Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Three stones


Written February 2016 following the unveiling of two new stones in the cemetery in Tarancón.

Flanking the memorial to Scottish members of the International Brigades who died at Jarama and in the military hospitals of Tarancón, the two new plaques finally recognise those local people killed under Franco's dictatorship,  including one who,  from exile in France,  was sent to Malthausen Concentration Camp and murdered there.

I am hugely grateful to Mike Arnott for his editorial suggestions with regards a first draft.

2017 update:  The Spanish translation that follows is the work once more of Máximo Molina Gutiérrez of the Association for the Recovery of the Historical Memory in Tarancón.  

The continuing relevance of their work is sadly demonstrated all too clearly by the fact that,  just a few weeks before the February 2017 ceremony of remembrance,  vandals attacked the memorial stones,  defacing the tiles in a failed attempt to deny once again the sins of the past. 

The ceremony went ahead,  better attended than ever before, with more publicity and even greater pride. 


None shall pass not knowing them,
their names immortal as their deeds
None shall forget their fight for good,
their children orphaned, wounds that yet bleed.

In death together, finally,
though years have passed and moss has grown,
remembered now their names are read,
immortalised on tile and stone

For better world they fought, and died
In Tarancón they found their rest
On battlefield,  or 'gainst prison wall
fascist bullet piercing breast.

Their cause was freedom, fought for still
their stories we tell yet
In Tarancón we read their names
their lives we won't forget.

We won't give up till all is just,
their legacy fulfilled,
Fascism gone and all mouths fed
to repay blood they spilled.

Together now,  we stand as one
remembering our slain
their cause not dead, their fight still fought
but three stones ease the pain.

Those three stones stand,  in Tarancón,
Showing names recalled with pride,
we'll read them each and every year
and no more shall we hide.


Nadie pasará sin conocerlos

Sus nombres inmortales como sus hechos

Nadie olvidará su lucha por el bien,

Sus hijos huérfanos, heridas que aún sangran.

Juntos en la muerte, por fin,

Aunque han pasado años y ha crecido el musgo,

Recordados ahora, se leen sus nombres,

Inmortalizados en azulejo y piedra.

Por un mundo mejor lucharon y murieron

En Tarancón encontraron  su descanso

En la batalla o contra las tapias de una prisión

Balas fascistas atravesándoles el pecho.

Su causa era la libertad, por ella lucharon

Aún contamos sus historias

En Tarancón leemos sus nombres

No olvidaremos sus vidas. 

No cejaremos hasta que todo sea justo, 

Su legado mantenido, 

Sin fascismo y con nadie sin poder comer

para recompensar su sangre derramada.

Juntos ahora, estamos en pie como uno solo

recordando a nuestros muertos 

su causa no está muerta, su lucha aún por ser luchada

pero tres piedras alivian el dolor.

Esas tres piedras se alzan, en Tarancón,  

mostrando nombres recordados con orgullo, 

los leeremos todos cada año 

y ya no tendremos que escondernos más.

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