Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On NPR news 4/1/09 The past possesses the present

This morning on the news the broadcaster said, " In the middle east, where the past is always present..." and he proceeded to tell about in the 1930s during the Spanish civil war the right wing insurgents stole babies and young children from women in the leftist wing in order to indoctrinate the children in Franco's fascist ideas. One of the reasons for this was that the left-wing women had broken outside of their usual roles (becoming involved in things other than their families) and it was decided they shouldn't be allowed to raise children. The first thing I thought about was the Trojan Women, when Astyanax is taken from Andromache and he was killed to keep him from seeking revenge on the Greeks. The babies and children that were taken from their mothers in Spain were either put in orphanages or sent to live with a families that supported the regime. The mothers were often executed after their children were taken from them; the estimate is that 12,000 children were taken. Even after Franco died in 1975 the people did not want to rake up the past , and it wasn't until the last decade that this has come out in the open. A book, "The Lost Children of Francoism" (I think; I was driving and couldn't write everything down) goes into further detail about that time. Euripides was writing in protest of wars over 1500 years ago, and used the examples of how women and children were affected - and here we are centuries later still dealing with women and children as the bystanders, yet victims of war.

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