Letters of prohibited love between Spain and Morocco that were never delivered

Letters of prohibited love between Spain and Morocco that were never delivered

Letters of prohibited love between Spain and Morocco that were never delivered

Letters that were addressed to Moroccan men by Spanish women and were kept secret for decades disclose a history of taboo matters that occurred during the time of colonial rule.

In what time frame do you plan to return to Spain? It was clear that Carmela placed a great deal of importance on the proposition, as evidenced by the fact that she had meticulously written it down on the page. “Tell me that you are not looking at any other woman,” she wrote in 1944 while she was in Granada. However, the one who was supposed to receive these remarks was never able to read them. Unfortunately, Carmela’s worldwide love letter did not arrive in Morocco where it was supposed to be delivered.

On the contrary, it was discovered buried deep within the Spanish archives, where it was discovered in an unexpected cache of hundreds of romantic communications sent between Moroccan males and Spanish partners. The illicit romantic relationships that are chronicled in these photographs were taken between the 1930s and the 1950s.

Throughout the course of several decades, the colonial authorities of the Spanish protectorate in Morocco often confiscated this letter.

A few letters have visuals. Numerous photos of beautiful women representing their distant boyfriends are included into letters. These portraits remind lovers of their appearance. A person sent a bicycle-riding photo of herself from her daily life.

Each was carefully sealed in envelopes by concerned bureaucrats and then lost in the administrative paperwork. The dust on them lingered until researchers Josep Lluís Mateo Dieste and Nieves Muriel García uncovered and published them. Every letter reveals a fascinating glimpse into a relationship and the repression these partnerships faced from the start. Spain tried everything to stop these links.

A 1937 edict stated that “as a general rule, marriages between Moroccan soldiers and Spanish women must be avoided.”

After establishing a protectorate in 1912, Spain claimed control over a portion of Morocco, dividing it into two zones with France. During the bloody Rif War of 1921–1926, Berber fighters fought this. This fight saw Abdelkrim al-Khattabi’s men slaughter a large number of the Spanish army.

In order to overcome this obstacle, the Spanish government boosted the number of troops stationed in Morocco and recruited thousands of Moroccans to serve in its armed forces.

Thousands of Moroccan men conscripted into the Spanish military were abruptly dispatched across the Mediterranean to Spain to fight alongside Franco’s forces as the conflict continued.

Students, merchants, and other labourers joined them in addition to the military, ultimately settling in cities and more remote rural regions of the country.

Unlike many European colonial conquests, this one was near Spain. The Moroccan coast is 14 kilometres (8.5 miles) from the southernmost tip of the Iberian peninsula at its narrowest in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Spanish women met Moroccan men everywhere. Although outright bans and disapproval were used to discourage these partnerships, the fundamental concept remained: they were dangerous. These letters show that contacts were common and led to marriages, courtships, sexual experiences, and friendships in colonial culture.

Opening them is thrilling because they reveal private lives that official documents rarely disclose. A disturbing fact is that most letters never reached their intended recipients. Since these people never consented to this archive, it feels like a privacy violation.