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Reflections from the Republican exile

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Ludivina Garcia-Arias and Ceferino Alvarez have been doing for many years an outstanding work at the Association of Descendants of the Spanish Exile, so that the relatives of those who were doomed to exile during the Civil War, and are still abroad, can get the Spanish nationality and receive some kind of social protection from the Spanish state.

Both recall their life stories, that takes place in very distant places like Mexico (Ludivina) and France (Ceferino), but which starts from a common tragedy in Spain.

The event took place in Bilbao, at the auditorium of the General Assembly of Bizkaia. Our guests explained how they have preserved the Historical Memory in the second generation of the exile. According to their estimate, some 240,000 people are direct descendants of the Spanish exile in many countries, mainly in Europe and America.

They said that "we don’t want to recover the memory, because we have never lost it. We want to keep alive the memory of the people who fought for the Spanish Republic because it was much more than a legitimate government: it brought education for everybody, rights for the women, the land reform, tried to clean the army, and many other good things trying to modernize a country mired in the nineteenth century."

On the Law of Historical Memory, they considered that it’s an improvement. Although  it comes too late, is a first step. They gave a great importance to the recognition of Spanish nacionality for descendants of the exile: "for us it means to recover our identity".

As for the investigation of the crimes of Franco’s regime, they said that "abroad, people are astonished with Spanish case: a dictatorship that lasted 40 years, and still there are people who question to investigate what happened."

Questioned about the exhumation of mass graves, they pointed out that "it’s not a matter of recovering some bones, but to write the real history. We need to rewrite it, because it was perverted for many years. We don’t look for revenge, but the names of the murders must be known. It is a moral obligation, as well as  to honour those who were killed in memorial places".


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