Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday, 22th of June

Hi everybody !

Today in the class of Social Sciences, Paqui has showed us a documentary broadcasted by "La 2" in 2000 called: "Mauthausen, el deber de recordar". As we were only 5 in class (Minerva, Clara, Marta, María and me) we have taken the class of Social Sciences and the next period to finish the documentary. But María had to leave at the middle of the documentary, so she said that she was going to watch it at her home.

 "Mauthausen, el deber de recordar" is a historical documentary that shows us the experience of some republican Spaniards who were in Mauthausen until their liberation by the US army on the 5th of May of 1945. The documentary collects the testimony of  eight Mauthausen's survivors: Joan de Diego, Francisco Batiste, Ramón Milá, Francisco Comellas...

                                                             The Mauthausen camp

The documentary starts telling us that when the Civil War in Spain finished, the republicans were obliged to go into exile. So most of these republicans went to France and when WW2 started they joined the French army. But when Hitler took the control of a part of France in 1940, he ordered to arrest the soldiers, including the republican Spaniards. Then, he asked Franco what he should do with theSspaniards and as Franco said to him that these republicans were no considered to be Spaniads, Hitlet decided to send them to the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.

         Meeting of Franco and Hitler                                      


           Exile of the republicans

There, they were obliged to wear a stripped uniform with a number (as a way of identification) and a distinctive. To knew that these prisioners were Spaniards, they wore this symbol on their uniforms:

              Uniform of Mauthausen                                  Distinctive of the republican Saniards



They were forced to wake up at a very early hour to work on the quarries to break the rocks (then they had to carry them through a very long stair), they didn't eat much and they were constantly suffering the humiliations, tortures... of the SS soldiers. Facing that situation many people comitted suicide by touching the wire fence (it was electrified all the day) and then, their bodies were brought to the crematorium to burn them and finally, the soldiers threw the ashes of the deceased even to the ground.


                                                             A way of commiting suicide

But even in this situation there were brave Spanish people who, for example, kept the photos they took and they waited fot the oportunity to bring the photos outside to show to the world the reality of the Mauthausen camp. The mother of Leopoldine Drexler helped a lot in this fact (she hid the photos behind a wall)

Finally, the long yearned liberation took place, on the 5th of May of the year 1945 the US army took the control of the concentration camp (this year was also marked by the suicide of Hitler). Even if the Spanish prisioners were released they couldn't come back to Spain, so the survivors are living in a foreign country.

For me, the worst part has been the scene in which the soldiers are moving the bodies with a machine. Another strong scene has been the one in which the camera has focused on the dead and ill-fed bodies. I don't understand how humans can do things like that, I'll never understand. Paqui is totally right, humans don't learn from their own mistakes and that's very sad because the same mistakes are been repeated now. For example with the radical Islamism, it's a different way of doing the same thing. The executioners should suffer the same as they have made suffer the victims. I know this doesn't solve anything and that revenge is a bad feeling but I think that these executioners should suffer this only for a period short of time, I think many of them would reflect on it.The documentary has been very sad and even Paqui has cried a little, I like it but it makes me think how cruel the world is.

Have a happy summer !


1 comment:

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Carla,

Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to make some comments to what you wrote. I probably generalize when I say that we don't learn from history. I think many people don't learn, but many others do, because if not, how could we explain the evolution in the respect for the human rights, the abolition of the death penalty in many countries or the advances in reducing poverty? I think we must continue to learn from the past, so that we can change all the bad things that still persist and improve the lives of the most in the future. I also think that we shouldn't repeat the mistakes of the past. We should try to do it better. We should, for example, fight against hate and prejudices with coexistence and dialogue, not with violence, which produces more violence. I think this is one of the most important lessons the documentary teaches: the survivors didn't speak about revenge, but about JUSTICE and this word means being fair, not only with those who survived, but also with the future generations. How can we build a world based on revenge, violence, disrespect... and expect it to be a good place to live? I can seem Utopian or overoptimistic, but I think this is the only solution for our planet.

I've enjoyed a lot having you in class this year. I hope we'll meet again in the future. Have a nice summer!