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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Civil War’s victims and commemoration in post-war Spain (1939-2005)

di José Luis Ledesma, Javier Rodrigo
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 21 (2006), p. 35

Among the different latitudes of the Spanish recent past, the Civil war of 1936-39 is the most influential on the present. In fact, social identities and political legitimacies in the last Seventy years have been constructed in Spain in reference to the enormous division between winners and losers of that war. Memory of the war and of political violence has shaped the limits of the most significant political processes in Spain, as democratisation. And among the different aspects of the conflict, its victims have been the most relevant in the sphere of public remembrance. They have been publicly remembered, erected as collective moral, political and identitary references, or “forgotten”, both during the general Franco’s military dictatorship (1939-1975) and the democratic period (1975-2006). This article aims to observe their presences and their absences, to explain how three different generations have constructed and represented memory of the war and the victims, officially or not, through a 66 year period.