Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy

By Paloma Aguilar; Mark Oakley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
FROM THE JUSTIFIICATION OF WAR
TO THE EXALTATION OF PEACE

THE DEVELOPMENT OF OFFICIAL DISCOURSE
DURING THE FRANCO PERIOD

Throughout the thirty-six years between the end of the Civil War and the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain was governed by a heterogeneous and ever-changing élite, made up of the victors in the war, under the permanent authority and leadership of Franco. The power of this political élite depended on the institutions (some of which were designed in the very midst of war) of a régime that was totalitarian in its origins and initial pretensions, but that subsequently adopted authoritarian characteristics.1 In spite of this development, the régime always paraded its victory and discriminated in favour of the victors in the Civil War in various ways, although with differing degrees of intensity.

In this chapter we shall attempt to analyse how the official Francoist discourse regarding the Civil War evolved, a discourse that came to represent the dominant memory, although not the hegemonic memory, of the war. The study of this discourse includes the arguments that were directly produced by the main institutions of the régime, or that were subject to their control. No-Do, for example, was a public body that produced ideological messages of an official nature, whilst textbooks had an indisputably official character as a result of the fact that they were subject to a kind of censorship that not only prohibited the mention of certain topics and even

1. The classic study on the early transition from incipient totalitarianism to authoritar-
ianism is by Juan Linz (1964).

-29-

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Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acronyms ix
  • Glossary xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Acknowledgements for the English Edition xv
  • Foreword for the English Edition xvi
  • Preface xviii
  • Chapter 1 - Regarding Memory, Learning and Amnesia 1
  • Chapter 2 - From the Justifiication of War to the Exaltation of Peace 29
  • Chapter 3 - The Memory of War and the Lessons of Peace in the Democratic Transition 149
  • Economic and Social Characteristics of the Transition 152
  • Conclusion 265
  • Bibliography 271
  • Tables 291
  • Graphs 313
  • Appendices 319
  • Index 324
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