Catalan Mauthausen victims honored on 77th anniversary of concentration camp liberation

Justice minister Lourdes Ciuró criticizes Spain's longstanding policy of amnesia with regards to the country's civil war and ensuing fascist dictatorship

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Picture by Catalan Ministry of Justice
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
16.05.2022 - 12:18
Actualització: 13.06.2022 - 10:12

Catalan authorities, including justice minister Lourdes Ciuró, MP Meritxell Serret, delegate to central Europe Krystyna Schreiber and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, were in Austria on Sunday to honor the victims of Mauthausen as part of the activities commemorating the 77th anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation.

Ciuró, who described the camp as a “network of horror and terror” stressed the importance of “remembering these dark episodes in history to emphasize that fascism cannot roam the streets freely.” Because of this, she said, the Catalan government has backed so-called historical memory initiatives – despite Spain’s longstanding policy of amnesia with regards to the country’s civil war and ensuing fascist dictatorship. These include, for example, identifying the remains of soldiers in mass graves. Barcelona mayor Ada Colau also defended the need for “commemorative events and reparation” in democracies.

Mauthausen, built during World War II, was one of the largest Nazi concentration camp complexes. Some 200,000 people were deported to the camp, of which only 80,000 survived. Around 9,500 Spaniards, of which over a fifth were born in Catalonia, were sent to Mauthausen. These prisoners, many of whom had fought for the losing Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, began to arrive in 1941 alongside other members of the French Resistance. Aside from political opponents, Nazis also deported Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and people of Romani origin.

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