More than forty years after the end of the Spanish dictatorship in 1975, there are still controversial debates around concepts of justice, truth, and memory related to the period from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the dictatorial regime that followed the war (1939-1975), and the transition of the country into a parliamentarian democracy. During this episode of the Spanish history, hundreds of thousands of people suffered from murder, execution, imprisonment, torture, prosecution, and enforced disappearance. How Spain dealt with the consequences of these crimes –categorized as crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statue of 1998— is the starting point of the contentious debate still present in the political and social arena. The purpose of this research paper is to analyze the impact of the transitional justice mechanisms that occurred in Spain from the end of the dictatorship to the present days in younger generations. The proposed paper will explore questions around justice, recognition, memorialization, and reconciliation as alternatives to assure a more peaceful stability and coexistence in the country. These questions will include the perspectives of experts in the field, as well as young adults born between 1990 and 2000 as they reflect on the stories of their families during the civil war and the dictatorship, what they have learnt from them, and what can be their role in issues like historical memory, memorialization, and assurance of non-repetition.
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