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Constructing victimhood in post-Franco‘s Spain: The recovery of memory by the grandchildren of victims of the civil war and dictatorship

Author(s): Valverde Estela

Journal: Temida
ISSN 1450-6637

Volume: 15;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 77;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Spain | transitional justice | amnesty law | victimhood

Since the end of the Spanish Civil War their victims have lived in a state of repression and terror that did not allow them to claim victimhood or any restitution to the State. Furthermore, the post-Franco Amnesty Law in 1977 made a blanket statement about the issue: there were no winners or losers, no victims or perpetrators. Everything had to be forgiven and forgotten. This paper will analyze the new Spanish movement for exhumation focused on the disappeared during the Civil War and the dictatorship of Franco. The analysis will look into the judicialisation of politics; the reasons why the 2007 Law of Historical Memory that attempted to challenge amnesty has been resisted and whether this law will heal the body of Spanish society and promote social reconstruction. What could be the ultimate danger of contesting collective memory 40 years after Franco’s death in this highly stratified society?
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