The desire to rewrite history to accommodate the ideological postulates of a government is not exclusive to the dictatorship of Vladimir Putin in Russia.
A law promoted by parties implicated in war crimes
Yesterday it was published in Spain, in the Official State Gazette (BOE), Law 20/2022, cynically described as "democratic memory". This is a law approved with the support of the left and the extreme left. Among its promoters are politicians from two parties, the PSOE and the PCE, who were directly implicated in war crimes during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
The serious crimes of the left before the Spanish Civil War
Even before that war, in October 1934, socialists and communists supported a coup against a center-right government that emerged from democratic elections, an armed rebellion in which the coup plotters murdered 33 priests and religious and 300 soldiers and members of the security forces. A few days before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, socialists of the PSOE kidnapped and murdered one of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition, the right-wing deputy José Calvo Sotelo, a fact that many historians consider the trigger of war.
The Paracuellos Massacre, religious persecution and the Chekas
Already during the Civil War, the socialists of the PSOE and the communists of the PCE were involved in crimes as horrendous as the massacre of Paracuellos de Jarama, perpetrated in the province of Madrid between November and December 1936 and in which about 5,000 political prisoners were murdered, including 50 children. The repression unleashed by the left was particularly merciless against Catholics: 13 bishops, 4,184 priests, 2,365 men and 283 women were assassinated, many of whom were also raped, in addition to numerous laymen.
Likewise, during the war members of the PSOE and the PCE created detention and torture centers, known as "Chekas" (because they were formed in the style of the bloody Bolshevik political police, that the leftist side was supported by the brutal dictatorship of Stalin). Thousands of people were arrested and taken to these Chekas for political and religious reasons, including mothers with babies. Both adults and children who survived such torture suffered from related sequelae throughout their lives.
The law omits all mention of crimes committed by the left
Despite the fact that these events have been amply documented, the aforementioned Law 20/2022 hides the war crimes committed by the left and only cites those committed by the other side during that war. In the preamble and in the rest of the text of the law not a single reference appears to the crimes committed by the left during the Civil War and the Franco regime, and it even presents as victims "people who participated in the anti-Franco guerrilla", many of whom committed crimes against innocent people in the post-war period.
The law also makes no reference to the crimes committed by extreme left terrorist groups such as ETA and GRAPO, which began their criminal activity during the Franco dictatorship, continuing it during the current democratic regime as if nothing would have changed. The Pedro Sánchez government made changes to the law to obtain the support of EH Bildu, a party that refuses to condemn the crimes committed by the terrorist group ETA. The price to pay for this support has been, it seems, to silence ETA's crimes until the arrival of democracy.
A totalitarian law that imitates those that Putin has been promoting in Russia
That sectarian law, which erases the part of history that is uncomfortable for the left, is very reminiscent of the laws promoted by the Putin regime to whitewash the Soviet regime and ban remembering events such as his alliance with the Nazis to invade Poland in 1939. In both Spain and Russia, the left uses the law to rewrite history and persecute those who disagree with his skewed view of the past. Laws that deserve to be described, quite rightly, as totalitarian.
Image: "Executions of Paracuellos del Jarama", painting by Carlos Sáenz de Tejada.
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