Vandals target plaque in memory of 1938 bombing victims

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ON AUGUST 25, 1938, the Italian Fascist Air-force, performed a bombing raid on the peaceful town of Torrevieja, killing 19 and wounding a further 47 civilians.

The Civil War is a period of history that the Spanish still show great reluctance to talk about, as memories and hatred still festers in the minds of survivors who lost loved ones in the conflict. Three months to the day earlier, the city of Alicante suffered a similar fate, when the Italians bombed the centre of the city, picking on a packed central market on May 25, 1938.

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This cowardly and unprovoked act on an ‘open city’ resulted in 300 deaths and hundreds more casualties.

Try to research the bombing in the official archives of Torrevieja or Alicante and you will probably find that all official records of the act of violence have been destroyed as Spain tried to hide this particular part of her shameful past.

That was 73 years ago but it seems that there are still some who are intent on keeping the memory alive, for all the wrong reasons. Alicante vandals took it in their own hands to try and destroy a plaque in memory of those who died or suffered on this day.


However, the city of Alicante will soon restore the plaque commemorating the bombing of the Central Market during the Civil War in 1938 that caused 300 civilian deaths, after the same has been damaged in an “act of vandalism.”

The plaque was inaugurated last May 25, on the anniversary of the event, 73 years after of slaughter of unarmed civilians, and the mayor of the city, Sonia Castedo, PP, accepted the demands of the Civic Commission for Historical Memory in context, to make mention that the bombing was the work of Italian “fascist” aircraft.

The city spokesperson, Marta Garcia-Romeu, described the “vandalism” and the destruction of the plate, which occurred last weekend, and reported that technicians would make an assessment of the damage, repair it and return it to its rightful place, as soon as possible.


For Garcia-Romeu, the plaque and its reference to the bombing of May 25, 1938 represent “a part of the historical memory” of the city and “a symbol and reminder.”

“On May 25, 1938 the city of Alicante suffered the bombing of the Italian Fascist air force with the result of more than 300 civilian casualties. This square is dedicated to their memory,” says the plate.

On May 25, 1938 nine Italian aircraft dropped 90 bombs on the central market of Alicante resulting in the deaths of more than three hundred children, women and men all civilians, who died in what, according to a report of a British commission, emerged as one of the first “deliberate attacks against civilians” during the Spanish Civil War.

By Keith Nicol

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