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Los Caidos Valle, Spain


The Monumento Nacional de Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos ("National Monument of the Holy Cross of the Valley of the Fallen") is a monumental memorial site erected at Cuelgamuros in the Guadarrama Valley near Madrid, Spain, as conceived by Generalisimo Francisco Franco, to honour those who fell during the Spanish Civil War and as a national act of atonement. Underneath the monument lie the remains of 40,000 whose names are accounted for in the monument registrar.

Those buried in the Valley of the Fallen, however, are thousands of Nationalist soldiers; the few former Republicans buried there were added among the collection of unknown soldiers assembled from temporary graves at the end of the war.

In the building of the monument, Republican political prisoners were forced to participate in a brutal regime of forced exploitation, and thus "redeemed" part of the sentence imposed on them for defending their political ideas. Many of these prisoners never enjoyed freedom, since there were no safety procedures, so accidents were a daily occurrence and often fatal.

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