ACN London – The fascist bombings over Catalonia are remembered in London on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the facts.
The aim of the conference organized by Diplocat and EUROM is to share different strategies transnational recovery of historical memory
The commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the fascist bombings over Catalonia during the Civil War reached the UK. The Diplocat and the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM), in collaboration with the Center for Research in Memory and Narrative History of the University of Brighton, have compared the experiences of Barcelona and London, indiscriminately attacked by the forces of the Axis. Through various presentations and panel discussions, the conference ‘The bombing of London and Barcelona. Memories of a shared history ‘, organized on Tuesday 23 May in the Imperial War Museum in London, has also served to share different strategies to recover the historical memory.
The Director General of Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat, Marina Falcó, attended the conference, as well as deputy ‘Catalunya sí que es pot’ Joan Josep Nuet and the deputy of ‘Junts pel Si’, Montserrat Palau who participated in a panel discussion about the bombings and fascist symbols that remain in some parts of Catalonia. Unlike what happened in the UK, Nuet wanted to emphasize that “the fascists in Spain were not defeated” and that, therefore, there is still “incomplete” work at the legislative level, an “indispensable” task to reach reconciliation. “Without justice can not talk about reconciliation,” said Nuet in one of the round tables. “With pain there can be no reconciliation,” added Palau.
According to the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat), Albert Royo, the event is “a contribution to the creation of a shared memory. The fascist bombing of the late 30s and early 40s “linking Catalonia and the United Kingdom” can “establish a bond” with the British community.
The former speaker of the British Parliament discussion group on Catalonia, Christopher Bambery, was one of the speakers of the seminar. Antony Beevor, British historian and writer, a visiting professor at the University of Kent and associate at King’s College London delivered the opening keynote.
“A lot of work to do”
In fact, the contribution of the academic world, especially through various British universities, has been essential to carry out the conference. “In the UK there is a long tradition of study of the struggle against fascism,” said Royo, who regretted that in Spain “this is more an exception than a rule.” According to him, there is “a lot of work being done in Catalonia to recover the memory of those who fought against the coup in Spain, but there is still much work to do”. As an example of the necessity of revision of memorial management he quoted the ‘Valley of the Fallen’ (Valle de los caídos).
In a similar vein, the director of the European Observatory on Memories, Jordi Guixé, made a call to “take care” of historical memory and to understand it as “a right which reinforces democracy. ” “We must work memorial processes through a transnational comparison and exchange, from the present”, fleeing “strictly local” visions, said Guixé. He criticized the ‘low cost’ trend on politics of memory. “Spain has more duties than Catalonia in historical memory,” he lamented, warning that these democratic processes “can not manipulate, indoctrinate or cancel” memories. “Catalonia and Spain were of the first places to be systematically bombarded by the Axis forces” remembered Guixé, stressing that London “was mirrored in Barcelona when, years later, the capital of the UK was also indiscriminately attacked by the iron birds of the fascist aviation .
“These bombings were very important symbolically but also because they help develop the techniques used by military aircraft,” said the British writer and historian Antony Beevor. An attack on civilians “influenced the attitude of the British and the analysis on what could happen in London”, explained Beevor. Although acknowledged and considering that the British capital had “a better defense,” Beevor admitted that both cities “have many similarities regarding the attack”.
The Mayor of Granollers and member of the international network of Mayors for Peace, Josep Mayoral, closed the conference. He recalled that “Granollers was bombed by five Italian aircrafts that devastated the city, causing 224 deaths in a minute. He regretted that the capital of the Vallès Oriental “was chosen by Mussolini to sow terror and see what happens.” In this sense, Mayoral wanted to highlight the work of Granollers regarding the dissemination of historical memory. “Cities that have seen the blood on our streets have an obligation to explain it all and make a call to peace,” he reaffirmed.