A group of experts has recommended that Franco be exhumed and El Valle de los Caídos, the notorious monument to him, be transformed into a place of reconciliation. It’s extremely unlikely to happen, but one day Spain must resolve the conundrum presented by this sinister reminder of Francoism and the Civil War.
A religious shrine or a monument to hate? The Valley of the Fallen, which houses General Franco’s tomb, has loomed over the landscape outside Madrid and Spain’s collective memory for decades. Now, 36 years after the death of the dictator, the government has appointed a commission to decide the site’s fate.
With the Spanish government now pondering what to do with the Valley of the Fallen, freelance journalist and Iberosphere contributor Nick Lyne visits the site of General Franco’s tomb outside Madrid and questions its status in modern Spain.
British historian Paul Preston’s latest book, ‘The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination during the Civil War and After’, makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the Spanish Civil War, and the systematic policy of rape, murder and repression carried out by Franco’s forces.