March 6, 2021

The thirteen roses that Franco reaped


The people of Madrid tarred their memory with remnants of sadness on August 5 of 80 years ago today as a result of the shooting of thirteen traditional roses whose life was taken away by a War Council that accused them of "joining the rebellion." Only four months had passed since Franco's proclamation as the winner of the fratricidal conflict when Carmen Barrero Aguado, Martina Barroso García, Blanca Brissac Vázquez, Pilar Bueno Ibáñez, Julia Conesa Conesa, Adelina García Casillas, Elena Gil Olaya, Virtudes González García, Ana López Gallego, Joaquina López Laffite, Dionisia Manzanero Salas, Victoria Muñoz García and Luisa Rodríguez de la Fuente They were heading to the Almudena Cemetery to greet prematurely to death. Greetings, the one who preluded the end of life, which occurred imminently, after the denunciation of Commissioner Roberto Conesa, member of the Social Political Brigade, collaborator of the Gestapo and a figure well known and feared by the opposition sectors to the regime.

The epistolary correspondence was the main testimonial route that many of them used to record the reason why they were murdered as it collects the ink of Julia, a natural dressmaker from Oviedo, affiliated with the Unified Socialist Youth of only 19 years who demands, in a stoic display of integrity, not to cry for her, because "they kill me innocent, but I die as an innocent must die" while claiming in a sort of drowned hope, "may my name not be erased from history." Letting chance serve as a mere cynical tool of mortal choice, among the 4,000 dams that were overcrowded in the Sales jail after the entry into Madrid of Franco's troops, these thirteen young women were chosen to be shot and later, turned into a tricky memory of the country's avatars.

Its history acquired levels of social and political relevance high enough to materialize in literary terms through works such as "The Thirteen Roses", by Jesús Ferrero, "Thirteen Red Roses", reported by the journalist Carlos Fonseca or "Martina, the pink number thirteen", written by the journalist and collaborator of LA RAZÓN, Ángeles López, where she carries out a genealogy of silence told by the niece granddaughter of Martina Barroso, one of the murdered. On many occasions, reality ends up becoming the main source of inspiration for the seventh art and in this case, the cinema was not left behind in the transfer and reinterpretation of the history of these 13 withered roses. That is why in 2007 Emilio Martínez-Lázaro premiered the movie "Thirteen Roses". A film that, regardless of its cinematic value, had the audacity to rescue a black episode from the history of Spain in order, among many others, to avoid its repetition.

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