Yesterday was the 77th anniversary of the assassination of Emili Darder Cànaves. Señor Darder was the last elected mayor in Palma de Mallorca of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939). Antoni Mateu Ferrer (former Mayor of Inca, below right), Antoni Maria Qués Ventanyol (founder of ERB party, below centre) and Alejandre Jaume Rosselló (Consul of Uruguay in Palma, below left) were executed along with Darder on the same day.
The four were wrongly accused of belonging to a Plan Lenin plot to overthrow the Falangist movement during the Spanish Civil War. After a court-martial through the Spanish Consell de Guerra (War Council), the execution took place against an outside wall of the cemetery in Palma on February 24th, 1937 (shown below). The accusation was later revealed to be a devious fabrication; what’s new you might say.
Last Sunday, a hundred people or so participated in a memorial celebration at the Mur de la Memòria (Wall of Memory) at the Cementeri Municipal de Palma lead by poet and writer Biel Mesquida. The memorial is located near an outer wall of the cemetery and is part of a small garden (shown above).
Dark memories from an even darker past plague many more than the families of those four victims. The Palma memorial includes a metal plate into which more than 1,500 names of men and women have been carved, all killed by fusillade here between 1936 and 1939. The Civil War memorial project was initiated and funded by the Asociación Memoria de Mallorca, an association of Franco victims, or so I believe. The memorial setting in Palma was inaugurated three years ago.
Franco’s dictatorship lasted from 1936 until 1975 and only ended with the Generalissimo‘s death. The Spanish Civil War finished 75 years ago this year but the ramifications of the brothers’ bitter feud can still be felt, here in Spain. The healing process takes more than just time. There were no representatives of the leading municipal councils at last Sunday’s act, nor any of their provincial counterparts. Your guess is as good as mine as to what will happen in a year from now. Cain and Abel. Canet and Arbós. The saga carries on, and on and on.