Advantages It Is There
Disadvantages Should Check Its Facts
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I expect that a large number of you watched the BBC news report recently on the recovery and attempted identification of bodies of victims of the Spanish Civil War. It was quite an interesting piece but it left you with the impression that nearly all casualties were the victims of Franco's Nationalist forces. Anyone who has read my previous opinions will have realised that I have more than a passing interest in history and I knew this not to be true. So in an attempt to put the record straight I did a little research to check my memory and supply you with some facts and figures.Republican activists and forces are known to have been responsible for the murder of over 280 nuns many of whom were also raped, 2400 monks, 4550 priests, and 11 Bishops. Many of these were crucified, burned, or buried alive others were mutilated.
In For Whom The Bell Tolls, Hemingway describes the massacre of 512 civilians who were cast into the gorge at Ronda, this was fact.Approximately 55,000 civilians including some 4000 woman and several hundred children are identified as confirmed victims of leftist forces. A definitive total will never be known, not least because thousands of socialists were murdered by other factions of the left.
Nationalist forces are credited ( if that is the right word ) with the murder of 50,000 republicans the great majority of these seem to have been political activists but with a number of "innocents", family of activists and bystanders.So why is it that the Nationalists are blamed for the majority of the deaths, bizarrely it would seem that it is due to the continuing success of Stalin's propaganda machine, although the truth has long been known the stories planted by Comintern agents are still repeated today. Arthur Koestler describes in his 1954 book The Invisible Writing how fascist atrocities were manufactured in the "lie factory" run by the Soviet agent Otto Katz. Koestler had no reason to favour Franco, his politics were of the left, and he had spent months as a prisoner of the Nationalists during the civil war ( even going on hunger strike ) and reports the execution of his fellow prisoners in his 1937 book A Spanish Testament.
Large numbers of republicans were imprisoned at the end of hostilities and many were executed, technically the death sentence could not be passed for being on the "wrong" side politically but it is probable that "evidence" of capital offences could always be found when required, although there can have been few on either side who could claim to be innocent by that time. Of the death sentences passed many were subsequently commuted.So my message to the BBC is that if I can check the facts in ten minutes, why can't you?
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