The Madrid regional public prosecutor is investigating anti-semitic speech hate crimes made during a commemoration ceremony in honour of the Spanish Blue Division, on Saturday 13th February.
Around 300 supporters of the fascist Falange party, many carrying Nazi flags and wearing emblems of the Third Reich met at the Almudena Cemetery to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the Battle of Krasny Bor which was fought between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia during the Second World War.
The Spanish Blue Division was formed by General Franco and manned by volunteers from the Falangist movement to fight on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1944.
Video footage emerged on social media showing multiple incidents of anti-semitic speech including one shared by the digital magazine La Marea of a young woman speaking to the crowd saying “the enemy is always going to be the same albeit wearing different masks: the Jew,” before adding that “there is nothing that is more true than this statement: the Jew is to blame, the Jew is to blame, and the Blue Division fought for this.”
“El enemigo siempre va a ser el mismo, aunque con distintas máscaras: el judío. […] El judío es el culpable y la División Azul luchó por ello”, dice una de las oradoras en este vídeo grabado por la agencia Ruptly.
👉Cuenta la noticia @Miquel_R: https://t.co/V7a7fdxHJT pic.twitter.com/mQPILDYE88
— La Marea (@lamarea_com) February 15, 2021
The footage has been widely condemned on social media including by the Israeli and Russian embassies in Madrid as well as Jewish community groups in Spain.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) said that the actions were “unconscionable in a country with rule of law and full democracy for these serious accusations to go unpunished,” adding that they will use “all the legal means” to bring these events to the justice system.
The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, took to social media, tweeting that “antisemitic proclamations made in homage to the Blue Division in Madrid are disgusting and cannot have a place in a democratic society”.
Madrid’s regional Justice Minister, Enrique López, also condemned the actions and said that the matter will be investigated for hate crimes.
In a separate development, the Madrid Assembly voted to change the name of the Fajul commuter railway station.
The station had been named after General Fajul who had joined Franco’s Nationalist insurrection in 1936. However the uprising failed in Madrid and he was arrested and executed.
The ultimately victorious Nationalists under General Franco later renamed many streets and public places in honour of their fallen leaders.
Last month the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, joined with Jewish leaders to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.