Weapons of the Condemned

The Texts that Political Prisoners and their relatives sent to Francisco Franco requesting his Pardon

  • Antonio Cazorla Sánchez
Keywords: Political repression, Dictorship, Death sentence, Pardon, Weapons of the weak


This article uses documents previously unknown: the letters that common Spanish people sent to the dictator Francisco Franco. Some years ago, the author discovered one hundred and thirty thousand of these letters. In this case, the paper analyzes the letters that political prisoners and their families, including children, sent to Franco, to his wife and to his daughter, requesting pardon for their supposed crimes and the reduction of their sentences. In these texts, the use of what has been called “weapons of the weak” can be seen, utilizing discourse, vocabulary and situations that sought to make use of the contradictions of official language and Franco’s political proposals. The aim of this article is to study the attempts to survive in a context of repression and injustice, when the victims of the perpetrators often request pardon.