Friday, May 17, 2013

Spanish Government Representative in Catalonia Distinguishes Nazi Soldiers

Imagine, if you will, a homage to the German Bundespolizei in, say, Bavaria at which the Brotherhood of a Nazi Germany Volunteer Division were distinguished with a diploma by the Bundesrepublik's representative (if there were one).

This is exactly what happened last Saturday in Sant Andreu de la Barca, a town near Barcelona. The representative of the Spanish government in Catalonia, Ms. María de los Llanos de Luna presided a homage to the Spanish gendarmes, the Guardia Civil, at which she awarded the Hermandad Nacional de Veteranos de la División Azul with a diploma.

This has brewed up a storm, with severe criticism coming from all sides except from the ruling Spanish government Popular Party and the unionist Ciudadanos Party. This so-called brotherhood represents veterans of the Blue Division, an army division of Spanish volunteers who decided to join the Nazi army, swearing allegiance to Adolf Hitler, and fight the Russians on the Eastern Front.

The Spanish Government Delegation has published a press release justifying the distinction by pointing out that all the military and civilian associations awarded the diplomas were “legally and duly regulated and registered with central and regional administrations”, i.e. they are all legal.

However, in most people's eyes this in fact makes things worse: there are several fascist and extreme right-wing associations and other organisations that are legally constituted in Spain, some of which even receive subsidies from the government, such as the Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, which fosters the Spanish dictator's thinking and memory and is presided over by his daughter. Can you imagine an Adolf Hitler Foundation in Germany subsidised by the government?

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