for the Spain they believed to be better: in Tarragona
According to AVRFT / Associació de víctimes de la repressió franquista a Tarragona “on July 18th 1936 a group of Spanish Army soldiers led by Generals Mola and Franco carried out a military rebellion, a coup against the legally and democratically constituted second Spanish Republic. The results of this fascist uprising was a cruel war (1936-1939), where hundreds of thousands of people were killed across Spain.
During the war and because of the military insurgents uprising, revolutionary violence broke out in the republican “rear guard”. Thus, between July 22nd 1936 and February 22nd 1937, in the Tarragona capital and counties there were 327 victims of the violence, 8 of them shot at this location / Muntanya de l’Oliva (6 professional military insurgents and two civilians).
That violence ocurred at the beginning of the war and as a result of the Rule of law collapse, provoked by the tsunami coup. The so-called “Red Terror” was neither systematic nor planned as the exercised by the military rebels and Falangist groups, carlines and others… in many parts of Spain. Repression continued once the Civil War was over, directed from above by factional powers and only ended with the arrival of democracy. The aim of the repressive measures of Franco attempted to remove opposition through systematic murder of those who had fought for republican democracy, defending their ideals, individual and collective freedoms as catalans.
The “New Spain” promised by Franco’s advertising was evident in wild bombing on civilians throughout the war and was evident again on January 15th of 1939 by Franco’s troops entering the city of Tarragona and once the Civil War was ended throughout the province, where he started a terrifying repression against civilian population of the capital and counties. On February 28th 1939 executions of people began in the same place on the Mount of the Olive tree. Until December 1949 a total of 654 people were shot at this spot being buried mostly in mass graves in the cemetery of Tarragona, where they have been honored since 2000. More than 126 people died in the prisons and in the city hospital as well."
According to Diari de guerra “on December 12, 2010, the Government of the Generalitat opened an impressive sculptural ensemble in the cemetery of Tarragona in homage to the 771 people, shot or died in the prisons of Tarragona because of the repression exerted by the Franco dictatorship during the postwar period (1939-48). The set was promoted by the Associació de víctimes de la repressió franquista a Tarragona (AVRFT) and carried out by the Memorial Democràtic de la Generalitat and the City Council of Tarragona. The ensemble is chaired by a sculptural group called 'Dignitat', made by the artist Salvador Mañosa. It shows the body of a dead man lying with the figure of a woman standing, which may be the image of a mother, a wife or a daughter that after the execution of their loved one was alone and had to face the hard years of the repression. Next to The whole sculpture, a large memorial wall is placed with the names of the 771 people executed chaired by the legend: “Per aquells que han mort sense tenir el cap cot”/ “For those who have died without his head down”. The memorial wall is chaired by the following text: "In memory. Of the people buried in this cemetery who lost their lives having defended the dignity, liberties and individual and collective rights, the self-government of Catalonia and the republican legality (1939- 1948)"
These photos were taken in September 2019 and show some views of the Memorials in the Mount of the Olive and in the Cemetery of Tarragona and two mass graves in the cemetery.
According to Fòrum de Tarragona per la Memòria these mass graves of the repression “hold the remains of people shot by firing squads of the Francoist forces of occupation during the wave of repression which swept across the country at the end of the Spanish Civil War.”