Forced labour in Spanish public memorial policies after Franco´s dictatorship: a comparison with Germany

In our paper we will deal with a comparative study on remembrance policies about forced labour experiences under fascist dictatorships in Europe, focusing mainly on Spanish experience, and comparing it when what has been the main reference of memory policies on forced labour in Western Europe, that of Nazi Germany.

In our paper we will deal with a comparative study on remembrance policies about forced labour experiences under fascist dictatorships in Europe, focusing mainly on Spanish experience, and comparing it when what has been the main reference of memory policies on forced labour in Western Europe, that of Nazi Germany.

Before dealing with memory policies we will start with a short introduction in which we will present the main figures, modalities and trends of forced labour in Franco´s Spain, a reality not very known at the European stage, and later on we will keep on dealing with the politics of remembrance concerning forced labour implemented in Spain after Franco´s dictatorship, taking into account the central concepts, Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of non-recurrence, that United Nations (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966/1976) has set for Human Rights violations, and focusing mainly on the rights to Truth and to Reparation.

Regarding the first one, on the one hand we have to explain to which extent public and enterprises´ archives are accessible for researchers on this topic, and on the other one we will deal with the existence, or not, of public “places of memory” in those buildings, roads, railways or dumps where forced labourers were deployed, regarding not only government’s initiative, but also that of civilian society and comparing the public use, signalization and musealization of those places with the main trends on this subject carried out in Germany after Nazi rule.

With respect to the second one, the right to reparation, we will analyse which kind of measures have been implemented in Spain in order to give way to compensations for those who were punished to work as prisoners or prisoners of war, taking into account not only state implication, but also that of the enterprises that took profit of this kind of punishment. Here, we will also compare Spanish reality with that of the other western European dictatorship where private companies have taken profit of forced labour: Nazi Germany.

 

Fernando Mendiola is Professor in Economic History in the Public University of Navarra (Spain). He obtained his Ph.D. with a research about industrialization in Navarre, and during the last years he has been researching about forced labour in Franco´s Spain, dealing with different aspects, such as oral memory, economic impact and remembrance policies.

Dr. Fernando Mendiola, Public University of Navarra
Tagged on:         

Leave a Reply