Spain plans to open grave containing 33,000 civil war victims.
Spain plans to open a grave containing thousands of civil war victims from the Spanish Civil war which raged between 1936 and 1939. Pedro Sanchez’s government has begun the process to recover the remains from the Valley of the Fallen.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency a permit has been requested which would allow the exhumation of thousands of bodies. The Valley of the Fallen mausoleum was built by Francisco Franco, the former fascist dictator of Spain.
Many tourists have visited the area to see the Valley of the Fallen, and over the years far right sympathisers have also met at the mausoleum on November 20, to mark the anniversary of the Spanish dictator’s death.
Franco came to power during the late 1930s and during his rule thousands of people were executed by the nationalist regime. According to the ministry the bodies are buried in the crypt of the Basilica of the Holy Cross as reported CNN.
The government has approved nearly 700,000 euros to fund the project in order to recover the remains.
In 2007 the Law of Historical Memory was passed by the Spanish government which pledged to both recognise civil war victims and give aid to the victims and their families. The law also bans political events being carried out at the mausoleum and formally denounces the fascist regime of Franco.
A fund of 3 million euros has also recently been announced which will aid the “search, identification and dignifying of people disappeared during the civil war and the dictatorship.”
Franco was previously buried at the basilica but many years later he was exhumed and his body placed at the Mingorrubio state cemetery in El Pardo.