Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Be a new Nurenberg

Goring, Hess eta beste nazi batzuk Nurenbergeko epaiketan. (Argazkia: Wikimedia)

When the allies won in World War II, they stressed the need to give public and exemplary punishment to the Nazis. They organized an international trial in which four judges punished the Nazi leaders. That trial was unprecedented. Among other things, because it was a linguistic challenge, as four languages were used in the trial and had to create a complex translation system. The place of trial was not chosen by chance. Nurenberg was a city loving the Nazis and had a great symbolic taste. There were public congresses and demonstrations of the strength of the Nazi party on the large esplanade of Zeppelin. Discriminatory racist laws were also passed in that city. For in order to make the trial more humiliating, they decided to hold it in the Nurenberg Palace of Justice, turning its old fortress into an anti-fascist place of punishment.

Unfortunately there was no Nurenberg in our country, and perhaps that is why the debate on the Monument to Falls in Pamplona has been reopened. Derail, remodel or maintain? The monument is a huge stain in the city centre. The environment certainly requires deep intervention. Firstly, because in the city centre you cannot maintain an artifact that exalts Franco. But not only that, but also an urban obstacle. Both the monument and the plaza make it difficult to connect pedestrians and cyclists with the new neighborhoods in the south of the city.

But in my humble opinion, the knock down cannot be a solution. Some memory associations (not all) consider that the monument cannot change meaning and defend total demolition. They believe that only criminal areas should be reserved as a reminder of repression. But Franco was more than a punishment. The Monument to Falls is painful, among other things, because it reminds us that thousands of Navarros participated in the coup and bet on Franco. That was also Franco, and we must remember that. Furthermore, total demolition is irreversible and involves the elimination of the mark of the dictatorship. Doesn't the stain show a wound?

Instead of breaking down, the Francoist symbology should be withdrawn and turned into a social center in favor of liberating social movements. It is an opportunity to make a real anti-fascist policy and leave Franco humiliating; a new trial in Nurenberg. Furthermore, there is a wide range of forms of intervention that can be transformed in various ways without their complete disappearance. The knock down is not the only option.

However, I suspect that public institutions and systemic aspects will not miss the opportunity. They will try to throw away the transformative memory of those condemned during the civil war and dictatorship and use reconversion to praise the 1978 regime. They will fulfill the monument with words such as democracy, coexistence, peace or reconciliation. And we do not want to be reconciled with fascism.


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