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The Spanish Civil War

Salv

One Too Many
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1,247
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Just outside London
A new book by Stanley G Payne - Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany and World War II - discusses the reasons behind Spain's neutrality in WW2. According to this review, by British journalist and historian Max Hastings, the reason Spain stayed out of WW2 was that Franco's demands were not met by Hitler, so Franco declined to lend his support to the Axis.

These are some interesting paragraphs:

To this day, imbecile right-wing pundits – some of them British – pay homage to Franco’s statesmanship and the “sound” governance of his country. In truth, as Stanley Payne’s book emphasises, Spain’s abstention from the second world war was the product of clumsy diplomacy rather than of wisdom.

Franco fully intended to join the axis struggle against the democracies. It often goes unnoticed that Spain’s wartime status was not that of a true neutral nation such as Switzerland or Sweden, but of nonbelligerence, which Payne suggests could more aptly have been described as prebelligerence.

On October 23, 1940, Spain’s leader had his one and only personal meeting with Hitler, at Hendaye on the border with France. The Caudillo arrived late not, as his admirers claimed, in a clever piece of one-upmanship, but because of the inadequacies of the Spanish rail system.

Hitler imagined that the encounter was a formality, at which Franco would merely announce the date of his entry into the war. Instead, to the Germans’ dismay, the Spanish leader produced a long shopping list of conditions for participation, new colonies in Africa prominent among them.

And before anyone accuses Hastings of being some crazed liberal/commie/left-winger because of his use of the phrase "imbecile right-wing pundits" I should point out that he has been editor and editor-in-chief of UK newspapers the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard, both of which are, and have always been, staunchly conservative.
 

LordJohnRoxton

One of the Regulars
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198
Location
Back in Los Angeles, California
Sierra Charriba said:
I would like to speak and to write english much more better than now to express my opinions and discuss, with real data, the truth about the Spanish Civil War.

Your English is perfectly fine, much better than my Spanish (much to my grandmother's enduring shame)! I really must thank you for all that you've shared, because I think it provides a very timely reminder for all of us. It is very easy (espeically here, in the United States) for many of us to look at events in distant times and places and make pronouncements about them. Things are, we think, so clear from a disconnect. But therin lies the problem: we are disconnected. Events happen to people, and in the context of everything else which happens around that place and time. You've provided us with context and I thank you for it!
 

dr greg

One Too Many
Apoplexy

This reminds me of the time I wrote a letter to the editor of the Travel section of the country's largest newspaper, and I reproduce the text below...needless to say, they didn't print it, and I received a very insulting letter in reply from said travel editor, which unfortunately I didn't also keep!


Dear Edit-person
After cleaning up the toast which fell from my mouth while reading your section in Saturday’s paper, I wondered: how does one get a job as a travel writer for the Herald?
Perhaps one should start with a total ignorance of the history of the glamorous spots one is sent to trivialise.
Ms Gabrielle Jackson dolefully informs us in her piece on Barcelona that the bullet marks on the wall of the church in Placa de Sant Felip Neri “serve as a reminder of how bitterly freedom was won”.
Now I know they don’t teach history anymore because all that old stuff is like way boring dude, but can’t this incompetent woman read? Anyone engaging in the most basic research would know that in Catalonia, and the rest of Spain; freedom was comprehensively LOST under the jackboots of the Nationalists aided by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy while the “Free” world twiddled its thumbs, except for many brave and committed young people from as far away as Australia who went there to help.
Many of them died fighting for the concept of freedom.
But of course they had nothing better to do back then without SMS to transmit inanities and product recommendations along the trenches. It wasn’t as if they could just bugger off to the full moon party at Koh Samui when the artillery bombardment got too heavy at Jarama.
I am appalled at the editorial laxity that allows such a historically ridiculous comment to appear in a broadsheet.
I was in Barcelona during the last years of the Franco dictatorship and saw quite a lot of unrepaired bullet holes on walls, and was informed quietly that some were left to remind the population of what happened last time they stood up and demanded their democratic rights.
The piece is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of civilians who were executed during that brutal conflict. I suggest she read George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia…if she can be bothered before she goes to the next tent in the backpacker circus.
G.Manson
 

Smithy

I'll Lock Up
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5,137
Location
Norway
Brilliant letter Dr Greg!

Shame they didn't print it but then it would've really shown that twit up.
 

Story

I'll Lock Up
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AN Edinburgh man who was the last surviving Scot to have fought in the Spanish Civil War has died.

Stephen Collins Fullarton travelled to Spain to fight against General Franco's fascist army in 1938 when he was aged just 18.

Mr Fullarton was the last of the British battalion of the Spanish Republican Army's International Brigade, following the death of Glaswegian James Malley in April last year.

He was one of around 500 Scots who joined the International Brigades in support of Spain's democratically-elected government.

Mr Fullarton, who lived in the Capital for almost 60 years, was working as an apprentice engineer in Glasgow at the time. He had already donated food and clothes, but 1938 news footage of women running around Barcelona and Madrid "with terror in their eyes" convinced him to sign up.

Speaking in 2006, he told the Evening News: "Some people could ignore it, say 'It's none of my business'. I made it my business."


http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/latestnews/Last-surviving-Scot--to.3846581.jp
 

Maguire

Practically Family
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619
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New York
Eh, the spanish civil war was a two sided issue. Most people are quick to embrace the cause of the republicans without fully understanding the situation. Indeed my family in Spain had by this time mostly moved over to Cuba, but those who stayed were not involved. There was far less confidence in the republican government than any may imagine (and despite the demonization of Franco's forces, the republicans certainly weren't squeaky clean by any sense of the term, with the execution of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera coming to mind). Franco was not an ideological leader, simply an old fashioned Spanish conservative (in the catholic traditionalist sense, not the modern rush limbaugh sense). He dilluted the aims of the various factions and they weren't in the position to challenge this (the Falange's leadership, for example, was virtually decapitated during the war).

He was an opportunist when it came to the Axis powers, who he spurned despite their assistance to him during the war. This may have been a blessing in disguise for them though, as the last thing the Germans needed was another incompetent ally that would only hurt them in the end.

My grandmother and several others family members who were in Spain recently came back very dissappointed claiming that things were better in Franco's time (and my Grandmother and family were never ideologicaly, infact most of them are strong Castro supporters)

I personally would say my own views are up in the air, although decidedly leaning on the side of the Spanish army and nationalists. nonetheless, despite the fact that i am against what the republic stood for, i believe that the workers and communists who fought fought with conviction and to see such a passionate struggle (between the conservatives and the republicans) really evokes sympathy, as this kind of conviction is sorely lacking in the world today, especially in the West.

for the irish among you, its interesting to note both sides had large irish contingents, although O'Duffy's irish green shirts didn't perform that well and were eventually shipped off.

I will say that it says alot about Franco's rule that today, despite the fact that the nationalists won, if you looked around you'd never have thought so. Franco managed to maintain the state while he lived but failed to create a lasting state that would survive his death, and for that I can't sympathize with the man.
 

Paisley

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Indianapolis
Recommended Novel

I'm reading a new novel called Winter in Madrid that takes place in 1940. The writing and descriptions are vivid and seem realistic. Here's the description from Publisher's Weekly:

The playing fields of Rookwood did little to prepare reluctant spy Harry Brett for the moral no man's land of post–Civil War Spain that awaits him in this cinematic historical thriller from British author Sansom (Sovereign). But those halcyon days have made him one of the few people likely to win the confidence of fellow old boy Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Franco associate and object of intense curiosity to British intelligence. Despite his reservations, Brett—whose best friend from Rookwood, Bernie Piper, disappeared in Spain a few years earlier while battling Franco with the International Brigade—accepts the assignment as his duty, and almost as swiftly regrets it. For the Madrid he finds has become a mockery of the vibrant, hopeful place he and Bernie visited during the dawn of the Republic. As in his Matthew Shardlake mystery series set in Tudor London, Sansom deftly plots his politically charged tale for maximal suspense, all the way up to its stunning conclusion. A bestseller in the U.K., this moving opus leaves the reader mourning for the Spain that might have been—and the England that maybe never was. (Jan.)​
 

Smithy

I'll Lock Up
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5,137
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Norway
Good job bringing this thread back to life Paisley with the novel you are reading.

Having only a rudimentary knowledge of the war I learnt much from this thread when it was active. I hope people such as Salv can share their knowledge and post more here.
 

Guttersnipe

One Too Many
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San Francisco, CA
Maguire said:
Eh, the spanish civil war was a two sided issue. Most people are quick to embrace the cause of the republicans without fully understanding the situation. Indeed my family in Spain had by this time mostly moved over to Cuba, but those who stayed were not involved. There was far less confidence in the republican government than any may imagine (and despite the demonization of Franco's forces, the republicans certainly weren't squeaky clean by any sense of the term, with the execution of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera coming to mind). Franco was not an ideological leader, simply an old fashioned Spanish conservative (in the catholic traditionalist sense, not the modern rush limbaugh sense). He dilluted the aims of the various factions and they weren't in the position to challenge this (the Falange's leadership, for example, was virtually decapitated during the war).

He was an opportunist when it came to the Axis powers, who he spurned despite their assistance to him during the war. This may have been a blessing in disguise for them though, as the last thing the Germans needed was another incompetent ally that would only hurt them in the end.

My grandmother and several others family members who were in Spain recently came back very dissappointed claiming that things were better in Franco's time (and my Grandmother and family were never ideologicaly, infact most of them are strong Castro supporters)

I personally would say my own views are up in the air, although decidedly leaning on the side of the Spanish army and nationalists. nonetheless, despite the fact that i am against what the republic stood for, i believe that the workers and communists who fought fought with conviction and to see such a passionate struggle (between the conservatives and the republicans) really evokes sympathy, as this kind of conviction is sorely lacking in the world today, especially in the West.

for the irish among you, its interesting to note both sides had large irish contingents, although O'Duffy's irish green shirts didn't perform that well and were eventually shipped off.

I will say that it says alot about Franco's rule that today, despite the fact that the nationalists won, if you looked around you'd never have thought so. Franco managed to maintain the state while he lived but failed to create a lasting state that would survive his death, and for that I can't sympathize with the man.


Maguire,

you make a lot of interesting points, however, there are some facts I would like to point out, that you may not be aware of.

Post Franco, an attitude of "agree to disagree" was adopted that took a revisionist view on history. The idea was to make the transition from a TOTALITARIAN POLICE STATE to a DEMOCRACY easier to accept for Franco loyalists.

The fact of the matter is, there are disparate difference between the scale of atrocities committed by the two sides during the war.

For fair comparison between the factions I'd like to point out some statistical data:

From 1936-1939 55,000 people were executed by various Loyalist faction (primarily in 1936, and the majority of whom were active insurgents, members of previous dictatorships, or members of political parties that supported the Rebellion after the fact, I.E. Jose Antonio).

From 1936-1939 close to 200,000 non-combatants or surrendered soldiers were executed at the hands of the Insurgents. These figures do not include civilians who died from air raids. Mass political executions continued after the civil war ended in 1939, not ceasing until about 1945.

These number come from Antony Beevor's history of the conflict The Spanish Civil War.

They are figures confirmed by the Franco regime (so, it's safe to assume they try to make themselves look good and the Republicans bad!)
 

Rufus

Practically Family
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518
Location
London
I had the pleasure of meeting Julio Ribera, the great Catalan artist who has written and illustrated his childhood reminisces of the war, in a series called 'Montserrat' (He was in Barcelona).. He saw Orwell and other Brigade members as a child..

http://lambiek.net/artists/r/ribera_j.htm/

The Spanish Civil War was the Western World's chance to stand up to the burgeoning Fascist menace, and nip it in the bud... and sadly, the World looked the other way.
 

Paisley

I'll Lock Up
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5,439
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Indianapolis
Judge Steps Down

From the Chicago Tribune:

In recent weeks, a judicial order had given them hope that Spain might unearth some of those dead and begin a belated reckoning with that bloody period in their history. National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon, famous for his international pursuit of war criminals, ordered a historic probe of suspected mass graves to consider whether crimes against humanity were committed by the late Gen. Francisco Franco and his supporters during that time of turmoil.

On Tuesday, Garzon backed down, dropping his role in the case after prosecutors challenged his jurisdiction. But he called for lower-court judges to pick up where he left off, demanding that the Franco regime —during the war and for years beyond—answer to Spain's pain.

....

The legal initiative came last month as a small band of gravediggers searched a wooded area near Leon, urged on by the still-bright memory of a 107-year-old man. His story was a typical tip that volunteers from the non-profit Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory work diligently to check out. The old man said he was forced to dig graves in 1936.

Helpers drove a backhoe into the mossy earth and appeared to end another civil war mystery. The bones of five men were lifted from the ground and a new mass grave was documented.​

Full article here.
 

reetpleat

Call Me a Cab
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2,681
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Seattle
Late to the party, but I have a few questions. In the last century, the most common rebellions were liberal or communist, so it is odd that the rebellion was led by fascists and conservatives against a new government seen as communist or socialist or liberal. I suppose there have been some rebellions against the soviet union, but that was more of a rebellion against an oppressive state, not a rebellion against a democratic government such as spain still had. How was it that people joined in the rebellion. I can understand conservative officers and such, but how did they get the people to join in? I know that there have been fascist uprisings, but those are usually against a government that id functioning very poorly, or have become very oppressive. Is it possible that many common people were willing to take up arms because they feared a communist government. that doesn't seem likely. Is it that many people were just fed up with their lot in life and believed that a revolution was about due and they bought into whatever the leaders were offering? It seems to have started in a colony. Did the colonies figure that joining a rebellion was their best chance of breaking free from Spanish control?

Secondly, why did Franco not join Hitler and Mussolini? If he had, would the Allies invaded, occupied and instilled a new government after the war? I see that the reason they did not oppose Franco after the war was because he was a bulwark against Communism, so that makes sense.

thirdly, had it happened a little later in history, as in, after the war had started, is it likely that the Allies would have supported the Existing government? It seems like the issue was at one time they were more opposed to Communism and were okay with fascism, but afte the war started, they may well have not been willing to let a potential axis ally succeed?

Fourthly, in the move Pan's Labrynth, who is the Officer father fighting for, and who were the rebels? He is made out to be the bad guy and the rebels seem to be the good guys fighting against an oppressive regime. But was this still the Republican government and were the fascists?
 

Rufus

Practically Family
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Franco was handsomely paid by the Allies to stay 'neutral', and then bankrolled by the USA for the rest of his regime (partly in return for US bases, and harbours).

Another triumph for Democracy.
 

Guttersnipe

One Too Many
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Reetpleat - here's some basic answers

That's a HUGE question...here's some random thought.

If you are interested, PM me and I'll send you some recommendations on histories of the war.

Spain's history throughout the 19th and 20th centuries has been marked by many swings to the left and the right.

To call the rebels (the Nationalist) fascists is no quit correct. There were elements of the right wing in Spain that were somewhat fascistic and National-Socialistic (the Flange de Espana, for example). It would be more accurate, however, to look at the Nationalists as radical traditionalists. They were opposed to what the saw as the deunification and secularization of Spain.

Franco drew support from the Carlists (ultra-catholics who believed in divine right monarchy), the "Alfonsine" (monarchists), the Flange party (fascists), the CEDA (an ultra-right wing party that had previously held power), the Army, business/the wealthy, and the Spanish Catholic Church (which had been a major player is Spanish politics for centuries and had used it's influence in many less then holy ways). ***please don't take this statement as an attack on anyone's faith - it's simply the reality of one specific historical period***

On the other hand, to call the Spanish Republic communist or socialist is also not quit correct.

The Popular Front, which was voted in in 1936, was a coalition of moderate and left wing parties. At first, it included very few socialists and practically no communists; it was mostly made up of various democratic parties.

As the war progressed the PCE (Spanish communist party) took more and more control. The Republican government was fairly impotent when it came to resisting the PCE's aggressive take-over.

The USSR's military aide came with many contingencies. Stalin insisted on communists being placed in key positions in government. There was so much aide going to Franco from Hitler and Mussolini, and USSR was the only country willing to help the Republic, so they had no choice but to agree Stalin's terms.
 

Salv

One Too Many
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Just outside London
reetpleat - briefly:

1 - Gutternsipe has covered this fairly well. Apart from those elements of the Army and the Guardia Civil that joined the rebellion it was the various traditionalist factions in Spain, that Guttersnipe noted, who sided with Franco. I also think that there were many fairly neutral Spaniards who just happened to get caught up in rebel-held areas, and who preferred siding with the rebels to being executed by them as a "Red".

There were exceptions to the basic make-up of the two sides: the staunchly Catholic Basques sided with the Republic in an attempt to achieve autonomy from the Spanish state.

2 - Both Franco and Hitler were eager for Spain to join the Axis. I mentioned a little way upthread a recently published book by Stanley G Payne - Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany and World War II - which claims that Franco's demands were not met by Hitler, so Franco declined to lend his support to the Axis. I quoted part of a review by British journalist and historian Max Hastings which sums up the situation quite well:
To this day, imbecile right-wing pundits - some of them British - pay homage to Franco's statesmanship and the "sound" governance of his country. In truth, as Stanley Payne's book emphasises, Spain's abstention from the second world war was the product of clumsy diplomacy rather than of wisdom.

Franco fully intended to join the axis struggle against the democracies. It often goes unnoticed that Spain's wartime status was not that of a true neutral nation such as Switzerland or Sweden, but of nonbelligerence, which Payne suggests could more aptly have been described as prebelligerence.

On October 23, 1940, Spain's leader had his one and only personal meeting with Hitler, at Hendaye on the border with France. The Caudillo arrived late not, as his admirers claimed, in a clever piece of one-upmanship, but because of the inadequacies of the Spanish rail system.

Hitler imagined that the encounter was a formality, at which Franco would merely announce the date of his entry into the war. Instead, to the Germans' dismay, the Spanish leader produced a long shopping list of conditions for participation, new colonies in Africa prominent among them.

3 - Presumably by 'the war' you mean WW2? I think you're probably right that the Allies would not want an Axis ally to succeed, but until the end of the North African campaign in 1943 and the subsequent invasion of Italy the Allies would not have been in a position to assist the Republic anyway.

But this ties in with your second question, and leads to even more questions - if Franco had joined the Axis the Allies would have to defeat Nationalist Spain at some point. Instead of invading Italy, would the Allies have crossed the Mediterranean into Spain? Spain was in poor shape following the Civil War, and the Germans and Italians would have had to pour thousands of troops into Spain to support Franco against an Allied invasion.

4 - The action in Pan's Labrynth takes place after the end of the Civil War, so that officer is a member of Franco's army and he is fighting Republican guerrillas. Guerrilla activity continued after the Civil War until the early 1960s, although after 1952 the few guerrillas still in the country were merely fighting for survival. There's an overview of the post-Civil War Spanish guerrilla movement on Wikipedia.

Unfortunately there do not seem to be many books in English which fully discuss the fates of post-Civil War Republicans. I've just found, and ordered, a book called THE FRANCO YEARS: THE UNTOLD HUMAN STORY OF LIFE UNDER SPANISH FASCISM, published in 1977. If anybody knows of any more such books please let me know. The only other book dealing with the subject that I've read was a translation of a book called The Moles which I found in my local library many years ago. This included the stories of a few Republicans who hid with friends and family for up to 30 years after the end of the Civil War.
 

B. F. Socaspi

One of the Regulars
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240
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Philadelphia, PA
I have yet to read through this thread, but Durruti is one of my greatest heroes. Died on the anniversary of Joe Hill's execution, fitting I think. Also happens to be my birthday.

There's a lot of really great books concerning the anarchists' perspectives (a perspective barely touched on in most accounts of the war). Some more obscure (I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels), some more easily grabbed (Homage to Catalonia).

Regardless of your politics, I would suggest reading about the CNT-FAI. Pretty heroic stuff. Armed with weapons that were ridiculously outdated (Durruti was even presented a pistol from the Paris Commune ((!!)) which he promptly threw away), but with massive support from the common people, what they managed to do is inspiring.
 

feltfan

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,191
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Oakland, CA, USA
Sierra Charriba said:
generation of spaniards, the "grandsons" of those who lost the war and feel no obligation to follow the "silence pact" that was agreed during the transition to democracy after the death of general Franco. During that period (1975-1978), it was a general opinion that in order to consolidate the peace and liberty it was necessary to avoid demanding any explanations about the Civil War and the 40 years of Franco´s dictatorship. The left accepted this pact, but now, many young people don´t feel attached to it and want to know what happened during the war and afterwards.
Can't believe I missed this thread till now. Trying to catch up...

First, SC, thanks so much for sharing your views.
I lived in Spain in 1980-1981. I met a great many people glad to
share their views and in many cases their experiences in the Spanish
Civil War, or as many call it, The Spanish Revolution. There was no
official "truth and reconciliation" as there was/is in South Africa, for
example, and many people blame that for Tejero. There remained
plenty of fachas, anarchists, republicans, and etc. Many did want
explanations. But a civil war is a terrible thing to court repeating.

I was in Spain for the attempted coup. Amazing to have all the TV
and radio stations turn to military music after reporting tanks in
the streets of Valencia. I retain great respect for King Juan Carlos.
But the immediate control of the media shows the pent up pro-fascist
sentiment still alive. After the coup I attended a rally in the Plaza
Mayor of Salamanca, in favor of the elected government. This crowd
of peaceful, largely middle aged people, holding umbrellas in the rain,
were rushed by a falanx, if you will, of National Guard (not Guardia
Civil) members, swinging billyclubs. Give you some idea of how much
support the coup had.

Maguire said:
My grandmother and several others family members who were in Spain recently came back very dissappointed claiming that things were better in Franco's time (and my Grandmother and family were never ideologicaly, infact most of them are strong Castro supporters)
This is a classic viewpoint, often stated in the decade after Franco.
It is often pointed out that the reason people think this is because
Franco's press did not report crime and social unrest.

Rufus said:
Franco was handsomely paid by the Allies to stay 'neutral', and then bankrolled by the USA for the rest of his regime (partly in return for US bases, and harbours).
This is not exactly accurate. The US did pay Franco for the bases
in Spain after the war and that did keep Franco's regime afloat after
a period of terrible suffering. But not during the war. People forget
that a lot of the wool that kept Nazis warm was from Spanish sheep.
Spain did supply Hitler and Spain sent troops to the Russian front for
Hitler, as Salv and I once discussed in the past, the Blue Division of
"volunteers" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Division).

Reetpleat said:
In the last century, the most common rebellions were liberal or communist, so it is odd that the rebellion was led by fascists and conservatives against a new government seen as communist or socialist or liberal. I suppose there have been some rebellions against the soviet union, but that was more of a rebellion against an oppressive state, not a rebellion against a democratic government such as spain still had.
The reason many refer to the conflict as a "revolution" is because it
started not with the fascist uprising, but rather with left worker uprisings
such as miners in Asturias and the poor against the Catholic church, which
owned an absurd amount of land at a time when people were starving for lack
of a place to grow their own vegetables. The right was backing the
wealthy against the unions and the poor.
 

B. F. Socaspi

One of the Regulars
Messages
240
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Feltfan said:
Reeptleat said:
In the last century, the most common rebellions were liberal or communist, so it is odd that the rebellion was led by fascists and conservatives against a new government seen as communist or socialist or liberal. I suppose there have been some rebellions against the soviet union, but that was more of a rebellion against an oppressive state, not a rebellion against a democratic government such as spain still had.

The reason many refer to the conflict as a "revolution" is because it
started not with the fascist uprising, but rather with left worker uprisings
such as miners in Asturias and the poor against the Catholic church, which
owned an absurd amount of land at a time when people were starving for lack
of a place to grow their own vegetables. The right was backing the
wealthy against the unions and the poor.

I'd just like to back what Feltfan said. The Mediterranean had been a hotbed of revolutionary fervor since the Franco-Prussian war (which lead to the Paris Commune amongst others). Workers in that area had not forgotten those times and the good it did for them.

About 70% of the Spanish population lived off of the land; about 52 percent of employed workers worked in agriculture. 67% of the land was in the hands of 2% of all landowners. Furthermore, the various churches were incredibly wealthy -- the Jesuits alone had about 1/3 of the nation's wealth. The division was stark and impossible to ignore. Starvation between harvests was a matter of course.

Expounding on the church's power and the resentment it caused, about 40% of Spaniards were illiterate. The clergy, however, were very well educated. They colluded with the landowners and with the military -- 1 of 6 soldiers in the military were officers -- to raise their own power.

The republic was a farce. It catered to their whims. In the '32 election, the CNT revolted, freeing the prisoners and expropriating the workplaces. It was crushed in ten days. 3,000 were executed.

In the '36 election, 30,000 political prisoners --most of which were union organizers -- were promised their release if the Popular Front was elected. It was. They weren't.

The CNT again rose. General strikes devastated Spain -- by June 90,000 workers were striking.

The fascists were backed by the church, the landowners, and obviously the military, because they promised to restore order -- the order that the CNT was destroying.

Pertinent quotes from Durruti: "No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges."

When told victory would leave the workers "sitting on ruins", Durruti replied as follows:
"We have always lived in slums and holes in the wall. We will know how to accomodate ourselves for a time. For, you must not forget that we can also build these places and cities, here in Spain and in America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their place. And better ones. We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts, and that world is growing in this minute."
 
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