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The legacy of Antonio Benaiges, the professor shot by the Franco regime who led to a “lost” school the passion for letters and music

Update: Sunday July 18, 2021 5:34 PM

Posted: 07/18.2021 17:32

In 1934 Antonio Benaiges came to a small town in Burgos, Bañuelos de Bureba, to become much more than a teacher. “It created a small cultural revolution,” writes writer José Antonio Abella. He pooled his savings, bought a printing press and instilled in the children of the town the illusion of writing: “He brought a very innovative technique, the freinet technique, which consisted in educating children to learn to read and to read. write by making magazines themselves ”. .

The children of this deep Spain also discovered dances and music with him. “A gramophone at the time, imagine! ”, Underlined Jesús María Viadas, neighbor and member of the association“ Escuela Benaiges ”. Only one promise remained unfulfilled: to take them, for the first time, to see the sea. He had been assassinated earlier, at a crossroads, on July 19, 1936.

“They had everyone in the square and they asked them: ‘Are you renouncing the Republic?’. The teacher said: ‘No, long live the Republic.’ », Detailed Viadas. And we never talked about him again. After his death, some recall, silence was imposed. Today, 85 years later, everyone comes together to send a message: silence has not conquered memory.

“We decided that it was worth celebrating an act because his body was not found and it is as if he had not closed this chapter of his life”, said Javier González, secretary of the association ‘Escuela Benaiges’. They insist they haven’t forgotten him because, yes, more than a teacher, Benaiges was the person who brought the love of poetry, reading and music to a school lost in deep Spain.

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