Seven months after the Royal History Academy (RAH) said it would rectify a number of entries in its Spanish Biographical Dictionary after a favorable biography of General Francisco Franco prompted outrage at home and abroad, the 50-volume collection remains unchanged.
At the center of the row is the entry covering the life of Franco, written by Luis Suárez, an 86-year-old Franco apologist who says Franco “became famous for the cold courage which he showed in the field” while a young officer in Africa, adding that his brutal years in power saw him “set up a regime that was authoritarian, but not totalitarian.”
The historian failed to mention the tens of thousands of people killed during the Franco era and at no point did he describe him as a dictator.
Suárez is a friend of the Franco family and a senior figure in the Brotherhood of the Valley of the Fallen, a group that takes its name from the basilica where the generalísimo, as Suárez prefers to describe him, was buried in 1975. The group is actively opposed to attempts over the last decade to identify the mass graves of the victims of Franco’s death squads. Historians have estimated that half a million people were killed during the Civil War sparked by Franco’s insurgency against the democratically elected leftwing Republican government.
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