Franco

Posted by: toddy

Franco - 10/22/02 08:01 PM

Quote:
Franco's secrets haunt Spain

Families in search of truth witness the exhumation of three women victims of Falangist tyranny

Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Monday October 21, 2002
The Guardian

More terrible secrets from Spain's civil war were uncovered yesterday as the bones of three women dragged from their beds and shot by General Franco's supporters 66 years ago were dug up by campaigners seeking to shed light on the fate of 30,000 people.
Relatives of the three women, whose bodies were tossed into a ditch outside the central town of Candaleda on the night of December 29 1936, looked on in tense silence as the first bones were brought to the surface by a mechanical digger.

"My mother was killed because she was a reader of the Socialista newspaper," Obdulia Camacho, 80, recalled.

The dead women were named as Obdulia's mother, Pilar, then 43, Virtudes de la Puente, 53, whose only apparent crime was to be a Protestant republican, and a 26-year-old pregnant woman called Valeriana Granada
Much more study needs to be done....
Posted by: megia

Re: Franco - 10/23/02 02:53 PM

wow Toddy, those little paragraphs really pack a wallop!

i'm sure that others, as well as myself, would be interested in any hyperlinks you run across regarding the spanish civil war...

thanks for posting that@!

andrew
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 10/23/02 07:45 PM

Isn't there that famous Spanish judge who could prosecute the former Franco generals. I still think international law still supercedes any Spanish post Franco agreement on protection of these people. (or is this judge just interested in Pinochet?)
Posted by: El Cid d'España

Re: Franco - 10/25/02 02:25 PM

Let's NOT bring Franco up from the grave, shall we? eek He's dead and gone already.
Posted by: barry

Re: Franco - 10/25/02 04:53 PM

I think it was more a case of bringing some murdered women up from their mass grave and treating their remains with all the respect they deserved and honouring them with a proper burial. The movement to discover the resting places of countless civil war dead is a noble one and I personally applaud it.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 10/25/02 09:39 PM

Thank you Barry, I totally agree with you.
"Those that forget the past are bound to repeat it"
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/25/02 10:37 PM

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The question is, does the government really want to go down this road. There are literally thousands of people who suffered the same fate from both sides of the Civil War. It wasn't just one side that was guilty.

The decision on where they go from here should be made by the people who lost loved ones under questionable circumstances from both sides.

Wolf
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Franco - 10/26/02 05:54 PM

[originally posted by Quintos233 on 10-26-2002 at 05:49 PM]
------------------------------
Ive heard that Franco was Galician and not Castilian like most people believe.
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Franco - 10/26/02 05:55 PM

Hmmm! Interesting. I've only heard that Franco was from Galicia. Anyone else heard that he was from Castilla??
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 10/26/02 10:57 PM

MadridMan, you are correct Franco was born in Galicia, in El Ferrol .
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/27/02 10:56 AM

Ashaming
It is true that leftists killed many people, too. But don`t worry much about their "mass graves". The victims of leftist bigotry were regarded as "martyrs" by the fascist regime, and therefore their corpses were (as far as I know) respectfully searched and properly buried, many of them in the "Valle de los Caídos", as a monument to the Franquist rebellion. The destiny of murdered "reds" was totally different.
Here in Oviedo, I remember it came to happen less than five years ago, that the names of local Republican victims were collected in a memorial stone, in the graveyard. So far, they had just been buried as a shapeless pile, willingly forgotten.
When mass graves, from partisans or simple victims like the three women mentioned in the first post, are found, you can hear from time to time that some people still complain, "Let`s forget about all that, don`t touch the dead, now this is a democracy", and so on. The Spanish post-Franco regime was built upon willing oblivion. This country stinks of all the lies we had to support to achieve a certain degree of democracy.
As to Garzon, it is funny he dared to sue Pinochet, as it is VERY funny the way many Spaniards contempt Chilean democracy. They say "nothing has changed in Chile", because the murderers from the former regime are at large. It is funny they forget the way THEIR own fascist criminals, generals, members of Falange, moorish soldiers, members of the "Legion", and all the other heroes of the Crusade, they not only remained at large, but still are honored in monuments and street plaques all over Spain. In fact, the post Franquist "democracia" remained keeping them with all their medals on, earned God knows how, and paying them a retirement as honest soldiers.
The Moorish mercenaries who remain alive, those who crossed Spain conquering, murdering and raping Spaniards during the war, are still receiving every month their payment from Spanish government.
Here, in Oviedo, there is a street devoted to General Yague, the butcher of Badajoz, a man who shot 4000 people without any kind of trial. Another street, "Division Azul", honours the volunteers corps of the nazi army. And the Plaza de Espana, in the very center of the City, is decorated with an enormous statue where the face of Franco is depicted.
Under the surface, democratic Spain stinks
Posted by: El Cid d'España

Re: Franco - 10/27/02 02:47 PM

Quote:

Ashaming
It is true that leftists killed many people, too. But don`t worry much about their "mass graves". The victims of leftist bigotry were regarded as "martyrs" by the fascist regime, and therefore their corpses were (as far as I know) respectfully searched and properly buried, many of them in the "Valle de los Caídos", as a monument to the Franquist rebellion. The destiny of murdered "reds" was totally different.
Here in Oviedo, I remember it came to happen less than five years ago, that the names of local Republican victims were collected in a memorial stone, in the graveyard. So far, they had just been buried as a shapeless pile, willingly forgotten.
When mass graves, from partisans or simple victims like the three women mentioned in the first post, are found, you can hear from time to time that some people still complain, "Let`s forget about all that, don`t touch the dead, now this is a democracy", and so on. The Spanish post-Franco regime was built upon willing oblivion. This country stinks of all the lies we had to support to achieve a certain degree of democracy.
As to Garzon, it is funny he dared to sue Pinochet, as it is VERY funny the way many Spaniards contempt Chilean democracy. They say "nothing has changed in Chile", because the murderers from the former regime are at large. It is funny they forget the way THEIR own fascist criminals, generals, members of Falange, moorish soldiers, members of the "Legion", and all the other heroes of the Crusade, they not only remained at large, but still are honored in monuments and street plaques all over Spain. In fact, the post Franquist "democracia" remained keeping them with all their medals on, earned God knows how, and paying them a retirement as honest soldiers.
The Moorish mercenaries who remain alive, those who crossed Spain conquering, murdering and raping Spaniards during the war, are still receiving every month their payment from Spanish government.
Here, in Oviedo, there is a street devoted to General Yague, the butcher of Badajoz, a man who shot 4000 people without any kind of trial. Another street, "Division Azul", honours the volunteers corps of the nazi army. And the Plaza de Espana, in the very center of the City, is decorated with an enormous statue where the face of Franco is depicted.
Under the surface, democratic Spain stinks
You are right, Democratic Spain stinks, but that doesn't mean you can't change it.
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 05:56 AM

Cristobo Carrin writes:
Quote:
It is funny they forget the way THEIR own fascist criminals, generals, members of Falange, moorish soldiers, members of the "Legion", and all the other heroes of the Crusade, they not only remained at large, but still are honored in monuments and street plaques all over Spain. ...The Moorish mercenaries who remain alive, those who crossed Spain conquering, murdering and raping Spaniards during the war, are still receiving every month their payment from Spanish government....
There's nothing "funny" about it at all. In any war there is a winning side and a losing side. When the 'smoke clears,' the winning side will also have won discretionary authority (like the 'War Crimes' trials held in Germany after WW II ended). Should Spain's post-Franco government have cancelled pension payments to military retirees because those payments are for service with the Fascist army during the Civil war? Hey! That was the winning side!

I disagree with your characterization of soldiers and Legionnaires (Moorish or other) as Fascist Criminals. Franco invaded the Spanish mainland from Spanish Morocco where he was commander of a Moorish unit of the Spanish Army. The "Moorish Mercenaries," as you call them, were Spanish Army troops. To the day of his death, members of that (mounted cavalry) unit served as Franco's personal Guard.
Quote:
Here, in Oviedo, there is a street devoted to General Yague, the butcher of Badajoz, a man who shot 4000 people without any kind of trial. Another street, "Division Azul", honours the volunteers corps of the nazi army. And the Plaza de Espana, in the very center of the City, is decorated with an enormous statue where the face of Franco is depicted.
That seems to me to be something you should take up with the (Autonomous Community) Principality of Asturias. rolleyes In Barcelona and in Madrid many streets that had their names changed to honor Generals of Franco's regime have since been changed back (ex. General Sanjurjo (Barcelona) is now Pi y Maragal). I have no idea why that hasn't also been done in Asturias.
Posted by: Puna

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 11:40 AM

Eddie-
You made an excellent point -
Quote:
In Barcelona and in Madrid many streets that had their names changed to honor Generals of Franco's regime have since been changed back (ex. General Sanjurjo (Barcelona) is now Pi y Maragal). I have no idea why that hasn't also been done in Asturias.
Anyone have any ideas why Asturias hasn't changed the names on streets, parks, etc from those of the Franco regime era?
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 11:49 AM

Eddie,

I doubt there's any comparison between the war crime trials following WWII and the wanton killing of innocents by Franco's legions, without benefit of trial.

As for the conviction some people have, that Franco's army was a Fascist, let's just say their support came from Nazi Germany, and Mussolini's Fascist regime. You might say they believed he was a Fascist too, or wouldn't have supported him.

I might add, with regret, that the Vatican was a quiet ally of Franco as well. So much for not mixing religion and politics.

As for Franco's army, there were five distinct support groups. The Spanish soldiers under his command in Morocco, Spanish Foreign Legion, Moors which were used as shock troops, and Italian artillery, air support, and ground troops. Additionally they had transport and air support from Germany.

To characterize them all as Spanish wouldn't be right. In fact, less than half the troops he commanded or had at his disposal were Spanish by birth.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 12:38 PM

The Franquist rebellion would have failed in less than two weeks if not for the German support.
His troops were in Africa, waiting for transportation into mainland, but the navy remained faithful to the legal government. Therefore, if the Nazis hadn`t helped him to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, he wouldn`t have been able even to start his war.
You ask why in Asturias most of Franquist symbols have not dissapeared. I have a theory for that. First, things are not the same all over Asturias. Oviedo is, let`s say, quite a conservative city, to say the least. Second, I wonder who might be interested in changing those symbols...since power here, is seized mainly by the same people as in the days of dictatorship, or their straight descendants. The change from Franquism into, say, "democracy", was such a soft one, that eventually it became clear that the current regime regarded the former as a legal one. That is why, for instance, the Policia Armada (the Spanish version of the Gestapo) was scattered, but its officers earned their retirement as any honest worker, while the veterans from the Republican army didn`t get a dime, and the partisans who fought in the mountains after 1939 remained in their mass graves, and recorded in the files of local police stations, as "bandits".
In the walls of the city hall of Oviedo there is a engraved stone with the titles of the city, those praises that the kings of Castile and Leon endowed us across the centuries, due to the faith and feats of our ancestors: "Muy noble, muy leal, benemérita, invicta y heroica ciudad de Oviedo". It was Serrano Suner, Franco`s brother-in-law, who called Oviedo "Invicta y Heroica", that is, "Undefeated and heroical". Since Suner had no authority at all to endow Oviedo those names, the Socialists in the town hall suggested erasing those two words from the stone. The answer of the mayor it was SUING them for insulting the "good name" of the city.
Posted by: megia

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 06:21 PM

Cristobo,

i think Franco's intentions were not all that bad, but his method for implementation was *fundamentally* broken! the idea of a unified Spain is/was great. ...such force and brutal murder... unspeakable.

it's strange, i know people that grew up in that
era; some republican, others facista. the bickering between them continues, and it even continues among their children, who remember the end of the Franco era too. geez it wasn't that long ago!

the story that Toddy cited at the beginning of this thread is very sad, and there are so many other stories equally as sad. my buddy's father told us stories of his experiences from that
era, and to think of such a nice man going thru such horror is unimagineable. he died a few years back, but i'll never forget his face as he recounted the stories where members of his own family 'disappeared,' only to be found dead later, etc... horrible.

i can't remember who said it, but it was something like 'we cannot forget the past, or we are doomed to repeat it in the future.' (ironically, i believe Rommel said something like this. little did he know it could be so applicable to his leader's regime). I think many historical figures/writers have said this.

it's ok to remember past and painful things, let's just not debate about it as if it were today.

andrew
:wq
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 06:45 PM

Quote:
i think Franco's intentions were not all that bad
Hmmmmm, what was Franco's intentions, to create a democratic Spain?
please, Franco, Spain and both its past MUST be debated; if only for the sake of a true democatic civilization.
I wonder if there are any more regions besides Asturias that have Franco memorabilia?
I bet there are muchos mas cosas to dig up. frown
Posted by: megia

Re: Franco - 10/28/02 07:32 PM

Toddy,

please don't misunderstand what i mean (or what i mean is that i should better state what i mean... know what i mean? smile )

i mean to say that the only thing Franco had right was his intention to unite Spain as a one great nation. this is still subjective, because not all people think that a united Spain is good (and especially under those conditions). but i still think that a united Spain would be great, while still allowing each autonomous region its cultural freedom. i think that the biggest reason we see catalunya and pais vasco screaming for independance is simply because of the harsh oppression of the past... it just doesn't have to be that way today.

Franco's method for implementing his united Spain was, as mentioned in threads above, wanton murder, force, brutality, etc., all of which have made an infamous and lasting impression upon that county we all hold dear to our hearts. that type of rule cannot really work anywhere.

and you are correct, debate is still good. i just don't want our buddy and kind moderator Madridman to have to shut down another thread. he he he... smile

can you all tell i am being a 'pisa-huevos' about the whole thing? i just know that everyone has their opinions and experiences, so i don't want to offend anyone either way.

andrew
:wq
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 06:50 AM

Wolf writes:
Quote:
I doubt there's any comparison between the war crime trials following WWII and the wanton killing of innocents by Franco's legions, without benefit of trial.
You missed my point, Wolf. If the Republicans had won, wouldn't they have brought Franco, or some of his Generals to trial as war criminals? Franco was victorious! His people had won the discretion over the vanquished.

Quote:
As for Franco's army, there were five distinct support groups. The Spanish soldiers under his command in Morocco, Spanish Foreign Legion, Moors which were used as shock troops, and Italian artillery, air support, and ground troops. Additionally they had transport and air support from Germany.
I didn't think Mussolini's Italian forces had joined with Franco in that early march northward. I thought they came much later. But the Regiments of the Guardia Civil did join with Franco's Army in its advance from the South and did strengthen Franco's forces considerably.

Quote:
To characterize them all as Spanish wouldn't be right. In fact, less than half the troops he commanded or had at his disposal were Spanish by birth.
I didn't characterize them all as Spanish. They were Soldiers of the Spanish Army: Where they were born is totally irrelevant! But that brings up an interesting question: Is a person born in (the former) Spanish Morocco or Spanish Sahara considered Spanish by birth? They were Spanish citizens, were they not?
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 07:44 AM

Eddie,

Yes, if Franco had lost, he would probably have been tried as a revolutionary. I believe a lot of his Generals, and even lower officers would have met the same fate. On that I agree.

As the winner, he had discretionary power, but he did not apply it through courts. It was done on what's referred to as "barrel-head" justice, where a person was brought before one of his army officers and the charges read. Then they were sentenced to death without any trial. in his memoirs, one of those officers, a mere Captain, had pronounced sentence on over 300 people in two days. He had them brought forward in groups, and the charges were read as being for all of them, and he'd pronounce them guilty, sentence them to death by firing squad, and order that it be carried out immediately. They weren't allowed to speak in their defense. About half of them were soldiers. He was instructed, by Franco, to execute "anyone" who survived their attack on the town, because they "might be the enemy." He also went on to indicate there wasn't time for any "nonsense" like a real trial. They had to move on.

Italian forces moved into Spain immediately with the air-lift. In the end, there were over 50,000 ground troops alone. They were sent north, and were the troops that united with the Army of Navarre, and Mola's troops from Burgos, to fight the Basques. They were the first troops to enter Guernica, and see the wanton destruction that took place. The earliest troops sent were "Black Shirts" who'd served in Ethiopia.

The Moors were not Spanish citizens. They were a colonial army. Most of them hated the Spanish. Spanish officers led them, not unlike the colonial armies the British had in India, and other nations. They received military benefits somewhat equal to the Spanish soldier, but weren't granted citizenship.

As shock troops, the Moors were fed into battles like cattle to a slaughter, and when they did win battles, they killed everyone, including men, women, and children, when they took a village. The Spanish officers would step aside, allowing it to happen. The Spanish Foreign Legion was made up of mercenaries from around the world, including the U.S. It was a place to hide from the law, just like the French Foreign Legion was. In fact, less than 20% of the foreign legion at that time, was Spanish. The majority of those that were was the Officer Corps. The rest were the dregs of the world.

As for the Republicans, they really weren't any better. A reign of terror began in 1931, and continued on until the Civil War. One of the targets were the Priests. They were blamed for the poor conditions visited on the peasants. It was true though. The Catholic Church owned much of the land, and peasants share cropped. The problem was, the Church took their share off the top, and left the peasants to starve, while Priests lived in luxury, and ate very well.

The only place that Priests weren't slaughtered was in Basque Country. The vast majority of Priests there supported the idea of a Republic.

When Franco's army marched through areas, they killed everyone who was farming the land. Their reason was that the land was "stolen" from the Catholic Church.

Wolf
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 10:08 AM

Quote:

The Moors were not Spanish citizens. They were a colonial army. Most of them hated the Spanish. Spanish officers led them, not unlike the colonial armies the British had in India, and other nations. They received military benefits somewhat equal to the Spanish soldier, but weren't granted citizenship.
That is esentially incorrect as far as I know. Spanish Sahara (where the majority of the troops were from) was not considered a colony but a province. Their citizens had spanish nationality, the same rights as any other spanish citizens (including a spanish ID card or DNI) and, as any other province, had representation in the Parlament of the dictatorship.

What I'm not sure is since when they were considered spanish citizens. Perhaps at the time of the Civil War they were not yet considered as is.

Fernando
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 10:22 AM

Fernando,

They were granted citizenship after the Civil War, for helping Franco win.

Wolf
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 11:22 AM

Are you sure Wolf? Excuse my dudes but I remember that before 1898 Cuba and Puerto Rico had also the citizenship and had parlamentaries in Madrid, that is the reason I'm not that sure.

It may sound chauvinist (that is not my intention) but Spain has historically tried to integrate its colonies as new territories, in a different way from other powers (England, France, Holland,...).

Fernando
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 11:56 AM

I haven't read a word on this 'thread' about the Leftist Brigades that fought on the Republican side: the Italian Brigade that fought against Mussolini's Italian Fascist Army at Guadalajara. The 'Abraham Lincoln' Brigade made up primarily of U.S. Socialists and Communists and Brigades from Ireland and the U.K. From what I have read, the Spanish Republic was drifting toward Anarchy and Communism when the Generals decided to 'Make their Move.' The Spanish Civil War was the first armed confrontation (outside of Russia) between those two idieologies. It also became a testing ground to 'blood' the Officers of the German and Italian Armies (in preparation for World War II) and to try out new Strategies and Tactics such as the Blitzkrieg and saturation bombing of cities.

Adolf Hitler wanted Franco to join Germany on the Fascist side in World War II. Franco said: "No!" After meeting with Franco in San Sebastian in 1939, Hitler had some choice words about Francisco Franco: He said Franco was the most obstinate person that he (Hitler) had ever encountered.
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 01:19 PM

I think I can state firmly that the dwellers of Spanish Morocco were NOT regarded as Spanish citizens: I know it because I read once a speech from Azana, the president of the Spanish republic, where he showed his contempt about Franquist army, since its soldiers were mainly non-spaniards, and he mentioned them. Morocco was a Protectorate, not a Spanish province.
As to the evolution of the Republic, I think the communists didn`t reach great power before the war began; obviously they got profit out of the fact that only Stalin and Mexico supported the Republic. If the US and the UK had helped, maybe the moderate leftists would have prevailed. Azana himself supported capitalism and Parlamentary democracy. It is true anarchists and some socialists were quite crazy, but after the 1934 rebellion was smashed, it was quite unlikely that a leftist revolution managed to attain power. Of course, the right wing, the army, the CEDA and the Falange, had clearly stated that they wanted to retrieve the good, old values of "Eternal Spain". Their "answer" to the "red menace" was ready long before 1936.

Sorry, I forgot writing just one thing in my previous post.
It is an important question indeed if Franco commanded, or not, native soldiers. Since he was just a "puppet tyrant", supported by foreign countries, and his troops were mainly foreign mercenaries, then the so-called "civil war" might be regarded as a simple invasion, which allowed the powers of the Axis to control Spain. Only in Navarra, and some areas in Castile and Galicia, it could be said that Franco was supported by the people. But the peoples of Spain were in the most part, happy about the Republic
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 03:55 PM

Cristobo is correct. The Moors were not Spanish citizens until after the war. Franco said they were only to sway world opinion towards his movement, which was supported by outside nations, not the main body of the people of Spain.

The Lincolns, and Washingtons, of the International Brigades were Americans, mostly Communists and Anarchists. They came mainly from the U.S. union movements throughout the U.S. The make up of the Brigades from around the world was more between those two political beliefs than any other. But, in Spain, not one Communist was part of the Madrid government which ran the Republic. There were Communist parties in some areas which held local offices, but not on a national scale. What was most devastating was that each region wanted to control its own interests through its own political party, and that meant a coalition government had to be formed, for national control.

The Communists gained strength when the only nation that supported the Republicans was Russia. Of course, as you can find in other links, Stalin had his reasons. He emptied the Spanish gold reserve, "protecting it" in Moscow. It was never returned to Spain. It was shown as payment for the antiquated arms that Stalin sent them. Eventually Stalin lost interest in the war, and quit backing the Republic. The Communists gained control with a revolution inside the Civil War. They did it by force, and killed opposition leaders. They did it with the aid of Moscow.

The U.S., UK, and other nations were fed a line of bull about the Republic being Communists. Most of our countries were running scared, thinking that Communism was taking over, even in our own countries. You can understand why there were lots of people who were looking at the move favorably, since the great depression destroyed almost everyone who wasn't upper class.

The "neutrality" that the U.S. and allies instituted was more like a blockade. It was a dumb move on our parts. We should have been there to support, and protect the Republic. Had we done so, some historians believe Hitler wouldn't have had the guts to set his sights on conquering Europe, and the Soviet Union would have never come to be. I think he still would have made the attempt, but have been beaten long before he was, and the USSR wouldn't have existed.

Wolf
Posted by: Puna

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 04:03 PM

Wolf,
As always - well thought out and well explained. You are hereby the honorary resident historian of MM's board! wink Seriously, you have an educator's gift of explaining the historical perspective.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 07:55 PM

Puna,

Thank you. I don't think I've ever had anyone say anything nicer to me. I've always tried to understand not only the issue but why it exists. We have to see both sides of an issue to judge it fairly.

Wolf
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 09:25 PM

Quote:
The "neutrality" that the U.S. and allies instituted was more like a blockade. It was a dumb move on our parts. We should have been there to support, and protect the Republic. Had we done so, some historians believe Hitler wouldn't have had the guts to set his sights on conquering Europe, and the Soviet Union would have never come to be. I think he still would have made the attempt, but have been beaten long before he was, and the USSR wouldn't have existed.

Wolf, that's a big historic stretch, to put it mildly. "Protecting the Republic" within the given historic context borders insanity. The US had many other pre-occupations one of which was the political philosophy of isolationism. Spain and its "republic" was as historically far away to the US foreign policy as the moon is the the earth confused
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 09:49 PM

Toddy,

Our isolationist views had nothing to do with the issue. Behind the scenes, we were hoping that the Nazis would turn east and attack Russia and destroy Communism. We insisted on neutrality for that and one other reason. We had Fascism surfacing in the U.S. It had nearly caused a civil war in our own country just four years earlier.

As a democracy/republic, we had an obligation to support another republic at least in principle for their fight. Had we done that, the French would have continued supplying arms & munitions to the Republic, and Great Britain would have taken an active role in keeping the waterways and transport lines open to the Spanish Republic. The U.S. swung its weight to stop that from happening. We were wrong in our stance. We sold out the very principles we stand for as a nation. Like it or not, that's the way it went down.

Wolf
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 10/29/02 10:22 PM

Wolf,
I agree with Puna your historical insight is concise and your overview of the situation is visionary.

Would you recommend one good book to read on the Spanish Civil war that encompasses both sides of the argument. I know there will be others on this Board who will appreciate it as well!
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 05:51 AM

Cristobo Carrin writes:
Quote:
... Since he was just a "puppet tyrant", supported by foreign countries, and his troops were mainly foreign mercenaries, then the so-called "civil war" might be regarded as a simple invasion, which allowed the powers of the Axis to control Spain.
I see you like those terms like "puppet tyrant" and "foreign mercenaries."

Those "foreign mercenaries" you keep referring to were members of the Spanish military - soldiers in the Spanish Army. I sincerely doubt that the pay of a Soldier in that army would have been sufficient to recruit real "mercenaries."

Franco was not the Numero Uno. At the time of the invasion he was definitely not what one might call a 'rising star' in the Spanish Army ('rising stars' didn't get posted in command of a Moorish unit in North Africa - he was on somebody's s**t list, as it is called in the military). He was following the lead (orders?) of Generals in the north of Spain when he led those troops in their invasion of the Spanish Mainland on July 18, 1936. His ascendancy in the Military was more or less by 'default' as those Generals were killed off or became incapacitated.

Wolf writes:
Quote:
As a democracy/republic, we had an obligation to support another republic at least in principle for their fight. ... We were wrong in our stance. We sold out the very principles we stand for as a nation. Like it or not, that's the way it went down.
Look at it from a broader perspective:

It was 1936. The U.S. was still in the midst of a deep, dark Depression. Leftist movements were trying to take advantage of that situation before President Roosevelt's 'New Deal' policies could be implemented. There was a lot of anti-Franco sentiment and a great deal more popular support in the U.S. for the 'Reds.' That also drew a lot of its support from the Communist movement in the U.S.

Hitler was making warlike noises in Europe. The Brits (Chamberlain) had pretty much backed down in Munich.

So the U.S. 'on its knees' economically. It was being assaulted by leftist (and communist) movements. Russia was seen as a 'Hungry Bear,' waiting for an opportunity to devour the United States. When Russia came out on the side of the Republicans, the Republicans became 'friends of our enemy.' Bringing up the old expression: If you are a friend to my enemy, you are my enemy. That might be an ideological explanation for our failure to support the Republican government. Or might it be just because they were known as Rojos (Reds).
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 10:49 AM

Eddie Wrote: I see you like those terms like "puppet tyrant" and "foreign mercenaries."

Those "foreign mercenaries" you keep referring to were members of the Spanish military - soldiers in the Spanish Army. I sincerely doubt that the pay of a Soldier in that army would have been sufficient to recruit real "mercenaries."

Well, I DON`T think the ideal of the Crusade was enough to recruit the highlanders of Kabilia to join Franco. The pay, in the fascist army, was said to be several times higher than that in the Republican side. The Moors, also, felt appealed by the chance of looting and raping. It`s obvious they, and the legionaries as well (not the Italians nor the Germans) were at first part of the Spanish army, but I think they were not any longer that, since they invaded Spain. They were trying to conquer Spain, they did not fight under the flag of any foreign country... What can we call them? Mercenaries, obviously.
Franco was named general in 1926, being the youngest European general of his time. See
http://www.artehistoria.com/frames.htm?http://www.artehistoria.com/batallas/personajes/7139.htm
You say he was not the leader of the rebel plot, therefore he didn`t lead the rebellion, nor had any kind of popular support. Therefore, he had not power of any kind, he wasn`t even able to support his own troops (he was not that rich) What was he, then? A puppet in someone else`s hands. All his life he knew who was the master, and never dared to defy the people who placed him in power.
It is an interesting point that the American government simply had no choice due to the internal fascist trends, on supporting the Republic. I guess here we are too used to believe the "Americanos" are almighty and thus, only do what they want to do. In any case, that does not explain why the Allies didn`t deliver Spain of fascist yoke after WWII, in spite of French complains in the UN. Instead, a terrible blockade was set and many Spaniards died by starvation or freezing. It reminds me the current situation in Irak...
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 01:22 PM

Booklady,

there are a lot of books out there that tell the story of the Spanish Civil War, the problem is, they are either offered from a left or right wing point of view. Very little is offered that goes past political lines. Here's a few books I would recommend;

Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
Republic of Egos, Michael Seidman
Madrid 1937, letters from the Abrahan Lincoln Brigade
Fireflies, Ana Maria Mutate (translated to English)
Arms For Spain, Gerald Howson
Spain Betrayed, (Purported to be inside info from Moscow) Some of it may very well be true.
To Tilt At Windmills, Fred A. Thomas (British)
Deadly Embrace, Sebastian Balfour (Interesting reading, Morocco and civil war) It serves to set the stage for the Moors involvement.
Defying Male Civilization, Mary Nash

Most of them can be found in public libraries, so I wouldn't recommend buying them. After these, there are others, and they will point you in directions that are interesting.

Wolf
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 01:48 PM

Eddie,

Franco was actually the top dog amongst the Generals. He was the youngest General in all of Europe by 1923. There were five of them who stood out most. Francisco Franco, who was sent to Morocco to command troops as a sort of exile, Emilio Mola, who had a force of 6,000 men organized in Pamplona, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano who captured Seville with just a couple of hundred men, and Sanjurjo who was actually exiled to Portugal in 1934. Sanjurjo died enroute home, where he would help in the insurrection. Juan Yaque, who captured the two Spanish cities in Morocco for the revolution, and went on to fame when he was given the nickname of "The Butcher of Badajos." A title he well deserved, as he left a trail of murder everywhere he went, during the war. Of the five, only Franco had a force large enough, and capable enough, to attack his own nation. He was also the man who handled all advanced arrangements with Italy and Germany for the assault. He was in charge, even though there were questions as to whether Mola or Sanjurjo would have been, had they not died.

The "new deal" policies had already started. They began right after FDR took office in 1933. In fact, there is historical retrospect that is known as the "first hundred days in office," when FDR had over a dozen laws enacted that would help to ease the US out of the depression. Since he used his weekly "fireside chats" to tell people about the plans, it was difficult for congress to go against his wishes, since people believed what he was doing was in their best interests.

There's no doubt that Russia coming to the aid of the Spanish Republic swayed American interests away from supporting them. What should rankle us most is the fact that we claimed neutrality, then allowed companies like Ford and what would become Texaco to openly trade with Franco during this time. Texaco was fined $22,000 for illegally trading with Franco, but made millions in the process. On the other side of the coin, we stopped any support from getting to the Republic.

Where the biggest misconception is falls into the category as to what socialism meant in Spain in 1936, and Communism. Socialism was more along the lines of the Democratic party in the US than it was a Trotsky or Lenin philosophy. Like you said, just yell "RED!" and Americans would run to defend the cause against it, even though we were finding socialism essential to gain ground against the depression. After all, what is social security other than a socialistic program?

Cristobo,

How can you possibly compare the situation with Iraq as anything similar to the Spanish Civil War. That's not a reach, it's absurd. There are no comparisons you can legitimately make and never will be able to make. You're just adding your own personal agenda to the discussion with that comment.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 04:12 PM

Wolf:
Of course, I was just expressing my personal opinion. I think I stated it clearly.
I know history never repeats exactly the same situation, but I can`t help thinking there are lots of similarities between the behavior of Western powers in those days and now. I know supposedly there are many good reasons to block Iraq, and all that, but...well, maybe I am too cynical. It sounds like sheer propaganda to me. Wolf, I see you have read a lot about history. You know things are never "so" clean.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 04:40 PM

Cristobo,

If you intend to draw a parallel between the two situations, you have to spell out why they are similar, not just say they are. That's not drawing comparisons whatsoever. Truth is in discovery of facts, as we both know.

I'm anxious to see where your conclusions have come from.

Wolf
Posted by: Puna

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 04:50 PM

Prof Wolf writes:

Quote:
Where the biggest misconception falls into the category as to what socialism meant in Spain in 1936, and Communism. Socialism was more along the lines of the Democratic party in the US than it was a Trotsky or Lenin philosophy
One of the classic textbooks dealing with the Spanish Civil War - the name of which I can't recall at the moment but it's usually on the top of every list - does state this loud and clear.

I think the text I'm referring to is by Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War
When I took the course - years ago - I remember some classmates being a bit taken back by that concept and a very adament professor explaining just so.
Posted by: Shawn

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 04:56 PM

Fantastic thread!

Eddie, I think you have hit the nail on the head with your posts.

Wolf, my favorite historian of Spain is from your neck of the woods, Stanley G. Payne. I have encountered a great link with the complete text of his A History of Spain and Portugal Vol.2 . chapters 25 and 26, it gives a nice overview of Spain during the Civil War.

Stanley Payne

Payne has written several voulmes on Spanish history, unfortunately this is the only one I could find on the web. If you are researching Spanish history, his texts are a must.

Saludos,
Shawn
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 05:33 PM

Shawn,

Payne's work had an enormous influence on my early decisions to study the Spanish Civil War. He has done a remarkable job of bringing information previously not discussed.

I've read his works, and have three of his books on my library shelf. They are invaluable tools. One which I own, and believe is a definitive study is Phoenix. I believe it's still available at Barnes and Noble, and am confident it's in most college libraries.

They aren't a "great read" from an entertainment standpoint, but for anyone who wants to begin major research on the Spanish Civil War, it's a great jumping off point. None better, at least in the English language.

Wolf
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 06:38 PM

Thanks Wolf, for your list, of the works you cited I have read Orwell, and Matatute, as well as Gironella, these last two while fictional, tend to give the flavor of the time very well. Of the others, I already have a few of these in my shelves. I do want to recommend a new title that will interest all scholars of Spain
Quote:
Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War by Ronald Radosh, Mary R. Habeck and Grigory Sevastianov, eds. 2001 Yale University Press.
This is a compilation of historical Comiterm documents. All 81 documents are verified genuine documents from the onset of the war in 1936 to 1939. This is truly fascinating reading because you do not have the historian's bias, which is always there, even in the most balanced compilations.

The review in Library Journal quotes:
Quote:
For historians, this correspondence offers detailed and multiple reports for the duration of the war. Soviet agents such as Dimitrov, Andre Marty, Ernest Gero and Palmiro Togliati anticipated Stalinist tactics in postwar Europe.
What a ruthless read! In the very first document, a MASK intercept{ENCRYPTED TELEGRAMS} dated 22nd July 1936 from Moscow To Spain, the writer known as DIOS MAYOR This document underscores both the tone and main policies that the Soviets and Comiterm took in dealing with the Spanish Communist Party leaders:
Quote:
no.2. Demand the immediate arrest of all parliamentary leaders of the Republican government and have this carried out immediately without further hesitation. Rid the army, the police and the organizations of authority from top to bottom, from the enemies of the people. Deprive the aristrocacy who are behind the conspirators, of all rights of citizenship and confiscate all their goods. Expel them from the country and prohibit their press. It is necessary to set up a special court for adventurers, terrorists, conspirators, and Fascists rebels and to apply the maximum penalty on these including confiscating their goods.
(p.8).

I am still in 1938 and am sickened by what I have read, and it certainly explains a great deal of the chaos that I have read in other historian's works. I agree with Wolf that a quick intervention by the U.S., France and Britain and France could have saved the Republic from Joseph Stalin, and to the same extent Franco.

Yes this is a great thread!
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 08:40 PM

But Wolf, how do you defend the anarchists within the context of US isolationism. Remember, the US was not fond of getting involved in WWII either. This, with the knowledge clearly that a tyrant was roming around Europe. What did Spain have at this time to offer the US but more muddied political waters without much of an economic progessive population.

Spain, at that time, was the moon for the US, mas o menos.
Posted by: DrSigmundFraud

Re: Franco - 10/30/02 08:45 PM

Just my two cents worth on books. Two very fine works are oft-quoted "The Spanish Labyrinth" by Gerald Brenan. The other which gives a very detailed account of Franco's psychology and history, his cruelty, cunning, and duplicity is "Franco" by Paul Preston. It is as one reviewer said: "one feels a genuine sense of having been in the presence of evil for a thousand long and painful pages.

Eddie,
Franco and Hitler met in 1940 in Hendaya. It was a nine hour long session and Hitler later told Mussolini that "Rather than go through that again, I would prefer to have three or four teeth taken out."

Shalom Y'all
Posted by: Kurt

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 12:16 AM

What a great thread! My thanks to all who have contributed such thoughtful and researched opinions here.

Whenever I hear that the US and Great Britain were derelict in not interveneing in Spain, I feel the need to remind people of the nations that the US and UK were in 1936. US had a standing army of about 150,000 in 1936, and UK was just realizing the awful fix it was in and begining its huge rearmament program (which was still in progress during the Czech crisis of '38, th real reason for Chamberlain's 'appeasement'). The US was in no position to intervene on behalf of the Republicans, and felt no need to. Nor was UK in a position to engage any continental military adventure.

But lets not be TOO hard on Franco. It was his refusal to be drawn into WWII that led to Allied victory. Franco refused to allow German forces to attack Gibralter. Had he done so, Egypt would surely have fallen along with Iraq, Persia, etc. This would likely have led to a UK capitulation in 1942. Franco had foresight: even in 1941, with Hitler triumphant throughout Europe, He believed that ultimately the UK (with US aid)would win.
Posted by: Shawn

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 01:38 AM

Kurt,

Franco had agreed to invade Gibraltar along with the Axis forces. The planed invasion was to be the first active participation of Spain in the war effort, but the details of the invasion were draged out. Subsequently, by the time Hitler and Franco could agree upon the specifics, the course of the war had begun to favor the Allies. The Russian victory at Stalingrad in 1942 was the beginning of the end for the Fascists; and Franco in an act of self preservation decided to abandon his role in the planned attack on the Rock.

In short, had the war taken a different course Franco was eager to claim his share of booty. His inaction only reflects his aim to mantain power, not any kind of courageous defiance of Nazi-Germany.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 05:54 AM

Booklady, excellent choices. It is sickening to read about much of what happened. Yet, to understand what happened, we have to explore all of it, even when it's gruesome. It's hard to read a lot of it on a full stomach.

There were several aspects of Spain which would have worked in favor of the allies. First, of course, the guarantee that the Straits of Gibraltar would remain safe for allied shipping. The threat of an invasion by combined German and Spanish troops, as Kurt mentioned was real. Here is a quote by Stanley Payne:

"[Franco], just out of the Spanish Civil War, had no intention of entering another, greater war on either side, and... by setting an unreachable price for Hitler to pay for his cooperation with the Caudillo was "buying peace with words," tightrope walking between two swords, hoping for the entire conflict to go away without any involvement. Despite the Civil War debt to Hitler, Franco resisted the Führer's threats and cajolery and did not permit the Wehrmacht to enter Spain, carry out Hitler's plan to close the Mediterranean to British shipping and consequently force the end of World War II in 1940 before the United States could be ready to enter. The real events depicted in this narrative did occur and this one man's actions, although entirely self serving on behalf of Spain, may well have tipped the balance of World War II in favor of the allies."

This information was gleaned from various sources, including statements by members of Franco's family. Which brings up another source of information that might interest people. Another book; Hitler Stopped By Franco, by Burt and Jane Boyar. They indicate that in no small part, Franco wasn't in tune with Hitler because Franco's ancestors were Marranos. It is reported that Franco may have saved over 60,000 Jews from Hitler's final solution.

During WWII, Franco remained "loyal" to Hitler, by selling Germany raw materials, which they desperately needed. Possibly the only reason Hitler didn't "invade" Spain is because he didn't have the manpower to do so. Franco had indicated to Hitler's emissaries that the Spanish people would probably revolt if they were there.

Toddy, the US had the obligation to support a democratically elected government, at least in principle. Had they verbally offered this support, France would have continued supplying the Republic war supplies, and Great Britain may have intervened as well. The entire tide of war was based on who was supplied the materials to fight, and who wasn't. That wouldn't be a statement favoring Anarchy.

This is a great thread!

Wolf
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 06:06 AM

My statements about how Franco had helped the Jewish community was not intended as offering him up as a great man of the people, but to show his involvement in events. In my mind, Franco was a Fascist dictator that held an entire nation hostage, in fear. His methods of "dealing with the opposition" were no better than Hitler's decision for the final solution. Had it not been for the outcry that would have developed, he would have been more than willing to exterminate the entire Basque population.

I do believe that Franco was smart enough to realize that Germany couldn't take on the world, and win a war. Especially since they were begging him for as much raw materials as they could garner. Most of his acts were nothing more than acts of self preservation.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 07:14 AM

Wolf:
You ask why I do think that the blockade against Franquist Spain reminds me of that against Saddam.
I am sure you remember the words of Churchill in the English Parliament, as "how grateful we must be about Franco". The Brits and the Americans, I think, regarded a fascist dictatorship as a better choice than the risk of a communist country in the Western edge of Europe. But on the other hand, France (very grateful to Republican partisans who had fought with French resistance), wanted to help Spain. I believe that was the origin of the blockade, something like "We really don`t want to defeat Franco, but let`s punish him, since he is a tyrant, after all"
In Irak I think something like that happened. If the Allies really wanted to, he might have been wiped away from his throne in 1992, at the end of the Gulf War. Put they left him rule the country. Then they set the blockade, as to remark that, however, Saddam was an evil guy and deserved punishment. Sheer hypocrisy, in my opinion.
I know the explanations is sounding a bit naive, but that is only because my English is still a bit poor.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 07:46 AM

I'd agree, now, that leaving Iraqi leadership as it was may have been a serious mistake. But I do understand why our troops were pulled out. Without it being said, the question was a "lesser of two evils," just like you indicated for Franco, during WWII.

If we'd overthrown Hussein himself, there's little doubt that Iraq would have fallen into the hands of fundamentalist Muslims. We'd have another Iran, or Afghanistan on our hands, and the bloc of totally "anti-Western" countries would grow stronger. That's something that we have to stop, and we're seeing these attempts to take over nations even in Southeast Asia happening every day.

The Fundamentalists don't care if they are a minority. They want total control, and anyone who doesn't agree with that philosophy..... well... we saw what the Taliban did on a futbol field in Afghanistan, didn't we? They don't rule through love and understanding, they do it through force and violence.

Another point in regards to our not taking Baghdad. Our Muslim allies asked us to stop. We honored their request as well. I believe they foresaw a new regime that they couldn't deal with. It concerns them as much as it does us.

Your explanation is fine. Thank you.

Wolf
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 09:35 AM

Wolf writes:
Quote:
During WWII, Franco remained "loyal" to Hitler, by selling Germany raw materials, which they desperately needed. Possibly the only reason Hitler didn't "invade" Spain is because he didn't have the manpower to do so.
Hitler didn't invade Spain because Spain was Neutral but Friendly and to move a modern Army across the Pyrenees would have cost too much time and effort. Maybe he read and was familiar with Chanson de Roland rolleyes
During WW II, Luftwaffe pilots whose aircraft were shot down or who couldn't make it back to Nazi occupied territory were instructed to 'try for Spain.' Some were even familiar with Spanish airfields, having flown from them as members of the 'Condor Legion' during the Spanish Civil War. I know of one specific case in which some members of my wife's family cared for a Luftwaffe Officer and nursed him back to health after he had crash landed his aircraft near Alicante. During World War II, Franco Spain also allowed Nazi Germany to maintain at least one R&R 'resort' for German Officers. rolleyes
Quote:
... the US had the obligation to support a democratically elected government, at least in principle. .
Obligation??
The U.S. had (and continues to have) a Policy to support an existing lawfully constituted government, whether it be democraticaly elected or a Dictatorshio (like the Bautista regime in Cuba).
Quote:
Had they (the U.S.) verbally offered this support, France would have continued supplying the Republic war supplies, and Great Britain may have intervened as well.
Everyone knew the U.S. was in no position to 'take a side' in the Spanish Civil war. Supposing what Great Britain or would have done should that unlikely event have happened would be total conjecture! eek
BTW
Little has been written on this thread about the influence of the Catholic Church (maybe even the Vatican) on these events. The reason I mention this is the recent Canonization (Sainthood) of the founder of Opus Dei. Does this open up a whole new 'can of worms?' rolleyes
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 10:15 AM

Eddie,

The reason the US did have a moral obligation to support the Republic was as you said.... it was an elected government. As for taking a position in favor of the Republic, that would have been political, as most of us have indicated, not be a military option at the time. We weren't prepared for a war. "Everyone knew?" Who knew, and what was their reasoning for not acting politically? We'd already been doing it in Asia, and it was rankling the Japanese.

Hitler repeatedly asked Spain to mount an attack against Gibraltar. Franco wouldn't do it. He also warned Hitler that Spain wouldn't tolerate foreign soldiers on their soil. Hitler told Franco's emissaries he'd attack Gibraltar himself, but he didn't have enough troops, since so many were committed to the Russian front.

I don't get your point about the issue of German pilots. I believe we all agree that Spain offered sanctuary to these pilots. The Gestapo used Spain and Portugal as a kick-off point for intelligence operations.

I have little doubt the Catholic Church, and the Vatican, totally supported Franco. Considering the fact that the Pope "rejoiced over Spain's freedom" when the Republicans capitulated, I'd say it's a given. I too wonder if the newest canonization is going to open a can of worms.

Wolf
Posted by: Puna

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 10:19 AM

Brenan's The Spanish Labyrinth is excellent! And Booklady's suggested historical text is available at Boarders Books - I've leafed through it - fascinating!
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 10:43 AM

Coincidentally, about a week before toddy opened this thread, I started reading Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. Decent book which takes place during Spain's Civil War in the mid/late 1930s. It's written from The Republic (anti-fascist/Franco) point of view and I'm finding that very very interesting, not really knowing much about it before. While I tend to shy away from anything political both in Spain and in my own country, knowing the political history (and present) of Spain helps me, I believe, to understand the people themselves and why they feel the way they do about certain issues.

I'm only about halfyway through the book but it's about an "American" who goes to Spain, after having spent a number of years there previously, to help The Republic. He falls in love (of course!) with a young Spanish girl (OF COURSE!!!! :p ) and joins a "band" to destroy certain KEY structures.

There's killing & violence, no real sex described, no bad words either. I find it funny when he writes "I obscenity in the milk of your fathers" when saying what someone said. This makes me giggle, knowing, as I do, the actual phrase in Spanish.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about Franco.. and it's only indirectly about Franco, this book, but it mentions him from time to time as well as what the Fascists were doing, what they stood for, and the civil war itself. Anyone wanting to know more can read this book by Hemingway, written in 1940, right after the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Also, on my local National Public Radio station this morning they had the piece that Toddy quoted (in his initial posting in this thread) about how some decendents of and/or survivors of the Spanish Civil War are asking the government to exhume (?) the murdered bodies in mass grave sites and give them proper burials.

My ladyfriend's mother, whom is about to turn 80 years old, still tells stories of how she and her family lived (read: hid) in a cave or caves in the mountains above Santander and could hear the bombings going on in the city down below. She was only a girl then and all "survivors" of the Civil War will soon be gone. What will that mean to Spain when there are no more people living to remember firsthand?

That's really all I have to say about Franco in this thread. I'll leave the details to those better informed than me.

Saludos, MadridMan
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 11:31 AM

MadridMan,

Your question is a good one. What will happen, when there are no more survivors left? I've asked myself that question. I think that's why I've spent at least 1/3 of my time in researching the Spanish Civil War by talking to survivors from both sides. They are the only people who can tell us what really happened, from a personal point of view.

What totally surprised me was how many families were split by the war. I'd heard of it in the Civil War here in the US, but never heard about it from survivors. I listened as people talked about their families, and pointed out everyone if pictures, and what happened to them. Often, they'd skip past one or two people. "Who are these people?" I'd ask. "You don't want to know them. They are no longer family. They were on the other side." Families have been torn apart and remained that way since 1936. The pain just doesn't end.

Your Lady-friend's Mother is a treasure. She's seen the worst of it, and had to live with it, in fear not only for herself, but everyone she cared about. You should listen carefully to her stories. They will make you cry like I have, as people related the stories of their families to me. It doesn't matter if they were Republicans, Nationalists, or neutral. They all suffered the same.

Wolf
Posted by: DrSigmundFraud

Re: Franco - 10/31/02 09:10 PM

Wolf,
There was yet another reason why Franco refused to be part of an invasion of Gibraltar. Churchill had made it clear that any Spanish or German intrusion in Gibraltar would result in the Brits taking the Canary islands.

Shalom Y'all
Posted by: mencey

Re: Franco - 11/01/02 12:00 AM

Have you been to the canary Islands? with all the brits that are ther, you'd think they have!
Posted by: Kurt

Re: Franco - 11/01/02 08:35 PM

As Dr. Frued and Wolf have so eloquently stated, Franco didn't refuse to co-operate with Hitler's plans in the Western Med out of some anti-nazi altruism: he simply weighed the chances for German victory against the US/UK and set his price for cooperation accordingly. Franco was always a pragmatist: accepting Axis aid when it suited him, and refusing to be held as 'owing' aid to the Axis when THEY needed it yet it was against his (and Spain's) interest. And, ultimately, it was probably in Spains's best interest that Franco's Phlangists won: A 'Republican' (aka 'Red'/'Socialist'/'Communist')Spain would not have been left in peace after WWII by the victorious Western Allies (aka 'Truman/'Eisenhower'). And Spain might have been left as weak and poor as Eastern Europe, rather than a nation able to accede to a market economy and pluralistic society.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/01/02 10:11 PM

Eddie mentions the Luftwaffe pilots escaping to Spain if necessary. An important fact. It wasn't just Germans that were helped. We have to remember that somewhere around 60,000 Jews were able to escape into Spain during WWII, and Franco didn't turn them over to the Germans. He allowed them to stay. When you compare it to Switzerland, where they took everything they had, and then turned them back over the Nazis. You have to give credit where credit is due.

I like this passage from Julius Caesar. It probably fits Franco in many ways. Shakespeare's words could have been written for him;

Quote:
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
Wolf
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 11/01/02 10:33 PM

Wolf, how true. My Library Science major professor had a great fondness for Spain and the Spanish people, especially the Basques. As a child of nine,he, his older brother and parents, Austrian Jews, fleeing the horror of Nazi concentration camps, managed to flee to France and were taken over the Pyrenees into Spain by Spanish Basques. They stayed in Spain until the end of the war, presumably repatriated as Sephardic Jews, and alive thanks to the kindness of the Spanish people, and of Francisco Franco.
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 05:27 AM

Wolf writes:
Quote:
Franco ... also warned Hitler that Spain wouldn't tolerate foreign soldiers on their soil.
and confused
Quote:
I don't get your point about the issue of German pilots. I believe we all agree that Spain offered sanctuary to these pilots.
Don't you detect a dichotomy between what Franco warned Hitler that "Spain wouldn't tolerate" and what Franco allowed (i.e., Rest camps for German Aviators)? rolleyes
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 06:57 AM

Booklady, Eddie,

There's no doubt Franco allowed not only rest areas for Nazis, but that he allowed their spy network to operate without hindering them. At the same time, refusing to allow German troops in Spain, it was a dichotomy. I think Franco may have been one of the "Great Wallendas" in disguise - confused

When you hear first hand, about Jews who survived Hitler's wrath, like Booklady and I have both heard from people who lived in the era, it somewhat softens our view of Franco. Even if he did it because he was of Jewish descent doesn't matter. He was over 400 years removed from that culture. The fact that he did it stands for itself.

Thee's another good book, by Herbert L. Matthews, Half of Spain Died . I believe it's out of print, but I did get a chance to read it in the University of Wisconsin Library a few years ago. It's a worthy read.

Wolf
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 12:06 PM

Wolf,
Which other non-democratic countries allowed jews in? confused
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 01:10 PM

Toddy,

That's a very good question because their doesn't seem to be any I can name off the top of my head. What's even worse, democratic nations didn't let them in either. That includes the U.S.

There's one book about this that has been echoed through time. Voyage Of The Damned, by Gordon Thomas & Max Witts This was turned into a movie as well, and based on the true story of an American ship, the St. Louis, rejected in 1939 in Cuba and the U.S., with nearly 1,000 Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. These two put together another interesting read, Guernica, which is chilling. Having read both, I can say they are worth buying if necessary. If you do decide to buy either or both, use MadridMan's link, so he gets the credit.

Wolf
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 03:47 PM

I'm not quite sure about Franco's measure of acceptance of jews. I'm also still researching the role of governments around the world as opposed to Franco's "acceptance of jews."

My only thesis, at this point, would be Franco's pre-occupation with controlling a very regionalized Spain.
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 04:40 PM

Toddy,

The question wasn't his acceptance of Jews, the question was whether or not he let them in to avoid being swept up in the halocaust. The answer to that question is, yes he did.

Whether or not that's an act of kindness, or what, it's hard to tell. Nobody has said he did it because he was trying to be a Saint. You can pick any answer you want.

If you don't believe 60,000 Jews made it to safety in Spain, that's your choice too.

Wolf
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/02/02 06:10 PM

Quote:
the question was whether or not he let them in to avoid being swept up in the halocaust. The answer to that question is, yes he did.
How much control did Franco have of his borders to "let" them in?
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 12:52 AM

Good question. Perhaps it was not a question of how much control Franco had of his border, but how little control Hitler had there. One might speculate that at the time the Jews were fleeing into Spain, Hitler was busy elsewhere, the Eastern front and North Africa?
Was Hitler going to waste armies to patrol all the passes into the Pyrenees from France into Spain, when he had bigger fish to fry?

James Michener chronicles in Iberia , 1968, page 547: that "...Generalissimo Franco is highly regarded by Jews; during the worst days of World War II, when pressures from Hitler were at their heaviest, Franco refused to issue anti-Jewish edicts and instead provided a sanctuary, never violated, for Jews who managed to make it to Spain. Many thousands of Jews owe their lives to Franco, and this is not forgotten."
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 11:15 AM

Booklady,
I think it was two things. Both Hitler AND Franco had bigger fish to fry. Franco needed to control and maintain a very regionalized Spain and Hitler had to fight a war. I'm still not convinced on giving Franco any humanitarian award in regards to his treatment of jews during WWII.

Should apathy be honored confused
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 01:06 PM

Who says Spain was regionalized? wink

During Franco dictatorship the repression against nationalism (catalonian and basque) had as a consequence that these nationalisms were inactive... until the last years of the dictatorship, in which they became very very active (and violent).

Let's also not forget that the majority of the industrial complexes created in Catalonia and the Basque Country were created during his dictatorship as a way to keep people in these two regions satisfied.

Fernando
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 02:20 PM

Quote:
During Franco dictatorship the repression against nationalism
That's my point. Franco was pre-occupied with controlling nationalism and maintaining Spain's weak economy. Therefore, Franco was apathetic, at best, to the jews entering his country.
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 05:44 PM

Apathetic? As I have heard he gave explicit orders to his ambassadors to protect jews. Spanish embassies in Europe brought here thousands of jews claimning them as sephards.

This thread is missing some points I think. Everywhere in the Pyrenees you may find thousands of bunkers from the Franco's times, which were built during the WWII because Franco was sure that Hitler would end invading Spain. Franco was not fascist. Franco was franquist. And through all his dictatorship he made use of the spanish fascists when he needed to, and kick them from the government when he wanted to.

As far as I know his represive measures were fusilating republican officers (and soldiers) and criminals of war (on the republican side). Since the end of the war the measures consisted on things as prohibiting the use of basque or catalonian, jailing communists (and other ideologies members), and restricting many kinds of freedom. Yes, he was a dictatorship and he did many bad things, but comparing him to Hitler or Mussolini is not accurate.

Would Spain have entered the WWII we would have been completely harrased by the allies, and we wouldn't still conserve our monumental capital. Franco, for one thing or another, didn't make Spain enter that horrible war, and sent the Blue Division (made of volunteers) to aid Hitler in the russian front (casually? or was it intended?). He achieved two things by sending it: give Hitler a symbolic aid (against Stalin's communists) and sending far away the most reactionary and extremist spanish fascists which he had at the end of the war.

The spanish civil war was horrible. And the winners did many horrible things to the losers (would the republicans have won, they would have done the same), but we should honour every spaniard and forgeiner who lost his or her life in that war, not just depriving a side of the honour to give it to the other side. Nor the republicans or the nationals were saints. I could mention true barbarities commited by both bands (for example the Gernica bombing by the nationals, or the blood-bath at Paracuellos del Jarama by the republicans, in both cases thousands of inocents were massively killed).

Fernando
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/03/02 09:06 PM

Quote:
Apathetic? As I have heard he gave explicit orders to his ambassadors to protect jews.
Could I get a source on that? confused
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/04/02 10:22 AM

If I had a source I would have posted it wink It is something I have readen elsewhere. I think I read it in a press article when the Spielberg's movie Schindler's List was released.

Fernando
Posted by: fmiketheman

Re: Franco - 11/04/02 10:34 AM

hello everybody

the reason franco helped jews into spain is because alot of them are sephardic and to franco that meant they were to some degree "spaniards" (because of there pre-1492 origin from spain).also because of this fact he thought they deserved to be treated as spaniards and welcomed in spain.that could possibly be the reason why shortly after the facist spain period the treaty that expelled jews from spain was abolished.

but i also i agree with the person who commented that another reason is because he was probably of close jewish descent himself.i mean what else would push a staunchly devout and somewhat intolerant roman catholic as himself see these jews in such a good light.
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/05/02 11:21 AM

Back to the topic
This last saturday I could read a recent update on the matter of mass graves from the Civil War. The association of relatives and friends of Oviedo mass grave (Asociacion de Familiares y Amigos de la Fosa Comun de Oviedo) asked the Autonomous community of Asturias to unbury some 200 of the corpses, as their relatives have asked to be allowed to bury them properly. The mass grave is placed beneath the modern parking of the graveyard, and some 1700 people lie there, those who were shot short after the end of the siege of Oviedo in 1937, plus 155 people who died in prison not long later.
Asturian parliament has agreed, EXCEPT THE POPULAR PARTY, which claims this will "renew old wounds".
The "peperos" will never end amazing me. How cynical a human being can eventually be, after all?
See all the topic at http://www.lavozdeasturias.com/noticias/noticia.asp?pkid=20949
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 11/05/02 06:27 PM

I was doing a bit on research on Toddy's question about sources on Franco's assistance to Jews escaping the Nazis and found the following citation to a Newsweek article in a website that was selling a book about Franco, and I did find that the quote was genuine:
Quote:
Newsweek, March 2, 1970 page number 53.

Rabbi Chaim Lipschitz of Brooklyn's Torah Vodaath and Mesivta Rabbinical Seminary states:
" I have absolute proof that Franco saved more than 60,000 Jews during World War II."

He adds: "the stories of how Franco went out of his way to get Jews out of concentration camps are fantastic."

"One of the most dramatic stories, the rabbi has uncovered concerns a telephone call Franco made to Hitler on Jan. 8, 1944. The Spanish leader demanded that 1,242 Jews scheduled for extermination in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp be released and sent to Spain."

" Rabbi Lipschnitz argues that the Generalisimo's concern for Jews antedates World War II. In October 1923, he says , 30 year old Lt. Colonel Franco, then commander of the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco, deluged his government with memos pleading for protection for the thousands of Sephardic Jews who had migrated to Morocco. The Spanish government decreed in 1924 that any Sephardic Jew in the world was entitled to Spanish citizenship upon request."

"Why was Franco so concerned about the Jews? Lipschitz himself is uncertain."
Perhaps Rabbi Lipschitz answers this question in his book entitled: Franco, Spain, the Jews and the Holocaust. Obtainable from Amazon.com here at this site, or read all about it at your public library!
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/05/02 07:59 PM

Very interesting Booklady, then why would Franco be so cruel to his own Spanish population? confused
Posted by: Booklady

Re: Franco - 11/05/02 09:27 PM

I look at the question differently, Toddy
I see his treatment of Jews as the phenomena that lacks versimilitude and is somewhat unpredictable. That's why it is very interesting to examine Franco's motivation. His intransigence and ill treatment towards his own defeated countrymen did not change during or after the Civil War, he was predictable there. This dichotomy is what makes Franco an interesting historical figure. Perhaps as time passes, and those involved die and documents become accessible, historians will be able to uncover the answer to your questions.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/06/02 09:41 AM

Quote:
That's why it is very interesting to examine Franco's motivation
I totally agree, as I started this thread with "more study needs to be done."
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/11/02 10:55 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/11/intern...artner=MOREOVER

A great article
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/11/02 06:21 PM

A great link. It is refreshing, at times, to see a honest and realistic view on Spanish issues from other countries`media. In Spanish papers there is such a terrible self-censorship...
This country stinks, really. The fascists won, they maintained they advantage, and their descendants still want everything to stay without any change...
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/11/02 07:03 PM

That is something a bit strong...

I don't see any censorship, just indiference. Let the families bury their people properly, but let's not make a crusade of this.

The NYT article is worth of reading wink
Posted by: Miguelito

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 02:59 AM

Thank you for the link Toddy. Fernando, it's not to make a crusade. Nobody is going to pay now for the crimes of the past, but it's just to bring up the whole truth. This is the better tribute we can do to the victims. A lot of people has the feeling that the Franco era wasn't so bad, or that at least it was better than the Republic, and this is like a foot on the head of the people who suffered it..
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 08:50 AM

Indeed, the Republica was not better than Franco dictatorship...

I feel and believe that the families have aaaall the right to bury publicly and properly their beloved, and I agree 100% in the use of public money to search for massive graves.

In what I can't agree is in that we live in a fascist country, or that there exist any self censorship in the media. That is not only truth, but confusing the liberty of expression with a censorship.

Fernando
Posted by: Miguelito

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 10:17 AM

Fernando, self censorship is everywhere, because the medias have a lot of particular interests. George Orwell wrote an article more than 50 years ago as a preface for his book Rebelión en la granja (sorry I don't remember the original tittle). It's a great book, as all the editors thought, but noone wanted to publish it because it was critic with the URSS, and the URSS was a friend country against the nazi Germany, and the crimes of Stalin were not so bad (this is an example of self censorship), of course I could look for other examples of today if you want.
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 03:22 PM

There is no legal gap at all between the Franco regime and current, let`s say, democracy. That is why they call it "transicion" and not "revolucion". For example, all the laws that were created by Franco governments remained legal, as long as the Parliament didn`t start to change them one by one, after 1978.
The "Movimiento Nacional", that is, the supporters of Franco, gathered in Alianza Popular. This is NOT intended to ofend anyone, it is just a historical fact, as anyone who reads, for example, the debate about the Constitution will easily find out. Alianza Popular became Partido Popular in the late eighties, more or less, since they saw they needed a slight change if they wanted to win the elections some day. That is the moment when they supposedly started to "move to the center".
It is funny that they now support so fiercely the same Constitution they hated not so long ago, or the Estatuto de Guernika. But it is easy to understand the reason if you remember that they have no better chance, to keep Spain united, than to defend the Autonomias state. The only alternative it is accepting the self-determination of the peoples of Spain.
Well, that is exactly the same as their attitude towards the Franco regime. They can`t support the unburying of the mass graves (remember, in Oviedo they opposed). They can`t do that, since many of them, and many of their voters, simply support Franco and the shooting of leftists. On the other hand, they neither can`t state simply "Let all those reds rot under the parking of the graveyard, our only mistake it was to let their damned families to escape". Then What can they do? They start whining "oh, let`s forget about the past, that was so long ago. Everybody is to blame equally in the Civil War, both victims and fascist murderers".
Those relatives who didn`t dare to fix a simple memorial stone, until the early 90`s, had not any reason to do so but FEAR. Not sloth, not oblivion; just fear. If you visit Oviedo today, you will find a monument devoted to the Franquist victory in the Plaza de Espana, just before the Parque de San Francisco. A monument which includes a depiction of Franco`s face. Who wonders the victims` families feared to ask to unbury their kins?
Now, tell me, how come almost no one younger than 50 even thinks about these sort of things? How come the media spend all their time praising the king and explaining us how great the Constitution is? I have only one explanation: due to self-censorship, due to willing oblivion.
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 05:37 PM

So you are saying that between the 11 million PP voters a majority are Franco supporters and want all the leftists shooted. Interesting statement. It says everything about your opinion.

Fernando
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/12/02 06:59 PM

Among PP supporters there ARE many franquists, although I admit I have never read figures about the matter (maybe these figures don`t exist, maybe it is a "touchy" matter and they are not displayed to the public). And many of the leaders bear, say, far right ideas. See, when Escriva de Balaguer was made saint, how many PP ministers travelled to Rome. Being a member of Opus Dei is not exactly what I would call a "progressive" person.
It is an interesting point that in the earliest elections, 1977 (or 1979? anyway, I am referring to those when Suarez won), when AP didn`t bother to conceal its Franquist links, it still collected a good handful of votes.
I think anyone who knows Spain can report that it is not difficult to find people who claim to "occupy" the Basque country, and end all these nonsense about independence. That is the kind of people I regard as franquists. People who think it is acceptable to do certain things, like starting a war, when "the country is in danger"
Posted by: big jamon

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 11:05 AM

yeah franco was a real saint...that's why my mother's family barely escaped to morocco with just the clothes on their backs...and why they rejoyced so when the bastard finally croaked...
sounds like more revisionist history...
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 02:39 PM

Yes big jamon, and my granddad was tortured in a franquist prison camp after the war, but we must see things in perspective. As someone said in this thread, give credit when it is due, and criticize when there is a reason. The Franco regime was not black or white. It was very bad in general, though it had certain positive aspects.

Cristobo, things are that, althought you may be right and there were reconverted franquists in AP (perhaps the reason for which they barely obtained votes) you are saying that there are many (that means a majority) franquists in PP. Tell me:

What is a franquist? Can someone be a follower of other who is dead?

If AP had 50,000 votes and now PP has 11 million votes, why do you think a majority of those millions are franquists? (Though I agree with your dislike for Opus Dei and certain ministers).

I'm sorry, but for me it is just rethoric...

Fernando
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 04:05 PM

Quote:
As someone said in this thread, give credit when it is due, and criticize when there is a reason. The Franco regime was not black or white. It was very bad in general, though it had certain positive aspects.

FERNANDO!!!!???
Remember, Hitler and Musalini did great things for some people! mad
Your debate tactic of dismissing arguments as rhetoric or grey areas does not get to the point.
Franco won and thus was able to establish a country on HIS terms. This legacy has not been over-turned merely transitioned. Spain MUST confront the stories and deal with them in a very civilized way. If Spain doesn't, and those that hold these horrific stories die, Spain will self-destruct upon the lack of a TRUE history.
toddy (a strong PP supporter)
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 04:40 PM

A majority?
I think I never said that, see my post. In any case, for the record, I don`t believe there is a majority of Franquist supporters among PP voters.
But I do think they exist, and I also believe PP needs to keep them happy too, else they will look for some more suitable option, some Spanish version of Le Pen (Gil, for instance).
It is possible to be a Franquist after Franco`s death, just as it is possible to be a Peronist after the death of Peron.
But I do agree on something, things are never black and white. I think Toddy is right about the need to look at history in a civilized, honest way. That means, we have to face history is NOT a movie, there is nothing such as good and evil in it. We shouldn`t use the conquers of yesterday to justify our wrongs of today.
Yeah, Hitler did good things, just as Churchill did horrible ones. I don`t think Auschwitz is morally worse than the bombing of Dresden. But it is winners who write history. The only difference it is that, in Spain, it was the fascists who won.
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 06:12 PM

Toddy, it is not a debate tactic, it is just that in my honest opinion Cristobo was using a great deal of rethoric by stating that "many" PP voters were franquist. If franquists exist they have more than 80 years-old. I don't know anyone, but I know of a bunch of PP voters.

We must respect any political election as long as its principles are democratic and respect our Constitution and values.

As for Hitler, Mussolini and the grey theory I don't understand what annoys you Toddy. With all due respect, no matter how bad, criminal and unhuman this dictators were, they also did positive things (Hitler for example was able to rebuilt Germany from the devastation following the WWI). Yes, they were criminals, genocides, they were directly responsible for the assasination of million of jews, and also for the deaths of two dozens of persons due to the war. On thing doesn't deny the other.

In the same way, I'm saying that, although Franco was a dictator who imposed a antidemocratic regime in which leftists were prosecuted for their ideas, and although he was responsible for war crimes, and post-war crimes (as these killings we are talking about), he made other smart decisions, and was able to rebuild a devastated Spain without the aid of the Marshall Plan, and the blockade of the allies. He also built a net of infrastructures (roads, railways, lakes) and industrialized some specific regions.

My opinion, however, is that his government was very negative. He governed Spain for 40 years, and in the end left Spain with 20 years of delay from the rest of Europe, not to forget what we are talking about (massive graves).

As I have said before I think that the families have all the right to investigate it (even with public money).

And for the symbols that still exist in Spain from the Franco era I wouldn't dismount or destroy them. No matter how horrible they are, and what they represent, they are historic monuments.

The Inquisition made real atrocities, and noone thinks of demolishing cathedrals or ancient churches or palaces.

Fernando
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 08:08 PM

Quote:
And for the symbols that still exist in Spain from the Franco era I wouldn't dismount or destroy them. No matter how horrible they are, and what they represent, they are historic monuments.

The Inquisition made real atrocities, and noone thinks of demolishing cathedrals or ancient churches or palaces.

Fernando, where do you stand? You take one stance only to dance to another. Nothing in life is exactly black or white, however we MUST take a strong stance as human beings to progress a civilized society. Spain HAS to fully confront the Civil War; especially under the LEADERSHIP of Franco. However painful, Civil War secret's will only advance the healing process and allow Spain the ability to move on and get out of the back seat of the euro train (by which Sr. Franco left España. wink
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/13/02 09:47 PM

Cristobo,

You don't find Auschwitz morally worse than the bombing of Dresden? You'd compare the murder of 6,000,000 Jews to the prosecution of war, bombing a city that was a leader in munition and arms manufacturing? Apparently you and I step to the tune of different drummers. I find what the Nazis did an outrage against humanity, not prosecution of war.

Fernando,

When was the last time you saw a homage to Adolph Hitler in Germany? A statue? Yet Spain considers the Franco monmuments "art?" It's time to pull down all the reminders from that past.

Until you face the reality that the man had tens of thousands of people slaughtered like diseased sheep, and bury the remains of these poor souls properly, you're just trying to sweep his dirt under the rug.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 05:16 AM

200 000 victims? VACUUM BOMBS? Was that really necessary? Dresden was not only one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it was a hospital-city, receiving refugees from the East, wounded people and civilians. Red crosses were painted on the roofs.
The war was mostly won by then, I wonder if the allies bombed Dresden just "to test" new weapons, as it appears to be the case in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In any case, the bombing of civilian aims was a widely spread tactic in the allied side, things like the "tapestry bombing". The aim it was supposed to be reducing the moral of the enemy. When allied pilots fell to ground, they often were lynched by people. Horrible, of course, but I can hardly blame them.
Hitler (and others) was a racist and commited terrible crimes, but I wonder why should I think that he was worse than, say, Stalin, who was supposed to be one of the "good guys".
Why have they filmed so many movies, tv series, and so on, about Auschwitz, while no one has ever said a word on the massacres of Germans (millions) in Silesia and Czech Republic, short after the war? Why is it so hard to accept that all the victims are the same, that no one is entitled to blame, to say "I am only a victim, you are only a criminal?"
As to Franquist monuments, in Catalonia they have found the perfect solution: they maintain many of them, along with a plate which reminds the historical meaning of them, for example "this bridge was built by forced Republican prisioners".
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 07:59 AM

Cristobo,

Only someone who wants to see a picture through a different perspective than what really existed has the willingness to refer to Nagasaki and Hiroshima as being other than what it was. The bombing of those two cities was done to save millions of lives on both sides, that would have been lost, had the allies invaded Japan. You better read your history a lot better, even the Japanese version now cedes that the loss of life would have been over 5,000,000 more, had we not done what we did. Your statement is totally without merit.

An interesting side-note on the bombing of Dresden. Hitler ordered the hospitals placed directly beside munitions and arms plants with the intent of causing us to bomb them as well. Yet you fail to identify that fact, because it doesn't fit into your narrow view of how you want to see history. Then there was the anti-aircraft fire - blistering, according to accounts. Hundreds upon hundreds of Allied airmen died in the attacks, including my great-uncle, who was on his 23rd mission. He would have come home to his wife and two kids if the bombing didn't have to take place.

Lynching Allied airmen. Wonderful. The same people who said, "We knew nothing about it!," when they were confronted with what the Third Reich was doing to the Jewish population of Europe. I can hardly feel sorry for people like that. Hitler carried on a campaign to destroy London and its inhabitants years earlier. But you failed to mention that also. Your "one sided view" of history is alarming. Apparently you've never bothered to take the time to read about all sides of issues. Can you explain why?

Where did you get this "mis-guided" concept that everyone thought Stalin was a good guy? Really now. You obviously haven't read up on the subject to much. He was an ally in defeating Germany, not a buddy of the US or Great Britain. You better open a few books and get your facts straight.

I could care less how Spain handles the monuments to a dictator. It's their business. Personally, keeping the info that these monuments were built by slave labor is an important statement, and may very well be enough. But the business of properly burying those who were senselessly slaughtered on both sides of the revolution belongs to those who are alive today, regardless of which side you stand on. Nothing will convince me differently.

Wolf
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 08:06 AM

Toddy, do I really have to explain where I stand? smile

I think that our current model of state is the best we have had in our whole history. Much better than the Franco's dictatorship, and better than the corrupted II República. The main reasons for this thought is that the current model of state was born with the aportations of every political force in Spain, and we have achieved a state in which liberties are respected and we can live reasonably well.

I think that the crimes commited by the Franco regime should be condemned (authors can't be prosecuted because these crimes were commited at the beginning of the dictatorship and they are probably dead).

What I wanted to state is that things in real life are not just good or bad, and that even in the worst dictatorships we can find some good events. Of course as a whole, I don't know any dictatorship which can be qualified as "good".

Comparing Franco (or the fascist portuguese dictator) with Hitler or Mussolini is void. They are similarities, but I find that no matter how assasins they all were, it is not the same to systematicly kill millions of jews, gypsies and other ethnias attending precisely their ethnia, than prosecuting the political oposition as Franco did (it is said that the total number of deaths during the war and post-war was around 200,000). Even between the evil there are scales.

As for the bombing of Dresden and other german cities I fully agree with Cristobo. No matter that we all agree that the allies were the good guys and the axis the bad guys. The allies also commited errors and unjustified assasinations.

I have visited Germany and most of the monuments were harrased, was it necessary? What for the 2 million german women forced by russian troops? What for the massive german assasinations after the end of the war? Some of them were unjustified and weren't consequence of a court's decission.

War is always dirty. With the time wounds heal, and I agree with you all that the way is to investigate what happend and uncover the truth no matter how painful it is.

Fernando
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 09:29 AM

Cristobo, Fernando,

In retrospect, I agree with both of you, that the bombing of Dresden was wrong. Yet, I have to understand how the British Air Wing, and the people in Churchill's cabinet, felt that it wasn't any worse than what happened when the Germans bombed London. Right or wrong, it was a decision that I don't think they took lightly.

According to many historians, the reason the bombing was carried out was to destroy German morale, and put an end to the war as soon as possible. Whether or not we agree with that is our own point of view. After all, it wasn't the Allies who declared war on the rest of Europe, was it?

I wonder how many lives that it saved, since the war wound down very fast after those raids. I wonder if it did save a lot of lives. I don't know for sure, but neither does anyone else.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 11:52 AM

First of all:
Please, please, let`s don`t make it personal. Everybody, all over the world, lost some relative in those terrible years. Me too.
Most of the History books that I could read, and ALL the information that the media provide, are one-sided...on the allied side. It took me years to understand that the other side has never stood a chance to explain their reasons. The other side doesn`t mean Hitler, it means the German people.
This is not all, but well...I think this is growing an off-topic. Would you mind if I go on in the Non-Spain discussion? I am just starting there a new thread
Posted by: big jamon

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 01:51 PM

..."Please, please, let`s don`t make it personal. Everybody, all over the world, lost some relative in those terrible years"...

all lost some...some lost all...
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 03:33 PM

What puzzles me is why all discussions regarding Franco end up with accusations of wrong doings by others, in another period of time, making it appear that what Franco did was okay, because someone else did something else, to someone else.

Is that the defense for Franco? That someone else did something bad? Is that Spain's way of facing their own past?

What's even more insulting to some of us is the fact that most of these attacks are against what the allies did during WWII. Rarely, if ever, are the actions of the Nazis and Fascists considered, except in a back-handed way, saying, "Yes, they did some wrong too." It's as if it's a defense, and alignment with the cause of the Nazis. my God! Hitler and his people murdered 6,000,000 Jews! There is no redeeming quality to anything he did, when that is considered. Franco and his people murdered tens of thousands of people, and you'd explain it away by saying the Allies bombed Dresden? Where is there a shred of morality in using that as a defense? Have you lost sight of the fact that these people murdered their own flesh and blood, and now want to "forget about it?" That they really have no remorse, and their roots are into your present government which you defend, as if they were Gods of righteousness?

I'm sorry! Come to grips with what happened, and help these people bury their dead. Quit using diversionary tactics to defend what was done. It's the way people heal. Saying that monuments have a label, "Built by slave labor," isn't the answer. Maybe there should be walls built, like our Viet Nam wall, and the names of the thousands who died put up on these walls, so you can see their names.

It's like a tag we put on clothing made in China here in the U.S. "Made in China" I think that should say, "Made in China by slave labor. Of course that would upset people, so they don't do it, but it would be true.

For a monument, honoring Franco, the least they could do is list then names of the tens of thousands who died. It would be fitting in my mind. Not just, "Built by slave labor." That doesn't take us one step closer to realizing how many people he killed, which goes far and away beyond those he enslaved.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 04:33 PM

Wolf
I hope you are not insinuating that it is ME who tries to reduce the responsability of Franco (and many others) during the war and even after. I know all what they did. I got shocked when I read Southworth`s books, but I think I was strong enough to accept what they implied. It was then when I started to abandon my former conservative beliefs. It is a shame that you can hardly find a Spanish-speaking author who dares to tell what happened as honestly as Southworth did.
I would sign your post, as far as all that part about "have the grips to face the past" is concerned.
All I mean is, and you should agree as a historian, no one is better than the neighbour. I can`t accept WWII is simply something like "Hitler was the devil, and the allies saved the world". That is not history, that is propaganda. WWI was a fight for the control of colonial territories, which brought out the end of German colonial adventures. And WWII was the struggle of a certain number of industrial powers to manage the second stage of colonialism. If we start to add corpses, which is quite a ridiculours way to check who is more or less moral...then the USSR, one of the allies, would win by large. Then the nazis, I guess (God knows, maybe China was a more bloody regime). But then, I think France and the US would get quite even. The colonial wars of France (Algeria, of course, but not only) where a blood bath, concentration camps included. As to the US, you know the war in Philippines was nothing to feel proud of. Nor the support for Guatemala genocide, nor the napalm, nor May Lai, nor the money to put in power all that dictators, from Chile to Persia...
I don`t feel any sort of national pride, nor scorn any country. I am not anti-American (well, I can`t stand the English, but not even the Scots can). If I say that I feel only Asturian, I think that shows obviously how far I feel about the glories of any empire. No war has a fair cause to be started. All of them are dirty.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 07:20 PM

Quote:
The main reasons for this thought is that the current model of state was born with the aportations of every political force in Spain, and we have achieved a state in which liberties are respected and we can live reasonably well.

Hmmmmm, I think you should ask the Basques, the Catalans, the Asturians, the Galacians, and the N African colonies and islands.
Fernando,
I think you fall in the generation of a Post-franco education. You are not alone. Hopefully, the new generation will see ALL the truth. It's time to stop these Spanish myths; remember what I said once, "Don Quixote, that's a windmill, not an army."
Spain had FORTY YEARS of a dicator. Dictators tend to HIDE the truth. It's time for Spain to seek the TRUTH! cool
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 07:26 PM

Quote:
WWI was a fight for the control of colonial territories, which brought out the end of German colonial adventures. And WWII was the struggle of a certain number of industrial powers to manage the second stage of colonialism.
Wolf, where did these guys study history? I can't believe this. Was this the way Franco and a post-Franco educational system dealt with the Spanish inferiority complex. Now we have a generation of skewed thinkers. WOW more study for sure needs to be done. eek
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 07:53 PM

Well, just my opinion of post-Franco student but:

This thread is dedicated to Franco. I felt the need to clarify that a) He wasn't just a murderer (though he was) b) He had little resemblance to Hitler and Mussolini and c) The other side of the war was equally cruel. Take this as defense of him, no matter what I say I will be taken as a son of franquism, so I will not make any effort to defend myself.

It is very easy to dig in the mud of a forgein country, but accepting that your country had also things to forget is not that easy uhh?

I think it is a lack of respect that when our opinions are not shared we automaticly are considered poor children born during the third-world dictatorship or the following democracy. You put in question my education, the press I read and even the history books I read, as if I were reading Mein Kampf to state every opinion I make.

I'm young yes, but I almost have a college degree, and I speak 4 languages. You may disagree with what I say, but please don't call me idiot, and also try not to answer just with the "you are being manipulated" cause I can distinguish when a manipulation exists.

I always argue my opinions, but I really can't stand just answers like these. Please avoid them, treat people with respect if you expect respect from them.

Thanks for understanding it.

Fernando
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 08:11 PM

Quote:
The other side of the war was equally cruel.
Before AND after the war? confused
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 08:13 PM

Well, well...
God knows Fernando and I don`t share the same ideas, but this time I have to say I agree with much of his words.
Toddy, if you don`t agree with me, just tell me. And then explain me the reason. If I don`t mock the CNN, the speeches from Bush (and Condolezza, and the others) and the jingoistic, manichean way many Americans see their own history, then I don`t see why should I accept your comments about my education, my age, or my (supposed) inferiority complex.
Maybe you can explain me, since your education apparently beats mine, if the Bretton Woods agreements had any relation with WWII, or if this war was just another fight of "good against evil". If you can explain that, then you have my permission to mock my "skewed thought".
Posted by: Wolf

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 09:00 PM

Toddy,

And these are the people who have the answer to the Basque issue? :eek That's another topic that will go on till hell freezes over, because nobody will discuss the truth.

Wolf
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 09:15 PM

Great
Really, great. I never felt so clearly a cultural gap in my life. We live in different planets. Earth is mine, by the way.
Well, I`ll save my breath. It is not worth the pain.
Posted by: toddy

Re: Franco - 11/14/02 10:01 PM

Quote:
I can`t accept WWII is simply something like "Hitler was the devil, and the allies saved the world". That is not history, that is propaganda. WWI was a fight for the control of colonial territories, which brought out the end of German colonial adventures. And WWII was the struggle of a certain number of industrial powers to manage the second stage of colonialism
If you're implying that every war has it's interests; that is a very redundant simplistic argument. However, a better, more complex and accurate argument would be the idea of a dictator's rise to power based on the propagandized nationlistic fodder many young and old Germans ate up created an out of control war machine that was hell bent on war. To a certain degree, the allys were the bad guys, because they didn't fry the mother*^%* sooner. In my opinion, the US, for instance, came way too late to fight. However, in the end, there was a bad guy and his regime named Hitler and there were good guys aaaaand guess what GERMANY, FRANCE, AND ITALY BECAME DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES (over blood spilled by some of my relatives mind you) Wow, what a difference some good guys can make! laugh
Posted by: Cristobo Carrín

Re: Franco - 11/15/02 05:58 AM

That is much better indeed. Good.
I admit that partially, of course you and Wolf are true: given the situation, say, in 1943, of course it was much better for France if the allies won the war, not Germany. For the Poles, the Hungarians, or the Czechs, I think it made no difference; nazi boot was not worse than Soviet one. Spaniards, too, didn`t care a damn, since no one bothered to kick that “bad guy” called Franco. Have you ever seen the pic where a smiling FDR hugs an equally happy Paquito? It is so charming...by the way, many of my countrymen bled all over Europe, rather fighting as partisans in France, or confined in Mauthausen, and it wasn`t worth a damn to bring democracy here, “mind you”. As to “every war has its interests”, I would rather say it is economical and political interests which causes wars. All the rest is just nice lies.
Posted by: Fernando

Re: Franco - 11/15/02 08:11 AM

As Cristobo says, I don't share most of his ideas and opinions but in this thread at least he has always tried to argue his opinions, have you Wolf and Toddy done it?

You may disagree Wolf and Toddy, but what you have said ends for me this thread. You seem to know all the answers to our problems. Great for you.

Fernando
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Franco - 11/15/02 08:42 AM

I think 5-pages of discussion is MORE than enough on this touchy, controversial, and disputed topic. It was a decent run but has reached its end. Thanks to all for their participation. smile

Saludos, MadridMan