Fascists gather to pay homage to Franco
Paul Hamilos in Valle de los Caídos
November 19, 2007
With their stiff-armed salutes, and cries of “Viva España!”, Spain’s fascists gathered this weekend to pay homage to General Franco outside the tomb of the late dictator for what may be the last time.
Well-to-do ladies came dressed in fur coats to keep out the bitter cold, young men and women wore the blue shirts of the Falangist party, while others were more recognisable as modern neo-nazis, with shaven heads and scarves wrapped tight around their faces.
But all were united by more than simple veneration of General Franco: they share an all-consuming hatred of the socialist government of José Luiz Rodríguez Zapatero, which last month passed a law that will ban political rallies outside the imposing mausoleum in which Franco is buried.
The controversial historical memory law was the brainchild of Zapatero, whose own grandfather was killed by Franco’s forces, and is an attempt to recognise the republican victims of the civil war and dictatorship. The law, which will come into force once it passes through the upper house, will see the remaining Francoist symbols removed from Spain’s public buildings and the depoliticisation of the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen), Europe’s largest fascist religious monument.
Chants of “Reds no, Reds no!” and “Zapatero – you son of a bitch!” rang out across the valley as banners bearing the Cross of St James, known as Matamoros (Moorslayer),* and pre-democratic Spanish flags were unfurled. But the largest cheers were reserved for Carmen Franco Polo, daughter of the late dictator, whose arrival and departure were greeted with sustained cries of “Franco! Franco! Franco!”…
- *Yeah… right. Previously used to help crush the uprising in Asturias in 1934, this was the same Franco who, with the help of transport planes provided by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, used the Army of Africa — and in particular brown-skinned Moroccan regulares — to assault and eventually capture Madrid, for which privilege the regulares paid an especially heavy price. See also : Prague : Neo-Nazis’ historical re-enactment leaves onlookers unconvinced | Granddaughter Of Upside-Down Corpse Heils The Dawn Of A New Europe