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Carreteras secundarias de la memoria

Carreteras secundarias de la memoria

Habíamos tomado por error la carretera que pasa por delante del Pazo de Meirás. A mi primo no le gusta conducir con GPS, así que se guía por su intuición, los puntos cardinales y sus recuerdos. Al final llega a los sitios, porque en Galicia todas las carreteras llevan a todas partes, con mayor o menor rodeo, con más o menos barro. El desvío sirvió para que la conversación también se apartara del camino, y surgiera un desvío en nuestras palabras, que nos llevó a un lugar que no esperaba descubrir.

De camino a Sada, aparecen tras una curva las piedras grandes y oscuras del muro que protege el pazo que mandó construir la gran escritora decimonónica Emilia Pardo Bazán. Rodeada de sus miles de libros, escribía desde lo alto de la Torre de la Quimera. Cuando necesitaba aire fresco y una mirada hacia el horizonte, se asomaba al precioso balcón de doble arco que llamaba De las Musas, suspendido sobre la fachada lisa de la más alta de las tres torres almenadas, y lo que fuera que encontrara allí le hacía retornar al papel. No se puede ser más romántica.

Dice mi primo: "tu tío —que es también el suyo— pasó su convalecencia en el pazo, ¿no lo sabías?". Mi tío tuvo de niño una enfermedad que casi lo mata y que le dejó muy pequeño y muy delgado. Un hombre frágil pero risueño. No, no lo sabía. Y no me cabía en la cabeza cómo eso era posible. Tiré del hilo.

La carretera que rodea el pazo tiene buen firme a pesar de los años. Además de la piedra de su contorno, la mansión está protegida por grandes árboles frondosos. A veces estás junto a ella, pero no la ves. Como es sabido, las autoridades franquistas locales forzaron a los coruñeses a pagar lo que llamaron "suscripción popular" para comprar la finca a las herederas de la Pardo Bazán y regalarla a Franco, antes incluso de que acabara la guerra. Una Junta creada para organizar la adquisición mandó que cada concello organizara batidas puerta a puerta a cada vecino de cada aldea para pedirles, habría que ver en qué términos, una donación. A los funcionarios se la quitaron de la paga y los ayuntamientos tuvieron que transferir obligatoriamente un porcentaje de su contribución a la Diputación. El motor de la recaudación fue el miedo.

"Y esta carretera la hizo tu abuelo", que es también el suyo, dijo mi primo levantando una mano del volante y señalando el asfalto que nos llevaba hacia la puerta principal del pazo. Cuando se reunieron los dineros necesarios, cuya cantidad exacta aún hoy se desconoce, aunque podrían haber sido 1,2 millones de pesetas, además de comprar el pazo se expropiaron tierras circundantes y se crearon carreteras como las que estábamos recorriendo mi primo y yo, sentados en los asientos delanteros de su coche, con nuestras mascarillas puestas, ahogándonos por la humedad, un poco perdidos pero no desorientados. Nuestro abuelo era el jefe de los peones que construían carreteras y abrían caminos en la Deputación da Coruña durante el franquismo. "¿Pero el abuelo no era franquista, no?". "¿Tu abuelo?", mi primo me contestó con una sonora carcajada.

Publicaba hace poco la Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica un tuit que me gustó mucho. Sugería a los jóvenes que van a pasar las vacaciones a sus pueblos, donde puede que vivan sus abuelos, sus tíos o, en cualquier caso, personas mayores, que hicieran algo revolucionario: preguntarles. Ellos y ellas conservan piezas de un puzle que explica cómo hemos llegado hasta aquí y por qué políticamente somos como somos. Son memorias que se diluyen sin ser recogidas, en peligro de extinguirse para siempre.

El tono de mi primo me dio a entender que, una vez más, me había comido una bola. La memoria tiene un enemigo, que es el tiempo, y un archienemigo, que es el miedo. El tiempo lleva al olvido y el miedo, al silencio. Depende de quién, el silencio se rellena con tergiversación. Mis padres no me contaron ni una sola historia bien contada. Mi padre me dijo que a su padre lo habían matado en la guerra por equivocación, que solo era un camarero que trabajaba en un bar en el que se reunían republicanos. Esto no fue así. Mi madre me contó que mi abuelo trabajaba para la Diputación pero que se callaba lo que realmente pensaba. Cuando le conté a mi primo la versión que me había llegado, volvió a reírse: "¿Tú crees que alguien puede conseguir una posición como la que tenía el abuelo y una casa como la que le dieron sin ser facha?". Dejábamos las Torres de Meirás a nuestras espaldas y proseguíamos por la carretera de mi abuelo, llena de curvas, recodos y cambios de rasante.

Los Franco convirtieron rápidamente el pazo de Meirás en su chalé de vacaciones. Lo llenaron de ominosos trofeos de caza, retratos del dictador y, con la vulgaridad habitual, hicieron colocar su escudo familiar junto al de los Pardo Bazán. También lo utilizaban como almacén blindado para sus incautaciones artísticas. Si veían algo que les gustaba, mandaban que lo llevaran allí en un expolio sin límites ante el que hoy aún no se ha hecho justicia. Era notorio cuando se trasladaban allí, pues las inmediaciones se engalanaban, se protegían los accesos y se cerraban playas para que el dictador y su familia se bañaran a sus anchas. Mi abuelo mandaba a sus hombres a delimitar hasta dónde podía uno acercarse, arreglar la carretera, los muros y, muy probablemente, también el interior. Presuntamente.

Está atardeciendo y nos dirigimos hacia Sada, cuyo alcalde, Benito Portela, calificó de "día histórico" el 30 de enero de este año, cuando comenzó la audiencia previa del juicio para determinar la propiedad del pazo. El 9 de julio quedó visto para sentencia y antes de que acabe el verano deberíamos saber si los herederos del dictador retendrán la propiedad o se reconoce que se compró mediante coacciones y se donó al Jefe del Estado, no a un hombre en particular. Durante el juicio fue importante, para la Abogacía del Estado, demostrar quiénes cuidaban, reparaban, limpiaban y vigilaban la casa. Si mi abuelo no llevara muerto tantos años como yo viva, habría sido un testigo fabuloso.

"¿Y cómo es que nuestro tío pasó dentro del pazo su enfermedad?", le pregunté, temiéndome una respuesta que no me iba a gustar. "Hombre, pues porque allí dentro le cuidaban bien, las monjas o lo que fueran. Siendo muy amigo tu abuelo del presidente de la Diputación, que después fuera alcalde de Coruña, pues cómo no le iban a cuidar al hijo", me contestó, empujando una pesada losa que hasta ahora tapaba memorias de la vergüenza. "Esto —dijo, señalando al pazo que quedaba ya un kilómetro por detrás— le dio mucho trabajo a tu abuelo, ¿no sabes?". Cuando uno da, algo recibe, eso está claro.

Es desesperante recibir memorias borrosas tanto de los que sufrieron por perder la guerra como de los que se aprovecharon de haberla ganado. España es esto. Éche o que hai.


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