This past March I was shocked to see the news that in a neighboring village the Catalan police had disbanded a distributor of books, music and other material of Nazi ideology. It was a distribution point which propagated fanzines and music on compact discs which promoted an ideology of hate and discrimination and which denied the Holocaust. This tendency of promoting oblivion in order to distort the historical facts has been recurrent among the anti-democratic and xenophobic right-wingers of contemporary Europe. The two World Wars, both having originated in Europe, probably would not have occurred last century if it had not been for the systematic effort of the ideologies which use discrimination and the confrontations between nations and races as its main precept. Culture and education, scientific research of our past and the will to disseminate it is the best vaccination against the ills of xenophobia which, unfortunately, has no permanent cure and needs constant re-medication to avoid contagion.
Throughout history, the Catalan Jewish communities had moments of splendor, whenever the society, in which they formed a part, displayed tolerance. But they were also victims of persecution and forced conversions up until the expulsion decree of 1492.
The Bonastruc Center is a magnificent contribution, a great idea consolidated by perseverance, of the commitment of our city towards the values of harmony and the defense of the values of fraternity between nations. It is also a recognition of our past, with its good and bad times, in order to strengthen a present in which we must remain vigilant and defensive against any flourishing of xenophobia or racism. Mr. Joan Olóriz
Vice Mayor, City Hall of Girona
Councilor of Social Services and Youth