The motion also called for tens of thousands of other bodies buried at a Franco-built mausoleum, known as the Valley of the Fallen, to be exhumed too.
The corpse of Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco will soon be evicted from his posh state-funded mausoleum after a vote by Spain’s left-of-center opposition.
Remembering the Second Spanish Republic
140 members of the ruling right-wing People’s Party, PP, of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy abstained from the vote, which passed by 198 votes to one. The conservative PP has opposed attempts to exhume the fascist leader’s cadaver, arguing that this would somehow stir up painful memories over 40 years after his death and 80 years after the end of the Spanish Civil War, which saw left-wing Republicans face defeat at the hands of monarchist, Hitler-allied ultra-right forces.
The motion also called for tens of thousands of other bodies buried at the mausoleum just outside Madrid, known as the Valley of the Fallen, to be exhumed too. Many of those interred there fought for the losing Republican side and were moved to the monument under Franco’s dictatorship without their families’ permission.
The 150-metre cross of the Valley of the Fallen monument, built by prisoners of war, towers over the Guadarrama Sierra, a mountain range west of Madrid.
Opened by Franco himself in 1959, the Valley houses a Catholic basilica set into a hillside, where the founder of Spain’s fascist Falange party, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, is also interred. It has long been a site of pilgrimage for the fascist right in Spain.
The then-Socialist government approved a so-called “Law of Historical Memory” in 2007, aimed at giving greater recognition to victims on both sides of the war.
Tuesday’s motion was spearheaded by the Socialist party, which called for Franco to be moved to a private burial site and for the Valley to be converted into an information center.
“The government has a democratic duty to understand that our historical memory belongs to all of us, and that the wounds of the past will only be cured with greater truth,” Socialist lawmaker Gregorio Camara told a parliamentary session earlier this week.