for the Spain they believed to be better
An invitation to recover historical memory in Spain
In Valencia cemetery
According to the Fòrum per la Memòria del País Valencià (Forum for the Memory of the Valencian Community) 23,661 people were deposited in several large mass graves in the Cemetery of Valencia (Spain) during the Franco regime from 1st April 1939 to 31st December 1945
The Fòrum per la Memòria del País Valencià is an association from Valencian area that aims to recover and disseminate the memory of those who fought against fascism, nazism and franquism. It was created in 2004, following the discovery of 6 large mass graves (41,020 m²) in the cemetery of Valencia.
Most of these mass graves had already been damaged through the years because of the policy of Spanish government and Valencia City Council. In 2004 one of them, the one in the right seventh Section (9.659 m²) was still preserved.
However, two years later in 2006 the Valencia City Council decided to build on this land more than 1,000 new niches, which infuriated part of the Valencian society.
Soil with human remains from this land was used for rehabilitation works in the neighboring town of Sagunto but when the corpses were discovered the works had to be stopped and the soil was moved again to the cemetery.
These events made Valencia city council place a stone monument in honor of the victims in 2010 that included the following text:
«En memoria de todos los que dieron la vida por la España que creían mejor».
(In memory of all those who gave their lives for the Spain they believed to be better)
According to the Fòrum per la Memòria del País Valencià and other associations these words didn’t respect the memory of the people buried in the mass graves who had been victims of Franco’s dictatorship.
For this reason and thanks to the changes in the policy of Valencia city council the text was removed in October 2015. From then on the monument consists of a bare stone with two decorative metallic pieces.
These photos were taken in February 2017.