Fernando Hernández Holgado. Julio de 2022
In November 2021, the current Madrid City Council, governed by the Popular Party (PP), through the Salamanca district council, proceeded to deactivate a historical content web portal that had been in operation for almost four years (www.carceldeventas.madrid.es). It had originally been created by the previous municipal corporation.
The web portal dealt with the history of what was the most important women’s prison of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1969), and the Republican period (1933-1969). Given that no trace of the building had been preserved since the early 1970s, the portal intended to become a kind of “virtual memory place” that brought together numerous documents from the center such as hundreds of photographs from public and family archives to documents digitized and, above all -and here lay its greatest value- fragments of audio and audiovisual interviews given to former prisoners, all of them now deceased.
Entrusted to the historian Fernando Hernández Holgado, Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the portal has been used by the teaching staff of different universities in subjects related to Contemporary History. Since 2018, it has been included in the registry of the University Research Group specialized in Public and Digital History (HISMEDI) on the Civil War and Francoism, chaired by Professor Matilde Eiroa (Carlos III University of Madrid). It has also been the subject of treatment of several academic publications, such as the book coordinated by Professor Eiroa Historia y memoria en red (Síntesis, 2018), or the paper presented at the Congress of the Association of Contemporary History of 2018 held by the University of Alicante.
The portal has been quoted in various international publications, such as the article by Mónica Gruber in the magazine Cuaderno de la Universidad de Palermo, in 2020, as well as in different Spanish educational and cultural portals, such as the “Arte en Madrid” portal, or that of the FUHEM Foundation Time to act. Educational resources.
Until now, the current district board of Salamanca governed by the PP has entrenched itself in technical reasons to justify the deactivation of the web. The two motions presented and approved in plenary sessions by the opposition groups – Madrid-PSOE, Más Madrid and Recupera Madrid – in December 2021 and February 2022, the latter with the imposition of a period of three months for the reactivation of the web – have been removed without further explanation. Recently, some media have taken care to denounce this outrage.
Everything points to the fact that we are facing a new episode not only of a lack of interest in knowing our own history, but of the desire to erase it by the current municipal corporation. The deactivated web can be seen in the Internet Archive repository. Until the official one is replaced, its promoters intend to promote it in another domain: www.carceldeventas.org.