Fascist footage ‘blooper’ shocks TV journalist

Footage of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco appeared on a live news debate programme on Madrid-based TV channel Telemadrid while an outspoken journalist spoke about former right-wing Prime Minister José María Aznar.

Fascist footage 'blooper' shocks TV journalist
Herman Tertsch, who was in the middle of singing Aznar’s praises, caught a glimpse of what was being shown behind him and lost his concentration. Photo: YouTube

News presenter Ana Samboal was talking to journalist Hermann Tertsch on Telemadrid’s Diario de la Noche programme when the controversial footage appeared on the screens behind him.

ABC newspaper and Telemadrid journalist Herman Tertsch was in the middle of singing Aznar's praises when he caught a glimpse of what was being shown and lost his concentration.

The images had initially showed ex-Popular Party leader Aznar during a recent conference but what Tertsch now saw was archive footage of Spanish nationalist soldiers marching and giving the fascist salute to former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

Aznar, Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, has been in the news recently after hinting at a possible return to politics and criticizing his successor and current Spanish leader Mariano Rajoy.

Franco was Spain's dictator from the end of the country's civil war in 1939 until his death in 1975. 

It is not clear if the Franco footage shown on Telemadrid was, however, a reference to Aznar's right-wing pedigree or a direct attack on Tertsch.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” he later told Spanish daily El Mundo.

“I’m aware of all the attacks of those who no longer work here. There are people with so much bitterness I have no idea what will come next.”

Tertsch was referring to the nearly 900 Telemadrid employees who have been laid off by the state-run company to avoid insolvency.

With regard to the hostility the former TV station workers hold towards Tertsch, it’s probably down to a comment he made in 2010.

 “Having a workforce that’s packed full of Bolsheviks is not only ridiculous in a region where most people have liberal and conservative views, it’s downright dangerous.”

After the show, the controversial columnist asked for an explanation of what had happened.

The show's organizers told Tertsch they were planning to show footage of Spain's transition, starting with the Franco era.

It's not the first time the journalist has complained about feeling persecuted, having filed a lawsuit against satirical news programme El Intermedio after they mocked him.

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Spain to exhume bodies of civil war victims at Valley of the Fallen

The Spanish government on Tuesday approved a special fund to exhume graves at the Valley of the Fallen, where thousands of victims of the Spanish Civil War and dictator Francisco Franco are buried.

Spain to exhume bodies of civil war victims at Valley of the Fallen
Women hold up pictures of their fathers and relatives, who were condemned to death during Franco’s dictatorship. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP

The Socialist government said it had set aside €665,000 ($780,000) to exhume some 33,000 victims whose remains lie behind a vast basilica near Madrid.

Franco was buried in the basilica when he died in 1975 but his remains were removed in 2019 and transferred to a discreet family plot on the outskirts of the capital.

Government spokesperson Maria Jesus Montera told reporters that more than 60 families and international institutions had called for the exhumation of the victims to give relatives who suffered during the civil war and Franco’s dictatorship “moral reparation”.

Campaigners estimate more than 100,000 victims from the war and its aftermath remain buried in unmarked graves across Spain —- a figure, according to Amnesty International, only exceeded by Cambodia.

Human remains discovered during exhumation works carried out by the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Valladolid, in a mass grave where the bodies of hundreds of people were dumped during the Spanish civil war. Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP

Built between 1940 and 1958 partly by the forced labour of political prisoners, the imposing basilica and the mausoleum of the Valley of the Fallen was initially intended for those who had fought for Franco.

But in 1959 the remains of many Republican opponents were moved there from cemeteries and mass graves across the country without their families being informed.

The crypts and ossuaries where some of the victims are buried are inaccessible as they were walled off at the time.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has made the rehabilitation of the victims of the Franco era one of his priorities since coming to power in 2018.

As well as the Valley of the Fallen, his government is also focusing on identifying remains founds in mass graves across Spain.