Current Perspectives

In studying any period of history, one focuses on the past- what occured, who took part in the events, the immediate aftermath, etc.  Although our research investigates a recent law, we clearly must look at issues from the past when studying the “Law of Historical Memory.”  With this focus on events from the past need to be unearthed and remembered, we easily concentrate entirely on the years surrounding the Spanish Civil War.  For this reason, our visit today to the Centro de Investigación y estudios Republicanos (CIERE) stands out in our investigation as one of the current perspectives we have considered in our routes of memory in Madrid. dscn0638.JPG

We were fortunate enough to speak with  Manuel Muela, the president of the association, who met with us to explain more about CIERE.  This organization began in the years just following the death of Franco (1975) when all of the political parties were legalized- that is, all except for the republican party.  In that time period, some still felt that the term “republican” still created too much tension to have it represented in the government.  When the republicans declined the offer to have their party join the government without the controversial word itself in the party name, the republicans were left with the socialist party, PSOE (Partida Socialista Obrero Español), which still is the main left-wing party in Spain’s government today, although the republicans now have a legalized party. 

Under this political context, in which the republican party does not have the strength it would had it been legalized immediately after the death of Franco , CIERE  serves as a source of information for those who are interested in studying the republican ideals that came out of the Second Republic in Spain.  Although political by nature, CIERE does not identify with a particular party so that it can remain as a place for education, not political agendas.  This organization works to write, edit, and publish books, send out a tri-annual magazine, and maintain a library in Alcalá to name a few of its activities.  

In a somewhat confusing time in Spain, those who want to create a space for historical memory must remember to consider the people in organizations such as CIERE who have relevant and important opinions about how the country deals with the memory of such a traumatic time.  Hearing the words and point of view of Manuel Muela, who is extremely level-headed, patient, and rational, broadened our view of memory in Spain as it gave us a current day perspective of the group that fought so ardently for their ideology and beliefs in the Spanish Civil War.

One response to “Current Perspectives”

  1. nphoba says:

    Manuel Muela mentioned the website for the Center for Republican Studies and Investigation and said that the majority of people who view the site are in the United States and Canada. This seems to suggest that part of Spain still seems to be following the pacto del olvido (pact of forgetting). Also, the generation with the most access and experience with the Internet is our generation, so what Muela said may also suggest that Spanish youth don’t seem to want to investigate the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship. Every contact that we meet here in Madrid is so surprised and grateful that we’re interested. They feel this way mainly for two reasons: 1) we’re from the U.S. and 2) we’re young. They are so excited to finally have youth interested in learning their stories and passing them on.