â€œRemembrance as a vital human activity shapes our links to the past, and the ways we remember define us in the present.â€?  It has been almost 75 years since the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, which was not only a war but also a revolution which would result either in a victory for Fascism or Communism. In the event, General Francisco Francoâ€™s Fascist party won the war. After the victory of the rebellious generals, Franco took power thus inaugurating the longest dictatorship in the history of Europe (1939-1975). It is still remembered not only for the horrors of the war itself but because it inflicted a deep and long lasting wound on Spanish society. It has remained a significant war  , which is still recognised internationally, long after the conflict has ended, and especially in Spain. It was not just a struggle between â€˜goodâ€™ and â€˜evilâ€™ but to do with cultural life, unhappiness, gender issues and many underlying social and political issues. â€œAfter Franco died, in 1975, la Transicion had seemed truly miraculous. At this point, there had been no falling of the Berlin wall and no full-scale toppling of Latin Americaâ€™s rightwing dictatorships. Nor had Spaniards, unlike their neighbours in Portugal, pushed dictatorship out with peaceful, carnation-wielding revolution. There was no road map for going from authoritarian, dictatorship government to democracy. Spain was unique. It had to find its own way. And it did so by smothering the past.â€?  â€˜La Transicionâ€™, â€˜The Transitionâ€™ was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. â€˜El pacto del olvidoâ€™, the pact of forgetting was in complete contrast to the attitude taken up after the First and Second World Wars, the familiar memorial injunctions and inscriptions such as â€˜Lest we forgetâ€™, and â€˜We shall remember them.â€™ The â€˜Historical Memory Lawâ€™ (Ley de Memoria HistÃ³rica or La Ley por la que se reconocen y amplÃan derechos y se establecen medidas en favor de quienes padecieron persecuciÃ³n o violencia durante la Guerra Civil y la Dictadura, â€˜The Act to recognise and extend rights and establishing measures for those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and Dictatorshipâ€™) is a Spanish law passed by the Congress of Deputies on the 31st of October 2007.  It was based on a bill proposed by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party government of Prime Minister JosÃ© Zapatero. The bill condemns the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco and mandates restitution to its victims. The law recognises the victims on both sides of theÂ Spanish Civil War, but especially the victims under theÂ dictatorshipÂ ofÂ General Francisco Franco. The other provisions it enforces are: – Sentences handed down by kangaroo courts during the dictatorship, which sent thousands of dissidents and opponents of the regime to jail, will be formally declared “illegitimate.” – Local governments must help locate, exhume and identify the bodies of victims from mass graves.
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