By Tim Fanning

THE bodies of more than 300 people that lie in a common grave in the municipal cemetery in Palma who were executed during the Civil War and subsequent Francoist repression are to be identified.

The Majorcan Association for the Defence of Historic Memory, which is committed to remembering those who were killed on the island during and after Spain's bloody civil war, is also proposing the creation of a memorial in the graveyard with the names of the dead so that their families will be able to honour them.

Maria Antonia Oliver, the president of the association, made the announcement yesterday after meeting with the President of the Majorca Council, Francina Armengol.

The council has agreed to provide financial support to the association for many of the projects it is carrying out. According to Oliver, the object of the association's efforts is to “restore the dignity of the victims, achieve justice for the families and morally recognise them as democrats”. The association also wants to create an archive that will include written, photographic and other material relating to the period that will be of interest to researchers and other interested parties. Workers, intellectuals, politicians, professionals and soldiers were among those killed during and after the war by the Nationalists. The association wishes also to organise courses and seminars about the period.

Oliver said that there are another 3'000 unidentified bodies in different graves throughout the island. She said that exhuming the bodies was not possible but that they “will be identified and have their space”.

Despite central Government introducing a law requiring the removal of all architectural features honouring Franco and members of the regime, there are no plans to remove the monument to the Nationalist sailors of the Baleares in Sa Faixina in Palma and the cross to the fallen in the Cathedral. Oliver called on Palma Council to have both removed.

Yesterday, July 18, used to be designated the Day of the National Rising and was an important propaganda tool of the dictatorship. It has since been replaced by the European Day against Francoism.


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