Urethra. There is always one in bomb shelters. Both civilian and military. “Naturally, leaving the shelter during the attack was undesirable, and because of the stress of the bombing, it was not uncommon for a person to feel liberated: fear is the best laxative. The chamber pot reminds us. The smells that spread underground. ” This is an excerpt from the book Civil War in a hundred objects, pictures and locationsPublished by Galaxia Gutenberg, edited by historians Antonio Cazorla and Adrian Schubert, who created this visual dictionary with the help of nine other specialists.
The historian is not accustomed to going into the details of the war, nor to inviting the reader with this “unbearable smell”. The smell of fear and salvation from bomb bombs in enemy shelters. This urine was found by archaeologists on the ground near the Madrid Clinical Hospital. It is made of enamel metal, with blue detergents that mimic marble. “Everyday things are included in military life, and war is, to some extent, becoming a household item,” writes archaeologist Alfredo Gonzalez Ruibali in a urine file. The same objects, when everything happens, become tangible elements of memory that we can not refuse.
Every house has one such object that speaks to this suffering because any house is also a private museum that keeps events that were part of the family. And Spanish society. This is the idea of ”public history” advocated by the authors of this book. In the face of “academic history” that cares about its own interests and investigates in a way that does not take into account how to address the community in which it works, they offer one, “aimed at educating the public.”
“Public history not only does not deny quality, but must inform the latest contributions of scholars. tional books are an example of public memory, exhibitions, museums and even memorial sites,” they write in the introduction. And, nevertheless, they condemn the shortage of public history. The best proof is the absence of the National Museum of the Civil War. “In summary: there are many places in Spain without memory and many memories without place,” they note.
The memory of things is the memory of pain. That is why they gathered all the victims of the war. This is a story about two sides, but they explain that they do not think the reasons for the confrontation were the same. Antonio Cazorla explains to this newspaper that some defended democracy and some did not. Justice lies in the suffering that the Spaniards inflicted on each other through the irreplaceable cooperation of foreign powers.
Along with the aforementioned urethra comes a microphone used by the July 1936 coup perpetrator Cape de Lano in Toledo, a Galician soldier’s diary, plow, ration coupons, boxes containing the remains of corpses buried in the Valley of the Dead. , Molly Diary, Lead Stop (Scapulae are used as amuletsA protective armor or organ for Americans in the church of Barbastro (Huesca), where someone named Rufino Perez recorded the last moments of his long and brutal agony: “The 12th day. We have spent the day in religious silence and are preparing for death tomorrow; Only the holy murmur of prayer is felt in this room, which is a witness to our cruel suffering. If we speak, it encourages us to die martyrs. If we pray, this is the forgiveness of our enemies. “Between 12 and 15 August 1936, 51 clergymen were killed in Barbastro.
They also brought a piece of leftover bread to talk about “hunger marketing”. A resident of Gava, near Barcelona, kept a piece of bread and handed it over to politician and writer Josep Soler Vidal in the 1970s. Today it is preserved in the Democratic Memorial of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
The end of the war did not end the famine or the physiological problems associated with it. And those who suffered the most, the book’s authors note, were Republicans locked up in Franco prisons and concentration camps. In them “constipation acquired a tragic dimension.” Because of chronic constipation, inmates used tin keys to remove compact stools, causing them to bleed. “Weakened prisoners often passed by and fell into the toilet. Archaeologists explain that during the last months of the Civil War, there were two elements everywhere in the Republican trenches: laxatives and vitamins. Both are related to the poor nutrition of the People’s Army troops. A laxative laxative bottle produced by Esteban Bruni Laboratory has appeared in the archaeological excavations of El Piuli (Riva-Vatsiamadrid).
“We are concerned that there is no civil war pedagogy and that pseudo-historians may appear who distort the historical account. We want to educate the public against harshness and disclosure,” Antonio Cazorla told the newspaper. He admits that the book is an incomplete book with 100 objects, but it is enough to study the history of Spain “pleasantly”. In these more than 400 pages, paradoxes and contradictions emerge to dispel the idea of two Spain: “There was much more! There was diversity under both sides, which Franco’s propaganda sought to hide. “In the history of mankind, we show people who are stuck in difficult situations,” said Cazorla.
At the beginning of World War I, no nation had an effective helmet against debris and debris. And the soldiers died in the trenches helplessly. Most were dressed in hats. Until they began to equip the army with steel helmets, which, though did not stop the bullets, but were effective against debris. The army that Mussolini sent to Spain brought this helmet. The Republicans gained a lot of ammunition at the Battle of Guadalajara, and the owner of a pigeon nest in the town of Ledanka recycled a dozen of these Italian helmets into bird nests.
Not only World War I helmets were recycled. What was an ammunition comb made in Massachusetts, USA, buried in a trench in the Casa de Campo, Madrid? The incident of discovery is as follows: the British Army did not spend all imported cartridges during the Great War. When the Russian Civil War broke out (1917-1921), the United Kingdom supported the counter-revolutionary forces with weapons (rifles and cartridges). When the Bolsheviks won the war, they found themselves with a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, and the Spanish Civil War was the way to dispose of this excess. 0.303 cartridges were the first in Spain from the Soviet Union. With these weapons, Madrid resisted the rebels and stopped their advance.
“Civil wars never end, because we are constantly in front of them. They end so much pain, but civil wars are always there. They are therefore a matter of national unity because they are uncomfortable and we have to accept the discomfort. “Do not think that Spain is a traumatized society, but there are many people who feel uncomfortable with this memory,” said historian Antonio Cazorla. He regrets that Spanish democracy failed to write a clear and shared history. “We can not create a consensual account of history. We need this conversation, to talk and justice to be enjoyed in our memory. Because it is our legacy, for better and for worse,” he adds.
As narrated in Lugo, a story written by a resident of the municipality of As Nogais, which with his brother became a carpet before the arrival of the rebels. Gonzalo and Manuel Antonio Besera Suto hid in different houses and spent 22 years locked up. Manuel adopted a false identity and fled to Madrid in 1958. Gonzalo remained hidden in an excavated shell of two square meters. Before Franco’s death he wrote a diary for a night walk. He died on February 12, 1976, a few weeks after his release.
For Adrian Schubert, objects are “traces of the past.” He compares them to documents, the usual sources of historians. “But objects have significant advantages, especially when it comes to communicating discoveries. They can connect today’s people to the past better than texts,” explains historian and French author Arlet Farge. When he said that they were “better informed by the sense of reality.”
Illustrated with the pain of the country, this book ends its journey to the Pazo de Meiras in 2020, when justice declares it a public good. “It is a civil victory that allows this society to move forward with fewer and fewer obstacles, with fewer tiles that connect us to the past,” reads the site file, which is also a relic of Francoism.
Source: El Diario