«I did not leave out of fear but because of boredom and the environment of denunciation»

Paloma Díaz-Mas arrived at the UPV in the fall of 1983 to teach Spanish Literature shortly after defending her thesis.

«I did not leave out of fear but because of boredom and the environment of denunciation»

Paloma Díaz-Mas arrived at the UPV in the fall of 1983 to teach Spanish Literature shortly after defending her thesis. Born in Madrid, she joined a young and diverse cloister in terms of her places of origin. She was not the first to have to leave, back in 2001, and she did so with a place at the CSIC and "without sorrow, with enthusiasm, without bitterness." She was convinced that she "was beginning a new life in a space of freedom" because she was not Vitoria. The 'socialization of suffering' promoted by KAS meant that there were “thousands of eyes that could take note and target us. They were not strangers. They were neighbors, companions. "It wasn't so much fear as boredom and the environment of denunciation," he valued yesterday at the presentation of 'Transterrados', a book by the Fernando Buesa Foundation and the Valentín de Foronda Institute that portrays the exodus of tens of thousands of Basques before the harassment of the violent.

In that Euskadi things happened that are unthinkable today. “Commuters on urban buses were forced to get off in a hurry before they burned it down. The arsonists sprinkled the driver's pants with gasoline in case he happened to come close to put it out. "One day a bomb exploded in a door, another day they burned your car, the next a package bomb arrived or they placed it in an elevator," he recalls.

Díaz-Mas used very graphic examples. Those visits from foreigners who asked questions in the middle of the restaurant about politics or terrorism and that eternal uncomfortable silence. Or the presence of those discreet companions near any threatened public official, judge or journalist, like a protective shadow but one that conditioned life.

He said that one day at the university a suspicious package appeared, something similar to a backpack in a strange place, and the entire class changed floors. Several students commented that it would be better to open the windows because, in case it exploded, the blast wave would break the glass. And Díaz-Más reflected that day on those young people who, perhaps, knew too much. In the middle of Europe and in the middle of the 20th century. «Many went to look for work abroad and will never count as exiles but they went to a freer place».

The testimony of Díaz-Mas and 16 other authors can be read in the work 'Transterrados' by the Catarata publishing house, which includes contributions from José Antonio Zarzalejos, Ofa Bezunartea, Felipe Juaristi, Aurora Intxausti, Manu Montero and Jesús Loza, among others. It is the culmination of the seminar on the same subject held in November by the Buesa Foundation. There are those who left to breathe freely. Those who dragged their astonishment through Spain. «The first day in Madrid I saw a Civil Guard car parked and empty under the house. I could not believe it. He looked to the sides. No Police Corps would have done something like this in the Basque Country.

When Paloma Díaz-Mas retired, she returned to Vitoria. She says that she enjoys its parks, the wide avenues, its people. She only sometimes thinks that "many of those who were part of that network of informers in the 1990s are probably still here, in this idyllic setting, anonymous and unpunished."


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