Dámaso Berenguer Fusté

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Dámaso Berenguer Fusté (1930/31)

Dámaso Berenguer y Fusté , Count ( Conde ) de Xauen (born August 4, 1873 in San Juan de los Remedios ( Cuba ), † May 19, 1953 in Madrid ) was a Spanish lieutenant general , politician and Prime Minister of Spain ( Presidente del Gobierno ) .


Military career and First World War

After school education Dámaso Berenguer entered the army in 1889 and completed training as an officer in the cavalry at the military academy, which he finished in 1892 with promotion to sub-lieutenant ( Alférez ). Between 1895 and 1898 he took part in the Cuban War of Independence as an officer . In the course of his military career he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1909 after participating in the Rif War (1909) . Between 1909 and 1915 he was in Morocco , where he created the first Moroccan army units, the so-called Regulares, in Melilla in 1911 . As a general, he became one of the most influential generals within the military leadership. After his return to Spain in 1916, he was initially military governor of the province of Malaga .

Post-war period and Primo de Rivera's dictatorship

When the army wanted to claim its share in political power after the First World War , he was appointed Minister of War ( Ministro de Guerra ) in Manuel García Prieto's cabinet on November 9, 1918 . He also held this office in the subsequent government of Álvaro Figueroa Torres from December 5, 1918, until he was appointed High Commissioner of Spanish Morocco in January 1919 . On January 3, 1921, he was appointed Senator for Life ( Senador Vitalicio ) by royal decree .

First he succeeded in recapturing the areas previously occupied by Abd el-Krim after the Battle of Annual . On August 12, 1921, Fusté, in his capacity as High Commissioner, sent the Minister of War the following telegram:

"I have always been reluctant to use asphyxiating gases against indigenous peoples, but after what they have done and their deceptive and false behavior, I have used it with real pleasure."

He held the office of High Commissioner until July 13, 1922.

Because of his involvement and joint responsibility for the defeat of the Spanish army against the Rifkabylenes during the Rif War , he was found guilty by the Supreme Military Court, but pardoned by General Miguel Primo de Rivera after the beginning of the military dictatorship and by him in 1924 in the rank of lieutenant general head of the Appointed Royal Military Budget. On March 27, 1925 he was appointed General Captain ( Capitán General ) of Galicia and held this office until August 31, 1926. For his military and political services he was on May 4, 1929 by King Alfonso XIII. raised to the rank of nobility as Count ( Conde ) de Xauen. Even after the Geneva Convention banned the use of poison gases and biological warfare agents in 1925 , the Spaniards used large amounts of mustard gas in the Rif War . They even accepted that the gas would also hit Spanish prisoners of war; that is also why its use was later kept secret.

Prime Minister

After the resignation of dictator Primo de Rivera on January 30, 1930, he was replaced by King Alfonso XIII. appointed his successor as Prime Minister of Spain ( Presidente del Gobierno ) . At the same time he took over the office of Minister of the Army ( Ministro de Ejercito ). After the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, his government went down in Spanish history as a soft dictatorship ( Dictadura Blanda or Dictablanda ).

The monarch's hope that Berenguer would be able to restore constitutional order and solve the economic problems, however, was not fulfilled. On the other hand, most of the political parties held the king responsible for Primo de Rivera's dictatorship and demanded the abdication of Alfonso XIII. Berenguer tried unsuccessfully to mediate in this conflict between the monarch and the parties. Ultimately, this resulted in the republican and monarchist groups losing their initial confidence in him. The attempt to reform the legislation as well as the reinstatement of MPs, city councils and university professors was then given up again. In order to reassure the political parties, Berenguer announced not only the pacification of the country but also general elections, but these were rejected by the traditional parties because of the experiences during the previous dictatorship. The re-admitted labor movement also called for protests.

On August 17, 1930, the famous Pact of San Sebastián ( Pacto de San Sebastián ) was signed, in which the republican parties united under Niceto Alcalá Zamora and Miguel Maura Gamazo, a son of Antonio Maura Montaner , to abdicate the king to reach.

On December 14, 1930, there was a military revolt in the Jaca garrison , demanding the abolition of the monarchy and the proclamation of a republic. The shooting of the two leaders of the revolt, Captains Fermín Galán Rodríguez and Ángel García Hernández, led to another rejection of the Berenguer government. Shortly before, a pistol attack was carried out on Berenguer.

These events and protests against his government ultimately led to his resignation on February 14, 1931.

Second republic and publications

In the cabinet of his successor Admiral Juan Bautista Aznar Cabañas , the last government under the reign of Alfonso XIII, he retained the post of army minister until April 14, 1931. After the victory of the republican parties in the local elections of April 12, 1931, he was king Alfons went into exile in Paris without formal abdication , the Second Republic was proclaimed . Although Berenguer assured his allegiance and allegiance to the new republic, he and other monarchist officers were arrested and charged with shooting the Jaca rebels. In 1935, however, he was acquitted of criminal responsibility for the shootings by the Supreme Court.

He published the books about his political and military experiences:

  • Campañas en el Rif y Yebala 1921-1922. Notas y documentos de mi diario de operaciones. 1923. (Campaigns in Rif and Yebala 1921–1922. Notes and documents in my surgery diary),
  • De la Dictadura a la República. Plus-Ultra, Madrid 1946. (From dictatorship to republic).

Web links

Commons : Dámaso Berenguer  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. BOLETIN OFICIAL DE LAS CORTES. Retrieved November 8, 2018 .
  2. ^ El Mundo , March 18, 2001, Gas mostaza sobre el Rif
  3. ^ Debate en el Senado sobre la dimisión del Alto Comisario de España en Marruecos General D. Dámaso Berenguer. Sesión del día 14 de julio de 1922 .
  4. List of Spanish nobility titles - Conde de Xauen. Retrieved November 8, 2018 .
  5. ^ Dirk Sasse: French, British and Germans in the Rif War 1921–1926.
  6. ^ Dolf Sternberger, Bernhard Vogel (Ed.): The election of parliaments and other state organs. 1969, ISBN 3-11-001156-5 .
  7. Energetic Llizo. In: TIME magazine. December 15, 1930.
predecessor Office successor
Miguel Primo de Rivera Prime Minister of Spain
1930 - 1931
Juan Bautista Aznar Cabañas