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Sonia Foroudastan, Ranni Tewfik, and Emily Williams Summer 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Sonia Foroudastan, Ranni Tewfik, and Emily Williams Summer 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sonia Foroudastan, Ranni Tewfik, and Emily Williams Summer 2013

2 1936 – 1941 Republicans – loyal to the Spanish Republic Nationalists – loyal to Franco’s ideology and regime

3 2003 – U.N. included Spain in human rights violation for all that were forced to disappear (Sanchez) 2 nd highest number of forced disappearances in the world, after Cambodia (Sanchez)

4 “We must look into the past to understand the present.” – Bonifacio Sánchez “This [Spain] is the only country in the world that does not look into its past and has made no attempt to confront the past.” – Bonifacio Sánchez “Democracy’s duty is to give closure to the past.” – Soledad Luque

5 A common theme found throughout this course was the combination of politics and religion Many of the unjust acts carried out during the Franco Regime were done in the name of the Catholic Church

6 Mass graves were common throughout the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s Regime The existence of mass graves was essentially unknown during Franco’s rule Basically no records were kept on the identities of the graves or where they were located

7 Mass graves did not give family members of those who had died a chance to morn Death and morning should be public and visual, however this was not an option for families

8 “The dead demand of us…that we keep alive for all the generations the lessons of History thus making the blood they so generously spilt fecund,…that their blood be the last shed in wars among Spaniards.”- Franco (Valis 425) Spain’s new government attempted to reconcile the country and honor those who died on both sides of the war (Valis 425)

9 Bodies were moved from other mass graves to the Valley of the Fallen without family member’s permission or knowledge Many are upset that Republicans, murdered for fighting for their beliefs, are buried in the same place as Franco People still attempting to remove Franco’s grave from the Valley of the Fallen

10 At entrance inside, two arch angels that were placed to protect and warn over the church The long walk to Franco’s grave creates a solemn atmosphere and anticipation Jose Antonia Primo de Rivera’s tomb, founder of the Falange Party, found opposite Franco

11 Clear Catholicism influence – crosses, Christian images, statues of Christ, Mary, angels Political controversy over Republicans being buried next to Franco Many are currently fighting for historical memory for those fallen “The question arises: ‘Is it best to leave the structures in their spaces, or would it be better to remove them?’ Those in favor of the removal of these testimonies to the past argue that they only serve to ‘perpetuate the discrimination between winners and losers’ of the civil war.” (Stofleth 12)


13 Franco dictatorship after coup in July 1936 National Catholic ideology in Spain – you´re Spanish and you´re Catholic Niños robados – children who are alive but stolen and given to other families 1940´s to 1990´s: ~300,000 stolen children

14 Scientific investigation – believed dominant Republican gene needed to be researched and eradicated – Dr. Antonio Vallejo-Nájera Religious salvation – Church needed to save children from ungodly Republican families Women were believed to be against Franco ideology and did not deserve to have children

15 ~30,000 stolen children Children could be adopted by families of Franco ideology – within Spain or abroad Others put into orphanages Families aware that children were being taken

16 Peak of kidnappings Women were not aware of children being stolen Believed children died right after birth or were still-born Positions of power (doctors, nurses, nuns) were responsible for facilitating kidnappings – manipulation of powerful against powerless

17 Mothers entered hospital alone – men not allowed Children taken away right after birth to another room to receive ¨medical attention¨ Always moment where doctor would announce the baby´s death Children were separated from parents for long periods – allowed time to arrange transfer to other families Baby boom during economic prosperity – many opportunities to kidnap

18 If parents insisted to see dead baby, they were informed that it was already cremated/buried, or they were shown a frozen baby that had already been dead If questions continued, the medical staff would increase intimidation to prevent further investigation Families would feel that something was wrong and doctors would say that they suffered from a mental breakdown

19 Stealing of children did not end after Franco´s death in 1975 2008 – children learn from adoptive parents on deathbeds about their origins Children begin to investigate biological parents but not sure if they are niños robados Sense of solidarity in society - all children robbed are also my children Government forced to recognize the stealing of children in Spanish history

20 Documents and DNA tests may help uncover truth, but high costs and distrust of government No one has been prosecuted for kidnappings Government does not see connection between stolen children and crimes of Franco regime Justice system adopted from Argentina to label kidnappings as crimes against humanity Association for Recuperation of Historical Memory works with other human rights organizations and 52 local governments to seek legal justice


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