Digging up Dignity at a Mass Grave of Anti Fascists in Majorca

Franco’s 40 year long catholic fascist regime buried at least 150,000 victims in  over 2000 unmarked mass graves. Up to 80 years later over 1700 remain unexcavated with their families awaiting  closure..

by Carmen Buades, Leire Gira and Marc Ferrâ summary from La Directa ..translation by TheFreeOnline

Skulls with bullet wounds to the face, tell the story of executions by Falangist fascists. The position of the skeletons, lying dumped on each other without order by the  indifferent killers.

wife, daughter and grandaughter
wife, daughter and granddaughter of Timoteo Mendieta: Still awaiting news.

“Thrown here as if they were dogs, rudely, without order.” says Dolores Marin historian and part of the commission created from last May, after a loca law was approved in the Balearics forcing the government to finally take charge of the exhumation and dignity of more than 50 mass grave sites there on the islands.

Antifascists

A laboratory was installed in a tent in the cemetery, where, after removing the bodies from the pit, they are analyzed .Lourdes Herrasti, que és al capdavant de l’equip de la fundació Aranzadi afirma que s’està fent “la transició que mai es va fer” i que estan “tancant moltes ferides” / Marc Ferrà

… The anthropologist Lourdes Herrasti, of the Aranzadi Foundation that is doing the work with 20 helpers, explains that support has come both from the administration and from civil society, and have noticed  “the warmth of the people.” For Herrasti, the exhumation is “important for the families of the victims, but also for the whole community,”  you are seeing a situation of injustice that everyone knew about.”This is the ‘transition from dictatorship’ that was  never put into practice, and we are closing many wounds”.

Identification of bodies

A gold tooth, a herniated disc or a fracture of a bone may allow later identification of each victim. Personal items that may also help to name each skull drilled as shoes, toothbrushes or cigarette filters. The trajectory of the bullet and the man’s bones show if that person was,tortured before firing.

Truth justice and Compensation for the Victims of Franco Regime
Truth justice and Compensation for the Victims of Franco Regime

The chapel of the cemetery has become a center for collecting DNA data on the families of the victims have provided all the information that may be useful for the identification of their loved ones. Some of these people have traveled to Mallorca with DNA samples from the UK, France and Catalonia.

In cases where where it is possible the bones will be delivered toi their families. Meanwhile, the committee will meet with church ownership of cemeteries to assess a possible withdrawal of the structures built on top which prevent a continuation of the excavation.

Demonstrators show photographs of Francoism victims during a demonstration in favour of Historical Memory in Madrid on November 22, 2015. Franco came to power after his side won Spain's 1936-39 civil war with the help of Germany's Adolph Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini. He then ruled Spain with an iron fist until his death on November 20, 1975. Forty years after the death of Francisco Franco, historians still work to demolish myths that the Spanish dictator spun about himself to hold on to power for decades. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO
Demonstrators show photographs of Francoism victims during a demonstration in favour of Historical Memory in Madrid on November 22, 2015. Franco came to power after his side won Spain’s 1936-39 civil war with the help of Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini. He then ruled Spain with an iron fist until his death on November 20, 1975. Forty years after the death of Francisco Franco, historians still work to demolish myths that the Spanish dictator spun about himself to hold onto power for decades. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO

… The assassins were locals from Porreres and the Marquis de Zayas, The head of the Phalange in the provincial Islands in 1936 made up a list with the names of the people who carried out these “tasks of national salvation”, whereby we knew and know who were the executors of the repression.

victim unearthed in Burgos with 100 comrades last year
victim unearthed in Burgos with 100 comrades last year

Testimonies collected by historians claim that during Easter ceremonies, when the town remained in the most absolute silence, shots could be heard in the background.  .. A woman recalls that when the girls came to play outside the cemetery, rivers of blood flowed into the road, bloodying their white shoes.

A poem by Miquel López Crespí in an engraving has been placed on the wall with the names of those killed in Porreres  /  Marc Ferrà  La Directa 

organisers of the exhumation in Porreres
organisers of the exhumation in Majorca

Many people have waited  a lifetime and died awaiting news of their loved ones who were ‘disappeared’ by the Church and State.. Spain is the second in the world in mass graves, according to the Spanish Ministry of Justice, only surpassed by Cambodia.


original en Català

Arqueologia de la dignitat a la fossa de Porreres

La Directa ‘ visita l’excavació arqueològica del cementeri d’aquesta localitat mallorquina, d’on ja s’han desenterrat 55 cossos les primeres setmanes. Es creu que, durant la guerra, hi van afusellar 120 antifranquistes
CARMEN BUADES  i LEIRE GIRAL  …  Teniu la sensació d’estar fent la Transició que mai va fer-se? “Categòricament, sí. S’estan tancant moltes ferides”. Lourdes Herrasti és al capdavant de l’equip de la fundació Aranzadi, que treballa en l’exhumació de la fossa de Porreres.

Es tracta de la primera actuació d’aquesta mena subvencionada amb doblers públics i és l’excavació més gran que pot obrir-se a Mallorca, ja que n’hi ha una altra més gran que no es pot exhumar per raons tècniques. Es creu que s’hi van enterrar, amuntegats, fins a 120 cossos de víctimes de la repressió franquista a l’illa.

Després d’algunes hores d’excavació, només a 70 centímetres de la superfície, van trobar-hi les primeres restes humanes; després d’algunes setmanes d’exhumació, han fet sortir de la terra més de 55 cossos. Els cranis, amb ferides de bala al front, expliquen la història de les execucions falangistes. La posició dels esquelets, tirats un sobre l’altre sense ordre, la indiferència dels assassins.  ………

…..  sigue aquí:::   La Directa .

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