Franco’s Forgotten Children 61:00, 2002 (Ref: EU0233)



Revealing one of Spain’s darkest secrets, Spain’s Forgotten Children, uncovers the fate of the children who were torn from their families as part of Franco’s brutal repression.

Soon after Franco’s troops stepped forward in 1936, prisons began to fill with people whose only crime was loyalty to the constitutional government. Makeshift concentration camps were assembled from factories, schools and convents in which prisoners, including thousands of women and children, many of whom were born in captivity, endured many years within the brutal clutches of the regime. Within this film we witness the appalling conditions in which the prisoners, predominantly women and children tragically perished as a result of starvation and disease.

Unfortunately the mothers were posed with a cruel dilemma, release of their children often meant once outside, their young lives would continue along a different line of torment within orphanages or religious institutions. With nobody else to care for them on the outside, these children were sent to such places, it is here they were systematically brainwashed to despise their parents’ ideals and serve the New Order. The whole policy of separating children from their parents was given a scientific gloss by the head of the Army Psychiatry Corps, Antonio Vallejo-Najera. His inspiration for this novel “solution” was gleaned by attending psychiatry congresses in Nazi Germany and experimenting on women prisoners in Malaga. The documentary itself is a result of a year’s intensive research in which many of the victims interviewed are speaking for the first time of their ordeal. Spain, for all its much-vaunted new democracy, has swept the past under the carpet. This report puts the record straight, telling the ghastly story before Death and official neglect wipe away the evidence.