Survey findings ‘highly compatible’ with mass grave of Brigaders in Madrid

Post date: 28/05/2024

A Spanish newspaper is suggesting that the presence of a mass grave in Madrid containing the remains of 451 International Brigaders, including several Britons, has been confirmed.

However, the Madrid authorities are being accused of sitting on the report because of its inconvenient findings.

The site is next to Fuencarral cemetery, where the Madrid City Council, which is governed by the right-wing PP party, wants to build a waste facility.

A campaign led by Spain’s AABI friends of the International Brigades, which included a letter of protest from the IBMT, forced the council earlier this year to freeze its plans while a survey of the plot was undertaken.

The bodies of the Brigaders, which had previously been properly buried in the cemetery, were dumped outside its perimeter walls following Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War.

The El País daily reported on 28 May: ‘The possibility of the appearance of the largest mass grave found in Madrid after the civil war appears imminent in view of the report prepared by a Madrid company and delivered to the city council.’

It went on: ‘The results obtained in the geo-radar study are “highly compatible” with the probability that a mass grave exists, this newspaper has learned. The inspection was carried out on a 10,000 square metre plot where the city council plans the construction of a mega waste facility.’

Patricia Ure of the AABI demanded to know why the survey report was not being made public. 

‘Could it be that there are well-founded suspicions that the mass grave of the Brigade members exhumed and thrown into it is located there?’ she asked. ‘We think that in a short time there will be news because the city council will not be able to continue hiding the report.’

Among those who were buried at Fuencarral are the poet Julian Bell, Samuel Walsh, a cook from Newcastle, Arnold Jeans, a commercial traveller from Lancashire, and Edward Burke, from Croydon, a journalist and Unity Theatre actor.

Pictured above: a memorial plaque in Fuencarral cemetery to the British, American and Canadian battalions of the 15th International Brigade.

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