FINKO, FINKO, FINKO(20/11/2008)
Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès
On how Franco turns out to have been even more repulsive than previously thought.
CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN
I've finally got round to reading Paul Preston's definitive biography of Franco Francisco Bahamonde (which first came out in 1993). If I dithered for over a decade, it was because I preferred not to so much as glance at a word about a man who had managed to commit two parallel atrocities in the only corner of the Spanish state that feels to me like home. In Catalonia - just as he did all over what he called 'occupied Spain' - he signed the death warrants of Republican prisoners in sheaf-loads; but here, he also eliminated an entire culture, exiling or murdering its protagonists, bonfiring their books, and putting millions of Catalan-using citizens under a thuggish linguistic curfew for a third of a century.
Preston, however, reveals that General Franco was far more ruthless than even his Catalan curriculum would indicate. In Spanish Morocco, his legionnaires went on parade with native heads impaled on their bayonets. It was a short step from there to treating 'Reds' in similar fashion: during the Civil War his troops regularly murdered, raped and mutilated the inhabitants of captured cities. In the early '40s, with fuel reserves that wouldn't have lasted a long weekend and whole swathes of Spain bereft of the most basic foodstuffs, he did his level best to plunge his country into the Second World War, on the fascist side. Most frustrating of all, though, is to read how time and again he failed to come a cropper at the hands of a host of enemies, from Spanish monarchists to international anarchists, none of whom quite succeeded in euthanizing this muddle-headed mass-murderer. Had they done so, Spain and Catalonia would surely both be something other, and something better, than the shaky survivors of a worst-case scenario that they remain today.