Transcript of the Speech Given by the President of the Spanish Senate in Paris.

Ladies and gentlemen and friends:

As President of the Spanish Senate, I would like to thank the authorities of the Republican Government of France and the Town Hall of Paris for this invitation to participate in these important ceremonies to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of this city following the Nazi occupation during the 2nd World War.

This commemoration is important because it demonstrates the sincere gratitude that France and, more specifically, the city of Paris, feel for all those Spanish combatants who fought to liberate Europe from Nazism, the worst example of cruelty and human intolerance.

With this celebration we are also demonstrating that societies cannot turn the page without first recognising and learning from the history of our and other European countries; nor without offering a deserved tribute to the men and women who defended the ideals of peace, democracy, freedom and tolerance. Thanks to their legacy and to their generous and courageous efforts we all now live in democratic and fairer societies.

For this reason it is so important that we recuperate our historic memory and we remember those who gave their lives for our liberty without concern for frontiers or thoughts of national identity. They fought so that their sons and grandsons would not have to see the horror of Nazism. Spaniards and Frenchmen united with the sole objective of liberating Europe from terror and injustice, from barbarism and intolerance.

Frenchmen and Spaniards fought for all of us. Everything we do will be little by comparison with the sacrifice of those men and women fighters, guerrillas and French resistance members who achieved the liberation first of Paris and thereafter of the rest of Europe from the terrible claws of the Nazi regime.

Today the ideals embodied in those who fought against Nazism are still relevant and it is now that they need to be re-asserted. Therefore please allow me as President of the Senate of Spain to say to you: noblesse oblige; our thanks for what you did; thanks to you we now enjoy more civilised, more democratic, more just societies and specially and for this all, we are proud of the work you did.

Thank you very much.

[Source: Audio recording of Radio Nizkor correspondent in Paris, 24Aug04]

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