Presidenta de Honor
As a direct descendant of Juan Negrín and someone who had the privilege of being raised by him during the last years of his life, I had an inkling, in as much as a child can, of both his hopes and his disappointments. I will never forget the profound pain I could sense over the deaths he could not prevent, over a defeated, humiliated, mistreated and forgotten Spain; pain over his failure to convince his natural allies of the urgency of saving the Republic and democracy in his country; pain over failing to make himself understood by his own peers at the height of the conflict; ultimately pain over the forced exile.
Having said that, I also have the immense satisfaction of knowing that he understood and clearly foresaw the dangers of fascism before every one else, a fascism which could only be defeated after the Spanish War and a long world war. I also take pride in knowing that he succeeded in maintaining the Republic and its ideals alive on a certain 1st of April 1939, despite being away in exile.
The Fundación Juan Negrín is committed to the truth and does not accept "passive nostalgia but only active memory". Concealing the rigour of facts cannot contribute to the consolidation of peace; it only damages it. To those who ask: "why bother bringing up the past?", I respond that a democracy can only be strengthened when facing its past, sometimes pleasant and sometimes not as pleasant. Conflicts do not emerge from memory, but from oblivion. In fact, they rise when the much-desired peace has not been consolidated, and this because the causes and wounds are still there, because traces of fascism persist, and because of the inability to face a painful truth. To this day, this truth is still partly buried in mass graves, hidden behind the falsified identities of tens of thousands of children, in the forgotten suffering of thousands of women mistreated in jails as well as outside; it can also be sought in the memory of those in exile. For transition and reconciliation are two different matters.
Fortunately, and despite the long lasting revisionist approach to history, there are now historians who making use of original sources and documents, have been able to slowly reconstruct history as it was and not as some tried to reinvent it.
The Fundación has been created to restore the memory of my grandfather as well as that of hundreds of thousands of companions who shared his fate during the war and in exile. It works for all those who were silenced for nearly forty years, but above all its main task is towards future generations, so that they can understand and feel proud of a past that some tried to steal away from them.