Madrid keeps name of street honouring pro-nazi Spanish division who fought in Russia

Madrid's Superior Court of Justice argues that the name may be an exaltation of nazism, but not Francoism

Picture by Wikipedia/Strakhov

Madrid’s Superior Court of Justice (TSJM) has agreed to maintain the name of the street “Caídos de la División Azul” (Fallen of the Blue Division), located in the district of Chamartín of Spain’s capital, honouring soldiers who fought in Russia with the nazis. Under the mandate of former progressive mayor Manuela Carmena, the Madrid City Council proceeded to change the name of several streets in Madrid, considering that they violated the Law of Historical Memory. This regulation prohibits the symbolism or exaltation of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. The court argues that the name of the street may be an exaltation of nazism, but not Francoism.

In mid-February, a group of Spanish neo-Nazis demonstrated as every year in Madrid to pay tribute to the Blue Division. The anti-Semitic proclamations, made in the presence of a Catholic priest, were picked up on video and caused big controversy. “The enemy will always be the same, although with different masks: the Jew” said one of the speakers.

The same Madrid court has decided in favour of keeping the name of the street dedicated to General Millán-Astray. The court considers that it is not proven that Millán-Astray, founder of the Spanish Legion, “participated in the military uprising or the military actions during the civil war, nor in the repression of the dictatorship”. Franco appointed him head of the Propaganda Office and he was procurator of the Francoist courts between 1943 and 1954.