Opinion 08/27/2019 19:49
My weakness for visiting abandoned villages took me to La Mussara. La Mussara, like many towns in the interior of Catalonia, positioned itself on the Carlist side during the wars of the 19th century. At the entrance of the town (the little part that remains of it) there is an information panel where the history of the place is told. It begins in medieval times, with historical data mixed with romantic imagery and, as soon as it reaches Carlism, it avoids historiography to tell an apocryphal and macabre anecdote that presents the Carlist as clever and ingenious types and the liberals as brutes, sadists and heartless.
In one place of the Maestrazgo I saw a tourist brochure with a narration that sympathized with the Carlists, and I asked one who knows about history about the reason of the bias. Liberals are seen as those who come to take away our properties, he told me. That perception is also found in literature, although I have nothing to say about literature. What I wonder is why it is in the brochures and on the information panels, which have nothing to do with the art of letters.
In one of the border crossings between Spain and France I read a sign telling the routes of the Republican exile of 1939 and from which it follows, subtly, that through that place Catalan people escaped persecuted by Spaniards. If one does not know anything about history, he will remain with that version not only delusional but also seriously offensive against the truth and against the tens of thousands of Republicans who, from Albacete to Badajoz, passing through Teruel and Alicante, marched with the clothes on their backs escaping from the fascism financed, among others, by the very very Catalan Francesc Cambó, the one who has a sculpture in the Via Layetana, in which he is presented as writhing in the flames of a hell that burns inside him. Inland Catalonia again. Note: Cambó’s sculpture has never been stained with yellow, and the reason for this cannot be the absence of pro-independence demonstrations circulating in front of his pedestal.
The Catalan Autonomous Administration has two agencies dedicated to historical memory (the Democratic Memorial and a General Subdirectorate of the same), whose functions are to disseminate, open graves, inventory dead and respond to the demands of those who ask about their missing grandparents during the war. Each entity has the mandatory elected officials, managers, senior officials and other bureaucrats. I think they try to be impartial, although it is not necessary to be very inquisitive to discover, again, a bias that responds to a biased interpretation of the 1936-1939 war in which they present some democratic and good Catalans, persecuted by fascist Spaniards. The idea that the civil war was a war of “Spaniards against Catalans” lies there. They tell me that they will soon inaugurate the exhibition “The repression that does not cease”, whose title, not very subtle, intends to delve into the idea of a dystopian Spain that has not left Franco’s regime and dedicated to the persecution of Catalonia. Who knows if with the intention of erasing the traces of Catalan fascism, whose clues lead us, for example, to the founders of Òmnium Cultural and the Palau de la Música. The data are available to everyone.
A few days ago, the regional president came out with a tweet about the Nine Division, which was made up of Republican Spaniards exiled in 1939 and participating in the capture of Paris. Someday an advisor will come to advise politicians and forbid them to use that Twitter that only agitates scarecrows. The regional president said that Spain fought with Hitler, and very little was missing for him to affirm that those of the Ninth Division were Catalans, I fear. While Spain is confused with Franco and Catalonia with the Republic, no one will be clarified here, nor will work for anything good. As long as Spain is identified with a regime and Catalonia with a united, cheerful and combative people, nothing will get better, and nothing will really favor historical memory, the one which tells us where we come from and who we are, to see if one day we will reconcile with ourselves, something which can only be approached from reason.