For the first time since the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, a bill will be introduced by members of the Spanish Socialist party to condemn the evil dictatorship of Francisco Franco. The “Law of Memory” will state for the first time that Franco committed atrocities and killed thousands of people without fair trials. The opposition conservative Popular Party opposes the bill because it reopens old wounds and will divide Spanish people. Socialist MP Diego Lopez Garrido noted: “The law will provide a definitive reparation and recognition for those who suffered in the civil war.” In declaring actions of military courts which condemned thousands to death and prisons as “unjust” and “illegitimate,” the law will allow family members to sue for reparations.
For many of us raised in the thirties and forties who hated fascism and Nazism, this law is a long overdue action. Conservatives are correct in stating the law will divide people, but so did American laws which condemned slavery or incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The price we pay for confronting evil is to make supporters of evil feel uncomfortable. Which is more important — recognizing evil done to people or worrying how perpetrators of evil feel?