Thursday 21 June 2018

Catalonia pays homage to heroes of bloody past but will not go down the path to ruin

True colours: A woman wearing a Spanish flag on her shoulders looks at a giant flag of Catalonia as people celebrate a holiday known as Dia de la Hispanidad, or Spain’s National Day, in Barcelona last Thursday, amid one of the country’s biggest crises ever as the north-eastern region threatens independence. Photo: AP
True colours: A woman wearing a Spanish flag on her shoulders looks at a giant flag of Catalonia as people celebrate a holiday known as Dia de la Hispanidad, or Spain’s National Day, in Barcelona last Thursday, amid one of the country’s biggest crises ever as the north-eastern region threatens independence. Photo: AP

Fergal Keane

It was the day of the general strike but the cleaners had all turned up for work. They were all proud Catalans but in this place the work would go on. It would have taken a foolhardy soul to suggest otherwise to them.

They moved along the stone paths and around the verges and the headstones, past the columns with the names of the known dead, sweeping and clipping in the shade of the cliff that dominates the quarry of Fossar de La Pedrera.

A simple inscription on one column reads: "In this quarry graveyard rest those who were shot, in the Camp de la Bota and other places, by the Fascist forces in the year 1939. For many of them we will never know their names but our tribute is for all."

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