Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP)

Friday, 7 March 2014


In 1939, when the Spanish civil War ended and Franco achieved the power 400.000 Spanish exiled from Spain. Some others stayed in prison suffering terrible life conditions and cruel treatment, including being constantly frightened, even thinking they could die. Many died of avitaminosis , tuberculosis and hunger in this infamous prisons ; others ,even worse, were killed with malice aforethought.

Many times a prisoner could be charged with ”tremendous crimes” like smoking, sitting or not doing it when his or her jailers told them to do it. In this case, they take them to the punishment cells where they were tortured.

For the pangs of hunger , cold , disease and malnutrition engendered by the knowledge that daily deaths , besides producing an uncertain future , joined the endless sleepless nights, thousands of bugs attacked the prisoners descending from the old walls or ceilings. In addition, there were a legion of rats that appeared at night and the prisoners tried to kill them because they were the main cause of diseases, most of them incurable. Life in prison was tremendously hard. Prisoners get snow to have something to drink because they were thirsty. For eating there only were  broth.Other days all the food was a tin shiner and a crust of bread.

Women also had to endure the added suffering that involved the theft of their children. This practice, whose plots are still uncovering today were implemented in women's prisons , and it is here where this dark "habit"  was established during the dictatorship but also I want to emphasized the horrible tortures women supported. The woman suffered a double repression during this period , exercised over any person who is attributed with ideas contrary to the regime, but also repression " gender " that was applied in the ideological component placing women in an unequal and subordination to men.
In Postwar prisons more than 270,000 people were in subhuman conditions and executions must be added the deaths of those who died in prison because of these." Advances in the understanding of repression as a phenomenon .The executions and killings were becoming more intelligible the new social reality that was formed around the regime ." A silent society was generated by fear torture, repression or death.

Some people were killed to eliminate dangerous or potentially dangerous population , but also thinking about killing those who survived . The population constituted a  meat lab project in which totalitarian militaristic , fascist and clerical doctrine took place. Men and women were treated in a grinding process of personality in order to enable their subsequent rehabilitation in the victorious doctrine.
I consider I´m lucky because I have had the opportunity to know more things and details about this terrible civil war, when my great-grandmother told us how she lived in a big city as Barcelona in those days, and how the city was attacked by Franco´s soldiers.People were frightened because of  the bombs sounds and they took  refuge from them in the underground stations.

My great- grandfather suffered the terrible experience of being imprisoned in a jail in Barcelona, ​​because he worked for the Republic government in a fateful moment for freedom in Spain . After the terrible experience of being on the list of those who could  be shot, he was liberated thanks my great grandmother mediation because she was a courageous woman who moved heaven and earth to save her husband . And she finally succeeded in rescueing him.
When you can feel that what happened it´s so close to you,  you start understanding more things about your country and its history.
My  great-grandmother died last year at the age of 95. She was a wonderful storyteller that made us feel History alive through her stories. My great-grandparents fought for their ideals to give us a more honorable life, so I feel this country and its people cannot have suffered so much in vain. In memory of my great-grandparents and all who had to live that dark period in our recent history I want to dedicate this work.

I would like also to include a phrase that I think we should  keep in our minds “They forgave them but we should never forget it” maybe it´s the way for not repeating the same errors.

Here I recommend you two amazing films that I´ve seen:
Las 13 Rosas (13 Roses) is a 2007 Spanish film directed by Emilio Martínez Lázaro. The plot, based on a true story, follows the tragic fate of thirteen young women, fighting for their ideals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
In Madrid in 1939 during the final days of the Spanish Civil War, Virtudes and Carmen, two young idealistic Republican militants, are encouraging their neighbours to keep faith in the cause of the Republic. The triumph of the Francoist troops marks a dark turning point in the lives of those who sympathized with the Republic. It is rumored that there was a plot to assassinate Franco on his victorious entry into the capital, and the nationalists are seeking revenge. Although the girls have nothing to do with it, they have been targeted for their propagandistic leftist activities and finally they are arrested. After suffering heavy police interrogations, the young group of women are eventually transferred to an overcrowded prison.
However, their situation worsens when the group of women complain of the terrible sanitary condition for the children imprisoned with their mothers. As a protest they jointly refused to sing the praises of the Franco regime. The fate of the 13 young women is sealed when two military officers and an innocent woman are killed in cold blood by a group of leftist revolutionaries. As a punishment, the regime order the execution of some of the prisoners, though they have nothing to do with what have happened while they are in jail. A military court condemned the 48 men and 13 young women to death in less than 48 hours.

and “La voz dormida”  The Sleeping Voice is a 2011 Spanish drama film based on the novel of the same name written by Dulce Chacón.
Two sisters find themselves caught up in politics in the turmoil following the Spanish Civil War. The pregnant Hortensia  is locked away in a crowded women’s prison. Her younger sister Pepita moves from Andalusia to Madrid to be near her. In Madrid she finds a job in a wealthy home with close ties to Franco. Pepita meets young fighter Paulino  and falls in love with him.


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