On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 15, the presentation of the book by José Manuel Portero, “Nazis on the Costa del Sol”, took place in the auditorium of the Casa de la Cultura de Arroyo de la Miel. .
The act began with a few words from the Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Culture, Pablo Centella, who, being the first event of the House of Culture in this autumn season, wanted to welcome those present and announce that from now on ahead “the House of Culture is going to have a lot of activity in terms of the presentation of books.”
Centella indicated that, within the cultural policy of the City Council, the promotion of reading and fundamentally the support of local writers has an important role.
The presentation of the writer was given by the Art historian, Francisco Jurado, who valued the author’s career in other works already published, especially the crime novel, with his now famous inspector Lino Ortega. He praised the courage to tackle a work of deep historical significance on a thorny issue such as everything that is related to the world of the Nazis, and more so at a time when it had the approval of the Franco dictatorship. He recognized the great work of searching for information on documents made difficult by the scarcity of them and the obstacles found in some official organizations.
The author explained how the interest in undertaking the work of this essay arose, motivated above all by the complaints filed by Violeta Friedmann, a survivor of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, against Leon Degrelle; until commenting on details of some of the relevant characters of the many that appear throughout the work.
He wanted to highlight that part of the interest arose when verifying the general ignorance that exists among the population, in general, on this subject. Remembering about his educational past, we must remember that he was director of the IES Poetas Andaluces, he told the attending public some educational anecdote to highlight this ignorance of history, and how that lack of knowledge can lead us to take paths in life that possibly take us away from our vital project without our being aware of it.
He insisted on how the general population did not know the proximity in which these characters that appear in the book lived, something that he has corroborated when some readers, when they have met him through the book, have contacted him to tell him that they did know places where some of these people lived or met, or certain activities that they carried out, but that these people were taken as some more tourists than those who began to arrive in Spain.
Another aspect that was evident is the protection that the regime gave them to be able to live in Spain, ignoring the continuous claims that they received from the European authorities or courts, so that they were extradited and had to assume their responsibilities for the multiple cases of crimes of war crimes, denial of the holocaust or exaltation of Nazism or its relevant figures. Being also benefited by the administration in all the companies in which they participated, among other reasons because in many of the cases there was always the figure of a Spanish authority that also benefited, either by being a direct partner or by an intervening figure.
Some of the attendees asked the author some questions. Among them, they questioned him that, although time had passed and these characters had already disappeared, there could be relatives or followers, he had felt some kind of fear before publishing the book. The author responded with a statement posted by Elie Wiesel, whose father was tortured in an extermination camp before being taken to the gas chamber without him, as a witness, lifting a single finger, fearing for his own life:
“Memory may be our only answer, our only hope. We have learned that silence is never the answer ”. Hence his attitude to have written the work and make it known.
The act ended with the signature of copies by the author.