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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Macabre irony: most remains at Spanish fascist mausoleum are anti-fascists


Maybe you have heard of the
Valle de los Caídos, the megalomaniatic monument that Spanish dictator Francisco Franco ordered to build to honor the fallen fascists in Cuelgamuros, not too far from Madrid.

It seems now that most of the anonyous remains buried in its crypt are actually anti-fascists, the remains of people executed by the francoists all through Spain during the Civil War. Apparently there was much reluctance to move the remains of the fascists because of emotional reasons so, eventually, in order to fill the crypt somehow, the government ordered the move of hundreds of remains of executed republicans and anarchists from mass burials everywhere.

Now, more than thirty years after the death of the fundamentalist tyrant, the Society of Sciences Aranzadi is finally researching the issue, specifically for those remains that originated in the Basque Country. There are hundreds of Basques in the fascist monument: 146 from Araba, 123 from Navarre, 213 from Biscay and 16 from Gipuzkoa. Those from Araba and Navarre are certain to be all anti-fascists, the other just suspected.

This is not something new: already in 1956, the year of the monument was officially inaugurated, Basque newspapers reported that most of the corpses moved from Araba had bee taken from the cemetery of Villareal, where the gudariak (Basque troops) fallen in the battle of Legutio rested.

The information is in the hands of the Benedictine friars, in charge of the mausoleum. Some sources suggest that there are many more republicans than fascists buried in Cuelgamuros. Not only the case of Villarreal is known, other documents mention the unburial of people that had been executed and buried on the spot at roadsides, "red" priests taken from the cemetery of Hernani, etc. Two thirds of the people buried there are not yet identified.

The construction of the Valle de los Caídos was initiated in 1940, just after the war was over, and was built by slave labour recruited among anti-fascist prisioners. Many died due to the brutal conditions. Besides the thousands of unidentified or ill-identified burials, several fascist leaders, including dictator Franco rest in it. It is a pilgrimage spot for fascists.

The Spanish authorities delayed abnormally the concession of the permit for this research: while normally this kind of studies are authorized within days, in this case they took seven months to consider it. But Basque authorities are also trying to avoid the issue: Lehendakari J.J. Ibarretxe has ignored the requests of support by relatives who think their loved ones are insultingly buried together with their murderers.

Source: Gara.

20 comments:

Tod said...

At the time even, the Germans thought it was overblown one was quoted as saying "who does Franco think he is, a new Pharaoh"

Tod said...

You may be interested in an article that appeared in the UK's biggest Sunday newspaper. If you can stomach reading what they say about Garzon or Basque militants that is.

Spain stirs its civil war ghosts (The Sunday Times)

Maju said...

No link, Tod.

Tod said...

Spain stirs its civil war ghosts

Tod said...

Sorry, I tried but as you can see posting links is not my strong point.
If you google the title (Spain stirs its civil war ghosts) you should find the article right away.

Maju said...

It's ok. I could find it. The proper link is THIS ONE, you pasted the blog's link together with the other one.

What can I add: there was an ideological cleansing specially in the first months of the war, through all the fascist area. And it was followed by almost 40 years of fundamentalist fascism. The people of my parents' and grandparents' generations are nearly all scared. And the Spanish conservatives are for the most part nothing but the heirs of Franco. I don't like Garzón, who has no problem covering up tortures, and I think he does mostly for self-promotion but there will be no real peace until fascism is really judged. In any case, the modern "democracy" is direct heir of fascism and the current king was Franco's adoptee (and he's even suspected to have killed his brother and heir presumpt, though the matter is obscure, as everything surrounding the Spanish monarchy on whom the media can't speak freely).

Ken said...

MICHAEL PORTILLO: It is wrong to dig up the fallen of the Spanish Civil War

Is it true that the killing of priests was common?; I thought that was a myth like the story about Dolores Ibárruri killing one by well... you know.

Maju said...

Probably not as common as they say but, you know, winners are the ones who write history books - normally.

So in Franco's time the crimes of the reds were widely publicized but the fascist crimes were hidden instead.

I know that in my hometown the fascists killed two nationalist priests (not all priests were fascists). I also know that in the areas that fell in the fascist side early on, every single man who could be accused of being "red" was killed and their children sent to macabre orphanages or adopted by fascist families.

There were some burnings of monasteries and churches in some areas but mostly priests and nuns were spared. But there are some cases of massacres or summary killings by the republicans, mostly by the most radical elements like anarchists or communists. These are well known and I can recall two: one in Madrid and another in Bilbao, this one in revenge for the bombing of Durango and Gernika (the assault of the jail, not far from where I live, was in search of a German pilot protected (jailed) by the right-wing Basque Nationalists.

But the situation was much worse in the fascist zone and is something that has not been researched for the most part. Many thousands still lay where they were killed by the fascist death squads at roadsides everywhere.

This is what the fascists and conservatives (most fascists were just recycled tories, the same that most tories now are recycled fascists) don't want: that their murderous past is analyzed and denounced. They sealed their forty-years tyranny with an amnesty and a pact of silence and reformed continuity so the wounds are still open and must be dealt with somehow.

Michael Portillo is a tory, so no wonder he is against this research and long overdue homage. Also Britain was accomplice of Spanish fascism, not just for not helping the Republic but also for tying France's hands, while allowing the Nazis and Italian fascists to send many many troops; by forcing a blockade that was only effective against the Republic. Franco would have never won without the help of Britain.

Ken said...

I have read that German emigres were influential in the Spanish left before the Civil War, anything to that?


The British considered the Soviet Union to be the real problem, not the Nazis, so yes they preferred a Fascist to a communist Spain. The guarantee to Poland originally covered only their independence; the British thought allowing Germany to take Polish land was acceptable and it would make war between Germany and the USSR quite likely (Chamberlain's strategy).

Only after the Nazi-Soviet Pact was the guarantee extended to Polands territory because at that point the British decided war was necessary; Germany and the USSR being friendly was not acceptable.

Clearly Stalin understood that he was freeing Hitler to strike in the west by making the pact. In effect he facilitated it.


What would have happened if a Communist government allied to Stalin had been in power in Spain during the Nazi-Soviet Pact ?

Maju said...

I have read that German emigres were influential in the Spanish left before the Civil War, anything to that?.

No idea. Never heard that.

The British considered the Soviet Union to be the real problem, not the Nazis, so yes they preferred a Fascist to a communist Spain.

More or less. They did that indeed in Germany a few years earlier, supporting Hitler against the KPD but the case in Spain was quite different because the communists were very weak.

The Spanish Popular Front, made at the image of that of France was dominated by liberal republicans and social-democrats. The communists were in but they were small and divided between stalinist and troskist currents. The real force of the radical left was the CNT, the anarchist labor union that had no interest in parliamentary politics but had three million members, what in a country that had some 20 million people or so, was a lot. Excepted a small breakaway group, the CNT boycotted systematically the elections.

But it stopped the coup in two cities, Barcelona and San Sebastian, by means of direct armed action. It also created a de facto sovereign anarchist zone in Catalonia and Aragon once the war had started. Zone that was explicitly boycotted by the USSR, who was the only one actively helping the Republic.

Germany and the USSR being friendly was not acceptable.

Actually that was not the issue. The Nazis had explicit plans to conquer all Russia, at least to the A-A line (Arkanghelsk-Astrakhan) and make it "the India of Germany".

That was what the Brits wanted to prevent. They were ok having a fascist puppet in Berlin, as they did in Italy and other countries, but they did not want by any means a recovery of Germany, which was the only European country at the time that could overshadow Britain.

It was the British-German rivalry which caused WWI, not some regicide in Sarajevo. Germany had overcome Britain as first European power in production terms some years before and that had caused the fracture of the long Anglo-Prussian alliance and a tense situation that could only lead to war between these two rival powers.

The Nazi project was so popular in Germany because it offered a plan for the recovery of that leading German position and a plan for a colonial empire that did not need anymore of naval supremacy, an area where the Germans could simply not compete because of their long land borders.

The British then went to war not because of Russo-German "friendship", which was just a diplomatic maneuver, but because the partition of Poland essentially allowed the Germans, once the dust settled, to invade Russia right away. Something they did anyhow a couple of years later without any warning nor provocation.

Britain started WWII, ironically enough, to defend the Soviet Union from being annexed to Germany as a colony. The only one who does not seem to have been aware of all that was Stalin, who seems to have truly believed in the pact with Germany.

Maju said...

What would have happened if a Communist government allied to Stalin had been in power in Spain during the Nazi-Soviet Pact ? -

That's an absurd question, as there was no risk whatsoever of that happening. The commies were weak and the government was a center-left bloc similar to the one that ruled in France.

There was some diffuse risk of an anarchist revolution, which briefly materialized in the 1936-37 period in the NE, as reaction to the fascist coup, but that was about all and London and Moscow were in agreement against the anarchists anyhow.

If the Republic would have withstood the fascist threat, most likely Hitler would have got a much more difficult time, as even if he conquered France, he would have still got enemies beyond the pyrenees (and well organized and armed, remember that most of the French Resistence was made up by Spanish exiles).

Napoleon said that his worst error was to invade Spain (not Russia, though guess that was his second worst error). If Hitler would have needed to make war in a rugged and hostile Spain at the same time he was also invading Russia... it would have been a very short war.

Capturing Spain (with local forces) was essential for the Nazi plans, as it kept France surrounded by German allies, limiting its ability to react.

Actually, Franco was about to enter the war in the side of the Nazis but there were serious military considerations at play. The Spanish regime, fearing a British invasion of some maritime areas (Canary Islands specially, but also some coastal areas near Portugal) demanded from the Germans to capture Suez before they intervened against Gibraltar, so at least the Mediterranean Sea would be an Axis zone, closed to British naval superiority.

As we know, that never happened in the end.

Ken said...

You make the anti Franco forces sound fragmented and very ineffective as a result, one wonders how they could ever have won if they couldn't concentrate their forces.

No Soviet aggression before Hitler invaded?; Stalin had already grabbed the Baltic states plus parts of Finland and Rumania. The British were mobilizing against the USSR over the war with Finland even after declaring war with Germany.

It is ridiculous to claim that Stalin didn't understand that in making a non agression pact with Hitler he was freeing him to attack France ect in the west. Stalin, like everone else underestimated Hitler and the German army. Few people expected Gemany to win against France and Britain. It's only because things didn't go as expected that Stalin was left looking naive.

Stalin wanted to sit the war between the capitalists out and reap the rewards. Neville Chamberlain wanted to see the fighting done by the Germans and Bolshies, we know he thought that because he said so to a meeting of important Tories.

With the the Nazi-Soviet pact the powerful Soviet deterent to any aggression was out of the equation and the British realized the balance of power had moved against them, which was unacceptable in a way that war between the Nazis and Soviets was not. If Hitler didn't have to worry about the Soviets at his back that suddenly made all the previous calculations obsolete.

It was just like Israel after
the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty
Begin didn't have to worry about Egypt so they started attacking Lebanon.

"The Camp David agreements in 1978-79 neutralized Egypt, leaving Israel "free to sustain military operations against the PLO in Lebanon as well as settlement activity on the West Bank" (Noam Chomsky)

Maju said...

The Republican or anti-Fascist forces were somewhat fragmented, of course. The anarchists were on their own and were very very strong in numbers and organization but they were not in favor the state or (of course) Capitalism. They were able to block the coup in two major cities and prevent the fascists from taking over the navy (sailors everywhere seem pretty much anarchist).

The rest were more cohesive and had organized in the Popular Front that won the 1936 elections comfortably. But the conservatives massively abandoned democracy for the Catholic Fundamentalist version of Fascism that Franco articulated.

The fascists themselves were otherwise very weak but they organized the conservatives in a deadly manner.

No Soviet aggression before Hitler invaded?; Stalin had already grabbed the Baltic states plus parts of Finland and Rumania.

I did not say "no Soviet aggression" anywhere.

But, whatever you mean, what really bothered the Brits was the danger of widespread socialist revolution. Remember that the 1917-21 revolution was not just something happening in Russia: it expanded to Germany and Hungary and even Norway (and other countries too).

After the brief illusion of the "happy 20s", once the global structural crisis took hold of the planet, the ghost of communism, as Marx and Engels had put it in the Manifesto, had become flesh and was indeed threatening the power of the oligarchies through Europe.

It is ridiculous to claim that Stalin didn't understand that in making a non agression pact with Hitler he was freeing him to attack France ect in the west.

That's not what I said. I said that Stalin did not seem to understand that Hitler's goal was not to wage war against the Ententé but to conquer all Russia west of the Urals (at least).

When the Germans finally attacked Russia in 1941, Stalin apparently was three days so exasperated that he did not react. He believed in the honesty of the Nazis and could not believe the informations of the attack.

Stalin wanted to sit the war between the capitalists out and reap the rewards.

Of course. But instead he had to wage the war for the Capitalists and defeat Hitler for them.

Neville Chamberlain wanted to see the fighting done by the Germans and Bolshies, we know he thought that because he said so to a meeting of important Tories.

Then he should have allowed Hitler to keep Poland. Only the allied declaration of war forced Hitler to delay his plans of conquering Russia - not for long though.

The Nazis tried to avoid a war in the West all the time: they knew they could not compete with the naval superiority of the allies (and additionally they have racist reasonings that favored the Anglosaxons).

What you say sounds to me to British hypocrisy: how would Germany and the USSR go to war before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, if they did not have a single meter of common border? Maybe in Finland?

Ken said...

how would Germany and the USSR go to war before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, if they did not have a single meter of common border?

Well obviously they couldn't, that is why the original British guarantee to Poland was so limited; they were quite happy to see Germany get some Polish territory because that would mean Germany would have a border with the USSR. Those around Chamberlain thought that would result in a war between Germany and the USSR.

It was only when the the Nazi-Soviet pact was announced that the full guarantee was given to Poland Ref.""On March 31, 1939, in response to Nazi Germany's defiance of the Munich Agreement and occupation of Czechoslovakia,[1] the United Kingdom pledged the support of itself and France to guarantee Polish independence"

There was no committment to prevent Germany getting some territory from Poland when there was a prospect of Germany fighting the Soviets. The British attitude to Germany changed completely when the pact made it clear the USSR was not going to be fighting Genmany. At that point the Foreign Office mandarins decided war was necessary.

"On August 25, two days after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Polish-British Common Defence Pact was signed. The treaty contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations in the event either was attacked by another European country"

After the pact the attitude to Gernmany changed for the reasons given above

When the Germans finally attacked Russia in 1941, Stalin apparently was three days so exasperated that he did not react. He believed in the honesty of the Nazis and could not believe the informations of the attack.

It is true that although Stalin may have anticipated territorial demands or military pressure such as border incidents he was astounded when Hitler subjected the USSR to an all out attack with the promethean goal of conquering the soiet state. Like I said everbody underestimated the Hitler and the German army. There was nothing Stalin could do at that point because his forces were out of position, being in an offensive posture for they were too far forward. Stalin's orders, when they came, were to stand and fight. That played into the Germans hands and allowed then to cut off and destroy much of the huge Soviet forces that Stalin had so foolishly concentrated along the border, especially in the south opposite Romania.

It was only because Hitler - against the advice of every military professional - decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.

That's not to say the British wanted a German dominated Eurasia, like everone else they never expected the Germans to do as well as they did. Hitler threw away victory in Europe after his troops had crushed the Soviet field armies defending Moscow by August 1941. The Nazis were defeated by a combination of the Allied bombing and the Soviet army 50/50. the Soviets got a vast amont of materiel (eg 400,000) trucks from the US; they'd never have been able to beat Nazi Germany by themselves

Maju said...

Before the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, there was no way that Germany and Russia could clash, as not just Poland but also Lithuania were in between. Only when the division outlined in the deal became a factual occupation/annexation, the Third Reich and the USSR began to share a border.

But by then Germany was already at war with the Ententé.

Britain declared war to Germany to prevent the invasion of Russia, which would have placed the Nazi Empire at the level of a global superpower.

In fact these considerations on the growing power of Nazi Germany were decissive to push the USA later on into the war, though the US' goals were in principle to neutralize Japan (a regional power that was trying to implement their own Monroe Doctrine) and add East Asia to the US-British Empire (the Great Area, where the Brits were already playing a secondary role in the American Empire) in order to keep economic superiority over the Nazis.

But as Hitler declared war to Washington (hoping to draw the Japanese against Russia in return), the situation evolved in the direction we are familiar with.

It was only because Hitler - against the advice of every military professional - decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.

This is surely arguable. Napoleon conquered Moscow and still lost the war. Russia is a country with great strategic depth - not any easy target.

Hitler was obviously motivated by economic considerations: the German economy needed the oil of the Caucasus in order to have a chance. I think he did the correct thing from their geostrategical viewpoint, even if it failed anyhow. He probably also had that in mind when he decided to defend key Stalingrad no matter what.

That's not to say the British wanted a German dominated Eurasia, like everone else they never expected the Germans to do as well as they did.

The Nazi plans were widely known (they are probably even outlined in the Mein Kampf - not sure because I never read it). They were in any case rather public and any decent intelligence service would know that. Stalin was maybe naive or hoped that the western war would keep the Nazis busy but the Brits and the Gringos surely knew better.

The Nazis were defeated by a combination of the Allied bombing and the Soviet army 50/50.

Psah. Western bombings were mostly directed against the population, not the industry. They delayed once and again to create the second front. The Soviets did all the job in fact (they had no choice anyhow) but the Germans surrendered to the Allies while difficulting as much as possible the Soviet advance. Otherwise the "iron curtain" would have been raised at Strasbourg.

The most important Western incidence in the European war was supplying the Soviets... that and stopping Rommel in Egypt. Essentially the Anglosaxon bloc focused in keeping the control of the naval routes, leaving most of the real war to the Bolsheviks.

But they reaped most of the benefits. Wouldn't have been for Mao, they would have even grabbed China itself.

Ken said...

Offensive realism

Russia has always played a part in the calculations of German power. In 1905 when Russia was in chaos and the British army was insignificant the western European pwoers became alarmed at the opportunity this situation presnted for German expansion. Within a couple of years Britain and France concluded a secret military understanding because without the Russians to worry about Germany had in effect become far more powerful and was a potential regional.

Germany came into conflict with the other great powers in WW1 and 2 when it tried to secure it's future by becoming an actual regional hegemon, that was not an misguided course of action just a logical step for Germany

Mearshieimer - "Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to become hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive."

Germany's biggest mistake was not going to war in 1905, they'd surely have won.

Britain did not act as if it's primary objective was "to prevent the invasion of Russia,".. As I pointed out the original (pre Nazi - Soviet Pact) guarantee to Poland suggests otherwise. It's clear that Chamberlian hoped to encourage a conflict between the Soviet and Nazis. Of course that strategy was contingent on the Germans not achieving total success. But there was no reason in 1939 to to think that the Germans would be capable of conquering Russia. Only after the fall of France did people understand power of the German armed forces.

Nalal routes and Rommel were unimportant, Suez could be done without by using the long route round the Cape. The main effect of the North African Campaign was to divert significant German airpower away from the Eastern front. It is true that Soviet casualties where comparatively huge but I am suspicious of whose victims they were. Those deaths are likely to include many victims of the mass murdering Soviet regime.

Bombing led to Germany's defeat though not directly. The bombing forced a huge diversion of resources to the air defences, aircraft were very expensive and the Germans lacked the trained pilots to make the investment pay.

The Japanese never expected to win their war with the US. The US forced them into war partially because they were worried that Japan would join in attacking the
the USSR in 1941.

The British would have tried to prevent Franco winning if they thought that he would be fighting with Nazi Germany and Italy in a future war. Obviously the British were proved correct Franco did not do that, he just strung Hitler along.

I think a fascist movement has to have a mass base like in Italy and Germany. Franco was more of a arch-conservative.

Maju said...

In 1905 Germany bordered Russia. That was not the case anymore after 1914.

The goals of Germany in WWI were not very precise. It could well be said that they were acting "defensively" to a shifting alliance context. Instead in WWII, the Nazis had a plan: to conquer Russia and solve that way their lack of colonies.

Germany's biggest mistake was not going to war in 1905, they'd surely have won.

Against Russia or against the Ententé? 1905 was the time of the crisis of Morocco. But Germany could not wage any successful naval war even with its new navy, so going to war against Britain was pointless.

Attacking Russia was also meaningless as it would have caused a war with the Ententé as well.

It would surely have been an advanced WWI, I don't see the difference, really.

The real issue in that period was that Britain, by supporting the weaker players (France, Russia) kept the infamous continental balance, that made any military adventure by Germany essentially doomed. Bismark had tried earlier to counter that by approaching Russia and Britain itself, isolating France, but London snubbed Berlin on the free trade agreement and became closer to Paris.

Probably a similar situation happens now at Eurasian level, with the USA in the role of Britain, China in that of Germany (the rising star but limited by a less powerful history) and Russia and India in the role of the secondary powers. However there are many differences too, among them the fact that open outright war is nearly impossible for several reasons but specially because of the dissuasive effects of nuclear weapons.

Britain did not act as if it's primary objective was "to prevent the invasion of Russia"...

Yes. Poland was relatively unimportant. What was highly undesirable was that Germany would get colonies of its own and additionally the geostrategic Heartland, becoming able to compete not just with the British Empire but even with the Anglosaxon alliance (UK+USA).

But there was no reason in 1939 to to think that the Germans would be capable of conquering Russia.

Maybe that's the whole issue. The Germans were confident that they could do it though. After all Russia was still a developing country.

But it was the Nazi plan in any case and the only way they could pay for the Nazi policy of militarization and public debt.

Nalal routes and Rommel were unimportant, Suez could be done without by using the long route round the Cape.

Sure but, if the Nazis had taken Egypt, Gibraltar and surely all West Asia would have fallen to the Fascist bloc. Spain had already acquired a compromise to join the war once Suez fell to the Nazis and these had enough supports among West Asians as to secure the region easily from Egypt and the Caucasus. Turkey itself could easily have taken the Nazi side if that happened and so could have done Iraq and Iran.

Additionally the route to India (Britain's source of power) would have been a lot longer... and there was a war over there too.

It is true that Soviet casualties where comparatively huge but I am suspicious of whose victims they were. Those deaths are likely to include many victims of the mass murdering Soviet regime.

While Stalinist repression was highest during the war, historians keep the figures rather well separated. It was a very bloody war. Russia also got the bulk of the casualties in WWI.

... the Germans lacked the trained pilots to make the investment pay.

Woot?! The Luftwaffe was the jewel of the German armed forces! Remember that for a long time it was the Germans who bombed Britain, not the other way around.

Maju said...

The Japanese never expected to win their war with the US. The US forced them into war partially because they were worried that Japan would join in attacking the USSR in 1941.

No. The US think tanks at the height of the war, when Germany was about to conquer European Russia, pondered global hegemony in terms of economic self-sufficiency. They estimated that the German bloc had much greater self-sufficiency than the Americas and the British Empire together. They estimated that to compensate for that they would need to include China in their imperial area (the Grand or Greater Area) and obviously Japan was an obstacle for that.

Hence Japan had to be defeated. So they pushed them to war and allowed them to bomb Pearl Harbor (after taking out most of the fleet) in order to get a good casus belli that would persuade an otherwise very neutralist nation.

Japan had no intention of attacking Russia: it was too busy fighting in China, the Pacific and India. In fact, they did not even after Germany declared war to the USA.

The British would have tried to prevent Franco winning if they thought that he would be fighting with Nazi Germany and Italy in a future war. Obviously the British were proved correct Franco did not do that, he just strung Hitler along.

Well, in that case they would have also tried to prevent Hitler from taking power in Germany. They did not. In fact they supported him.

In the economically extreme decade of the 1930s the problem of Britain was to prevent socialist revolutions in Europe. For that reason they supported the fascists everywhere. They were not thinking in any general war yet.

Hitler was.

I think a fascist movement has to have a mass base like in Italy and Germany. Franco was more of a arch-conservative.

That's a myth. Mussolini had no mass movement when he took power in Italy. The "mass movement" of fascism was organized vertically from the state, both in Italy and Spain.

Essentially Fascism is nothing but a classical conservative military regime with some modernist borrowings from Socialism and a vague pretense of ideology (nothing but exaggerated patriotism in fact).

Spain had dozens of such military regimes before Franco and at the beginning it was believed by many that he would be just another "espadón" (big sword, probable reference to the ace of swords in the Spanish cards, as the ace is worth more than the king in most games). But soon he made himself "Caudillo" (leader) and created a fascist regime of fundamentalist Christian undertones but otherwise copied from that of Italy.

The various political factions were fused by decree in a single party (Falange, the old minor fascist party now adjectived as "traditionalist" in order to include the monarchists) and a vertical trade union was created that included both workers and patrons. Other such single party organizations as a women's front and a student union were created as well within Falange and every Spaniard had to be a member in order to work or study or whatever.

It was a very typical fascist regime. However, as he doubted the megalomaniac designs of his allies, he's often depicted as "moderate" by Western conservatives. He was not more moderate than Saudians are in regard to Islamism. He was just more ductile to Western designs, just because Spain was a much weaker player both externally and internally (there were guerrillas operating all the way till the late 50s or early 60s, when they vanished only to be replaced by more modern urban ones).

Ken said...

Yes the Germans would be fighting the French and Russians but there was a revolution in Russia in 1905 Britain had a tiny army in 1905 and naval power is largely irrelevant to a central european war.

Essentially Fascism is nothing but a classical conservative military regime

That explains why Marx never talked about it, he thought it was too obvious to mention

Also it explains and why so many socialists were so good at predicting it's appearance.

Britain maybe underestimated the danger of Hitler early on but it's not clear if the could have prevented him coming to power in 1933. However by the time he was helping Franco they were worried. Franco didn't have a lot of support as you say so maybe the British could have stopped him - and they surely would have tried to stop him coming to power if they thought he was a future enemy.

Maju said...

London was not worried about war but about social instability and communism (and by this I mean local revolutions of all kinds and not Soviet military expansion).

If Hitler would have won the war, the British oligarchy would have been treated benevolently. If a wave of revolutions would have wiped Europe, they would have lost lots of property and the potential of future exploitation of the workers and its plusvalue (aka benefits).

Hitler and Franco guaranteed that this exploitation would continue and that the revolutionary elements could not proceed with the much needed expropriations and collectivization.

It was never WWII what the London clique was worried about but Class War.