Spanish author Almudena Grandes, who died on Saturday, aged 61, was famed for her novels portraying ordinary Spaniards’ experience of civil war and dictatorship. Against attempts to veil the past in silence, she insisted that unearthing historical memory was fundamental to building a democratic Spain.
Sebastiaan Faber is chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.
Even after Spain’s late 1970s transition to democracy, its political establishment maintained a tactful silence over the record of Franco’s dictatorship. But a bill advanced by the left-wing government insists on the need to acknowledge the dictator’s crimes — and identify the estimated 112,000 people lying in unmarked graves across Spain.