After receiving the Spanish Orders History Prize, from the hands of King Felipe VI, the Mexican historian Enrique Krauze shared the award with his teachers and with the great tradition of Mexican historians, “of which I am only a leaf of that great tree , one more exponent of that long tradition of historians.
“I am proud to receive it, but on their behalf. I take it as a Spanish recognition of Mexican historiography ”, said the specialist in an interview with M2, before highlighting that 2021 should be assumed as the year of historians and, especially, recognizing that history is a province of the historians.
“History is a discipline of knowledge, it is a science and it is an art. It is as old as Herodotus, thousands of years. It seeks objective knowledge of the past, it seeks to document a past, explain the past, understand the protagonists of the past. It is not a court, politics wants to turn history into a court, historians do not convert the past or our profession into a court. “
In his opinion, historiography has the duty to explain, document and understand, beyond what the various governments –not only in Mexico, but in the world– seek when using history: it has its own weight, its own vocation. and his own vision, he noted.
“Throughout the 20th century there have been many generations of historians who have made enormous progress and who have demonstrated advances in historical knowledge, they have left behind the dichotomous views of history: the division between good and bad, the history of bronze that see only heroes or villains. Those of us who dedicate ourselves to this know that it is not black or white, but of many grays and many colors ”, according to Enrique Krauze.
Faced with turbulent times throughout the world, when there is a propensity alien to debate and dialogue, rather inclined to polarization and hatred, the historian trusts that a characteristic of human beings prevails, especially of those who are dedicated to the humanities: “The civilized debate and dialogue in the confrontation of the different visions.
“In Mexico we knew how to civilly confront the vision of the defeated, presented by León Portilla, with that of the conquerors who presented us with schools such as those of Edmundo O’Gorman or Silvio Zavala. They are different versions of the story and they were able to dialogue with each other. That is what I hope today ”.
Mexico, a melting pot
In the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial where Krauze received the III Spanish Orders History Prize, he vindicated the mark that Spain left in Mexico and the Latin American country in Europe.
In his speech, Krauze assured that “for a Mexican historian who has so many ties of affection with Spain, receiving it in this year of 2021 carries, in addition to a very high honor, the responsibility of remembering the fifth centenary of the Conquest of Mexico.”
He recalled that commemorating “is to remember together” and pointed out that the conquered civilization “was not the arcadian that indigenist historiography paints, but neither was the hell of its Hispanic counterpart”, trusting that “hatred would never again impede dialogue.”
He referred to the miscegenation “that some deny or relativize”, but which, he added, was the best legacy of New Spain to Mexico.
“In the diet, the indigenous influence predominated; in medicine and herbalism, both cultures converged; and in the language, despite the predominance of Spanish, the language in which Mexicans have written poetry since before the Golden Age; the Babel of indigenous languages survived and impregnated Spanish with a variety of Mexicanisms, tones, accents ”.
Krauze affirmed that Mexico is “a melting pot, not a mosaic or a torn fabric, a cultural construction that, like cathedrals, took centuries to build” and that make Mexican culture a mixture of values, “in which the conquerors often they were conquered and the conquered, conquerors ”. _