falange (Franco’s national socialist party), Hogar Social, VOX, SCC, Democracia Nacional, Somatemps, etc. which act with total impunity. Following this link, you will find multiple videos. It’s worth stressing that the focus of a majority of these organizations is against the Catalan independence movement.
A remix version of “Cara al Sol”, Franco’s La Falange national socialist party anthem, appears fourth in the rankings of the 50 most viral songs on Spotify Spain.
The anthem of Franco’s national socialist party, “Cara al Sol” is freely and joyfully sung by people marching in demonstrations “for the unity of Spain”(with “Sieg Heil!” salute).
The ultra-right wing political party VOX acts as private prosecutor in the Supreme Court criminal case against the Catalan members of the independence movement. It should be noted that the Supreme Court Judge presiding over the case, Judge P. Llarena, has favored the demands of VOX, overruling the General State Prosecutor recommendations. For example, an appeal was submitted by Joaquim Forn‘s counselor requesting permission for Mr. Forn to receive medical treatment for TB. Mr. Forn contracted TB in jail while awaiting trial. The General State Prosecutor agreed, VOX denied, the Judge sided with VOX.
Can you imagine a Baroness of Hitler?
The Spanish State protects (2) (3) (4) and perpetuates the Francoism and does not criminalize apology of Nazism. It is considered “ideological freedom and freedom of expression“.
Felipe VI, currently king of Spain, is the successor of Juan Carlos I, his father, who was the successor of General Francisco Franco. The line of succession was established by a law enacted by Francisco Franco himself.
During the period called “Transition into Democracy”, a handful of high ranking Francoist members in power joined efforts to form the political party “Alianza Popular“ or “AP”. As members of AP, they were official candidates participating in the first democratic election organized in Spain after the death of the dictator. Later on, AP mutated into the “Partido Popular” (Popular Party, or PP), which has ruled the Spanish Government over the past 12 years. Because of its history and links to the Franco regime, PP has been very reluctant to condemn 1936 Franco’s coup d’état, and following forty years of dictatorship.
After World War II, Spain welcomed as refugees Germany exiled Nazi officers and party members. Some of them still continue to live freely in Spanish soil.
Can you imagine that the German government condecoring and protecting Nazi criminals?
On June, 2017, king Felipe VI awarded a medal to Rodolfo Martín Villa, former Francoist Minister of Interior between 1976 and 1979, to commemorate the 1977 first Spanish Congress elected in democracy after Franco’s passing. Acting as Minister of Interior, M. Villa was responsible for the 1976 massacre that took place in Vitoria, Basque Country, when the Francoist security forces opened fire on a group of workers in strike causing the death of five people and injuring over a hundred. Due to these events and as a piece of a general process against the Franco dictatorship, the Judge Mari Servini of Argentina, has issued an international arrest warrant against him, charging him with crimes against humanity during his time as Minister of Interior.
While he was Minister of the Interior, Martín Villa also awarded the Police Medal of Merit to Antonio González Pacheco, known as ‘Billy el Niño‘ (2) (3), the infamous police officer accused of torture during the Franco dictatorship.