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#53238 - 10/30/02 05:33 PM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
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

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#53239 - 10/30/02 06:38 PM Re: Franco
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
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!
_________________________
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
--St. Augustine (354-430)

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#53240 - 10/30/02 08:40 PM Re: Franco
toddy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/02/00
Posts: 303
Loc: USA
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.

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#53241 - 10/30/02 08:45 PM Re: Franco
DrSigmundFraud Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 17
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

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#53242 - 10/31/02 12:16 AM Re: Franco
Kurt Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago, IL. USA
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.

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#53243 - 10/31/02 01:38 AM Re: Franco
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 313
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
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.

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#53244 - 10/31/02 05:54 AM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
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

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#53245 - 10/31/02 06:06 AM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
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

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#53246 - 10/31/02 07:14 AM Re: Franco
Cristobo Carrín Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 136
Loc: Asturias
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.

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#53247 - 10/31/02 07:46 AM Re: Franco
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
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

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