Spain's Lost Generations

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Franco's Disappeared2019031820190617 (R4)

Lucas Laursen joins families searching for loved ones who disappeared during the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship.

At a rare repatriation of the remains of 22 men and women missing since the war 80 years ago, he meets 3 generations of the De Llerra family who get together to bury a father, grandfather and great grandfather. Francisco De Llerra Díaz was a farmer shot by Franco’s army and buried in a mass grave in Guadalajara.

Spain has had a democratic constitution since 1978, but Spanish officials were only willing to open De Llerra’s grave after an Argentinian judge applied the principle of universal jurisdiction to the search of another family in 2016. This international court order classed the systematic and widespread killing of Franco’s victims as a crime against humanity.

Lucas attends a demonstration in Madrid demanding more state action to help victims find missing family members and meets Emilia Silva whose grandfather was the first victim of the Franco repression to be identified by DNA, and who founded the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory which has a list of nearly 115,000 missing people.

Lucas explores the limitations of Spain’s transition to democracy and the extent to which the Amnesty Agreement of 1975 – also known as the Pact of Forgetting or Pact of Silence – hides open wounds of the war and subsequent dictatorship in plain sight.

Alongside persistent families and the renowned former judge Balthazar Garzon, he learns about proposed updates to the 2007 Law of Historical Memory - although, with elections called during the recording of the programme, the law and historical memory in Spain face an uncertain future.

Producer Anna Scott-Brown
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4

Lucas Laursen seeks the missing loved ones, eighty years after the Spanish Civil War.

Lucas Laursen examines the long shadow cast by the Civil War on modern Spain today.

01Franco's Disappeared20190318

Lucas Laursen joins families searching for loved ones who disappeared during the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship.

At a rare repatriation of the remains of 22 men and women missing since the war 80 years ago, he meets 3 generations of the De Llerra family who get together to bury a father, grandfather and great grandfather. Francisco De Llerra Díaz was a farmer shot by Franco’s army and buried in a mass grave in Guadalajara.

Spain has had a democratic constitution since 1978, but Spanish officials were only willing to open De Llerra’s grave after an Argentinian judge applied the principle of universal jurisdiction to the search of another family in 2016. This international court order classed the systematic and widespread killing of Franco’s victims as a crime against humanity.

Lucas attends a demonstration in Madrid demanding more state action to help victims find missing family members and meets Emilia Silva whose grandfather was the first victim of the Franco repression to be identified by DNA, and who founded the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory which has a list of nearly 115,000 missing people.

Lucas explores the limitations of Spain’s transition to democracy and the extent to which the Amnesty Agreement of 1975 – also known as the Pact of Forgetting or Pact of Silence – hides open wounds of the war and subsequent dictatorship in plain sight.

Alongside persistent families and the renowned former judge Balthazar Garzon, he learns about proposed updates to the 2007 Law of Historical Memory - although, with elections called during the recording of the programme, the law and historical memory in Spain face an uncertain future.

Producer Anna Scott-Brown
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4

Lucas Laursen seeks the missing loved ones, eighty years after the Spanish Civil War.

Lucas Laursen examines the long shadow cast by the Civil War on modern Spain today.

02The Missing Children2019032520190624 (R4)

Lucas Laursen investigates Spain’s missing children from the Franco era and decades after.

He meets several families looking for children that hospital officials told them had died - but who may have been actually taken and given or sold to other families. There are thousands of such claims currently wending through Spanish court but, on their own, almost none have enough detail to understand what really happened.

Lucas examines whether the theft of babies was a series of isolated cases or whether, as some maintain, these were crimes against humanity - systematic and targeted against a particular group.

A government forensic toxicologist says there is no evidence for a trafficking plot, pointing to over one hundred court ordered exhumations and a report before the European Parliament. But Lucas moves from doubt about the so-called stolen babies scandal to a conviction that many of Spain’s institutions - including hospitals, the Catholic Church and the government - failed thousands of newborns and their families.

He talks to renowned former judge Balthazar Garzon, who argues for the implementation of a bill which would commit Spain to helping families find missing loved ones. This bill is now in jeopardy, since Spain’s government called elections during the recording of this programme.

He analyses the ways in which the Amnesty Law – which offered immunity from crimes committed during the Civil War and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco – slowed the fight against baby trafficking in Spain. He looks at the ideologies of the dictatorship that first legalised taking babies from their parents for political, religious and gender-related reasons, and which may have contributed to illegal trafficking for decades after.

Producer Anna Scott-Brown
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4

Lucas Laursen investigates Spain's missing children from the Franco era and decades after.

Lucas Laursen examines the long shadow cast by the Civil War on modern Spain today.

02The Missing Children20190325

Lucas Laursen investigates Spain’s missing children from the Franco era and decades after.

He meets several families looking for children that hospital officials told them had died - but who may have been actually taken and given or sold to other families. There are thousands of such claims currently wending through Spanish court but, on their own, almost none have enough detail to understand what really happened.

Lucas examines whether the theft of babies was a series of isolated cases or whether, as some maintain, these were crimes against humanity - systematic and targeted against a particular group.

A government forensic toxicologist says there is no evidence for a trafficking plot, pointing to over one hundred court ordered exhumations and a report before the European Parliament. But Lucas moves from doubt about the so-called stolen babies scandal to a conviction that many of Spain’s institutions - including hospitals, the Catholic Church and the government - failed thousands of newborns and their families.

He talks to renowned former judge Balthazar Garzon, who argues for the implementation of a bill which would commit Spain to helping families find missing loved ones. This bill is now in jeopardy, since Spain’s government called elections during the recording of this programme.

He analyses the ways in which the Amnesty Law – which offered immunity from crimes committed during the Civil War and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco – slowed the fight against baby trafficking in Spain. He looks at the ideologies of the dictatorship that first legalised taking babies from their parents for political, religious and gender-related reasons, and which may have contributed to illegal trafficking for decades after.

Producer Anna Scott-Brown
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4

Lucas Laursen investigates Spain's missing children from the Franco era and decades after.

Lucas Laursen examines the long shadow cast by the Civil War on modern Spain today.