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The Civil War Ended 70 Years Ago


Seventy years ago today, the end of the Guerra Civil in Spain was declared. The Civil War devastated this country. A war, often between brothers or cousins, raged in Spain for almost 1,000 days (from July 17th, 1936, to April 1st, 1939).

The Guerra Civil is treated as a bit of a taboo in this country, and certainly here in Mallorca. Not many people want to talk about the dire subject, and definitively not with the estranjeros.

The José Antonio Primo de Rivera named in this plaque (see photo) was the oldest son of General Miguel Primo de Rivera, who was Spain’s prime minister during the reign of the Spanish King Alfonso XIII from 1923 until 1930. The prime minister’s son was a politician, too, and also the leader of the fascist party Falange Española (Spanish Phalanx). José Antonio Primo de Rivera was sentenced to death and executed by the Spanish republican government during the course of the civil war.

The tablet honouring José Antonio Primo de Rivera can be found outside the church of Sant Jordi, on the outskirts of Palma. Many similar memorials honour other dead Franco supporters here on this island, and throughout Spain. But not many plaques pay tribute to the memories of the defeated, here. Only in recent years, a number of initiatives have passed Spanish legislation to allow for a more balanced view of the Spanish history of the 20th century, such as the Ley de Memoria Histórica.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Sant Jordi, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 16th, 2008. The time was 11:51:44.

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