Spanish fascist regime victims finally find peace

Tranquil scene of atrocities

THEY can finally rest in peace.

Twenty three political prisoners who died in jail after the Spanish Civil War were on Saturday given a decent burial after languishing in a mass grave for 70 years.

Members of some of their families attended the ceremony at the the Valdenoceda cemetery, near Burgos, northern Spain.

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These burials followed the exhumation of bodies from the mass grave. More than 150 prisoners in total died in the Valdenoceda prison between 1938 and 1943, mostly from hunger and cold.

This is the latest in a series of exhumations of mass graves from the civil war era, designed to give descendants and families of the deceased closure.

But it has raised controversy, with some traditionalists saying it simply stirs up feelings from a difficult chapter in Spain’s history best left at rest.

After Spanish dictator Franco’s death an amnesty was declared for any war crimes and crimes committed during the fascist regime that followed. In recent years there have been more and more calls for a law change to enable ‘war criminals’ and those accused of crimes under the regime that ruled Spain until 1976 to be tried.


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