Unburying Franco and the Crimes of the Spanish Civil War

For Six Decades, Spain Told a Dictator's Story. For the Past 22 Years, Citizens Have Been Creating a New Memory Landscape

Provocatively deemed “The Spanish Holocaust” by historian Paul Preston, the Spanish Civil War—a conflict, extending from 1936 to 1939 that resulted in the repression, torture, and death of hundreds of thousands of people—weighs heavily in Spain’s collective memory. The traditional narrative of the war, asserted by the victorious dictator Francisco Franco, held that Franco and his Nationalist forces defeated an oppositional leftist coalition, the Republicans, to restore Spain to its past greatness. This interpretation of events remained essentially unchallenged in Spanish popular memory for decades, aided by censorship and repression …

How Germany Developed a ‘Policy on the Past’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Germany Developed a ‘Policy on the Past’

A Constellation of Days Has Emerged to Remember the Holocaust and Its Victims

Germany does not have a traditional, centuries-old national holiday, such as July 14 in France or July 4 in the United States.

But Germany is carefully attuned to dates, and how …

Uncovering a Life Deemed ‘Unworthy of Life’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Uncovering a Life Deemed ‘Unworthy of Life’

Why the Story of Hans Heinrich Festersen—Gay, Disabled, and Murdered by the Nazis—Matters

On September 8, 1943, Hans Heinrich Festersen was hanged at Berlin’s Plötzensee prison. Festersen, 35, had been arrested almost a year earlier, on October 12, 1942, for violating Paragraph 175, …

Sherman’s March Toward Reparations | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Sherman’s March Toward Reparations

A Little-Known Civil War Story Illuminates America’s Broken Promise to Black America

Americans get Sherman’s March all wrong. Ask anyone who’s seen Gone with the Wind, and they’ll tell you that U.S. General William T. Sherman’s roughly 250-mile march from Atlanta to …

What We Miss When We See the Plight of the Refugee

In Bangladesh, the Resettled Rohingya in the World's Largest Refugee Camp Lead Complicated Lives

In 2015, the image of a Syrian child, drowned and washed ashore near the Turkish town of Bodram, went viral. This singular, visceral image of the hapless refugee victim spoke …