September 18, 2021

Taylor Daily Press

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A fight is going on in Spain for the statue of a soldier

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As half the nations of the world discuss the possibility of placing or disposing of statues and monuments erected in the past, symbols of colonial or racist heritage are considered to be reconsidered. The nostalgia for dictatorship increases. The statue depicts a soldier of the Legion, an elite military organization 100 years old and known for violence, who ran some 20th-century companies under Franco, first as a general and then as a dictator.

Although Legion was founded in 192o, while Franco’s fascist dictatorship has not yet been established, many believe it was an organization strongly linked to the Francoist period, for which there have been struggles against the Madrid municipality and criticisms of historians such as Louis. Gonzalo Segura, Legion “deserves no respect”.

Legion was modeled on the French foreign army by Franco’s friend and collaborator, the Army, founded by Jose Millan-Astrae: later called One-third of foreignersFrom the name of the ancient military organizations founded by Charles V in the sixteenth century. The idea is to attract new volunteers, thus reducing the need for compulsion.

The force gained ground after the annual war in Morocco – later the Spanish Defender – in which the Spanish army was brutally defeated by rebel Berber troops. It established itself as a select body symbol of the 1921 and Legion Spanish colonial and nationalist claims, and developed a rhetoric. Courage This would become commonplace in European fascist organizations, which would be the Legion’s official goal: Long live death.

Some of the distinctive features of the Legion are the uniforms (often worn up to the abdomen with a shirt), the strange way in which soldiers march, the emblem (the goat marching with soldiers in military parades). Campaigns in which he was a protagonist in the 1930s, especially during the Spanish Civil War: in 1934, Franco launched an offensive against the Asturian miners who revolted against the rebels and brutally suppressed the protests. Then, between 1936 and 1939, Legion Patajos was the protagonist of episodes such as the Massacre, in which thousands of civilians and soldiers of the Left Republican Army were killed.

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– Also read: End of the Spanish Civil War

After the victory in the Civil War, the Franco regime reduced the number of troops, stationed in Morocco, and defended the Spanish territories in North Africa. In democratic Spain, from the mid-1970s, the Legion was later reformed and for a time did not recruit foreigners, which is why the body got its name. Spanish Brigade. In the 1990s she participated in several UN peacekeeping missions and the opportunity to recruit women was opened.

The statue they want to place in Madrid is six meters high and depicts a legion. It is the work of artist Salvador Amaya and was commissioned by the Foundation of the Spanish Military Museum. The bureaucratic process for the approval of the Madrid municipal monument in Spain has been spoken of since May, partly funded by a fundraising campaign, which, according to the foundation, was attended by 700 people.

Criticism of the monument is also due in Spain Historical Memory ActThe Franco regime and the Civil War cannot be remembered by symbols or images associated with that period. Nevertheless, there is still a minority but a deeply rooted nostalgia for Francoism and similar debates Will reappear from time to time. According to critics, the soldiers depicted in the statue – a soldier who lived before the dictatorship – were violating the law, while Amaya countered: “The Legion is a military organization deeply integrated with our army, and the monument has no illegitimate aspect.” Newspaper. “Connect with it Historical Memory Act This is completely arbitrary. “

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However, according to historian Jose Alvarez Janko, the Legion played a key role in taking the violence of the armed conflict to a new level: its existence may have contributed to the bloodshed in Spain in the 1930s. According to military historian Gonzalo Sekura, soldiers have a history of violence and repression that they must consider before erecting a monument to themselves: “No other European country can have such respect for a military unit that has been assassinated, murdered, raped, tortured and maimed.”

According to forecasts, the process for approving the statue is expected to be completed by the end of spring, but the autonomous community of Madrid has not yet made that decision. In BBC There is simply Confident Must have a proposal from the Military Museum Foundation.