The exhumation of those killed from the common grave in the Albarracín cemetery begins


The ArqueoAntro multidisciplinary team from Valencia began this weekend the work of exhuming those executed who were thrown into a mass grave in the Albarracín cemetery at the start of the civil war.

The works, which will take place throughout the week and are promoted by the Pozos de Caudé Association with grants from the central government and the Autonomous Community of Aragon, also include the search for another mass grave in a place of Bronchales. Relatives of the victims on Monday underlined the importance of reconstructing the history of their loved ones, that what happened is known and of being able to recover their remains for burial in their cities.

The search for the mass grave in the cemetery of Albarracín began on Saturday and on Sunday the bones of the victims of reprisals began to appear, while on Monday part of the ArqueoAntro team went to the municipality of Bronchales in an attempt to locate another grave into which they three other people from Ródenas also shot during the war were thrown.

The president of the Pozos de Caudé Association, Francisco Sánchez, explained that these works are part of the exhumation works carried out within the democratic memory programs of the Aragonese Executive and the Central Government. The intention in Albarracín is to be able to exhume the bodies of all the people who were thrown into this mass grave after being murdered in the summer of 1936, while in the case of the other tomb in Bronchales it is to locate it and inform the DGA in order to be able to exhume it, as well as the bodies.

Sánchez indicated that the project will be completed with the identification of the victims by DNA in relation to relatives, to deliver the remains once all the forensic studies have been carried out, which are carried out by ArqueoAntro, a multidisciplinary group made up of archaeologists , anthropologists, restorers, curators, forensic scientists, historians and documentalists, who have already intervened in Teruel on other occasions.

The president of the memorialist association said that they already have practically 50% of the DNA of the relatives of the people who are in the mass grave of Albarracín, who are the ones who requested that the exhumation work be carried out to get their bodies back. Some of the relatives have come to Albarracín these days to follow the archaeological and forensic work, among them the grandchildren of the prestigious Turolense doctor Mariano Perea, one of the victims of reprisals who, after being shot by the rebels in 1936, should be found in this mass grave.

The president of the Pozos de Caudé association explained that the remains of thirteen women and a man from Cella, murdered on September 16, 1936, as well as nine other men from Albarracín shot the same summer, should be found in the Tomb of Albarracín. .two of them brothers, with a doctor from Monreal del Campo and a soldier.

The first remains found

On Sunday, the remains of three people emerged and Sánchez said they hoped to be able to exhume the bodies throughout this week “if all goes well”. For this, eight professionals from ArqueoAntro traveled to Albarracín, who have also been participating since Monday in the search for the Bronchales mass grave using a machine to open up the places where they could be. Sánchez pointed out that several relatives of the people who are in the tomb of Albarracín had come, who live in different parts of Spain and who gave their DNA to compare it with the bones that appear.

Among those who attended the exhumation work was Salvador Perea, grandson of Mariano Perea, doctor of Luco de Jiloca who practiced in Monreal del Campo and whose remains should appear in Albarracín.

Erased and his name hidden by the Franco regime for decades, the story of Dr Perea is that of many people of good faith who were murdered during the war and on whom the slab of oblivion fell, that today today historians like Miguel Ángel Latorre Villalba are rescued. This researcher dedicates an article to him in the latest issue of the magazine Xiloca, in which he recounts the brilliant professional career of this doctor from Teruel who was able to go elsewhere but wanted to stay on his land to help others.

Born in Luco de Jiloca, he was killed on August 25, 1936 at the age of 42. Ideologue of the republican left in Monreal del Campo, he was among those sent to the prison of the seminary of Teruel, from where they were taken in groups to be shot and thrown into mass graves.

His grandson Salvador explained that his grandfather was a fellow prisoner of Ildefonso Manuel Gil and that he is the doctor to whom he alludes, with a figurative name, in his work Concert at sunset. He recalled that the famous writer of Paniza refers to Dr. Mariano Perea as the person who encouraged him to tell what he lived in the Seminary so that these stories and their protagonists would never be forgotten, like the tells the author in the book he recreates. this.

More than eight decades later, the exhumation of the tomb in the cemetery of Albarracín reunited the descendants of Dr. Perea, some of whom did not know each other because after the war the family dispersed in several towns, and the story of his grandfather did they hide to protect themselves from repression. This weekend, they were able to rediscover this passage of their identity and verify that in the end, the truth that we were trying to silence comes to light.

“Let the truth be known”

“My grandfather managed to make the truth known,” said Salvador, grandson of doctor Mariano Perea, assassinated in the first months of the war and whose remains should be identified in the common grave of the Albarracín cemetery. . Salvador acknowledged that some relatives were in shock after experiencing the discovery of the tomb over the weekend. They lived the moment with “emotion”, commented the grandson of the victim, with feelings of all kinds and the conviction that it is “like closing a circle”. He evoked the story of his grandfather, told like that of so many other reprisals by Ildefonso Manuel Gil, whom he encouraged, as the writer told, to tell one day what had happened at the Seminary. Now they hope to recover his remains to take them to his town, Luco de Jiloca.

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