Madrid panel lists Franco-era street names to be axed

'Calle de los Caídos de la División Azul', one of street names slated for change in Madrid. Photo: Luis Sevillano / El País
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• Special commission proposes change to 47 pro-Franco street and plaza names
• New signs to honor 10 Women, 23 men, victims of 2004 Atocha terrorist attack

The special commission set up by Madrid Mayor Manuel Carmena to determine which Franco-era street names will finally be changed in keeping with the mandate of Spain’s 2007 Historical Memory law has released a list of 47 names of streets and plazas that if approved will mean an end to glorification with public street signage in Madrid of Franquista heroes or victories in the country’s bloody 1936-38 civil war and the 36-year dictatorship that followed and ended with the death of Franco in 1975.

Among the names of streets and plazas that are scheduled for change are two streets paying tribute to Gen. Francisco Franco himself, plus streets honoring Gen. Millán Astray, founder of the Spanish foreign legion, and Gen. Juan Yagüe, a leading member of the Spansh Falange movement, both of whom were responsible for widespread human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings for military and right-wing paramilitary forces during the Civil War. Also on the block is the name of the Calle de los Caídos de la División Azul, commemorating the “Blue Division” of pro-fascist Spanish military volunteers who fought in the so-called “Blue Division” alongside Hitler’s forces against the Soviet Union in the Second World War.

The list of replacement for the Franco-era names of streets and plazas in Madrid include the names of 10 women and 23 men. Opponents to the name changes have contested several of the propoposed changes, including that of the División Azul street, which the commission has suggested be changed to “Memorial del 11 de marzo de 2004” to commemorate those killed in the March 2004 terrorist attack on Madrid’s Atocha train station.

Following a series of hearings at the delegation level in Madrid, the commission’s proposal will be voted upon in a full session of the city’s municipal council. A full list of the proposed name changes can be found online, here.

► Read More in Spanish at El País, Telecinco and Voz Populi …

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