The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) has invited the ambassadors of Germany and Italy to visit the exhumation of a new mass grave, number 4, which is going to take place in the Guadalajara cemetery as of this Friday, October 1. Specifically, the group that initiated these scientific exhumations explains in the communication sent to the ambassadors that it is a common grave of people killed once Franco’s armies, along with those of Hitler and Mussolini, obtained the first great military victory. of fascism in Europe.
“He’s my uncle, he’s my uncle”: they locate the family of a reprisal from the Franco regime of whose remains “evidence” has appeared in a common grave in Guadalajara
Thus the letter recounts some of the consequences of the intervention of these two countries in the Spanish civil war. “Of the Francoist repression there is evidence of the murder and disappearance of at least 114,226 people. The fascist regime, which murdered them and denied their families the possibility of finding their bodies and burying them, seized power thanks to aid of the armies of Germany and Italy that decided then to come to Spanish territory to participate in the assassination of thousands of people who were defending themselves from a coup, “the letter underlines.
He also adds that this support was “fundamental” for Spanish fascism “to violently crush a democratically elected government in February 1936 and to do so by ruthless force of arms with what the citizens did not deliver at the polls.”
The ARMH considers that the responsibility of the armies of Hitler and Mussolini is “direct” in the construction of that dictatorship that kept Spanish society away from democracy for 40 years, and those who defended freedom “persecuted, exiled, assassinated, tortured and looted, accused of rebellion for defending democracy. ”
Hitler and Mussolini’s “generous friendship”
On the same date that this exhumation began, October 1, but in 1938, Francisco Franco granted Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini the title of Grand Knight and the Necklace of the Great Imperial Order of the Red Arrows for their “friendship. generous “.
That is why the Association stresses that at a time when “our society is opening up its past and the victims” and some groups are demanding justice for the crimes of the Franco regime, they invite the ambassadors, as representatives of “a country that illegally attacked and bloody to our citizens, “to visit and learn directly” the consequences of that violence and to pay tribute to the families and the men who defended freedom. ”
It is not the first time that the ARMH invites ambassadors from both countries to carry out an act of recognition to the men and women who fought in Spain against fascism. He tried it before Angela Merkel in August 2014, when Darío Rivas, son of a Republican mayor assassinated by Falangists, tried to deliver a letter to him in Santiago de Compostela.
The exhumation that takes place this Friday is that of grave 4 of the Guadalajara cemetery. They are looking for the bodies of 26 men shot by the Franco regime in jobs that will last between 12 and 15 days. The intervention is carried out at the request of ten families of these men shot by the coup authorities between March 16, 1940 and May 3, 1940 and buried in that grave. His family members have submitted a claim to the ARMH in order to know the circumstances of the death, the location and recovery of his remains.
Taking into account the experience of the ARMH in the recovery and study of human remains existing in the subsoil, this excavation will be developed in a more detailed way. In addition, the existing difficulty in the excavation processes of collective depositions of individuals that are in contact with each other is added. Likewise, the behavior of these deposits means that, due to possible decomposition processes due to the passage of time, the interior volume of the pit has been reduced.
On the other hand, the main objective in which this work is framed is the very identification of the bodies rescued after the exhumation. This purpose is complex for this case, as demonstrated by the exhumations of graves 1, 2 and 3. The difficulties lie mainly in two aspects: on the one hand, the existence of overlapping of the individuals and, on the other, the state of conservation of these. After the location and delimitation of the burials and the immediate phase of physical recovery of the human remains, the study of these is carried out through specific laboratory analyzes.