GENOCIDE IN SPAIN September 10, 2006Posted by wmmbb in Modern History.
History is what happened yesterday. And is it not remarkable that the shadow of genocide never goes away. But it seems that General Franco and his government engaged in mass killing, of “genocidal proportions”, were not brought to account for these crimes.
Vincent Navarro writes:
The Spanish Civil War, which began 70 years ago, was the first chapter of World War II. It was a fight by the progressive and democratic forces of Spain against the axis of evil of that time: Nazism, fascism, and right-wing forces that opposed the much-needed reforms established by the Second Republic (1931-1939). These reforms included women’s suffrage, land reform, expansion of labor union rights, establishment of the public school system, and many others. The powerful groups affected by those reforms – the Church, large landowners, banking interests, and large employers – encouraged a military coup against the democratically elected government, which took place in July of 1936.
The coup, led by General Francisco Franco, was actively supported by Hitler and Mussolini, who provided military assistance. But the western democracies did not provide any military assistance whatsoever to those fighting for democracy. Despite being extremely poorly armed – on some fronts, the Republican Army had one rifle for every two soldiers – the majority of the Spanish population resisted the fascist coup, which is why it took three years and enormous costs for Franco, Hitler, and Mussolini to win the war.
Their victory and the establishment of the dictatorship started a campaign of terror and mass killings that, as British historian Paul Preston has noted, reached genocidal proportions. According to figures provided by the Spanish dictatorship itself, nearly 200,000 people were assassinated (by executions and deaths in concentration camps) in just five years, 1939-1945. These assassinations continued throughout the dictatorship. Just a couple of months before his death in 1975, Franco signed execution orders for five political opponents. The Franco regime was one of the most brutal dictatorships in Europe. For every political assassination that Mussolini ordered, Franco carried out 10,000. After World War II, the U.S. government and the Vatican became the major supporters of the dictatorship.
. . . The democratic forces of Spain need help: they need a campaign of international pressure on the Spanish government to denounce the Francoist state and to reinstate the rights of its victims, bringing to justice those responsible for the crimes committed by the dictatorship. It is an offense to the values of liberty and freedom that the only country in Europe where the anniversary of the coup (July 18) is not considered a day to denounce the Spanish dictatorship, as instructed by the European Parliament, is Spain itself.