The Observer view on Franco’s reburial and partial closure for Spain’s civil war victims | Observer editorial
Many countries could do with a dose of Spanish-style candour about their history, Britain includedIn the early summer of 1975, thousands of people lining an avenue in central Madrid witnessed an extraordinary moment of history. Propped up in the rear seat of an open, horse-drawn carriage, surrounded by trotting cavalry, sat a gaunt, wizened old man wearing military uniform and a too-big hat. His appearance was greeted by clapping and cheers. But he seemed unable, or unwilling, to respond to the crowd.Perhaps Francisco Franco, civil war general, fascist dictator, collaborator with Hitler and Mussolini and the all-powerful caudillo of Spain for the preceding 36 years, felt it was beneath him. Or perhaps he felt unwell. Only months later, Franco was dead and the Spanish people began another long march, towards democratic rule and an uncertain, slow-motion reckoning with a terrible past. Continue reading...
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