Thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on Saturday (18 February) accompanying the remains of 32 concentration camp victims of the dictatorship of the late Dr.
Thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on Saturday (18 February) accompanying the remains of 32 concentration camp victims of the dictatorship of the late Dr. Antonio Salazar.
SYNOPSIS: The 32 died in the notorious "camp of slow death" at Tarrafal in the Cape Verde Islands, now an independent African republic, between 1936 and 1954. Their remains were flown back to Lisbon earlier this week for reburial in the imposing new tomb in Lisbon's Alto D??? Sa??? Joa??? cemetery.
The Tarrafal camp, in the bleakest, hottest corner of the island of Santiago was built on the orders of Dr. Salazar in 1936 to isolate his regime's most feared political opponents. It ceased to operate in 1954 in the face of growing international pressure and its prisoners were moved to centres on the mainland. They had been confined in the camp for political crimes and revolutionary acts.
The release of the surviving prisoners was one of the first acts by leaders of the 1974 revolution which swept away nearly 50 years of dictatorship.
Among the mourners were ministers of the Socialist led government, political leaders including Communist party Secretary Alvaro Cunhal, former camp inmates and workers' delegations.
But they were outnumbered by the thousand of ordinary Portuguese people who turned out in the pouring rain to honour the victims one of Portugal's blackest periods on their final journey. They were led in procession through the streets on Lisbon by a brass band playing funeral marches. The urns containing the victims' remains were dropped with the Portuguese flag and decorated with red carnations - symbol of the 1974 revolution which ended the rule of Dr. Salazar's successor Dr. Marcello Caetano.
The organisers had appealed for a dignified and massive turn-out without party slogans under the watchword "Fascism never again". The night before the funeral thousands more people had filed past the urns as they lay in state in Lisbon's Fine Arts Centre.