General Franco's grave: when 'righting past wrongs' backfires

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Mussolini in particular must go down as one of the most pompous and ludicrous arses in the history of the world.
So you're excluding mods and mere mortals of Arrse ?
 
I watched an interesting and quite convincing program some years ago which suggested that Franco was keen to get in on the act but that Hitler thought that he and Spain would prove more of a hinderance than a help. There was archive evidence aplenty to demonstrate Hitler's thinking and it was after the event opportunism that Franco grabbed hold of to suggest he had played a wily card game to keep Spain out of the clutches of the Third Reich.

And when you consider the other Axis leaders that Hitler had to rely on and manage you can see why he might think there were already enough idiots on the team without adding one more. Mussolini in particular must go down as one of the most pompous and ludicrous arses in the history of the world.
That's a good point. Mussolini and Italy were a drain on German resources as soon as they joined the war. With friends like Mussolini...
 

Dwarf

LE
These Spanish lefties forget that till Franco pitched up , the Spanish were living in a medieval backwater run by landed families and the Church .
A communist take over would simply have made things even worse .
Shooting a few priests is all very well , but it doesn't put bread on the table .
By the time he died , Spain was ready to take it's place as a modern European nation , but it wasn't an easy ride getting there
That is buying into the myth. Spain had major social inequalities especially in Andalusia where many lived in poverty held in place by restrictive landlords backed by the law and the Police/Army/Church, the historical Spanish system.

The Republic was an attempt via a more democratic system to address those inequalities and start the country on a more progressive path. How successful it might have been had it been allowed to continue is moot, but what is certain is that things could not have continued as they were.

When Franco took over he did absolutely nothing to change the situation as his supporters were among the monied class. Social inequalities continued as before, as did the mentality. Spain found that progress came from the stimulus of the rich making more money which Franco allowed because that was where his support came from.
Notice as Jorrocks says a lot of the support came from the Opus Dei faction of which many of the upper classes belong to and is a certain type of 'mafia' clique behind the scenes. Again allowed and actively supported by Franco because they are part of the traditional system. It also created jobs and therefore unrest was avoided.

Spain had to make progress with or without Franco, the direction it took depended on the supporters of the system and that is shown by the wealth being concentrated in the few and with several major companies being serious players.

Also people forget that tourism has been a huge factor, and still is in the progress made. Yet it is a false progress, tourism concentrates the wealth in a few, and keeps the many who work in it on temporary contracts and low wages. Had it not been for tourism though Spain would have had to find other ways to progress by providing work in other areas, otherwise social unrest would have been wider. Franco was lucky there, and it can easily be argued that his system held Spain back from an even greater progress. As Ugly observes there are unused airports, the modern high speed trains are all very nice, but underused because the routes were chosen for political considerations not economic and the contracts given to supporters of the PP party in general.
The system still shows the direction of traditional Spain, of which Franco was an exponent, and that IMHO is a limiting factor.
 

Dwarf

LE
s a bloody great

As late as 1981 you've got the Spanish army storming parliament and trying to have a counter-coup against democracy, which was only seen off when the King went on national tv and told them to get back in their box. Ironically, their reverence for Juan Carlos as the designated successor to the caudillo was what carried the day and preserved democracy. Spain never had a revolution, the state of today is the successor to the state of then in a way that just isn't true for say Germany or Italy.
You might find it interesting but there is evidence coming to light to suggest that the King himself might have been behind the attempted coup. When Tejero went a bit OTT and shots were fired, he saw that things were going too far and backed down.
Or another scenario is that he wanted to give a shock to the system and reinforce his place in it.

Whatever, I find the rumours plausible to a point but needing a lot more confirmation or substance behind them.
 
You might find it interesting but there is evidence coming to light to suggest that the King himself might have been behind the attempted coup. When Tejero went a bit OTT and shots were fired, he saw that things were going too far and backed down.
Or another scenario is that he wanted to give a shock to the system and reinforce his place in it.

Whatever, I find the rumours plausible to a point but needing a lot more confirmation or substance behind them.
I just wrote something, which I now realize was bollocks. But in any case Tejero would not have kept his mouth shut for 37 years if the King had been behind the coup.
 
That is buying into the myth. Spain had major social inequalities especially in Andalusia where many lived in poverty held in place by restrictive landlords backed by the law and the Police/Army/Church, the historical Spanish system.

The Republic was an attempt via a more democratic system to address those inequalities and start the country on a more progressive path. How successful it might have been had it been allowed to continue is moot, but what is certain is that things could not have continued as they were.

When Franco took over he did absolutely nothing to change the situation as his supporters were among the monied class. Social inequalities continued as before, as did the mentality. Spain found that progress came from the stimulus of the rich making more money which Franco allowed because that was where his support came from.
Notice as Jorrocks says a lot of the support came from the Opus Dei faction of which many of the upper classes belong to and is a certain type of 'mafia' clique behind the scenes. Again allowed and actively supported by Franco because they are part of the traditional system. It also created jobs and therefore unrest was avoided.

Spain had to make progress with or without Franco, the direction it took depended on the supporters of the system and that is shown by the wealth being concentrated in the few and with several major companies being serious players.

Also people forget that tourism has been a huge factor, and still is in the progress made. Yet it is a false progress, tourism concentrates the wealth in a few, and keeps the many who work in it on temporary contracts and low wages. Had it not been for tourism though Spain would have had to find other ways to progress by providing work in other areas, otherwise social unrest would have been wider. Franco was lucky there, and it can easily be argued that his system held Spain back from an even greater progress. As Ugly observes there are unused airports, the modern high speed trains are all very nice, but underused because the routes were chosen for political considerations not economic and the contracts given to supporters of the PP party in general.
The system still shows the direction of traditional Spain, of which Franco was an exponent, and that IMHO is a limiting factor.
I don’t disagree with your general sentiment but I would like to challenge one statement. Opus Dei is not an aristocratic faction. It is very much a middle class movement and was still quite new, having been formed in the early 30s. Opus Dei places emphasis on hard work and technical ability as a complement to worship. The members of Opus that Franco brought into Government were generally economists and engineers. They were not entrepreneurs who benefited personally.
 
That is buying into the myth. Spain had major social inequalities especially in Andalusia where many lived in poverty held in place by restrictive landlords backed by the law and the Police/Army/Church, the historical Spanish system.

The Republic was an attempt via a more democratic system to address those inequalities and start the country on a more progressive path. How successful it might have been had it been allowed to continue is moot, but what is certain is that things could not have continued as they were.

When Franco took over he did absolutely nothing to change the situation as his supporters were among the monied class. Social inequalities continued as before, as did the mentality. Spain found that progress came from the stimulus of the rich making more money which Franco allowed because that was where his support came from.
Notice as Jorrocks says a lot of the support came from the Opus Dei faction of which many of the upper classes belong to and is a certain type of 'mafia' clique behind the scenes. Again allowed and actively supported by Franco because they are part of the traditional system. It also created jobs and therefore unrest was avoided.

Spain had to make progress with or without Franco, the direction it took depended on the supporters of the system and that is shown by the wealth being concentrated in the few and with several major companies being serious players.

Also people forget that tourism has been a huge factor, and still is in the progress made. Yet it is a false progress, tourism concentrates the wealth in a few, and keeps the many who work in it on temporary contracts and low wages. Had it not been for tourism though Spain would have had to find other ways to progress by providing work in other areas, otherwise social unrest would have been wider. Franco was lucky there, and it can easily be argued that his system held Spain back from an even greater progress. As Ugly observes there are unused airports, the modern high speed trains are all very nice, but underused because the routes were chosen for political considerations not economic and the contracts given to supporters of the PP party in general.
The system still shows the direction of traditional Spain, of which Franco was an exponent, and that IMHO is a limiting factor.
Remember Franco opened up Spain to more tourism towards the end of his rule, due to Spain's economy being in a bad way.
 

Dwarf

LE
I just wrote something, which I now realize was bollocks. But in any case Tejero would not have kept his mouth shut for 37 years if the King had been behind the coup.
Maybe not, though loyalty can do many things. I only posted because it has come to light recently and while it may well turn out to be total rubbish it is still of interest to those who study the institution.

Juan Carlos has not been a total angel with the system, over Cas Noos where his son-in-law has gone to prison it has been shown that the King actively used his influence to find favours for Urdangarin's business. If not illegal certainly dodgy.

His son the present King has actively sided with a political party over the Catalan Crisis which is not what his role should have been.

So it's pertinent and I thought as a student of Spanish Institutions he might find it of interest.
 

Dwarf

LE
I don’t disagree with your general sentiment but I would like to challenge one statement. Opus Dei is not an aristocratic faction. It is very much a middle class movement and was still quite new, having been formed in the early 30s. Opus Dei places emphasis on hard work and technical ability as a complement to worship. The members of Opus that Franco brought into Government were generally economists and engineers. They were not entrepreneurs who benefited personally.
I won't disagree with any of that, it is sort of church sanctioned freemasonry, but it also doesn't affect my point that many of the important figures who make decisions do belong as well.
Those economists and engineers would have benefited by being part of the system and certainly their work would have been sanctioned as helping the whole. It's rewarding those who support the system, not an uncommon event.
 
I just wrote something, which I now realize was bollocks. But in any case Tejero would not have kept his mouth shut for 37 years if the King had been behind the coup.
He might if he reveres the king as the apex of society enough....
 
interestingly, the whole system was said to be masterminded by the German head of the Gestapo in Spain.
Murky that and I'd treat with some scepticism. According to "Operation Mincemeat" the only mention of Himmler on P160 is that he congratulated the head of the Abwehr in relation to the context. Abwehr was Canaris Baby and was in conflict with Himmlers SD. Gestapo may have been there, but probably under Dip priv to the Embassy and given Franco had refused to assist Hitler in the last war.

Taken from a Guardian article in 2010.
Historic meeting
Giles Tremlett Madrid On 23 October 1940 in Hendaye, near the Franco-Spanish border, Adolf Hitler met General Franco. Hitler had sent him troops and aircraft during the Spanish civil war and now wanted Franco to join the Axis powers.
Franco, however, had his own demands: Gibraltar and parts of French north Africa. Hitler is reported to have furiously declared that he "would rather have three or four teeth pulled out" than spend more time with the ungrateful Spaniard. Franco agreed to join the war at a future date but Spain eventually stayed out of the conflict.
 
Murky that and I'd treat with some scepticism. According to "Operation Mincemeat" the only mention of Himmler on P160 is that he congratulated the head of the Abwehr in relation to the context. Abwehr was Canaris Baby and was in conflict with Himmlers SD. Gestapo may have been there, but probably under Dip priv to the Embassy and given Franco had refused to assist Hitler in the last war.

Taken from a Guardian article in 2010.
Historic meeting
Giles Tremlett Madrid On 23 October 1940 in Hendaye, near the Franco-Spanish border, Adolf Hitler met General Franco. Hitler had sent him troops and aircraft during the Spanish civil war and now wanted Franco to join the Axis powers.
Franco, however, had his own demands: Gibraltar and parts of French north Africa. Hitler is reported to have furiously declared that he "would rather have three or four teeth pulled out" than spend more time with the ungrateful Spaniard. Franco agreed to join the war at a future date but Spain eventually stayed out of the conflict.
This is the chap that was mentioned:
Paul Winzer
 

Dwarf

LE
You couldn't make this up. While the government is doing its level best to prevent Franco from being buried in the Almudena in Madrid, some people obviously don't agree with them.

Mossos (Catalan autonomous police) arrested a security guard who wanted to assassinate the PM Pedro Sanchez because he wants to disenter Franco. Member of a shooting club he managed to get hold of an arsenal and as an ardent right-winger and son of a Francoist he was determined to do the business.
Problem was he had motive and desire but he didn't have a plan, so while he was thinking about it he went on social media and opened a whatsapp group and so the Mossos got hold of him.

Mind his toys aren't half bad even though the shooting club considered him to be only a moderate shot.



Now if he had only had THAT rifle......................................
 
Going to end in tears…

Spain has operated a don't ask, pretend it never happened policy with regards the atrocities and huge numbers of disappeared on both sides in the Civil War.
Both sides were as bad as each other and routinely massacred prisoners and civilians on an almost medieval scale, most of whom have no known graves.

Dangerous scab to pick.
 
Going to end in tears…

Spain has operated a don't ask, pretend it never happened policy with regards the atrocities and huge numbers of disappeared on both sides in the Civil War.
Both sides were as bad as each other and routinely massacred prisoners and civilians on an almost medieval scale, most of whom have no known graves.

Dangerous scab to pick.
Spot on. Both sides contained evil cnuts, which side was worse.... Well, some of you might have attended the death of the former Yugoslavia and I hear that was a similar level of shite. Just because one side lost does not confer sainthood upon them.
There's a sort of leftist naivity at play here, thinking you can rewrite the past and hand wave away all the nasty things. Yes the Spanish Right were turds and there's way too much of their arrogant stupidity still in play there but to reopen that can of worms is just painfully thick.
That said I'd turf the old cabron out if I could, but best let sleeping dogs lie. (And no that is not an attempt to slur our canine friends).
 
The arguments about who was worse, the White Terror or the Red Terror?.
Probably best part of a million prisoners and civilians massacred between them 0 and that's just the wilful, massacres, not the battles.
Caught the tail end of a documentary about it. Allegedly the Spanish government still refuses to release documents that could help find the vast numbers of unmarked graves, and private groups doing it 'Time Team' by hand and local accounts are very much person non grata.
 

Dwarf

LE
To say that it is best to let sleeping dogs lie is to underestimate the strength of feeling that Franco still generates on both sides. His supporters still carry on, and the object of moving him is to allow the valley of the Fallen to be a true war grave for Spain not just the part that still adores Franco.

Herewith an article from my paper which puts it over admirably.


I read a tweet from @alejandrosanmo that says: "I live in a country where those who wear yellow ribbons are called fascists, and those who are going to commemorate the death of a fascist are called citizens."
And after reading it, I stop for a few seconds. What could I add about the hurtful reality posed by the tweet? Little more than impotence and desolation. Above all, because of the backward movement ... During recent years the 20-November (Franco's death) stopped being news, to the point that we often forgot the date, and only some nostalgic reference reminded us that it was the day when a dictator had died.
I remember once when a colleague told me that the success of democracy was to stop remembering Franco's death. At that time it seemed true, but the exponential increase of the extreme right and the impunity with which it acts, added to the banalization of the evils of the Franco regime and the "normality" with those who, Franco's diploma in hand, are in high public positions -some of them, now turned into the executioners of the independence leaders-, has led us to the current ignominious reality.

A reality, whose metaphor is the recent images of thousands of citizens, arms raised, shouting Viva Franco. But the most serious problem is not that there are so many defenders of a tyrant, but the impunity with which they praise a regime that killed more than 200,000 people, sent half a million into exile, and imprisoned and repressed millions of citizens.
It is possible, then, that Franco's mummy no longer impresses anyone, although he has been powerful enough to remain unchanged in his mausoleum for decades. However, it impresses and scares me that his spirit is so alive. Who has fed this serpent's egg that it now explodes in the form of young people with the raised arm, of images of Reconquista, and of fascist propaganda inserted into public declarations and well ensconced in some political parties?
Because the question, today, the day in which the dictator died 43 years ago, is not the reappearance of new Francoists, but the indisputable fact that the Franco regime has never died. And not only because of the fear of the progressive parties, which allowed privileges for the dictator's family and for decades they did not dare lift the lid of tragic memory. Also, because the Spanish right, from the PP to Ciudadanos, have refused to reject the Francoist legacy, have flirted with new parties of the extreme right - "I have a lot of sympathy for Abascal," said Rivera on a television programme. and they have taken over the Falangist national discourse of the dictator. There are not many differences with Franco, when they speak of Catalans or Basques or when they turn Spain into a sacred story. Franco is more alive than ever, and it is not because of the physical mummy, but because of the mental mummy that inhabits many brains.
 

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