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The system and the ideological underpinning of Francisco Franco's dictatorship in Spain from 1936/1939 to the first free elections in 1977 are referred to as Franquism ( Spanish franquismo [ fɾaŋˈkismo ], German also Franco regime and Franco dictatorship , other spelling: Frankism ) .

Historic flag? Spanish flag at the time of the Franco regime in the version from 1945 to 1977

The form of rule or the system of Franquism is considered to be extremely personalistic, which means that the dictator himself was more influential than a certain ideology. Franco, who was not considered charismatic, knew how to maintain his almost unlimited power until his death in 1975. There was no codified constitution in Spain during his regime, but only a small number of basic laws with constitutional status that it has passed. Franco held the reins in hand, among other things, by filling all important political offices up to the provincial level on the basis of personal relationships of trust. He also kept those institutions to which he had delegated authority or which he could not ignore - including the state party Movimiento Nacional , the Catholic Church and the military  - under control by constantly playing them off against one another.

From the point of view of its elites, Franquism derived its legitimacy essentially from the military victory in the Spanish Civil War , which was interpreted not only as a victory for its own worldview , but also as a defense of Spanish and European civilization and culture. Since Catholicism was seen as an integral part of Spanish culture, there was close cooperation between church and state within the framework of the so-called nacional-catolicismo ("National Catholicism ").

During the 39 years of its existence, the Franco state was subject to significant developments in economic and foreign policy, and to a lesser extent in domestic policy. Therefore, the time of the dictator's rule can be divided into several phases. The initial despotism , in which massive retaliation was exercised against the population groups that had been defeated in the civil war, had certain characteristics of contemporary fascist systems and showed features of a planned economy. In the end, the form of rule was more authoritarian-conservative and after a long period of internal stagnation, Spain experienced an "economic miracle". It succeeded in rising from the level of a developing country to one of the ten largest industrial nations on earth. The economic progress, however, was not countered by any noteworthy internal political openness.

Origin of the Francoist system

Franco's way to power

Francisco Franco's rule began in 1936 with the Spanish Civil War in parts of Spain ruled by the Spanish National Coalition . The starting point was a coup against the government of the Second Republic , elected a few months earlier , which had emerged from a popular front alliance. In the interim capital , Burgos , a provisional junta was established in the first week of the civil war , which immediately abolished all trade unions and parties as well as the autonomous rights of the regions and banned strikes .

Franco, who had been respected by the Spanish right since his role in the suppression of the Asturian miners' uprising in 1934, succeeded in taking on a leading role in this junta through the propaganda relief of Toledo and the special support of Hitler, who saw Franco as the most capable of the coup generals . On October 1, 1936, later in the Francoist annual course as the "Day of the Caudillo", Franco was made Generalísimo of all by this junta and the representatives of the friendly fascist powers Germany, Italy and Portugal in the throne room of the Palace of Burgos (Casa del Cordón) Armed forces appointed. On October 1, 1936, the Junta Técnica del Estado was founded for the purpose of establishing a provisional state. From then on, Franco was considered the absolute ruler of the Spanish national civil war party. Potential rivals Sanjurjo and Mola died in plane crashes during the civil war (July 20, 1936 and June 3, 1937, respectively).

Not all those involved in the frente nacional , the National Front, fought - contrary to what is often presented in a simplistic way - under the sign and for goals of fascism . Rather, the alliance was based on a very general lowest common denominator: the desire for a different Spain, stemming from rigid anti-communism, and the aversion to democracy in general and to the ruling Popular Front government (Frente Popular) in particular. The attackers in the Spanish Civil War consisted of a coalition of various radical, but also moderate right-wing parties, movements and sympathizers. This included the large landowners, the right-wing Republican Catholic party CEDA , the academic-Catholic lay movement Acción Católica, as well as monarchists and Carlist members, right up to the "only group that could be considered fascist with some justification, the Falange Española " - although the boundaries to fascism in some organizations such as the youth organization of the CEDA, the Juventudes de Acción Popular (JAP), were fluid.

Old the Spanish Civil War conflicts at least since the time of were primarily, in the opinion of many historians, Napoleonic wars unforgiving disunited society (concept of dos Españas , the "two Spains") turned violent, often only superficially social with the political, ideological and Disputes of the then Europe were connected.

"For many years [Spain] was maneuvered into a hopeless state of chaos and anarchy [...]"

- Hans-Christian Kirsch (Ed.) : The Spanish Civil War in eyewitness accounts

As in Sanjurjo's failed coup attempt in 1932, the putschists had acted without prior clear political objectives. The generals involved expected to be able to gain control of the country within a few days without having to rely on allies like the Falange (the Carlist, on the other hand, took part in the conspiracy). Apart from a few buzzwords and ideas about what should be abolished, for several months there was no further concept for the desired post-war political order on which all members of the National Front could have agreed.

In detail, the political goals of the coalition participants were often almost completely incompatible. Franco saw the danger of failure and strove to unite the forces participating in the civil war on the Spanish national side under his leadership as quickly as possible and to gain the authority to interpret the meaning and purpose of the struggle against the republic.

Reaching for the falange

Ayerbe : graffiti from the time of the civil war

Francisco Franco could not be satisfied with the role of leader of the junta in the long run. He wanted to avoid the mistakes of the former Spanish dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera , whose dictatorship between 1923 and 1930 never went beyond a "personal military dictatorship of Latin American style" because his rule had lacked any political inspiration, doctrine or structure. In order to unite the Spanish right under his leadership, however, a suitable collecting basin was required. He found it in the "Falange Española de las JONS", which seemed particularly suitable due to its leadership principle (caudillaje) .

In 1934, still at the time of the Second Republic, the Falange Española, founded in 1933, had merged with the ideologically related Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (JONS), in German "Associations of the National Syndicalist Offensive" to form the "Falange Española de las JONS". The new organization propagated in a 27-point party program from 1934, among other things, the abolition of democracy and a "national syndicalism ". By the latter, she understood the population to be recorded in class organizations. Here, however, the Falangism was essentially limited to the compulsory membership of all those able to work in so-called syndicates. The program also contained calls for nationalization of the banking system and radical agrarian reform.

The leader of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera , son of Miguel Primo de Rivera, glorified the soldiery like Mussolini . Ramiro Ledesma , formerly leader of the JONS, who was excluded from the Falange again in 1935 , was an open admirer of the fascist squadras that terrorized Italy in the years around the “ March on Rome ” (autumn 1922). The influence of this party, with about eight to ten thousand members, was negligible throughout the Second Republic. In the last election in 1936, she had not received a single mandate. She was also not one of the authors of the pronunciamiento in July 1936. Although the Falange knew of the coup plans, she was not involved.

Memorial cross for Primo de Rivera jun. at the Cathedral of Cuenca

On November 20, 1936, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, who had been imprisoned since March of this year, was executed by the Spanish Republic after a trial and the party was thus leaderless. Franco (who Beevor claims that he personally prevented an attempt at liberation in order not to have a charismatic rival in his own camp) took over the weakened and divided Falangist movement in a flick of the wrist in place of the provisional leader of the Falange, Manuel Hedilla, and became its caudillo (span . "Leader"). He had neither belonged to the Falange nor was politically close to the Falange. There is something accidental about this elevation of Franco to a caudillo . Had another movement with a comparable constitution and similar aptitude offered itself to rule over an authoritarian state, Franco would probably have made use of this other movement as well. Ironically, Primo de Rivera junior had admonished his followers from inside the cell:

“'Take care of the right ... The Falange is not a conservative force.' You should not participate as outsiders in a movement 'which will not lead to the establishment of the national syndicalist state'. Obviously he knew that such an attempt was imminent [...] Just a few days before the outbreak of the nationalist uprising, on July 12th, he wrote to a friend: 'One of the most terrible things would be the national republican dictatorship. Another wrong attempt that I fear is [...] the rule of a false, conservative fascism without revolutionary courage and young blood. ' [...] What he feared was exactly what happened. "

- Francis L. Carsten : The Rise of Fascism in Europe , p. 237

Franco soon showed that he had seized the Falange mainly for the purpose of seizing power and as a bracket for the parties and movements of the frente nacional . Ernst Nolte goes so far as to say that "Spanish fascism [...] was no longer just allied with the conservative powers, but was enslaved" . Franco did not identify much with the objectives of the Falange, although he implemented certain points and demands of the party program. The Falangist program of now twenty-six points was elevated to the status of a state doctrine, while Franco described this program only as a starting point that was to be modified according to the requirements of the time. So he took up the Falangist ideas and dropped them whenever it seemed opportune.

“General Franco had absolutely no intention of adopting the revolutionary slogans and demands of the Falange, with which he had no sympathy. He was an old-school conservative and the generals' revolt a coup, rather than the social and national revolution the Falange had dreamed of. [...] Since he [Primo de Rivera jun.] Could no longer disturb the circles of the regime, he became the official martyr and patron saint of the Franco dictatorship, a dictatorship whose declared opponent he would certainly have become if his life had lasted longer. "

- Francis L. Carsten : The Rise of Fascism in Europe , p. 237 f.

The foundation of the Francoist state party

Dog tag of the Falange Española de las JONS during the civil war

April 19, 1937 is the actual hour of birth of the Francoist state. On this day the revolutionary-anti-monarchist Falange merged with the monarchist-absolutist and therefore exactly opposite in the spectrum of right-wing movements, the Carlist Comunión Tradicionalista to form the unity party Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS . This peculiar union of a revolutionary with a reactionary movement came about at the instigation of Franco's brother-in-law Ramón Serrano Súñer , who himself belonged neither to the Falange nor to the Carlist, but to the CEDA . Serrano had proposed the unification to Franco because, in his opinion, none of the factions involved in the Spanish national coalition met the "requirements of the day". He himself became the first general secretary of the new party at Franco's request and was concerned with coordinating the various parts of the new movement. He did not succeed in doing this, however, as not all Falangists wanted to join the new course. Otherwise, the previously independent organizations let the unification happen because Franco promised them participation in power after the end of the civil war.

“The Olympic contempt that Franco felt for the Spaniards, for friends and foes, was expressed right from the start in the conception of the state of whose head he proclaimed himself. [...] Supported by a confusing conglomerate of fascists who called themselves 'Falangists' (ie Republicans and Syndicalists), 'Traditionalists', that is, religiously rooted Carlist, 'Juntas de ofensiva nacional sindicalista', that is Nazis with garlic soup, he kneaded them calmly like a bread dough together for the 'Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS'. Could one imagine a greater insult to these three groups with their fundamentally different ideologies? But they listened to it unmoved, then enthusiastically, because they were concerned with quite a bit of political power, for exclusive and monopoly use. "

- Salvador de Madariaga : Spain , p. 450

Through this amalgamation of the two very unequal partners, Franco laid out the basic features of the Francoist system: a loose coalition had become a movement under Franco's sole leadership. Soon afterwards, the legitimist monarchists were also affiliated with the movement; other organizations such as the CEDA had already been disbanded at this point.

The new organization "FET y de las JONS", called "Movimiento Nacional" , abandoned the ideology and objectives of the "old" Falange in many respects: conservative and monarchist objectives came to the fore, and there was no longer any question of land reform. On the other hand, central Falangist program points such as syndicalism were retained. Due to its heterogeneity, the FET y de las JONS represented a compromise that offered something to everyone: the Spanish antimonarchists as well as the royalists, the old right as well as the fascist, partly social-revolutionary oriented Falangists.

Gradually, all the political forces of the Spanish national war party were brought together under Franco's leadership, while conversely the political spectrum on the part of the republic - which was even more heterogeneous than the national side - became more and more divided and (as in Barcelona in the spring of 1937) even civil wars within of the civil war . "While the left is divided on almost every important issue, the right is getting closer and closer together". In addition to the Italian arms deliveries, this unified approach was the reason for the victory of the Spanish national cause over the republic in the spring of 1939. Franquism now ruled all of Spain.

The phases of the Francoist regime

Franco declared the end of the civil war on April 1, 1939. The text in German reads as follows: “Today the red force has been captured and disarmed, and the national troops have achieved their final military objectives. The war is over. "

After the military success, the Franco dictatorship began with a period of about five years of violent “purges”, followed by a rather ideological period in which attempts were made to implement approaches to a planned economy . From around the end of the 1950s until Franco's death, there was a long period of political and social lethargy, which, however, was offset by a considerable economic revival.

The fact that Franquism was able to last for almost forty years after the previous phases of political instability is attributed not least to the fact that, after the victory in the civil war, Franco saw himself in a position that gave him practically absolute power and allowed him to be To shape the system of rule at his own discretion.

The "blue period"

Embodied in the so-called “Estado Nuevo”, Franquism showed itself in the years of the Spanish Civil War and in the immediate post-war period as a cruel despotism in a devastated, bankrupt and economically devastated country. According to the party color of the Falange, the purges were also referred to as "blue terror". From the beginning of the civil war, repression, torture and revenge on political opponents dominated in the parts of the country ruled by the national Spanish . Spanish society was divided into victor and vanquished, and "[the] vanquished, who in Franco's eyes embodied absolute evil, should pay and atone." As early as February 13, 1939, a decree on the "Procedure with Political Malefactors" was enacted, which retroactively criminalized activities that Franco viewed as subversive activities back to 1934 .

Behind the crimes of the “national” camp, as the historian Carlos Collado Seidel writes, there is a “genocidal intention” that Spain wanted to purify through the “physical destruction of all life perceived as unspanish”. Franco's press attaché stated that in order to remove the cancerous growth of Marxism from the Spanish national body in a bloody operation, a third of the male population of Spain should be eliminated. In the view of some historians, this intention to annihilate is a fundamental qualitative difference to the (and also quantitatively smaller) repression of the republican side committed during the civil war.

The number of politically motivated executions ran into the hundreds of thousands. Bernecker gives the number of those who died in French-speaking Spain between 1936 and 1944 as a result of political murder and judicial crimes as up to 400,000. More recent estimates (including by Michael Richards) assume 150,000 to 200,000 victims. As a rule, those executed were buried anonymously in mass graves to be forgotten there; in Galicia even the issue of death certificates is said to have been refused.

At least around 35,000 murdered supporters of the republic, who were buried outside the villages and towns, are said to lie in mostly unmarked mass graves to this day. However, according to the latest research results, this estimate has been revised upwards many times over. For Andalusia alone, the number of "disappeared" Republicans has recently been given as 70,000. The personal registration by the survivors' associations, the first attempt at a thorough count, resulted in a provisional number of 143,353 (as of mid-2008).

In the literature, the number of political prisoners after the civil war is mostly estimated at around 1.5 million. For example, they and their relatives were systematically disadvantaged in the distribution of food stamps, had to accept constant humiliation and, even after their release from prison, always lived in fear of being re-imprisoned. The children of Republicans were often separated from their families and placed in the care of the Catholic Church. Current research speaks of 30,000 such politically motivated child abduction cases. With National Socialist support, medical studies were carried out on political prisoners imprisoned in concentration camps, which, in connection with their Marxist views, were supposed to prove their alleged mental and racial inferiority.

After its consolidation, the regime gradually moved to less overtly violent repression. But the last Franco concentration camps , of which there were around 190 all over Spain and into which half a million supporters of the Spanish Republic, and during the Second World War also tens of thousands of refugees from all over Europe, were interned, were not closed until 1962. There were also punitive battalions (Batallones de Trabajadores, short: BB.TT.), whose members were deployed in road and rail construction, in the steel industry, as miners or to work on certain prestigious buildings of the regime such as the Valle de los Caídos . In the western Pyrenees (Navarra) alone, 15,000 political prisoners from all over Spain were obliged to do forced labor in road construction.

Around 500,000 people, including 150,000 Basques , fled from 1939, mainly to France, where they were interned in various camps . Some of the refugees were also able to emigrate to Mexico , which the republican government-in-exile turned to. This was the largest exile movement in Spanish history. However, leading politicians of the republic were extradited to Spain by Vichy France or the Gestapo and  executed there - as in the case of Lluís Companys . Research speaks of 13,000 "Red Spaniards" who were picked up by Hitler's troops after the occupation of France and made their way to German concentration camps, where at least 10,000 of them are said to have died - 7,000 of them in Mauthausen alone . In this context, the interbrigadist block in the Dachau concentration camp is known . Around half of all exiles returned home in the years after the Second World War due to a number of sentences - such as a partial amnesty for minor offenses committed by the “Marxists” at the end of 1939. A general amnesty was never given, however, and so many Spaniards did not return from exile until after Franco's death.

In 1946 the UN imposed a diplomatic boycott on Spain. After the end of World War II, the Franco regime was almost completely isolated in foreign policy and economically. This led to major problems in supplying the population. It was not until 1953 that Franco was able to conclude a troop stationing agreement with the USA against the backdrop of the Cold War . A little later a concordat was concluded with the Vatican . In 1955 the country finally joined the UN.

Late Francoism

Franco statue in Valencia .

The foreign policy offensive to secure Franquism was not followed by any political freedoms. It was only under the pressure of an imminent economic collapse and after growing protests by the population, after an almost complete replacement of the government team by a technocratic regime , an economic liberalization that was supported by conservative elites such as members of Opus Dei .

The phase of the regime that began with this economic turnaround is known as tardofranquismo ("late French "). With the economic recovery of Spain, which began late, and the consequent increasing prosperity of broad strata of the Spanish population, Franco consolidated his rule again. This paradigm shift in economic policy, which went hand in hand with the relative loss of power of the military and the Movimiento, was made possible by the fact that Franco was also able to stabilize the internal situation on the basis of his foreign policy successes.

Franquism ended in a state that had remained an authoritarian dictatorship, but on the other hand left its citizens largely unmolested in everyday life - although in the last years of Franquism the repression due to the activities of the ETA and other opposition groups increased again. Until his death, Franco represented anti-modernist state-political ideas. He granted the population hardly any democratic rights and no freedom of association outside of the syndicates controlled by the system and, as a dictator, reserved the right to use all instruments of political and socio-political repression against any kind of opposition at any time at his discretion. The state institutions from the state party Movimiento Nacional to the estates organizations of the Sindicatos verticales remained instruments of the caudillo's personal exercise of power until the end. The Francoist state conferred considerable power on the police (including the Guardia Civil ) and the security services. The internal security forces were in many ways better equipped and organized than the Spanish army. The Guardia Civil in particular fought for decades with considerable brutality all attempts to form independent, particularist or opposition parties and trade unions or to express personal opinions.

After the dictator's death in 1975, the Francoist state was transformed peacefully into a parliamentary monarchy within a few years as part of a transition (Spanish Transición ) - with the exception of the attempted coup in the Cortes on February 23, 1981 .

The system of Franquism

Spanish coat of arms at the time of Franquism

Franco's system consisted mainly - as Hugh Thomas and Bernecker agree - a compromise between the military, Movimiento Nacional and the Catholic Church . His ability consisted of continually playing off against each other all those domestic political groups that supported him or that he could not ignore. In addition, as Bernecker explains, there were other groups in the form of latifundists and large finance , which were numerically less important, but whose influence in Spain could not be overlooked. The Acción Católica and, last but not least, Opus Dei, which was only influential in later years, should also be mentioned in this context . In connection with the construction of the Francoist state, the forced corporations, the "Sindicatos verticales" , must not be forgotten.

With the individual phases of the regime, the pillars of the state, their significance for the system or the degree of their loyalty to Franco also changed - the dictator himself was the only real constant in the system. In the long run, not only the supporters of the Spanish Republic, but also many of the groups who brought Franco to power during the civil war, lost influence in favor of the despotism of an individual and his vassals.

“The goals that had been fought for were… more or less dead in 1939. In the end, passionate ideological conflicts had only turned into an opportunistic tug-of-war over the continued existence of those who were fighting. Liberalism and Freemasonry were driven out, but the Church was practically disempowered by the Falange . The Falange's social goals, however, were almost as faded as those of the communists , anarchists, and social democrats . Carlist and legitimate monarchists could not get their point of view. A cool, colorless, gray man who had survived the Spanish Civil War as Octavian had survived the Roman one triumphantly enthroned on this skull of ideologies . Caesar and Pompey , Brutus and Antony , Cato and Cicero - all these geniuses lacked the inferior talent to survive things. Francisco Franco was the Octavian of Spain. "

- Hugh Thomas : The Spanish Civil War , p. 465.

The dictator: Francisco Franco

Portrait of Franco in the uniform of the Generalissimo , 1969 in Argentina

Franco's grab for power in 1936 and 1937 took place in the political environment of a distinctly heterogeneous war party. It was foreseeable that sooner or later the individual groups of the fragile coalition, which was essentially only held together by the current crisis situation, would turn their weapons against each other. The badly balanced coalition could break up at any time as soon as one of the groupings of which it was composed, for whatever reason, got the upper hand and then tried to enforce its own goals against the other parties. Franco solved this dilemma by bringing the political groups fighting under his leadership under his personal control, partly by coercion, partly by persuasion and promises, and by directing their excess political energies on wing struggles within the framework of the Movimiento Nacional . In the state party, he kept the individual factions in balance by playing them off against one another. Franco deliberately did not fill the ideological vacuum until the end: the basis and source of legitimation of his rule was, in addition to traditional Catholicism, essentially the wealth of power acquired in the civil war, which Franco had at its disposal according to the principle of “divide and rule”.

In contrast to other contemporary dictatorships, Spain was shaped less by an ideology that dictated the national goals than by the person of the dictator, which is also expressed in the term "Franquism", although Franco was hardly able to inspire the masses. The short Franco appeared very unmilitary in his physical appearance and had therefore acquired nicknames such as "Kommandantchen" or "Franquito" during his active military service. Also Payne Franco Charisma wants most, award due to the fact that he had won the civil war, but not because of his personality. The Generalísimo, whose fistulous voice “gave his commands the sound of a prayer”, tried to remedy this lack of charisma by staging a personality cult. The system worked even without a charismatic leader. Franco, who differed significantly from Mussolini and Hitler in his temperament and temperament and his rather closed manner, was unimaginative, shy, reserved, introverted and anything but a man of action, but owed his political survival to the end to his prudence, his organizational talent and his ability to sit out problems and never rush things. Bernecker tells of a telling anecdote that there were two stacks of files on Franco's desk - one for problems that had been dealt with over time and another for problems that had to be dealt with over time. The fact that Franco reacted rather than acted, exposing himself too much or avoiding taking the initiative where possible and avoiding risks as possible, shows - as Hugh Thomas puts it - the “difference between Franco and the imperialist, conqueror-addicted Dictators of the real fascist type ”: Franco knew when to stop. According to Beevor , Franco had a passion in spite of everything before the civil war, namely eager to read everything he could get hold of about the " Bolshevik danger".

Although Franco did not appear in public to the same extent as other contemporary dictators, his position in the state as a whole was in many respects more independent than that of other despots. Apart from the fact that during Franco's entire government there was never a serious competitor, this was due to the fact that Franco never formulated a coherent ideology beyond a few guidelines and slogans and was therefore hardly restricted in his freedom of decision. In addition, not one of the various factions of the Movimiento Nacional , nor any of the other pillars of the regime, such as the Catholic Church and even the military, could really claim that Franco was one of theirs. Franco ruled by pitting all his props against each other and avoiding committing himself to a grouping. The dictator often kept a low profile about his own position on questions of governance and social policy and reserved the role of the final arbiter of the debate. Apart from his family, there are very few people who have ever shown him genuine trust.

This went so far that numerous institutions of the Francoist state and many of the elements of the Francoist ideological building were less due to Franco himself than to the operation of the pillars of Franco's power - such as the Movimiento Nacional and the Church, which was dominated by the Falange . State power cannot be imagined without its interdependence with these centers of power, but it is largely conceivable without the concessions that Franco made the pillars of the system, depending on the opportunity. Individual points of the ideological approaches also turned out to be negotiable if it seemed useful to Franco for his purposes. Salvador de Madariaga portrays Franco as a power-hungry egoist without ideals:

"He [Franco] was obsessed, obsessed with this gift of rulership, and until his end there was such a lust for domination that he did not even want to allow death to challenge him [...] This contempt for everything and everyone, which he seldom tried to hide (except in the religious field, and there too, without trying very hard), stemmed from the fact that he was inspired by only one thought: Franco only served Franco. Political theories and ideologies left him untouched. He supported Hitler because at that time all power emanated from Hitler. [...] When he had to move to the American camp, he threw his anti-democratic speeches in the trash. Franco never represented a disinterested opinion that would have resulted from logic, reason, generosity, charity or the sense of justice; any interpretation of his actions that allows religious explanations must be erroneous. Franco always believed only in Franco. "

- Salvador de Madariaga : Spain , p. 449 f.

According to Franco's ideas, however, his own form of dictatorial rule should not last, although the authoritarian-conservative character of the Spanish state should be preserved. During his lifetime he made sure that no one after him would unite the same amount of power. During his lifetime, he transferred the office of head of government to Luis Carrero Blanco , and after his assassination by ETA in 1973 to Carlos Arias Navarro . As early as 1947 Franco had re-anchored the monarchy in Spain, but left the throne vacant during his lifetime. Franco saw this reintroduction, however, as an instauration , not a restoration , as the monarchy should in future be fully in accordance with the principles of the Movimiento Nacional . Franco saw himself as an imperial administrator who wanted to prepare for the reinstatement of the monarchy, but surrounded himself with monarchical splendor. So he wore a uniform that was in itself reserved for the king. In addition, he had his likeness depicted on the coins and even assumed divine grace - his personal title was por la gracia de Dios, Caudillo de España y de la Cruzada ("by God's grace Caudillo of Spain and the crusade"). In addition, Franco enjoyed the liturgical rights that had previously been granted to the king. He took over and directed the education of Juan Carlos I , whom he finally appointed as his successor in 1969 after postponing the decision to determine his royal successor for decades and playing off all possible pretenders , including those of the Carlist , against each other.

The military

Franco, who came from the ranks of the military , initially granted it - as the spoils of victory, so to speak - significant power and a number of privileges. Soon, however, he gradually withdrew his political influence and filled the government offices with mostly civilians. The military, which was essentially loyal to him, remained a power he could not neglect throughout Franco's reign due to its influence over the security forces and its position in public administration and economic life. The military proved to be a reliable support in the “de-fascization” of the system in the post-war years, when it temporarily - until the appointment of more modern elites - some of the positions previously held by the FET y de las JONS, especially in the area of ​​public administration, took over.

However, this influence of the military should not hide the fact that Franco's rule - at least after the end of the Second World War - was not a military dictatorship in the true sense of the word. This can be seen on the one hand in the persistently low share of state armaments expenditure after 1945 and on the other hand in the fact that the representatives of the army did not play a decisive role in setting important political decisions and were hardly asked, especially in late French.

The self-image of the military had changed during Franco's rule. The fact that it was recently barely able to exert any influence on a political level led to a long overdue depoliticization and disciplining of the military. So it happened that after Franco's death, apart from a failed coup attempt ended by the king (see 23-F ), the armed forces did not intervene in the process of transición , but instead allowed the legal change of power to take place on the basis of free elections. This attitude was by no means self-evident when one takes into account that the armed forces were notorious for their Praetorianism before the civil war and had launched around 50 coups and attempted coups in the 19th century alone.

The Movimiento Nacional

Bandera FE JONS.svg
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg
The badges of the Falange Española de las JONS (above) and the Comunión Tradicionalista were continued together by the FET y de las JONS. Usually, both flags were from 1936 to 1977 drawn up between them the flag of the Spanish State - as well as commonly used as so-called Triple Himno addition to the National Anthem Marcha Real (also called: Marcha de Granadera ) the Falangist party anthem Cara al Sol and the carlistische Marcha de Oriamendi were intoned.

The state party of the Francoist system was the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (in literal translation: “Spanish Traditionalist Phalanx of Associations of the National Syndicalist Offensive”, FET y de las JONS for short , an “organization […] as cumbersome as you Surname"). Their name components point to the Carlistische Comunión Tradicionalista ("Traditionalist Faith Community") and the fascist Falange Española de las JONS . It was also called Movimiento Nacional or simply Falange after the faction that had dominated for a long time .

Bernecker describes the rule of this movement during the civil war and in the first post-war years as the “blue period”. The power of the Movimiento Nacional was particularly great when Franco tried to maintain the balance between the parties of the Second World War and to overcome the foreign policy isolation after the end of the war. In the early years until after the Second World War, the movement decisively shaped the ideology of Franquism. However, Franco continued to reduce the influence of the Movimiento throughout his tenure. Some historians even speak - insofar as the ideological state of this right-hand reservoir justifies this - of a “de-fascization” of the Francoist state by Franco himself. The changes of government in 1957 and 1969 cost the Movimiento considerable power, the other groups, especially the military and was later transferred to Opus Dei . Since numerous old Falangists ( camisas viejas , "old shirts") rejected Franco's course, which was aimed at pushing them back, there were even right-wing oppositional groups in French-speaking Spain. Francisco Herranz, a co-founder of the Falange, went so far as to shoot himself in 1969 in protest against the “betrayal of the Falange”.

From 1958 the official texts of the state no longer mentioned the name Falange , and from 1970 the movement was officially renamed Movimiento Nacional . The Movimiento fulfilled the functions of a state party more and more to a limited extent. During the civil war, the state party had only allowed a comparison with the party organizations of totalitarian regimes to a limited extent. Its ideological orientation was already unclear during the civil war because of the diversity of the organizations it comprised and became even more diffuse after an extensive influx of members in 1939. The Movimiento consisted exclusively of wings because an ideological center or a party line could hardly be made out. For this reason, he was far from the ideological unity of a Partito Nazionale Fascista or even a NSDAP . If the factions of the Movimiento were also excluded from the direct power exercised by Franco, this did not mean that they were powerless. Their leaders were installed by Franco on the basis of a relationship of trust, which resulted in none of these groups being passed over completely or permanently.

However, due to its confusing composition, the Movimiento meant that in the authoritarian system of Franco a very limited pluralism was possible in practice, which would have been unthinkable in totalitarian systems - with regard to German National Socialism, just think of Gregor Strasser or Ernst Röhm .

Ideologically clearly divergent groups such as the Carlist, monarchist, right-wing and Falangist wings within the FET y de las JONS were able to form precisely because of the lack of a positively formulated state ideology, which is characteristic of the Francoist state, and their sometimes very different views on current and fundamental issues articulate. Franco took great care to ensure that this very relative pluralism of the individual factions did not turn into oppositional attitudes. When the pretender of the Carlist movement, Francisco Javier (I.), expressed understanding for Basque and Catalan aspirations for autonomy and his son Carlos-Hugo expressed his father because of his attitude, the supporters of the Carlist movement in the course of the plebiscite of 1966 on the state organization law (Ley Orgánica del Estado) to recommend approval of Franco's succession plan, appropriately referred to as an opportunist, Franco had the pretender and all the princes of the 2nd Carlist dynasty expelled from Spain.

The amorphous and highly bureaucratic FET y de las JONS did not, like the corresponding party organizations in Germany or Italy, exercise the monopoly of recruiting all power elites, if only because Franco liked to rely on clerics and military members who do not belong to the state party in the composition of his governments needed. Thus the Movimiento was only one element in the architecture of the Francoist state. He was -  Bernecker According - a "domestic policy instrument Franco" which he used to play the right-wing forces in Spain up to today. With the anti-monarchism of the Falangist faction, for example, it was therefore possible for him to create a counterweight to the monarchist groups, especially the Carlist . For the same reason, the Falange, because of its socialist streak, was useful against the conservatives and the old right. Parts of the military who sympathized with the Falange could also be brought up against other factions within the military.

The Movimiento , however, retained a permanent position through the estates organization of the state, through its representation in the Cortes Generales as well as through its influence on the university system and on the mass media: radio and television were entirely, the press to a considerable extent of controlled by the state party.

The Sindicatos verticales

The Estado Nuevo shows clear signs of a corporate structure, but did not include the entire society. The corporate state model - which in the Francoist state was called "organic democracy" - was enshrined in the law on the principles of the Movimiento Nacional of 1958. In addition to families and communities, Art. VI saw the syndicates as entidades de la vida social (“elements of social life”) and estructuras básicas de la comunidad nacional (“basic structures of the national community”). Political organizations that stood outside the basic structures mentioned and other bodies set up for this purpose, in particular outside the syndicates, were prohibited under Art. VIII (Toda organización política de cualquier índole al margen de este sistema representativo será considerada ilegal).

The system of syndicates “allows the rulers to prevent the emergence of groups whose wishes might not coincide with the line above, as well as to channel public opinion and steer it from above in the desired direction. This system was called organic because it was based on the assertion that all groups were held together by a common interest: all persons who deal with metal in the metal syndicate, all those active in agriculture in the agricultural syndicate, all Legal scholars in the bar association. The fact that a large landowner has interests other than his day laborer, a worker other than the general manager, a lawyer who defends political prisoners, other than the assessor in the Ministry of Labor and a lighting technician other than the theater director was ignored. "

The syndicates went back to José António Primo de Rivera. As early as 1935 he had called for the transformation of the trade unions and employers' associations into professional syndicates, which, broken down according to branches of production, were to bring together workers and employers in a single organization under the supervision and direction of the state. Other organizations with union-like functions were disbanded and re-formation was banned. This ban was not fully enforced, however, because the Hermandades Obrera de Acción Católica ("Workers' Brotherhoods of Catholic Action", HOAC) continued to be active and openly presented themselves as an alternative to the Sindicatos verticales . Because of their increasingly sharper course of confrontation, the Catholic HOAC leadership team was finally dismissed at the beginning of the 1960s under pressure from the regime.

The syndicates had a political and a representative function, but had little specific powers. It was not until 1958 that the works committees established in 1947 were given the right to represent the interests of the respective workforce in company agreements. As Bernecker explains, despite this relative strengthening of competencies, “criticism of the lack of representativeness of the syndicate leadership , the irresponsibility of the line of command and the dependency of the syndicates on the political leadership ” was raised in the following years .

The syndicate system remained essentially unchanged until Franco's death, but was ultimately undermined and undermined by illegal interest groups such as the Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO) to the point of almost insignificance.

The Catholic Church

Inscription on the "Virgen del Carmen" church, consecrated in 1966 in the El Pardo district of Madrid.

During roughly the first two decades of Franco's pronounced clericalist rule, the Catholic Church was one of the most effective pillars of the Francoist state. In return for the legitimacy of the dictatorship, she received far-reaching influence in the field of Spanish social policy. According to Manfred Tietz, this so-called nacional-catolicismo of the Franco era weighs heavily on the Spanish Church even after the country's democratization.

National Catholicism

Francisco Franco's rule was emphatically Catholic and sought proximity to the ecclesiastical institutions from which it claimed and received legitimacy. Among other things, the Church recognized Franco a divine right, which became part of his official title. This special relationship between church and dictator was called nacional-catolicismo .

The nacional-catolicismo had already taken shape during the civil war. On the one hand, by taking sides with the Spanish national side, the Spanish Church wanted to regain the privileges that it had lost in the anti-clerical Second Republic. On the other hand, this decision was also based on the numerous violent attacks against clergy, lay people and church buildings during the Second Republic and the Civil War, in the face of which the church believed itself to be in a life-and-death struggle. In 1937 a pastoral letter to all bishops in the world, written by all but two Spanish bishops , was published, in which the fight against the republicans was justified as a “crusade” and a “national movement”. Franco made sure this powerful ally in that it its coup as a struggle for the whole of Christendom in the form of Western civilization in general and the Hispanidad (hispanidad) spending in particular and as cruzada ( " crusade called") in defense of the religion. This fight for religion became a founding myth of the Francoist regime (see below in the section “ ¡Viva Cristo Rey! ”).

However, the attitude of the Holy See was quite different from that of the Spanish Church. Pius XI. since the opening of the Vatican archives for the time of his pontificate in September 2006, according to research by the historian Vincente Cárcel Ortí, "a distance [...], if not even opposition of the Pope to the Generalísimo" has been attributed. In any case, it was "wrong [...] to portray the Ratti Pope as an ally of Franco". In his encyclical Divini redemptoris from 1937, Pius took sides against the “atrocities of communism in Spain”, but without approving of Franco himself.

After the civil war Franco granted the church institutions the old privileges again and guaranteed them constitutionally in the “Basic Law of the Spaniards”. Catholicism was the only denomination allowed to hold public ceremonies and rallies. The Church was directly represented in the Cortes , clerics were represented in top political positions. The highest-ranking French constitution, the "Law on the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional" of 1958, formulated (in Art. II) the close relationship between church and state as follows: La nación española considera como timbre de honor el acatamiento a la Ley de Dios , según la doctrina de la Santa Iglesia Católica, Apostólica y Romana, única verdadera y fe inseparable de la conciencia nacional, que inspirará su legislación (for example: “The Spanish nation boasts of reverence for God's law according to the only true teaching of the holy Catholic , Apostolic and Roman Churches and the faith inseparable from national consciousness that will inspire their legislation ”). In the framework of nacional-catolicismo , church and state merged. A gesture characteristic of the Franco regime was to grant the Mother of God the rank of Honorary General of the Spanish Army.

The 1953 Concordat

In 1953 Franco concluded a concordat with the Vatican that was very advantageous for the Holy See . Apart from the fact that the Franco state and the Catholic Church openly favor each other, the conclusion of this concordat is also related to the efforts of the Franco regime to break international ostracism. Therefore, the Vatican had long hesitated to conclude such an agreement. Only the negotiations of the USA about the conclusion of a stationing agreement with Spain ended the delaying tactics of the Holy See.

In addition to confirming existing privileges, the Concordat ensured the Catholic Church an even more extensive influence on public life - in particular by transferring elementary parts of education and training as well as censorship powers in dogmatic and moral matters. Most of the Spanish education system was entrusted to the Church; Among other things, the Concordat prescribed mandatory religious instruction from elementary school to university, which had to be in full harmony with Catholic dogmatics and moral teaching .

Other components of the Concordat were generous tax exemptions for church institutions and compensation for state expropriations during the Second Republic. In addition, the Spanish state should pay for the maintenance of the priests and the maintenance of the church buildings. The possibility of a civil divorce has been abolished. Until 1979 there were no civil weddings. In return, the state received the right to propose the occupation of the Spanish bishopric and thus the possibility of influencing the heads of the Spanish Church. It was not until 1967 that a law on freedom of worship (Ley de la libertad de cultos) improved the position of the non-Catholic denominations, which, however, by no means resulted in equal rights.

During the late French period, the Church pushed for a revision of the Concordat because the close ties with the regime now appeared to be a burden. After the Vatican had asked Franco in vain to renounce his right to participate in the investiture of bishops, he left bishopric seats vacant and only appointed auxiliary bishops , an office that Franco was not entitled to participate in according to the Concordat. The first changes to the Concordat came in the final phase of Franquism in 1976. In 1979, around two thirds of the provisions were finally deleted.

Countermovements within the Church

From around 1960, however, a different, oppositional attitude to the regime spread among the church community. It is a frequently observed phenomenon that the clergy (not only the Catholic Church in Spain) in authoritarian states offer freedom and play the role of corporations such as trade unions, which are withheld from the people. The Church became - first in the Basque Country - a nucleus and refuge for the opposition to the regime and moved away from the role it was assigned to legitimize the regime. This was a gradual process that took many years to complete. At the base of the church, the so-called curas rojos and worker priests ( decried as communists) acted in this sense . Together with institutions such as the Acción Católica and, above all, its workers' brotherhood HOAC , the Spanish Church at its base offered those people in Franco's state who were unable to express themselves publicly some freedom. The state authorities reacted to this activity with the usual repression and arrested priests without the consent of their bishops in order to send them to a special prison for clergy (near Zamora ). Such measures also led to a rethinking at the top of the church and an increasing distancing from Franco, which after Vatican II led to the Spanish Bishops' Conference presenting the demands of the Catholic world church to Franco.

Added to this was the Church's commitment to the non-Castilian population, which reached a climax when the Bishop of Bilbao, Antonio Añoveros , postulated the right of the Basques to have their own language and culture at the cost of a serious conflict with Franco around 1974.

The Montserrat Monastery , where masses were read in the forbidden Catalan language, has also become known in this context. The hymn of praise to Our Lady of Montserrat , Virolai de Montserrat , replaced the forbidden Catalan hymn Els Segadors during the Franco era .

Latifundists and big finance

The big landowners and the financial bourgeoisie should also be mentioned as pillars of the system. These circles benefited considerably, especially in the autarky phase after 1939, and were able to maintain their influence after this phase, and even after Franco's death.

The large landowners had supported Franco ideally and, above all, financially from the start. For a long time they were the main bearers of the caciquismo clientele system , which controlled the voting behavior of the rural population. The dictator thanked them with state-guaranteed purchase prices.

The financial bourgeoisie was closely intertwined with the latifundists : from 1936 to 1962, the existing banks were given a monopoly position guaranteed by the status quo bancario , with Franco once again ignoring the Falange's party program of 1934, which called for the nationalization of the banks. This banking oligopoly was combined with a ban on the establishment of new banks. The consequence of this was a strong process of concentration in the banking sector, in the course of which seven large banks were established, while the number of banks was almost halved through takeovers and mergers. Even after the banking reform of 1962, these big banks formed “an impregnable fortress” for a long time, which was held by a few clans who were related and related by marriage.

Until the reform, the banks effectively escaped the control of the state, which, on the contrary, they had in hand as its financiers. Even after that, they practically held a monopoly on the money market and thus made the Spanish economy highly dependent on themselves - also by demanding that the loan debtor grant shares or that representatives be sent to the supervisory board in order to grant loans used.

The Opus Dei

The Opus Dei came later to the state-supporting forces and organizations added, although a flat-rate allocation of this organization to the "pillars of the system" as much or as little is justified as in the case of the Catholic Church itself. Also leading men of the opposition were among the Opus Dei on. This Catholic lay order was founded and directed by the Franco admirer Josémaría Escrivá de Balaguer .

In the late 1950s, Franco's rule was seriously jeopardized when the self-sufficiency policy led the regime to the brink of economic disaster. Franco turned things around in 1957 and appointed a cabinet of technocrats whose key areas of trade and finance were occupied by Alberto Ullastres and Navarro Rubio, both men of Opus Dei. This organization could now expand its power at the expense of the Falange. As early as 1962, members of Opus Dei were able to fill all economically important positions in the cabinet.

Behind the opus stood its patron Luis Carrero Blanco , who was considered the gray eminence of the Franco state, but did not belong to this order himself. He is said to have become aware of the Opus when he turned to a law firm in order to separate from his wife, while the lawyer involved, Lopez Rodó, who was a member of the order, is said to have managed to successfully mend the troubled marriage through his efforts.

Opus Dei has occasionally been compared with the Freemasons' movement because of the confidentiality of its members and because of their work in the sense of the ideals of their covenant in everyday life and work. Its members, among whom lay people far predominate, do not form convents, but remain active in the world and in their professions. Opus Dei is a movement of academically educated elites and as such an incorporated network of like-minded people, albeit a relatively tightly managed and hierarchical structure. According to Manfred Tietz , the ideology and actions of Opus Dei are "often presented as militant Catholicism, authoritarian conservatism, clerical integrism and socio-political elitism". Bernecker, on the other hand, emphasizes that the doctrine of Opus Dei through "strong emphasis on the work and duty ethos [... ] of great importance for the superimposition of pre-capitalist structures and attitudes by a capitalist economic ethos ”. In other words - as Bernecker suggests below - the development that hit the Spanish economy in the 1960s and 1970s was perhaps made possible in the first place by an organization like Opus Dei.

In Spain, the environment for Opus Dei was particularly favorable. In the period after the civil war, students from the higher social classes who were neither attracted to the Falange nor to traditional orders were not uncommon there. After the fall of the Falange, this network of predominantly well-trained younger men, which had been working towards its chance for years, ensured that like-minded people moved into leading positions, which led to a considerable economic and political concentration of power and resources in his hands. Opus Dei made it possible for Franco to expose Spain to a comprehensive push for modernization without the Congregation's interest in bringing about political liberalization at the same time, although Bernecker emphasizes that “within Opus Dei [always] a relatively broad pluralism of opinion [remained] - for example with regard to the form of government or the economic concept to be adopted ”.

Because of the historic opportunity around 1957, the community was only able to establish itself in the banking sector and finally in large parts of Spanish industry and thus put an end to the Falangist autarky policy and state dirigism by reorganizing the economy according to economically liberal aspects. Its members achieved considerable success: the so-called “Spanish economic miracle” after long years of stagnation was largely due to their reforms. The opus initially concentrated on the banking sector, as the question of financing investments in the context of modern financial products was essential for the development of Spanish industry.

The influence of Opus Dei was primarily felt in the economic and economic-political area, but less so in the general political area. The direct influence on Spanish politics should therefore not be overestimated, and in fact, of 116 ministers appointed by Franco during his reign, just eight belonged to Opus Dei. In addition, however, there were a number of people in leading political positions who did not belong to the Opus, but were close to it and promoted it, such as Luis Carrero Blanco in particular . Up until the end of the Franco regime, the Opus Dei network exerted a strong influence on Spanish economic policy, particularly in the banking and education sectors.

The Matesa scandal of 1969, the tax and subsidy fraud affair involving the leading Opus Dei member Juan Vilá Reyes, severely damaged the belief in the integrity of the congregation and consequently its political power was considerably reduced. This case is said to have become known through the Falange, who hoped to be able to overthrow the unpopular competitors of the opus. Immense loans had been given to a tiny company, where the money had seeped away with an unknown destination - according to the Falange's assumption, in organizations of the Opus. This scandal -  a complicated tangle of nepotism, corruption and politics  - was never cleared up, as Franco himself ordered the investigation to be stopped after incumbent ministers threatened to be caught up in the investigation.

With the death of its protector Carrero Blanco in 1973, Opus was essentially deprived of its ability to directly influence Spanish politics.

The Acción Católica

The Catholic-academic lay movement Acción Católica had  formed a political arm with the Acción Nacional - later Acción Popular - after the abandonment of the old monarchist parties , which saw itself as a Catholic reaction to the Second Republic. This party accepted the republic, albeit not its anti-church legislation. Nonetheless, their main demand was the restoration of the old constitution. Its leader José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones took the corporatism of the Austrian corporate state under Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss as a model. With a few smaller groups with a similar orientation, the Acción Popular formed the Confederación Española de Derechas Autónomas (CEDA), which became the ruling party in the Second Republic for two years. With all the other parties, the CEDA, which became part of the Spanish national coalition, disappeared from the scene in 1936 under Franco. The Acción Católica remained.

In addition to Opus Dei, the Acción Católica also had numerous members in leading positions, especially in the Foreign Ministry and in the diplomatic corps , especially after the FET y de las JONS had been pushed back from 1957 . In the Concordat, this movement was the only lay organization granted the right to be active. But even here, in the last decade of the Franco dictatorship, numerous members turned away from the Francoist regime.

Parts of the movement, namely the HOAC , developed partly alongside, partly together with the illegal free trade union movement of the CC.OO. Trade union traits, although trade union activities outside the sindicatos verticales were forbidden.

In the vicinity of the HOAC, the illegal independent trade union USO ( Unión Sindical Obrera , "Workers' Union") with a left-wing Catholic program was established in the early 1960s , which temporarily allied itself with the also illegal free trade union movement CC.OO. Gil-Robles, who died in 1980, tried to found a Christian Democratic party after Franco's death, but it was unsuccessful in the 1977 elections.

Ideology of Franquism

Franco's rule was a personalistic dictatorship that was very much shaped by Franco's personality. Salvador de Madariaga puts it this way:

“Francisco Franco was the only despotic monarch in the history of Spain. Throughout his reign it was always his highest will that determined the public good, without advice or appeal. Neither the Catholic kings nor the Habsburgs or the Bourbons have even come close to achieving the identification between state authority and personal will, as Franco did in the 39 years of his rule. "

- Salvador de Madariaga : Spain , p. 448.

Therefore, no positively formulated ideology was in the foreground in the Francoist system. Franco's worldview and political goals were essentially composed of negations. In his manifesto at the beginning of the civil war, the later dictator - in addition to listing a number of measures to be implemented such as the dissolution of all trade unions and the formation of a government of "experts" - barely opened up ideological perspectives, apart from very general formulations such as the introduction of " strictest principles of authority ”or the achievement of“ complete national unity ”.

Even though or precisely because it granted the Catholic Church and Catholic-traditionalist ideas the quality of a state-supporting element, Franquism itself was not a political religion with a determined historical image like National Socialism or Communism. Franco did not explain world history to anyone and did not postulate any social developments proceeding according to certain schemes; he was hardly interested in such topics, apart from the fact that he regularly blamed the responsibility for failures on "international freemasonry ". Insofar as an ideology - according to François Furet  - is to be understood as “a system for explaining the world”, “which gives the political behavior of people a predetermined direction, but which is free from divine influence”, Franquism therefore had no ideology.

The dictator's political goals

French national coat of arms of Spain

A positive formulation of the ideological content of Franquism is not easy. The essential elements can primarily be found in the basic laws of the Francoist state or in the will of the dictator, which was only published after Franco's death, although Franco took some care to give these basic laws formulations that restricted his freedom of action as little as possible. He [Franco] still had to fulfill his mission for Spain, which could hardly be defined exactly, but which he believed was far above the politics of the day . As will be shown below, the Franco state only gradually acquired a kind of constitution by means of basic laws that were gradually enacted throughout the duration of its regime; Franco wasn't particularly interested in constitutional issues.


Franco was - far more interested in a conservative Catholic social renaissance than in a totalitarian state based on the fascist model. His rule can best be classified as conservative - authoritarian and Catholic paternalism .

The clear ideas of the future form of government, which the Falange had made a program before the outbreak of the civil war, were completely ignored by Franco, their social-revolutionary program points were confused almost beyond recognition with traditionalism, and of a control of the banking sector, a land reform or the There was no longer any question of nationalizing industry. Even the relationship of the Movimiento Nacional unity party to the state and the dictator was unclear.

In Art. 2 and 3 of the Ley de Principios del Movimiento Nacional , some principles of the Francoist state were hinted at, to which the intimate relationship between church and state ( nacional-catolicismo ) and the propagation and promotion arising from the togetherness of the Spanish-speaking peoples as especially Spanish respected values ( hispanidad ) belonged.

In addition, there was a corporative state organization of public life, which is why the Spanish state was described in the preamble of the Fuero del Trabajo (in the version valid until 1967) as "national and syndicalistic", which - again, characteristically by means of a vague formulation and a negative demarcation - On the one hand it was to be understood that the state was an instrumento totalitario al servicio de la integridad patria ("totalitarian instrument in the service of the inviolability of the fatherland"), on the other hand that the Spanish order was against both "liberal capitalism " and the " Marxist materialism ”.

In his will, Francisco Franco conjured up a threat to Christian civilization for the last time: a thought that he had already taken up during the civil war under the catchphrase cruzada . This versatile catchphrase encompassed the idea of ​​Hispanidad and the Catholic denomination, which is regarded as an integral part of Spanish culture, the fight against everything that Franco saw as a threat to Spanish society, above all parliamentarism , which, in Franco's opinion, only led to petty bickering, and especially Marxism . An exchange of ambassadors with the Soviet Union was only decided in 1973.

The Hispanidad

Under the Hispanidad ( "Hispanidad") - a first of the Falangist mastermind de Ramiro Maeztu coined word - refers to both the whole of the Spanish-speaking world as well as Spain glorifying doctrine of size, mission and chosen people of the country, in Spanish called la vocación imperial ("calling to the empire") paraphrased. Franco elevated this view to one of the main goals of foreign policy, which as a program sentence even had constitutional status: According to Art. I of the “Law on the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional” of 1958, Spain was una unidad de destino en lo universal (for example: “global community of fate ") And felt, according to Art. III, as raíz de una gran familia de pueblos, con los que se siente indisolublemente hermanada (" origin of a large family of peoples to which it feels indissolubly connected "). The idea of Hispanidad aimed at Spain's claim to leadership in the Spanish-speaking world. To this end, a “Hispanic Council” was set up in 1941, made up of Spanish intellectuals and the ambassadors of the Latin American states, although it remained unclear what the task of this council should actually be.

This claim to leadership is, however, to be understood less in the sense of an aggressively outward-looking nationalism . Franco Spain did not dream of a "Greater Spain", did not seek foreign territory, and it did not put its neighbors under pressure - apart from Gibraltar , which Spain still claims today. The pressure on the ethnic groups on the fringes of the state, such as the Basques and Catalans, was less due to Hispanidad - which should not be confused with Castilian nationalism - than to Francoist centralism .

Apart from these superficial foreign policy aspects, however, the thought of Hispanidad - as a far more important aspect of this political-cultural stance - turned primarily inward as a desire for a rebirth of Spain, which national Spain promised itself from a victory over the republic and after the civil war to work intended to put. For example, Franquism in the sense of Hispanidad wanted to go back behind modern times and out into a society that bore ideal traits in its cultivation of Christian values, which were regarded as particularly Spanish. Hispanic supporters feel that these values ​​should be shared by the entire Spanish-speaking world. A Spain reborn in this sense would then once again be the undisputed supremacy of the Spanish-speaking world - not through military force, but by presiding over it as natural head, as it were through the dignity and majesty of a mighty, united and strong motherland.

The time when Spain was a world power, in whose empire the sun never set, was a time of strict order in a medieval society with its denominational unity, its class order and the undisputed authority of the king and the church. Spain was able to achieve great things in the sense of its mission, as it was seen in the light of Hispanidad , at that time: it was able to conquer a world empire within the framework of the Conquista and convert entire continents to Christianity in the course of this , and it had been the engine of the Counter-Reformation in Europe. The Hispanidad presented here a link here: Spain was accordingly been a power, because it was living his "Spanish" values. This idealized past of Spain was also echoed in national Spanish civil war posters, which showed slogans like “España, orientadora espiritual del mundo” (“Spain, spiritual leader of the world”) and slogans like that of the cruzada (“crusade”). The use of this term did not detract from the fact that in the civil war on the side of national Spain numerously strong Moroccan regiments, composed of the descendants of the Moors, were deployed.

The groups on which Franquism was based pursued the concept of Hispanidad in different forms and intensities. Here, the did Carlism an absolutist-monarchist movement that long - Religious freedom denied and the reintroduction of the Inquisition had called for - particularly prominent. But even the anti-monarchist and in parts of her program clearly socialist-inspired Falange borrowed her symbols - yoke and bundle of arrows - from the time of Reyes Católicos , who also regarded them as Spain's greatest period. The Falange also explicitly propagated the idea of Hispanidad in its October 1934 program.

In the eyes of the Spanish right, Spain had been unsuitable for such intellectual and moral leadership for some time: they perceived Spain to have been run down by party quarrels and “unspanic” left-wing activities. Hence, a rigid anti-communism was one of the few common denominators of the parties of the Spanish national coalition and their main driving force during the civil war. In their eyes, the Second Republic was representative of all the numerous humiliations that the former world power had to endure since Napoleon and of which the year 1898 (noventa y ocho) , when Spain became the last colonies in the Spanish-American War, and thus the USA the last illusions about its decline have been removed, especially noteworthy. For this reason, too, it was essential for Franquism to keep the memory of the civil war alive and, as it were, to beat the republic every year on Victory Day.

The isolationist Hispanidad from a European perspective and with it Franquism were of course not and should not be exportable for any other European country due to their lack of attractiveness - it was rather aimed at Spanish-speaking Latin America , where Hispanidad was also popular and Franco was a model for many Became dictators. The Instituto de Cultura Hispánica ("Institute for Hispanic Culture", ICH), which was initially dominated by the Falange, was established in 1945 as an institutional hub for international cooperation with right-wing forces in other Spanish-speaking countries under the auspices of Hispanidad . The activities of the cultural institute, where the later important conservative politician Manuel Fraga (1951–1956 General Secretary) began his political career, and the emphasis on Hispanidad in the field of international relations are to be seen in the context of the efforts of the Franco regime, which after the To compensate for the defeat of the Axis Powers in Europe for the political isolation of Spain.

Sports movement

The Hispanidad was contrary to the objectives of the international sports movement, which at the time of fascism 's own strength was designed just to penetrate the international sports organizations and demonstration. Until the end of the Second World War, the bullfight was in the foreground. In Spain too, however, the regime was dependent not only on exercising power, but also on gaining hegemony in the spirit of Gramsci's . Only after the war did top sport serve to break through cultural isolation. Here, first made their name Juan Antonio Samaranch deserves the international first in roller hockey championships to Spain took and still won. Later it was the successes of Real Madrid that represented the Francoist Spain. Sport has also been one of the few ways to demonstrate cultural independence. This is how FC Barcelona became a symbol of Catalonia's independence . Top sport is also a field in which one can follow the successful transition from Franco to democracy using the example of Samaranch.

Typology of Franquism

Road sign in Avila

Franquism was and is sometimes referred to as "Spanish fascism". This typification is based on a number of undisputed, apparent similarities; In the opinion of many authors, however, this classification takes too little account of the superficiality of these commonalities, which can often be ascertained, and the often fundamental ideological and system-technical differences that the Francoist system and that of other fascist states or movements exhibited. In addition, it is not always easy to distinguish how far these similarities were inherent in the system and how far they were based on mere opportunism. Payne assumes that had the Axis military victory in World War II "Franquism would probably have become less conservative and right-wing and more radical and openly fascist".

In the opinion of many historians, however, the concept of fascism can be applied very well to the totalitarian (according to Juan J. Linz, more precisely: incompletely totalitarian ) epoch of early Franquism, not least because of “the high degree of terror and violence against political opponents the end of the civil war ”, a“ clear parallel to Italian fascism and German National Socialism ”could be drawn.

This fundamental assignment of the “warlike-totalitarian” early history of the Franco regime to fascism is common not only in Spanish literature, but also in Germany: the historian Walther L. Bernecker, for example, categorized early Franquism as “Spanish fascism”, which is due to the history of the origin of the Unity Party can be described as a “fascism from above”. The German political scientist Klaus von Beyme also stated that Franquism “could be counted among the fascist systems at least until 1945” and that “clerico-fascist and corporate-fascist elements remained effective in its politics into the final phase”.

However, this typification is not unreservedly approved by all sides; There are also categorical classifications of the early Franco regime, which weaken a typification for the time after its consolidation after the civil war as completely "fascist" or, compared to contemporary fascist regimes, come to the conclusion that these systems do not correspond to Franquism To be equated entirely. For their part, however, these views consistently assume that the early regime was in many respects of a fascist character or at least contained strong fascist elements. In another publication , for example, Bernecker would simply like to describe the regime in the period after the civil war as “fascist-inspired”. Payne considers the designation of the Franco regime of the first years as "semi-fascist" to be the most appropriate, since on the one hand early Franquism contained "a strong fascist component", but the regime in Franco's Spain was "not ruled and built up by generic or categorical fascists" and the aforementioned fascist component "was constrained in a right-wing, Praetorian, Catholic and semi-pluralist structure". Payne , on the other hand, points to numerous similarities between the early Franco state and Mussolini Italy and what he believes to be largely parallel political developments in both systems, except in the field of foreign policy, but admits that this is “a fairly common pattern of new systems “Act. Beevor describes the Francoist system that the victorious Franco brought about. as the cruel - reactionary, military and clerical - regime with superficial fascist trim .

For most authors, however, a general categorization as fascism with regard to the changeability and the long duration of the regime does not seem appropriate, all phases of the regime - the "blue period" of the immediate post-war period as well as the "tardofranquismo" , the late Franco period - to characterize equally. The tardofranquismo is therefore classified as a mobilizing authoritarian regime to distinguish it from the early phase of the regime of Juan J. Linz .

As Bernecker explains, Francoist Spain has long been characterized in its entirety as totalitarian and fascist. And

“[Z] There is no doubt that the regime (especially in its early phase) exhibited a number of characteristics that made it appear fascist: it was totalitarian, according to and in the terminology of some propangandists; a unity party was the only permitted political organization whose fascist wing, under Hedilla, initially sought a party dictatorship and only wanted to conclude alliances under the leadership of the Falange; the workers' movements and their interest groups have been smashed, an attempt to harmonize in many areas, the terror massively used as a means of intimidation for the (!) civilian population. "

- Walther L. Bernecker : Spain's History since the Civil War , 1984, p. 75.

Of course, so Bernecker continues, these properties can also be brought into the field:

“To express doubts about the very 'fascist' character of Franquism. Because: Even if Falange / Movimiento was a 'unity party', it never exercised the undisputed rule in the state; it also never succeeded in mobilizing the masses such as the NSDAP in the 'Third Reich'; rather, one could speak of widespread political apathy. Furthermore, the regime lacked a comprehensive, uniform and binding ideology, since too many opposing political forces were united in the 'movement'. [...] The state proved incapable of fully controlling the educational system; he left it largely to the church [...] and as far as the systematic use of terrorist means is concerned, he is by no means limited to fascist systems. If these restrictions make it clear that the characterization of the Franco regime as 'fascist' corresponds more to political and polemical usage than analytical terminology, the fact that supporters of the regime moved away from fascist symbols or gestures (such as the fascist salute ) from 1943 at the latest also shows outwardly towards an increasing distancing from the political system of the Axis Powers ... [The] characterization of Franquism as totalitarian or fascist [has] in the meantime been largely abandoned and [is] almost only used for primarily accusatory purposes [...] "

- Walther L. Bernecker : Spain's history since the civil war , 1984, p. 75 f.

However, this widespread assessment is also met with opposition. Some historians emphasize the core of Franquism, which remained the same throughout the various phases of the regime, and which, by and large, remained unaffected by the regime's external versatility. According to Torres de Moral, Franquism represented a fascist regime even after its initial totalitarian phase:

"The Franco Bahamonde regime always kept its original identity and did not hesitate to show it for forty years when it felt it necessary or opportune."

- A. Torres del Moral : Constitucionalismo histórico español

Mostly, however, it is emphasized that many of the similarities with fascist Italy or National Socialist Germany are only superficial: Bernecker points out elsewhere that the terms “total state” and “unity of state and society” (such as in Preamble of the Fuero de Trabajo ) did not get beyond mere empty phrases in practice. The “¡Franco! ¡Franco! In Payne's view, shouts of ¡Franco!  As well as the takeover of certain party or state institutions (such as the Auxilio de Invierno , in German “ Winter Relief Organization ”) were “simply imitations of Italian fascism or occasionally National Socialism” in the early years.

The assumption of the title Caudillo is possibly inspired by the terms “Führer” (Hitler) and “Duce” (Mussolini), although “Caudillo” is not a direct translation of these terms, but rather goes back to the older “Heerführer”.

Although Franco ostensibly complied with a central demand of the Falange with the establishment of the sindicatos verticales , a direct comparison between the fascist and the Francoist estates shows some differences in the objectives. The views of Franco and the Falange on the function of these syndicates differed considerably: While the Falange wanted to use the syndicates like the German Labor Front as a tool for ideologizing and social revolution, Franco was pretty much the same with the stabilization, surveillance and calming of the population the exact opposite in mind. Since the Falange could not assert itself here either, this contributed to the fact that the ideological Falangists, the so-called camisas viejas ("old shirts"), turned away from Franco and one on the pure teaching of Primo de Riveras jun. took an oriented oppositional stance.

The essentially restorative French system was based essentially on the upper class and on institutions that were traditionally powerful in Spain, such as the Catholic Church in particular. The system in Italy and even more so in Germany, on the other hand, was based primarily on the middle class and the proletariat - although there, too, compromises and alliances were made with the upper class or parts of it, which in return contributed to the support of Mussolini and Hitler.

The most important distinguishing feature postulated by Juan Linz between authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships - namely a very limited, but nevertheless existing pluralism  - was also to be found in Franco Spain in the form of the confusing, practically only winged FET y de las JONS other bodies that are little controlled by the regime, such as the Spanish Church.

After all, the Franco regime was by no means shaped by the mass enthusiasm that is so typical of fascist regimes and propagating ever new enemy images. Bernecker points out that the Spanish historian Juan J. Linz states the lack of extensive and intensive political mass mobilization ; passive consent and political apathy are much more common in authoritarian regimes than enthusiasm and mass enthusiasm .

The Mussolini biographer Renzo de Felice also expressed doubts that Franco's regime could be regarded as a fascist regime in 1975: Today it [the Franco regime] is undoubtedly not that [a fascist regime], and one should discuss it whether it ever was. It is more likely a classically authoritarian regime with modern sprinkles, but no more than that. Laqueur sees the Franco regime as “more of a conservative military dictatorship than a fascist state” and an authoritarian regime. In this context, Laqueur points out that the differences between an authoritarian and a totalitarian state are by no means merely academic, taking as a typical example the difficulties in transitioning to a democratic system that arose in Spain and the Soviet Union :

"'The ease with which this process took place on the Iberian Peninsula proves more conclusively than any theoretical debate that the differences between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes are indeed enormous'."

- Laqueur : Fascism Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow

There is also no agreement as to whether mediating terms such as “ clerical fascism ” or “semi-fascism” characterize the regime correctly: Manfred Tietz, for example, considers the term “clerical authority” to be more appropriate. As already shown above, Payne considers the Franquism of the first years to be "semi-fascist". In addition, Bernecker explains that the term “ authoritarianism ” has established itself for Franquism in terms of system typology .

Salvador de Madariaga cites Yugoslavia as the only country whose (contemporary) regime was comparable to that of Francoist Spain , where "a military leader, having conquered power with the flag in hand, [has] remained in power, with or without the flag that served him to climb ”, although he limits the fact that Tito at least had an ideological conviction.

The German historian Wolfgang Wippermann , who personally assigns the ideology of Franco-Spain to fascism, states that this thesis is "shared by only a few historians".

Foreign policy

The foreign policy situation of the regime was initially based on the Axis powers and was therefore characterized by extensive isolation after the war, which could only be moderated somewhat later.

Franco Spain at the time of World War II

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were Franco's first foreign policy allies. Already in the first few days they saved the military coup from failing by transferring the armies bound in Spanish-Morocco to the Spanish mainland. They supported Franco considerably by delivering materials and providing their own troops. It is doubtful whether Franco could have won the civil war without this help. The Italian and German dictators did not really see the conservative general as one of their own. They were primarily concerned with expanding their influence over Spain, gaining access to its war resources, and keeping France and Great Britain in check.

Franco and the Axis Powers

In many areas, German National Socialism and Italian fascism were models for the Franco state: not only some structures of the NSDAP, but also various institutions from Italy, for example the founding law of the Instituto Nacional de Industria, partly literally from Mussolini's Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) copied.

Heinrich Himmler visits Franco, 1940

Although Franco undeniably sympathized with the fascist regime in Italy and the National Socialist regime in Germany, in practice solidarity with his alleged ideological allies was limited. He was bound by a business relationship rather than an ideological community of fate with the aforementioned regimes. Spain joined the Anti-Comintern Pact in March 1939 . Franco declared in July 1940 that his country was not neutral, but merely not at war, and stated to Hitler in a letter dated February 1941 that the three men, the Duce, you and I, had come to one another through the harshest coercion in history are bound . More characteristic of Franco's attitude to the Axis Powers is, however, his behavior in Hendaye in 1940 (thus at the height of Nazi German power in Europe) on the occasion of his only meeting with Hitler, when Franco demanded not only French colonial territory for Spain to enter the war. but also refused to let German troops into his country. According to his own statements, Franco is even said to have said to Hitler that Spain would fight every intruder to the last man, wherever he came from. In addition, Franco demanded the delivery of raw materials such as cotton and rubber , which Germany could hardly deliver. Despite his ostensible approval on this point, Franco finally closed himself off to Hitler's suggestion to occupy Gibraltar, which Great Britain had long called for - because this would have meant Franco's entry into the Second World War. In the end, his concession consisted in sending the División Azul to the Eastern Front, 47,000 Falangist volunteers under General Agustín Muñoz Grandes , which he had withdrawn from there in 1943 after the Battle of Stalingrad . In addition, Franco Germany made submarine bases and news material available, among other things.

Adolf Hitler was dissatisfied with Franco's policy and in July 1942 began to consider in a small group of people "to find a person who would be suitable for cleaning up the political situation in Spain". He thought in particular of General Muñoz Grandes and stated that the Blue Division might "play the decisive role in the handling of the current system of priests."

Fascist Italy benefited even less from its support for the Spanish national party. The Italian intervention in the Spanish civil war, which cost the Axis power around 15,000 dead and wounded and 4.5 billion lira, only rewarded Franco with 100,000 tons of iron and a protocol guarantee that relations between Italy and Spain should be "further developed".

Payne already saw Spain's dissociation from Germany and Italy before the tide turned in Russia, as an article by a Falangist leader, in which Spain was differentiated from the totalitarian regimes, was allowed to go to print at that time. "In 1943 this idea became common knowledge, so that by the time the Second World War came to an end, Spain was already well advanced on the path of transition from a partially mobilized, semi-fascist state to a Catholic, corporate and increasingly demobilized authoritarian regime ." When 1943 saw their defeat, Franco distanced himself from the Axis powers. That year he declared Spain neutral and, in exchange for Allied oil deliveries, largely stopped providing material and ideal support to Germany. He also dismissed the members of his government who sympathized with the Axis, including his brother-in-law Ramón Serrano Súñer . By turning around, Franco was able to appease the Allies somewhat. In addition, external symbols such as the fascist salute were already abolished during the Second World War. Hitler and Mussolini were only of interest to Franco as long as they were powerful and he could expect something from them. Another aspect, however, is that Spain, which was still severely weakened by the civil war a few years ago, could not afford to participate in another armed conflict.

Spain was a stop on one of the so-called rat lines , the escape routes of the dignitaries of both the Nazi regime itself and its ideological allies - often for the purpose of onward travel to South America . Some of them found refuge in Spain, such as Léon Degrelle , leader of the Belgian Rexists .

Spain and the Holocaust

The racial doctrines , particularly represented by National Socialism, found hardly any echo in Spain. Since Spain acted as a transit country to Portugal, around 20,000 to 35,000 European Jews were able to save themselves from Nazi persecution via Spain, according to current estimates.

Spain was - quite apart from the aforementioned concentration camps for refugees - not very hospitable in that a French exit visa was required to enter the country , which the refugees were rarely able to produce, so that often only illegal entry remained. In addition, German diplomats and later the Gestapo operated in the Spanish hinterland. Spain was generally viewed by refugees as a transit country that was better left behind quickly. The fact that the escape via the Iberian Peninsula saved the lives of some of the persecuted is primarily due to the attitude of Portugal, which largely ceased the persecution of the refugees from 1941.

An alleged commitment to the rescue of threatened Jewry, which Franco later claimed for himself, turned out to be a construction of Franco's propaganda from the post-war period through source-critical research and can now be regarded as refuted. Franco is said to have campaigned for part of the Sephardic communities in Greece. Some of these Sephardi were able to acquire Spanish citizenship in the 1920s as descendants of expelled Spanish Jews in 1492. Franco's commitment related only to these Sephardi of Spanish citizenship, which at 4,500 of 175,000 Sephardi were relatively few in number, while he did not take the opportunity to remove numerous other Sephardi from the German sphere of influence. Even the cases of the aforementioned 4,500 citizens were processed slowly and with bureaucratic severity.

New archive finds from Madrid show that Franco had been informed in detail about the extermination of Jews in Auschwitz since 1944 at the latest and that he “knew the extent of the extermination very well”.

The behavior of the regime was also anti-Semitic , especially in its early days . In December 1943, for example, Franco presented the official Spanish position to the German ambassador Dieckhoff with the words that

"... the attitude of the Spanish government towards Bolshevism and communism would not change, and that this struggle would continue at home and abroad, as well as against Judaism and Freemasonry."

- (English)

The synagogue in Madrid had already been closed in 1938, the Jewish communities established in several Spanish cities during the Second Republic were dissolved and sacred objects stolen. Only after the end of the Second World War did the repressive attitude of the regime with regard to the treatment of the Jewish communities relax again; the banned Jewish communities were reopened, and some profaned synagogues - such as those in Barcelona - were reopened.

After the Second World War

In terms of foreign policy, the Franco regime was almost completely isolated immediately after the Second World War: Spain was viewed as an ally of the Axis powers . On April 29, 1946, the Security Council condemned the regime in Resolution 4 and launched an investigation. In June he renewed the condemnation in Resolution 7 . On November 2, the Security Council ended its engagement in the matter with Resolution 10 and handed the files over to the General Assembly . In December 1946, following a UN resolution, almost all states withdrew their ambassadors from Madrid. This resolution, initiated primarily by the Soviet Union and Poland , came about in a way that indicated that the United States and Great Britain did not welcome it. France also closed its Pyrenees border . Franco survived this crisis through patience and through extensive deliveries of wheat from the Argentine President Juan Perón, who sympathized with him .

The foreign policy situation soon changed again in Franco's favor: With the beginning of the Cold War , NATO could no longer afford to further exclude the strategically important Spain. In 1950 the UN overturned its verdict against Spain. This was followed by the exchange of ambassadors and in 1951 the payment of American subsidies, which put an end to the años del hambre , the years of hunger.

Although Franco-Spain's membership was out of the question for NATO, Franco was able to achieve an almost equivalent status through a base agreement with the USA ( Tratado de Amistad y Cooperación , "Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation") in 1953 , although Spain barely tangible compensation from the USA received. What made Spain particularly interesting for the US was the fact that the airfields were out of reach of Soviet machines. From the centers near Seville, Saragossa and Madrid, the Strategic Air Command was able to operate with its tanker planes and its fighter protection. The supply was carried out by the Rota base near Cadíz. Through the base contract, $ 1.5 billion flowed into Spain to build the military infrastructure, which had a profound impact on the country. The effects that these subsidies brought about are said to have contributed to a change in attitude among the elites that higher profits and further development could not be achieved under the self-sufficiency policy pursued up to now.

With the agreement with the USA and the conclusion of a concordat with the Vatican in 1953, the isolation of foreign policy was broken. From then on, the Franco regime still had few friends and ideological allies (mainly only in South America and neighboring Portugal), but it was respected. The extensive integration of the Franco regime into the western world of states met early on with criticism, which was also used for propaganda purposes, from the Soviet Union and parts of the European left, who accused the West of being on the side of fascist states.

Nevertheless, the admission into the United Nations took place in 1955. From the beginning of the 1960s, Franco tried to reach an association agreement with the EC . He submitted a corresponding application on February 9, 1962. The negotiations did not begin until 1966 and were delayed until the first agreement was concluded in 1970, mainly because of the political reservations of the then six states.


Population movements in Spain between 1950 and 1981 (from blue to red)

In economic terms, too - similar to foreign policy - two phases can be distinguished: First, the self-sufficiency policy during and after the end of the civil war, and later the liberal economic reforms from the late 1950s (which Berneckers called the “technocratic phase”), which began within a few years brought about the Spanish economic miracle.

The self-sufficiency policy had various causes. In its beginnings it was born out of necessity, as Spain was considered a pariah in foreign policy and felt the effects of it. Even if the western allies did not approve of Stalin's proposal to carry the allied weapons as far as Madrid, Spain was kept away from membership in the UN and, above all, excluded from participating in the Marshall Plan and generally from cheap loans from abroad. The years after World War II were a time of scarcity and even starvation for the Spanish people. Until 1951, the basic foodstuffs in Spain remained rationed with extremely small allocations that were at times below the subsistence level.

In addition, the state interventionist policy of self-sufficiency, reinforced with high protective tariffs, was a central point of the ideological program of the Falange, which harbored the idea that the economy should subordinate itself to politics and place itself at the service of the fatherland. In the spirit of this ideologically motivated economic policy, Franco strove to make Spain independent of imports and to produce essentially only for the country's own needs. To this end, he subjected the Spanish economy to a number of drastic measures such as state control and the setting of maximum prices. An important instrument of this policy was the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI) founded in 1941 . Apart from the fact that Spain remained an agricultural country with an internationally uncompetitive economy, this policy led to long years of stagnation with steadily falling real wages and the typical consequences of a shortage economy such as black markets, high (officially non-existent) unemployment, nepotism and the production of Goods of poor quality. Throughout the 1950s, Spain was on the verge of national bankruptcy.

The crisis came to a head around 1957 when inflation reached record highs, which were very inadequately absorbed by wage increases. Strikes, which could not be appeased by decreed wage increases, almost brought the Spanish economy to a standstill. Franco felt compelled to toss the steering wheel. There was also American pressure behind this, as the US was interested in maintaining its bases in a reasonably stable environment and pressed for Spain to open up to foreign capital and thus end the previous policy of self-sufficiency. The Falangist economic policy was abandoned and the opposite strategy followed with the admission of economic liberalism. The new policy was under the catchphrase desarrollo ("development"). As part of a cabinet reshuffle in 1962, in the course of which two thirds of the cabinet were replaced in one fell swoop, Franco installed a technocratic cabinet in which members of Opus Dei held leading positions.

A SEAT 600

Francoist autarkism was immediately replaced by economic liberalism. In the course of this reform policy, a number of old braids were cut off. Among other things, Spain joined the International Monetary Fund , the World Bank and the OECD , which worked out a “classic” stabilization and liberalization program with the domestic technocrats, which was implemented from 1959 onwards. By 1962 the members of the Opus were already in a position that allowed them to control the Spanish economy to a very large extent.

The rapid economic upswing in the following years saved the regime and legitimized Franco's rule economically. The industrialization took place at a rapid pace: In 1974, the proportion dropped the agricultural sector to the domestic economy to less than ten percent. The proportion of people employed in agriculture fell from 50% to 28%. This led to rapid urbanization , as many former farmers moved to large cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, ​​so the population of Madrid grew from 1.6 million to 3.2 million inhabitants in two decades. Spain, which for years had the second largest growth rates in the western world after Japan, had risen to become the tenth largest industrial nation in the world. Spain was also discovered as a tourist destination - 35,000 tourists in 1951 and 1.4 million tourists in 1955, versus 6 million in 1960 and 33 million in 1972 - and soon competed with Italy for Mediterranean tourism.

The symbol of the Spanish economic miracle became the Seat 600 , for many Spaniards the first car they could call their own. The average per capita income of the Spaniards increased from 315 dollars in 1960 to 827 dollars in 1971. However, this average income was very unevenly distributed, which in practice meant that many Spaniards had several jobs. This disparity between the country and the metropolitan areas and between northern and southern Spain was even more blatant. In addition, numerous Spaniards - there were a million in the early 1970s - hired themselves abroad as guest workers . The remittance of their savings was very important to the Spanish balance of payments at around $ 700 million.

As a result, the reforms led to economic liberalization, which of course did not correspond to political opening. In this sense, Spain has anticipated the path of a number of today's so-called emerging economies .

Basic Laws of Franquism

Coat of arms on the facade of the post office of La Orotava in Tenerife. The coat of arms was replaced in 2007 by the sign of the post office (Correos) .

The Estado Nuevo drew its legitimation from the civil war and traditionalist Catholicism and, in the opinion of its elites, therefore did not need a democratic constitution and no separation of powers . The Franco state did not have a coherent constitution until the end; instead, Spanish constitutional law consisted of fundamental laws that were only gradually enacted. According to their content, they can be divided into ideological-state-philosophical and constitutional-organizational basic laws. The basic laws of the Francoist state were repealed by the final provisions of the 1978 constitution.

“Franco triumphed because the circumstances offered him absolute power, which he in turn defined in the basic laws, which were formulated with the utmost care so that they did not limit his omnipotence in any way; the legal apparatus, which had sprung entirely from the head of its author, proclaims the utter impotence of the nation and the utter omnipotence of the despot. "

- Salvador de Madariaga : Spain , p. 449

In the Francoist state the judiciary was not independent. Strikes were considered rioting and were punished as such. There was also a censorship authority that was responsible for all kinds of media . The law against “banditry” and “terror” of April 18, 1947, which was directed against political opponents, was implemented by military tribunals, which could pronounce judgments as part of a summary procedure.

Law on the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional (1937/1958)

According to a decree of April 19, 1937, the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS “mediates between people and state” . The leader of this organization was Franco himself. On May 17, 1958, the “Law on the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional” (Ley de Principios del Movimiento Nacional) was passed, which not only applied to the Movimiento as such, but also had effects. Because the whole state should be based on the principles of the movement, which the law defined as "a community of all Spaniards believing in the ideals for which the crusade was led". Of the various "basic laws" that were enacted in the Francoist state over time, this law was the highest, as no other law was allowed to violate the principles of the Movimiento Nacional. These unchangeable principles were in detail: the confessionalism of the state, the monarchical form of the state and the representation of the state.

Central Administration Organization Act (1938)

According to the law on the organization of central administration passed on January 30, 1938 , the decisions of the head of state had the force of law insofar as questions of constitutional law were concerned. All other powers were derived from this fundamental responsibility. The ministries were also set up by this Basic Law. The Spanish state itself had no real legal basis; rather, it was based solely on Franco, who was only responsible “before God and history”. There was no limit to his power. Not only ministers, but the holders of all important state offices up to the provincial governors, he could appoint and dismiss at will. Franco reserved the following offices in particular as part of his personal and extraordinary “magistrate”:

  • the office of head of state,
  • the office of head of government (later transferred to Luis Carrero Blanco and, after his death, to Carlos Arias Navarro )
  • the office of generalísimo in the sense of a commander in chief of the armed forces,
  • the office of leader of the state party FET y de las JONS , which was later renamed Movimiento Nacional .

Basic Law of Labor (1938)

Franquist emblem, the so-called Águila de San Juan

In 1938 the Fuero del Trabajo "Basic Law of Labor" was passed, which was only promulgated on July 26, 1947 as a constitutional law. This law, as an expression of the Falangist syndicalist order, was directed against both capitalism and Marxism . Since the Ley de Unidad Sindical “Law on the Syndical Unity” of 1940 - true to the ideas of José Antonio Primo de Rivera , who leaned on Italian models - workers and entrepreneurs have been grouped together in a kind of unified union, the Organización Sindical , its chairman Had ministerial rank. The Organización Sindical comprised sindicatos verticales "vertical trade unions" structured according to branches of production , in which workers and employers were forcibly united. The syndicates were intended to be a tool of the state with which it could exert influence on the economy. This was done through enlaces “liaison officers” and works councils (jurados de empresa). These structures proved to be ineffective, not least because of the unclear distribution of responsibilities, and were largely undermined by the CC.OO even before Franco's death. The syndicates finally came to an end in 1977 with the lifting of compulsory membership.

Law establishing the Cortes (1942)

In 1942 Franco passed the “Law to Establish the Cortes” (Ley de la Creación de las Cortes) , through which the Cortes Generales were re-institutionalized and given the right to propose laws. Franco determined the acceptance and rejection of the proposed legislation. The Cortes met two or three times a year at the summons of their chief appointed by Franco. Franco was also entitled to determine two-thirds of the members of the Cortes directly and the last third indirectly - namely through elections to corporate and communal circles, in which little was left to chance. In 1967 a reform significantly reduced the number of MPs appointed and placed greater emphasis on elections, although the hurdles for exercising the right to stand as candidates were so high that candidates other than those who were loyal to the regime hardly had a chance.

Spanish Basic Law and Plebiscite Law (1945)

In 1945 - as an expression of Franco's efforts to at least weaken the foreign policy isolation of the immediate post-war period, when Spain was expressly excluded from participation in the UN and the Marshall Plan by the victorious powers - on July 17th the “Basic Law of the Spaniards” (Fuero de los Españoles) and passed the law on plebiscites (Ley del Referendum) on October 22nd . With the first, in an effort to take the wind out of the sails of the opponents of the system in view of the severe foreign policy pressures of these years, some fundamental rights were guaranteed. The recognition of these fundamental rights, however, depended on their exercise being system-compliant. In addition, they faced general clause-like obligations such as “loyalty to the head of state”. The threshold for the abolition of fundamental rights remained low in all of this, and Franco often made use of this option. Political activity was permitted by the “Basic Law of the Spaniards”, but it was expressly limited to the family, municipality and syndicate.

The law on plebiscites served to give Franco's decisions a semblance of democratic legitimacy through acclamation, since only he himself could schedule such plebiscites and in practice only did so if he could be sure of his cause.

In addition, the plebiscites did not meet the minimum requirements for a fair vote. The vote on the Ley Orgánica del Estado in 1966 was accompanied by massive irregularities. According to Manfred von Conta, after massive propaganda, preprinted “yes” ballots and two million more votes than there were at all eligible voters, it was officially adopted with a majority of supposedly 95% of the votes.

Successor Act (1947)

The “successor law” of July 28, 1947 (Ley de Sucesión a la Jefatura de Estado) declared Spain a “Catholic and social” state that “declared itself a monarchy in accordance with its tradition ”. With this law - after a decade in which Franco had deliberately left the question of the form of government open with consideration for the anti-monarchist Falange - the monarchy was reintroduced. However, the throne remained vacant during Franco's lifetime - a clear sign that the times of greatest Falange influence were drawing to a close. However, the following article already provided that power in the state of Franco itself belonged to. Instead of a monarch, a regency council was appointed in this law.

Press Act (1966)

In 1966 a reformed “Press Law” (colloquially known as the “ Fraga Law” after the Minister of Information ) was enacted. It replaced the one from the civil war. The censorship was relaxed a little. Although this still by no means guaranteed freedom of the press , in practice it was nevertheless to have a considerable impact on Spanish society, as it was the first time in decades that newspapers could infer from reports on strikes and unrest that not everything in the country was going so smoothly as the Falangist controlled media would have us believe. It became common knowledge how many different forces opposed the regime with their respective concerns, so many students, Basques and Catalans , the clergy of the late years, and those who called for workers' rights of coalition and strike.

State Organization Act (1967)

The conclusion of the Francoist state constitution was the "State Organization Act" (Ley Orgánica del Estado) enacted on January 11, 1967 . In addition to some further modifications of the state organization, which reorganized the responsibilities of various bodies such as the National Council and the Council of the Kingdom, the offices of the head of state and the head of the executive (the prime minister ) were essentially separated. Franco remained head of state, the office of prime minister initially remained vacant. The law was significant for Franco's successor. However, a concrete regulation of the succession to the office of head of state did not come about until two years later, when Juan Carlos I was also officially selected to succeed Franco.

Opposition to Franco

Strongholds of the Maquis in Spain

In the Francoist system there was no legal opposition , but there were resistance groups from the traditional left, especially in the early years of the regime, who took up the guerrilla war against Franco. However, at the latest in the period of de-fascization in the fifties, as a result of the population's lack of interest, but also their rejection of a new armed conflict, they had to completely lay down their arms. When it turned out that the regime could not be overthrown either from within or through interventions from outside for the time being, these groups thought about other approaches, which, however, never became seriously dangerous to Franco.

Throughout the years of Franquism there was a government-in-exile of the republic in Mexico until 1977 , which only dissolved immediately after the first free elections. In the course of the economic crisis at the end of the 1950s, which promoted Opus Dei in its power role, the opposition outside Spain also saw itself called upon to take some actions and gave a much-noticed sign of life when all opposition Spanish parties with the exception of the communists held a congress held in Munich.

In the later years of the Franco regime, opposition groups that were largely independent of these traditional parties and movements emerged. Resistance was itself - and above all - to be found among Franco's nominal allies. The ecclesiastical opposition to Franco in the last years of his regime and the opposition of the old Falangists have already been mentioned.

The Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO)

The illegal free trade unions in particular are to be seen as a new form of opposition that was not active in general politics and was supported by the traditional left and parts of the Catholic Church. These trade unions were able to achieve a great deal in the Francoist state insofar as they became very concretely dangerous to a supporting pillar of the Francoist regime - namely the vertical syndicates - and thus to the system of the Franco regime.

In addition to the HOAC and the USO, the Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO, workers' commissions) deserve special mention. From 1956, when the Francoist system was paralyzed by strikes and the economic crisis, they became one of the most important opposition groups as a free trade union movement . They combined socialists, communists and the Catholic labor movement, mostly under communist leadership. To an even greater extent than the other illegal trade unions, it succeeded in undermining the forced corporation of workers under state supervision - syndicalism - and in largely removing the workers from the control of the Francoist state. To a certain extent, the CC.OO made the principles of guerrilla struggle useful in the field of industrial action: they organized the workforce in assemblies to fight for specific, clearly defined goals, which were then immediately dissolved. For this reason, the CC.OO could hardly be grasped by the authorities. Nevertheless, in the last few years of the regime there were arrests and convictions, as well as long prison sentences, as in the case of the "11 von Carabanchel " or 1972/73 in the "Thousand and One Process" against the management team of CC.OO.

Franquism and the non-Castilian territories of Spain

Emblem of the Franco era, made up of the letters VICTOR ("winner")

Franquism was strictly centralized and was extremely mistrustful of aspirations for autonomy in the non-Castilian regions of Spain, especially Catalonia and the Basque Country , which had always been less firmly integrated into the Spanish state . These areas had also supported the republic during the civil war, which is why the repression measures were particularly harsh here - the Basque Country, whose three provinces Franco described as "traitor provinces" because of their role in the Spanish civil war, suffered the most. Under Franco, a Catalan folk dance, the sardana , or the showing of the Basque flag, the irciña , could already be seen as a sign of overthrow.

The repression also applied to public language. Teaching in non-Castilian languages ​​was abolished, so that teaching in “Christian” (Castilian) was still permitted. Place names were Hispanized and the use of the Catalan , Basque and Galician languages ​​was banned by the authorities and the public under the slogan “If you are Spanish, speak Spanish!”. It went so far that the already nominated singer Joan Manuel Serrat was not allowed to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 because he wanted to sing the song La, la, la in Catalan. The regions reacted first by cultivating the specific national culture in the private sphere and by abstaining en masse in referendums of all kinds.

In Catalonia this passive resistance prevailed until the 1970s and found expression in the Nova Cançó , the "New Song" , from the early 1960s . The initially anonymous songwriters found role models in Anglo-Saxon folk , in chansons and in their own folk songs .

In Catalonia, the custom emerged of singing songs in the back rooms of bars in the Catalan language, which had been banned from the public. The songwriters wrote their own works and mostly appeared in a modest setting because of the threat of repression. The songs were often about cohesion and a sense of community. Famous representatives of the Nova Cançó were Lluís Llach (not least with his song L'Estaca - "The rotten stake" - with which he alluded to the Franco regime), Francesc Pi de la Serra , Maria del Mar Bonet and Raimon . In Catalonia, Raimon's appearance on May 18, 1968 (known as 18 de maig a la villa ) is legendary to this day , to which hundreds of thousands flocked despite the police clubbing around. The Nova Cançó was dismissed initially prematurely after the end of Francoism as outdated, but continued in the following years by as Lluís Llach in the eighties it with songs like No es Això ( "No such Spain was meant") anknüpfte.

In the Basque Country,  active resistance began to form from around 1960 - the year ETA was founded in Bilbao - which was expressed in bombings from 1967. The means of violent attacks to successively achieve autonomy or independence from the nation-state, however, was by no means undisputed among the Basque population. The repressive measures of the regime that followed contributed to making Franco even more hateful in the Basque Country.

In the course of the so-called Burgos Trial of 1970, in which 16 etarras were brought to court, the Franco regime suffered a considerable loss of face in domestic and foreign policy when the intrepid defendants before the court under the eyes of the world public the anti-Mask policy and the Denounced the regime's torture methods.

Franquism mythology

Franco's military victory in the Spanish Civil War served as a central source of legitimation for the regime. Franquism aimed to continually remind everyone of this victory. The war and the events that were suitable for heroic stylization became the founding myth of the Franco dictatorship. With this in mind, a military parade (desfile de la Victoria) was held every year on April 1st, Victory Day and the most important occasion in the Franco-German course of the year .

"¡El Alcázar no se rinde!"

("The Alcázar does not surrender!")

Toledo with the Alcàzar
The Alcázar of Toledo
Belchite ruins

The Alcázar of Toledo was a central Franquist sanctuary in which the nationalist achievements in the civil war were glorified . This old fortress, which dominates the cityscape of Toledo , was defended by Colonel José Moscardó in 1936 with great privation for two months against the republican armed forces. Franco had sent the army under Colonel José Varela in September 1936, when the Spanish national troops had sufficiently approached Toledo, not least from a propaganda point of view, with the task of keeping the Alcázar from falling. His calculation worked: the fighting in Toledo, the perseverance of the Alcázar and his relief from dire need - the crew, including women and children, lived on 180 grams of bread a day and scratched the saltpetre from the walls as a substitute for the table salt - became a civil war myth of the Franco regime, which was also noticed outside of Spain. The slogan ¡El Alcázar no se rinde! (“The Alcázar does not surrender!”) Became a Francoist counterpart of the republican slogan ¡No pasarán! Coined by Dolores Ibárruri . ("You shall not pass!").

The battle for Toledo and the Alcázar became a monument to victory in the civil war. In the basement corridors of the Alcazar, where the crew had persevered, greetings boards from the regiments of the Spanish Army were hung, and in the upper rooms were republican missiles, pictures of those killed in defense and similar objects.

In particular, Moscardó's office could be seen in the Alcázar long after Franco's death, which had been specially left in the half-destroyed, bullet-riddled state in which it had been found after the republican siege had broken out. In this room, panels in numerous languages ​​traced the appalling dialogue that Moscardó had over the phone with his captured son Luis. This was the bargaining chip of the republican troops who demanded the surrender of the Alcázar: the son should be killed in the event that the Alcázar would not be surrendered. Moscardó was aware, however, that his son's life in July 1936 in Spanish (when Antoine de Saint-Exupéry noted: “You shoot here how you cut trees”) would definitely be lost and that it was extremely uncertain, as with the occupation of the Alcázar would be proceeded after their surrender. The dialogue culminates in Moscardó's advice to his son to recommend his soul to God, to call out Viva España and to die like a patriot (Pues encomienda tu alma á Dios, dà un grito de ¡Viva España! Y muere como un patriota). After his son has said goodbye, Moscardó sends a message to the republican commander: Puede ahorrarse el plazo que me ha dado, puesto que el Alcázar no se rendirá jamás ("You can save the time allowed me to think it over, because the Alcázar will never surrender" ). This episode received special attention worldwide. The South African Roy Campbell , whose sympathies were with Franco and who had witnessed the outbreak of the civil war and the subsequent struggle for Toledo, wrote a longer poem entitled “Flowering Rifle”, in which he compares Moscardó to God because he was like him gave up his own son.

Another such monument is the town of Belchite in the province of Zaragoza . Between August 24 and September 6, 1937, this was the scene of a house-to-house war as a result of a republican offensive on Saragossa. The city, which was almost completely destroyed by this and which Franco's troops recaptured in 1938, was not rebuilt as a symbol of “red barbarism”. In 1954, Franco opened the “new Belchite”, which had been rebuilt in the neighborhood, in an act of remembrance.

"¡Viva Cristo Rey!"

("Long live Christ, our King!")

Another political myth that was used by Franquism as a support for its legitimation relates to the violence directed against clergy , lay people and the property of the church, which, especially by anarcho-syndicalist activists, began as early as the times of the Second Republic (as in the days after May 10, 1931). During the first period of the Spanish Civil War, this violence against the Spanish clergy manifested itself in arson and iconoclasm in Spanish churches and monasteries. H. Thomas also admits that one has "[never] seen such a passionate hatred of religion and everything connected with it in European history or even world history [...]". Even if the massive persecution - including by death squads who referred to themselves as " Chekas " - subsided sharply after a few months, the Spanish national myth and the propagandistic instrument of fanatical anti-religionism on the part of the republican side was born.

The Iglesia de las Escuelas Pías in
Madrid, destroyed during the civil war

Under the term of the persecution of Christians not only those acts of violence against the Catholic Church and its believers, which were often marked by considerable cruelty and were not poor in blasphemous elements, but also acts directed against religious freedom, such as the practically complete cessation of church services, which Misappropriation of numerous churches as department stores and market halls or for the benefit of other profane purposes and even the destruction of private devotional objects as "cult objects". Although the great art treasures were preserved during the civil war, numerous works of art were irretrievably destroyed, not least as a result of such attacks.

Gerald Brenan stated that one in the 1940s

"Hardly wrong in claiming that all the churches recently burned down in Spain were set on fire by anarchists and that most of the priests who were killed died at their hands."

That explains itself, so Brenan,

“From a heretic's hatred of the Church from which he emerged. Because in the eyes of Spanish anarchists the Catholic Church occupies a similar place as the Antichrist in Christian thought. It means much more to them than just an obstacle to revolution. They recognize in her the source of all evil, the seductress of youth with her doctrine of original sin, the denier of nature and natural law, which they called salud , salvation. With its supposed brotherly love and mutual forgiveness, the Church also caricatures the great ideal of human solidarity. "

A frequently given explanatory pattern for this fanatical anti-clericalism is the following. In the past hundred years, the church had initially been deprived of material soil when the orders were expropriated in 1836 and the church itself in 1841 , and in the Concordat of 1851 the church had formally renounced this expropriated property. However, this was done against the admission that the state paid for the upkeep of the church and the clergy and made them subject to its special protection. In the Concordat, the Catholic denomination was fully recognized as the “religion of the Spanish nation”, and the state had to provide religious instruction in schools. In the constitution of 1876, as in 1812, Catholicism was finally declared the state religion again and the church was successively reinstated in its old rights.

If at least parts of the church, especially the members of some religious orders, had in earlier centuries stood by the side of the lower strata of Spanish society, it, which had now become dependent on the benevolence of the state, emphasized consideration for the upper strata good to pose with her. The upper class rewarded her by allowing the church to build and operate real corporations, with which the church was soon able to restore its economic viability. In the eyes of the lower classes, however, the church had forgotten and betrayed them and had become greedy. This new view prevailed above all in the day labor industry in the south. The south in particular - especially Andalusia - became the stronghold of the anarcho-syndicalist movement. Salvador de Madariaga quotes a Catalan priest as saying: "The reds burned our churches, but first we priests destroyed the church."

The outside world was not always inclined to distinguish between the republic as such and the perpetrators of violence against the Catholic Church, whose influential political position in Spain was little known abroad. In the republican area, the excessive acts of violence were usually contained - as far as possible under the given circumstances - as soon as the chaotic conditions of the first few weeks were over. In contrast, hardly anything was done in the Spanish national territory to counteract violence in the hinterland. The undeniable atrocities, however, caused irreparable damage to the republic's image. Because the fact that it was not militarily required and thus politically motivated acts of violence and killings was obvious, which is why the number of those killed religiously attracted much more attention than the often significantly higher numbers of those killed other social groups. In relative terms , the number of clerics killed was considerably high: Salvador de Madariaga assumes that 13 percent of the clergy and 23 percent of the members of the order were killed.

According to Hugh Thomas, the number of clergymen killed, which he gives 7,937 clergymen, should be in the order of the "sixteen thousand priests" of Paul Claudel's hymn Aux Martyrs Espagnols ("To the Spanish Martyrs"):

On nous met le ciel et l'enfer dans la main
et nous avons quarante secondes pour choisir.
Quarante secondes, c'est trop!
Sœur Espagne, sainte Espagne, tu as choisi!
Onze évêques, seize mille prêtres massacrés
et pas une apostasie!

Heaven and hell
are put in our hands and we are given forty seconds to decide.
Forty seconds is still too much!
Sister Spain, Holy Spain, you have chosen!
Eleven bishops and sixteen thousand priests were massacred
and yet none of them fell away from the faith!

Sixteen thousand would, however, be twice the number of victims mentioned by Hugh Thomas. This information is apparently based on the number of clerics killed, which was published by the Vatican in 1937, which was then too high. The Vatican assumes today that 6,845 clergymen have been killed, to which it counts several thousand lay people, the exact number of which cannot be determined. Other sources also give around 7,000 clergymen murdered.

Historic flag? Flag of National Spain during the Civil War

With these incidents, the Spanish national side was given an argument for their struggle against the republic that was very useful for propaganda purposes, which in the eyes of many viewers inside and outside Spain could even justify the rather cocky expression of cruzada (“crusade”) and ambition to defend the Christian West with weapon in hand against “red barbarism” in Spain. The catchphrase of the cruzada quickly became an effective element of national Spanish propaganda, especially after the Bishop of Salamanca, Enrique Pla y Deniel, officially called for the "crusade" in a pastoral letter in September 1936.

In this way, a moral justification could be countered to the republican claim that democracy was being defended against fascism in Spain - a myth, too, since in the republic a “sweeping social revolution [...] swept over the constitution of 1931 in four horses”.

The dramatic events gave many contemporaries the impression that an eschatological struggle was going on, and the effect on the Catholics not only in Spain but also in Europe was considerable. Many fighters on the Spanish national side therefore went into battle with the cry “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long live Christ, our King”) on their lips, which had already become known in the course of the anti-clerical Mexican Revolution during the Cristero War . Even the Falange developed a religious zeal that had not been ascertained until then; "The propaganda portrayed the ideal Falangist as half monk, half warrior". Added to this was the pastoral letter mentioned on July 1, 1937, published by most of the Spanish bishops, in which the warfare of the nationalist side was justified as a defense of religion. In addition to the fact that the Spanish national side did everything possible to win the sympathies of these powerful allies on their side - which was not too difficult, since there was little doubt as to which side the church disliked from the outset - one will certainly do so Have to take into account the impression that the murders of their counterparts in the clergy had to produce.

The numerous cases of priests and religious, but also of lay people, many of whom still testified to their faith in the face of their murderers (233 of them were beatified by the Catholic Church in 2001), were found in Franco's Spain (and not only there) the term "Christ the King Heroes" is taught in schools. The historian Hugh Thomas tells the story of the priest of Navalmoral, whom his tormentors left to suffer the Passion of Christ with whips , a crown of thorns and a sponge soaked in vinegar , before they lost interest in the cause and him, who blessed his murderers, and them forgave, shot instead of pinning him on a cross. Although it is undeniable that such beliefs were made, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between facts and propagandistic fiction in individual cases. The reports of allegedly raped nuns, which had considerable propaganda effects abroad, seem to have sprung almost entirely from the realm of the imagination.

A story of a “Christ the King hero”, which was particularly popular under Franquism, but also at least appears to be embellished, is, for example, the report on the fate of the young Carlist António Molle Lazo, who played against a group of “Marxists” who called “¡Muera España! ¡Viva Rusia! ” (“ Death to Spain! High Russia! ”) Are said to have shouted, a “ ¡Viva España! ¡Viva Cristo Rey! ” (“ Long live Spain! Long live Christ the King! ”) Opposed it. The leader is said to have had the idea of ​​torturing Molle until he ¡Viva el comunismo! “ , Whereby, according to the story, Molle died without allowing himself to be wrested from this word.

However, the picture of the accompanying myth of a Spanish church of martyrs , cultivated by Franco and used in many ways for his cult of the leader , is incomplete. It can be stated that in the republic by no means all priests were killed or expelled, but the majority of the clergy - which, of course, was also an encroachment on elementary rights - were merely prohibited from carrying out their work and wearing spiritual clothing. In addition, there were also attacks on the part of the national clergy, especially against Basque priests who had cooperated with the republic. Even before the Spanish Civil War, the Falange itself had set fire to church buildings in order to then blame the anarcho-syndicalists for the crime, and when the city of Badajoz fell , the conquerors found little in the way of killing militiamen of the republican side on the steps of the high altar of the cathedral.

"¡Tenemos un Caudillo!"

("We have a leader / military leader!")

Valle de los Caídos

Franco himself became the subject of mythologization. The leader cult around Franco often made use of religious comparisons, depicting Franco as the chosen savior of Spain and even as enlightened by the Holy Spirit . Franco was also compared by his followers to Alexander the Great , Napoléon Bonaparte or the Archangel Gabriel . The dictator, whose city of birth Ferrol was renamed "El Ferrol del Caudillo", was represented in the larger Spanish cities with a statue on horseback as the leader of the cruzada and in countless other Spanish cities and villages as the namesake of the main streets.

The following song from the youth organization of the Movimiento Nacional , which dates from the time before the state was rebuilt at the end of the 1950s, serves as an example of the cult of the leader . It is by José Antonio Medrano, is entitled Tenemos un Caudillo (“We have a caudillo”) and can be considered typical of a number of songs from this period:

«New guía y capitán:
unidos en la guerra
hermanados en la paz,
tan solo a ti juramos
como guía y capitán
que prometemos
seguir con lealtad. [...]

Tenemos un Caudillo
forjador de nueva historia
es Franco, ¡Franco! ¡Franco !,
nuestro guía y capitán
es Franco ¡Franco! ¡Franco!
en la guerra y en la paz. "

“Our leader and captain:
united in war,
fraternized in peace,
we only swear to you
as leader and captain
that we promise
to follow you faithfully. [...]

We have a caudillo
the smith of the new story
it's Franco! Franco! Franco!
our guide and captain
it's Franco! Franco! Franco!
in war and peace. "

The Francoist leader cult and the Francoist civil war commemoration are most clearly expressed in the Francoist building par excellence - the Valle de los Caídos ("Valley of the Fallen") near El Escorial  . The Valle de los Caídos was carved into the rock of the Sierra de Guadarrama by war and political prisoners . In this memorial, tens of thousands of warriors who died on the part of national Spain and the Republic of fallen warriors were buried not only Franco himself, but also the founder of the Falange José Antonio Primo de Rivera (according to the Franquist account - another founding myth - who died as a martyr ) . According to the official representation of the Franco regime, it was an expression of "reconciliation", since Spaniards from the other side also found their final resting place there - a superficial reconciliation, however, which happened not only architecturally under the conditions of the victor and alongside the apotheosis of Franco and the younger Primo de Rivera looks more like alms. In addition, the basilica is decorated with scenes from the Apocalypse of John , whereby the allusions to the beast with the seven horns or the Antichrists are hardly misleading.

End of Franquism

Franco's grave in the Valle de los Caídos

In mid-October 1975 Franco, who had shown increasingly clear signs of senility , fell ill with the flu and suffered three heart attacks. The dictator lay in agony for weeks, and the electroencephalogram had long since shown no life. Franco's death was not announced until November 20, 1975 (known as " 20-N " in Spain ) - the 39th anniversary of the death of José Antonio Primo de Rivera. In his will he admonished the Spaniards that "the enemies of Spain and Christian civilization" would not rest and that they, the Spaniards, should rally around the future king of Spain and preserve the unity of Spain.

Francoism did not end with Franco's death. The relevant positions of the Francoist state, the National Council, the Royal Council and the Cortes, were occupied by its supporters. The leeway of King Juan Carlos I , who was enthroned in the same year 1975 and delivered a courageous speech from the throne, in which he stated that “a free and modern society requires everyone to participate in the decision-making centers, the media, the different ones, was correspondingly small Levels of education and control of national prosperity ”. He saw himself, as he went on, as "King of all Spaniards, guardian of the constitution and fighter for justice".

It was not an easy task for Juan Carlos to start the transformation (transición) of Spain. Initially, Prime Minister Carlos Arias Navarro - who expressly stated that he wanted to continue Franquism - and his government remained in office. Juan Carlos saw himself between hammer and anvil, as it were: the left and the center, who urged him to a radical break with the old regime, and the Guardia Civil , Military and Movimiento Nacional, who let the king know only small reforms, but by no means one to want to support the complete restructuring of the state.

In the face of mass demonstrations and at the urgent request of the king, Arias finally submitted his resignation. The new Prime Minister was Adolfo Suárez , the last General Secretary of the Movimiento Nacional . Although he was a man of the old regime and the reform forces were initially very disappointed, it was precisely in this capacity, as a man whom the pillars of the system trusted, that Suárez dared to take the decisive step. He described his program as follows: “The Crown has expressed its wish to transform Spain into a modern democracy. It is my firm resolve to serve. "

In 1976, as part of a reform of the criminal law, the formation of parties was legalized again. At the center of the reform initiated by Suárez, however, was a new constitution that transformed the Cortes, which had previously been a state parliament, into a general, free, equal and secretly elected bicameral parliament. Juan Carlos' part in these reforms consisted in the fact that he stood behind his prime minister, threw his own reputation on the scales for him and promoted the re-establishment of the Spanish state with the old pillars of the system. A referendum gave the new system an approval of no less than 95% of the votes. This made it possible in Spain to implement a process of democratization out of the prevailing system. In this sense, Franquism was neither overthrown nor collapsed: it gave way to a new system in a bloodless way.

The years between Franco's death and the military coup of 1981 (" 23-F ") were by no means without tension. So it came to bomb attacks by presumably right-wing forces against Carlist members of the Partido Carlista (PC) on the Montejurra, and in early 1977 there was the semana negra , the black week: On January 23, the student Arturo Ruiz García was shot by a right-wing extremist after a demonstration . The following day, Mari Luz Néjera died during a protest demonstration when a smoke bomb hit her head. A few hours later, falangist terrorists carried out the Atocha massacre against CC.OO lawyers. During these years, the left-wing extremist terrorist organization GRAPO, which was only disbanded in 2007, with its Marxist-Leninist objectives and the ETA continued to be active.

The most important successor organization to the historical Falange, the Fuerza Nueva (later Frente Nacional ) headed by Blas Piñar, has not played a role since the 1980s, not least because the Partido Popular successfully covered the spectrum on the right of the PSOE and the successor organizations “with the inept and hated Franco regime were identified. […] Even those who supported Franco's regime had to admit that in the last few decades a political, social and economic revolution had taken place in Spain and that the Franco regime could not be resurrected. "

Aftermath of Franquism

In particular, the Spanish Civil War and the post-war years are still reluctant to address them in Spanish society, and it was only since the early 2000s that there was an increased interest in what happened at that time. The film Land and Freedom in the 1990s provided a broad-based impetus to come to terms with the civil war of 1936 .

But it is only since the turn of the millennium that the mass graves from the time during and after the civil war have been opened. A publicly effective exhumation of thirteen civil war victims in autumn 2000 led to the establishment of the Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica (ARMH) ("Association for the Reclamation of Historical Memory"), which takes care of the exhumation and dignified reburial of their remains. One of the probably largest mass graves was discovered in 2003 in El Carrizal near Granada; 5,000 execution victims were buried there. The number of unidentified victims is estimated at 30,000 nationwide.

In November 2002 the Spanish parliament unanimously condemned the Francoist dictatorship and promised financial support to those relatives who wanted to find and exhume their relatives who had " disappeared " (see also Desaparecidos ). Since November 2007 the “Law on Historical Remembrance” has provided that the municipalities support the private initiative of the exhumation work. The opposition Partido Popular criticizes this law, however, because it "opens old wounds and only has the purpose of dividing the Spanish nation". In many municipalities and regions he was already opposed to the finding and reburial of the murdered Franco victims.

Road sign 2004
Formerly: Monumento al General Franco; today: Monumento al Ángel Caído in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Only since this work has it been debated that the falangist bundle of arrows can be seen in numerous places and the dictator's name on street signs. In the first half of 2005, at the instigation of the PSOE government, two remaining Franco statues were removed from Madrid and Guadalajara , which was not without incident. At the instigation of the socialist government of Zapatero , the Spanish parliament passed a law in which the unjust judgments of the Franco era are declared unlawful and the last symbols and monuments of the dictatorship can be removed even against the resistance of the communities.

Article 15 of the Ley de Memoria Histórica of December 26, 2007 (ley 52/2007) , prescribes the removal of public symbols and monuments that glorify the military uprising , civil war and oppression during the dictatorship. For the Valle de los Caídos with Franco's grave, Article 16 of the law stipulates that this place should be treated according to the general rules for cemeteries.

The implementation of this law is only hesitantly pursued by various city administrations. The municipality of Santa Cruz de Tenerife only changed the name of the Rambla del General Franco when it was obliged to do so by a court order. In another case, a monument was simply renamed. For the design of the monument, the artist was given the following theme in 1964: "Franco is leaving the island to save all of Spain" (Franco saliendo desde la isla para salvar a toda España). The monument was renamed “Monument to the Fallen Angel” (Monumento al Ángel Caído). In the War Memorial (Monumento de los Caídos) on the Plaza de España (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) various inscriptions and plaques were removed, leaving only remained a non-unique dedication: "Tenerife in honor of all who gave their lives for Spain" (Tenerife en honor al todos los que dieron su vida por España). This inscription can refer to both the victims on one side and on the other.

Another form of reparation for Francoist injustice is the possibility for refugees from the civil war and the post-war period, as well as their descendants, to accept or regain Spanish citizenship. It is assumed that half a million or more people, mainly from Latin American countries, would like to take advantage of this offer.


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  • Silke Hünecke: Overcoming the silence. Remembrance Political Movement in Spain , Edition Assemblage, Münster 2015, ISBN 978-3-942885-73-7 .
  • Walter Laqueur : Fascism yesterday-this-morning . Propylaea, New York 1996, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-549-05602-8 .
  • Juan José Linz : Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. (= Potsdam text books , 4). Edited and translated by Raimund Krämer . 3. Edition. WeltTrends , Potsdam 2009, ISBN 978-3-941880-00-9 .
  • Salvador de Madariaga : Spain . 3. Edition. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-421-01925-8 .
  • Franz Metzger (ed.): Death on the Tajo. Spain between Popular Front and Falange . In: G - story. People, events, epochs. Johann Michael Sailer, Nuremberg 2001, 2nd ISSN  1617-9412
  • Ernst Nolte : The fascist movements . Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1966, 1973, ISBN 3-423-04004-1 .
  • Stanley G. Payne : The Franco Regime 1936-1975 , The University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
  • Stanley Payne: History of Fascism. The rise and fall of a European movement . Tosa-Verlag in Verlag Carl Ueberreuter, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-85003-037-7 .
  • Nicos Poulantzas : The Dictatorship Crisis. Portugal, Greece, Spain (original title: La crise des dictatures , translated by Bernd Schwibs) (= edition suhrkamp 888). Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1977, ISBN 3-518-10888-3 .
  • Caroline Rothauge: Second Republic, Spanish Civil War and early Franco dictatorship in film and television: cultures of remembrance and representations of history in Spain between 1996 and 2011 (= forms of remembrance , volume 54). V & R Unipress, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-8471-0210-6 (Dissertation Uni Gießen 2012).
  • Hugh Thomas : The Spanish Civil War (Original title: The Spanish Civil War , translated by Walter Theimer). Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1962, 2nd edition, Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin / Vienna 1964, DNB 964177544 .
  • Kubilay Yado Arin: Franco's “New State”: from fascist dictatorship to parliamentary monarchy . Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86573-682-6 .
  • Birgit Franz, Georg Maybaum: Monuments to Spanish Franquism: Reception - Handling - Disposal / I monumenti al franchismo spagnolo: recepimento, gestione, smantellamento. In: Birgit Franz, Waltraud Kofler Engl (eds.): Controversial monuments / Monumenti controversi - Dealing with the legacy of dictatorships / Come gestire l'eredità delle dittature ”. Publication of the working group Theory and Teaching of Monument Preservation e. V., Volume 22. Verlag Mitzkat Holzminden 2013, pp. 164–175. ISBN 978-3-940751-72-0

Web links

Wiktionary: Franquism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Testament Francisco Francos  - Sources and full texts (Spanish)

Basic laws of the Francoist state

The basic laws (here a selection) can be called up page by page as TIF files under the following web links. Source: Search site for Spanish legal texts (official BOE site) from 1875 to 1967 . A selection in Spanish in HTML format is available here ; a German translation of important regularities is here to find.

  • Decreto aprobando el Fuero del Trabajo (with text of the same): BOE 505/1938, pp. 6178-6181 (Burgos). 6178 , 6179 , 6180 , 6181 .
  • Ley de creación de las Cortes Españolas: BOE 200/1942, pp. 5301-5303: 5301 , 5302 , 5303 .
  • Fuero des los Españoles: BOE 199/1945, pp. 358-350: , , (as well as in Wikisource )
  • Ley de 22 de octubre de 1945 por la que el Jefe del Estado podrá someter a referendum Aquellas Leyes que su transcendencia lo aconseje o el interés público lo demande (Ley de referendum Nacional) , BOE 297/1945, S. 2522. .
  • Ley de Sucesión en la Jefatura del Estado: BOE 208/1947, pp. 4238-4239, 4238 , 4239 .
  • Ley de Principios del Movimiento Nacional: BOE 119/1958, pp. 4511–4513, 4511 ( Memento from September 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), 4512 ( Memento from October 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), 4513 ( Memento from 30. September 2007 in the Internet Archive ) 1064 ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  • Ley Orgánica del Estado , number 1/1967, de 10 de enero, BOE 9/1967, pp. 466–477 466 , 467 , 468 , 469 , 470 , 471 , 472 , 473 , 474 , 475 , 476 , 477 .

Individual evidence

  1. For example in: Heads have to roll . In: Die Zeit , No. 27/2007.
  2. Decreto no 108 de la Junta Técnica del Estado in the Spanish-language Wikisource
  3. a b Ernst Nolte: The fascist movements. The crisis of the liberal system and the development of fascisms . dtv, Munich 1966, p. 135.
  4. “Like all parties in Spain - with the exception of the most moderate and liberal - the CEDA founded its own youth organization and a shirt movement. After 1933 the latter, the JAP, like so many other right-wing nationalist groups in other countries, went through a certain hectic process of fascization. ”(Payne 2006, p. 314).
  5. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain , p. 321:

    "The dispute that was to flare up later in the western world over the civil war got on the wrong track because most of the judges either considered the specifically Spanish nature of the conflict to be insignificant or even ignored it and overly emphasized its international character."

  6. Hans-Christian Kirsch (ed.) : The Spanish Civil War in eyewitness reports . dtv, 1967, ISBN 3-423-00796-6 , p. 11 f.
  7. ^ Stanley Payne: History of Fascism. P. 323.
  8. Beevor: The Spanish Civil War. P. 132.
  9. Ernst Nolte : The fascist movements . dtv World History of the 20th Century, Volume 4. dtv, Munich 1966, p. 141.
  10. The merger of the Carlist with the Falange could, however, fall back on a direct model: the JONS, one of the predecessor organizations of the Falange, arose from the - albeit voluntary - union of the fascist movement Ramiro Ledesma with the strictly Catholic group around Onésimo Redondo . Furthermore, the Carlists and the Falange had held unification talks before their later forced merger, since in many ways their goals were not too far apart; the Carlists had, of course, recently spoken out against a merger.
  11. Salvador de Madariaga ( Spain , p. 355) describes the republican side as a “real revolutionary hydra, with one syndicalist, one anarchist, two communist and three socialist heads trying to bite each other”.
  12. Hans-Christian Kirsch (Ed.): The Spanish Civil War in Eyewitness Reports , dtv, 1967, p. 23.
  13. Compare this Francoist propaganda poster.
  14. ( Memento of April 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) - a brief summary of the individual phases of the regime with their characteristics (Spanish)
  15. ^ Bernecker: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 55.
  16. Salvador de Marariaga: Spain. P. 376 f.
  17. ^ Carlos Collado Seidel: The Spanish Civil War. History of a European conflict . CH Beck, Munich 2006, p. 187.
  18. Antony Beevor: The Spanish Civil War. Review in: Die Welt , July 15, 2006.
  19. An estimate - unfortunately not fully supported by sources - can be found at When calculating the dead, however, one is faced with the task of distinguishing those who died behind the lines of political repression from those who died directly from acts of war and indirectly from starvation. In addition, it will always remain unclear how a republican government would have dealt with the supporters of the national side after the end of the war - in any case, as stated in the article, the Francoist rulers did not shy away from bloody victors' justice. But since it can be stated that Franco intervened clearly less against atrocities behind the lines than did the Republican side, there is much to suggest that the atrocities on the national side clearly outweighed those of the Republican side in absolute terms.
  20. Michael Richards: Civil War, violence and the construction of Francoism. In: Paul Preston , Ann L. Mackenzie (eds.): The republic besieged. Civil War in Spain 1936–1939 . Edinburgh 1996, pp. 197-239.
  21. Julius Ruiz: A Spanish Genocide? Reflections on the Francoist Repression after the Spanish Civil War. In: Contemporary European History. Vol. 14, no. 2 (May 2005), pp. 171-191.
  22. ^ Vividly Gregor Ziolkowski: The darkest chapter of the Franco dictatorship . Deutschlandfunk , September 23, 2008.
  23. Walther L. Bernecker , Sören Brinkmann: Battle of the memories. The Spanish Civil War in Politics and Society 1936–2006 . Munster 2006.
  24. ^ Gregor Ziolkowski: The darkest chapter of the Franco dictatorship . Deutschlandfunk , September 23, 2008.
  25. Angela Cenarro: Zaragoza. In: Carme Molinero, Margarida Sala, Jaume Sobrequés (eds.): Una inmensa prisión. Los campos de concentración y las prisiones durante la guerra civil y el franquismo . Crítica, Barcelona 2003.
  26. Javier Bandrés, Rafael Llavona: La psicología en los campos de concentración de Franco. In: Psicothema. ISSN  0214-9915 , Volume 8, No. 1, 1996, pp. 1–11, see ( Memento of September 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 35 kB) with an English summary at the beginning of the text.
  27. See for example: Antony Beevor: The Spanish Civil War . Munich 2006, review in: Die Welt , July 15, 2006; see e.g. B. also (research status 2004): ( memento from July 20, 2012 in the web archive ) ( picture from a warehouse near Barcelona - Prisioneros republicanos en un campo de concentración cerca de Barcelona )
  28. ↑ However, internment in Spain may have seemed acceptable to quite a few refugees - if you bear in mind the fate that threatened them if they did not leave the territory directly or indirectly controlled by Nazi Germany, cf. B. in the article on Camp de Gurs . Internment meant arrest, but not extradition to the authorities of occupied France or the Gestapo , which would have meant certain death for many refugees. Other countries, such as Switzerland, behaved similarly, see Manès Sperber : Until they put broken pieces on my eyes . Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1982, p. 215. That the refugees in question were well aware of this relative advantage is shown by the following quote from Erich Maria Remarque ( Schatten im Paradies . Ludwigsburg 1971, p. 5): “Some of the countries were human enough to at least not push us across the German border; there we would have perished in the concentration camps. "
  29. Fernando Mendiola, Edurne Beaumont: Esclavos del franquismo en el Pirineo, La carretera Igal-Vidángoz-Roncal (1939-1941) . Navarra 2007, pp. 74-76.
  30. a b c Beevor: The Spanish Civil War. P. 73.
  31. ^ Payne: Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany and World War II . Yale University Press, New Haven 2008, ISBN 978-0-300-12282-4 , p. 16.
  32. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 78.
  33. ^ Bernecker: History of Spain since the Civil War. P. 77.
  34. Rill, in: The Caudillo. Francisco Franco's rule . G-Geschichte 2/2001, p. 36 f.
  35. ^ H. Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 78.
  36. Sancho Panza or The Art of Survival . In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 1975 ( online ).
  37. a b c Bernecker: History of Spain since the Civil War. P. 184.
  38. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 472.
  39. This statement does not contradict Franco's demands on the occasion of his only personal meeting with Hitler in Hendaye in 1940 after the defeat of France , when he demanded the French part of Morocco , among other things, from the German dictator in return for participation in the world war . Franco's entire demeanor on this occasion (he initially had Hitler antichambered for a full half an hour until he had had his siesta, and in a subsequent nine-hour conversation he did so little to meet Hitler's request for support that Hitler -  according to Hugh Thomas ( The Spanish Civil War , P. 472) - then said that it would be better to have three teeth pulled than to hold such a conversation again) rather suggests the conclusion that Franco only wanted to drive the price for his support unacceptably high with this demand. Notes on the course of the meeting between Franco and Hitler in Hendaye in 1940 (English) ( Memento from November 25, 2005 in the Internet Archive ); some pictures from this meeting: ( Memento of May 10, 2015 in the Internet Archive ); however, they are said to be at least partly due to photomontages, see
  40. What i.a. it was expressed in the fact that Juan Carlos I was appointed to the office of "Prince of Spain" in 1969, not a "Prince of Asturias".
  41. The title "Caudillo" is not easy to translate, see the article Caudillo for details
  42. What is meant is the Spanish Civil War
  43. ^ Bernecker: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 69.
  44. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 353.
  45. Franco even had the "old shirts" blown apart by bludgeoning police: GoogleBooks. The work of the admiral . In: Der Spiegel . No. 45 , 1969 ( online ).
  46. Compare Google Books.
  47. Died: Francisco Herranz . In: Der Spiegel . No. 49 , 1969 ( online ).
  48. ^ Bernecker: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 77.
  49. So Bernecker with reference to the remarks by Juan J. Linz .
  50. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 114.
  51. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance… p. 115 f.
  52. Spain Lexicon. P. 401 f.
  53. Spain Lexicon. P. 239.
  54. The constitution of 1931 ( Memento of October 16, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) determined in Tít. Prel. Art. 3 that the Spanish state has no official religion. The reintroduction of the separation of church and state was highly controversial in the drafting of the 1978 constitution, but was enforced, although Article 16 indicates that the Spanish state should take into account the religious orientation of Spanish society and maintain appropriate relationships with the Catholic Church have.
  55. Nikolaus Nowak, Die Welt , January 28, 2008, p. 29, “New sources about Pope Pius XI. and Franco's war ”. Cárcel Ortí, cited elsewhere, states that, in addition to unsuccessful telegrams from the Pope to Franco about the observance of an armistice over Christmas, he also found lists of the names of 12,000 Basques whose return to Spain was managed by the Vatican through several European nunciatures; furthermore, on the Pope's commitment to individuals in response to letters from relatives, only in a few cases to receive the answer that the person concerned has already been executed.
  56. ^ Margin number 20 of the encyclical ; after he had already devoted an entire encyclical in Dilectissima nobis to "Church persecution in Spain" during the Second Republic.
  57. However, without mentioning its atrocities, although the encyclical thematically contains a condemnation of communism. On the other hand, the Pope took a stand against National Socialism in his encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge and died before the publication of the anti-totalitarian encyclical Humani generis unitas .
  58. ^ Bernecker, History of Spain since the Civil War. P. 71.
  59. ^ Raimund Beck: The system of government of Franco. Studienverlag Brockmeyer, Bochum 1979, ISBN 3-88339-083-6 , here p. 206.
  60. a b Holzer, von Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 110.
  61. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance… p. 109 f.
  62. a b Holzer, von Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 109.
  63. Bernecker ( Spain's history since the civil war , p. 113) mentions in connection with members of Opus Dei the “chief ideologist” Rafael Calvo Serer, who has “changed from a reactionary restoration ideologist to a moderate liberal and opposition politician”.
  64. a b c d Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 108.
  65. Spain Lexicon. P. 312.
  66. a b Spain's history since the civil war. P. 114.
  67. ^ Bernecker: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 113.
  68. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , April 2, 2006, p. 59.
  69. Holzer, from Conta: Spain - Renaissance… p. 118 f.
  70. ^ François Furet: The End of Illusions. Communism in the 20th century . Piper Verlag, Munich 1995/1996, 2nd A. 1998, ISBN 3-492-04038-1 , p. 15.
  71. Bernd Rill: Death on the Tajo. In: Geschichte 2/2001, p. 37.
  72. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 386.
  73. As will be shown below, there are arguments that the much-cited meeting with Hitler in Hendaye in 1940, in which Franco promised the active support of the Axis powers under certain conditions, such as territorial gains for Spain in particular, was part of this statement , nothing essential changes.
  75. It should be added, however, that the Generación del 98, closely associated with the fateful year 1898 , drew exactly the opposite conclusions from this key event in Spanish history; among other things, according to these writers, Spain should finally put aside its wishful thinking and indulging in the past. Well known is the catchphrase Joaquín Costas , one of the leading figures of the 98s: ¡Cerrad con siete llaves el sepulcro del Cid!  - "Lock the grave of the Cid with seven keys !"
  76. So leads Salvador de Madariaga the rise of Juan Peron in Argentina back to the English and American attitude toward the Franco regime. The Peronist system resembles Franquism in many ways, while the populist Juan Perón came to power under very different circumstances than Franco. Also Augusto Pinochet in Chile saw in Franco an example. See, for. B. With absolute hardness . In: Die Welt , November 25, 2005.
  77. Teresa Gonzalez Aja, Patrick Stumm: Spain. In: James Riordan , Arnd Krüger (Ed.): European Cultures in Sport. Examining the Nations and the Regions . Intellect, Bristol 2003, pp. 123-138. & VEDZ6MZNTRA = VwZ8RAevHs&sig=VwWdeGVHZZNTRAJ&Sig=VwWdeGV8ZZXC = 0CCMQ6AEwAA # v = onepage & q =% 22teresa% 20gonzalez% 20aja% 22% 20spain% 20% 22James% 20Riordan% 22 & f = false
  78. ^ Arnd Krüger : Strength through joy. The culture of consent under fascism, Nazism and Francoism. In: J. Riordan, A. Krüger (Eds.): The International Politics of Sport in the 20th Century. Routledge, London 1999, ISBN 0-419-21160-8 , pp. 67-89.
  79. a b c d Payne: History of Fascism. P. 325.
  80. ^ A b Juan J. Linz: Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regime . In: Potsdamer Textbücher , Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-931703-43-6 .
  81. ^ Karl-Peter Sommermann: State goals and state goal determinations, Jus Publicum. In: Contributions to Public Law. Volume 25, ISBN 3-16-146816-3 , p. 158; see there also extensive further literature references.
  82. See for example: J. Tusell: La dictadura de Franco . Madrid 1988, pp. 251 ff. A. Torres del Moral: Constitucionalismo histórico español. 3. Edition. Madrid 1990, pp. 212, 242. J. Fernado Badía: El regímen de Franco. Un enfoque politico-juridico . Madrid 1984, p. 93. J. Fontana: Reflexiones sobre la naturaleza y las consecuencias del franquismo. In: J. Fontana (Ed.): España bajo el franquismo . Barcelona 1986, p. 25.
  83. ^ WL Bernecker: War in Spain 1936-1939 . Darmstadt 1991, pp. 115–129 (for citations see pp. 118 and 121); see also J. Tusell: La dictadura de Franco . Madrid 1988, p. 251 ff.
  84. Klaus v. Beyme: From fascism to development dictatorship. Power elites and opposition in Spain . Piper, Munich 1971.
  85. Spain Lexicon. P. 206.
  86. Payne: History of Fascism. P. 324.
  87. Review of a book by Payne's The Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union and Communism . In: The Times Literary Supplement. March 11, 2005, quoted in Die Welt , March 15, 2005.
  88. ( Memento of April 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) - brief summary of the state of opinion from Juan J. Linz to Payne on the typification of the regime (Spanish)
  89. A. Torres del Moral: Constitucionalismo histórico español. 3. Edition. Madrid 1990, p. 242 f.
  90. Bernd Rill, in: G-Geschichte 2/2001, p. 36, emphasizes the fact that the term “Caudillo” is not congruent with the other terms as follows: “'Caudillo' is the leader in Spanish culture - not to be confused with the ideologically determined German 'Führer' or the Italian 'Duce'. "
  91. Spain's history since the civil war. P. 77.
  92. José Hierro (1922–2002) expressed the apathy and hopelessness prevailing in large parts of the population in his poem “Canto a España” ( Memento from February 22, 2010 on WebCite ), alluding to the regime's obvious propaganda efforts ( Les pides que pongan sus almas de fiesta - for example: "You demand that their souls are in a festive mood").
  93. ^ Renzo De Felice: Fascism . Klett-Cotta, 1975, ISBN 3-12-910500-X , p. 65.
  94. Laqueur: Fascism Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow. P. 70.
  95. Laqueur: Fascism Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow. P. 176.
  96. Spain Lexicon. P. 242.
  97. a b Spain Lexicon. P. 207.
  98. Spain. P. 452.
  99. Wolfgang Wippermann: Fascism. A world history from the 19th century to today. Primus Verlag, Darmstadt 2009, pp. 95 and 304, note 88.
  100. ^ Stanley G. Payne: Franco and Hitler. Spain, Germany, and World War II . Yale University Press, New Haven 2008, ISBN 978-0-300-12282-4 , pp. 112f and passim .
  101. ^ Stanley G. Payne: Franco and Hitler. Spain, Germany, and World War II. Yale University Press, New Haven 2008, ISBN 978-0-300-12282-4 , p. 166.
  102. Bernd Rill, in: Geschichte 2/2001, p. 36.
  103. Compare ( Memento of August 5, 2003 in the Internet Archive ) and ( Memento of May 10, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) (English).
  104. ^ Henry Picker: Hitler's table talks in the Führer Headquarters 1941-1942 Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 978-3-512-00425-4 , p. 427f.
  105. Frank Schmausner in: G History , May 2008 ( Memento of 16 February 2009 at the Internet Archive ): Mussolini. Rise and Fall of the Duce. P. 43, ISSN  1617-9412
  106. ↑ About 5,000 other Jews were able to enter the country as Spanish citizens. Numbers according to: Bernd Rother: Spain and the Holocaust . Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 2001. See also: Bernecker. In: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 82;
  107. Bernd Rother: Spain and the Holocaust . Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 2001, also reviews of the FAZ and the SZ in
  108. Bernecker: Spain's history since the civil war. P. 82.
  109. Article on about the Jewish community of Saloniki - also ( Memento from August 17, 2003 in the Internet Archive ) and .
  110. In: El País , March 21, 2010. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , March 22, 2010.
  111. ( Memento from August 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  112. Compare this: The relations of the members of the United Nations with Spain, 1946 in the Spanish-language Wikisource (English, Spanish).
  113. Winston Churchill commented on December 10, 1948 that no British or American had been killed in Spain and Franco's behavior towards Hitler and Mussolini was an example of ingratitude. On this occasion he also let it be known that he himself had only advocated the exclusion of Spain in order to win Stalin to support the Charter of the United Nations (Salvador de Madariaga: Spain, p. 401).
  114. a b Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 106.
  115. Due to the agreement, the USA also operated with nuclear weapons in Spain. In Palomares , after the crash of a B-52 in 1966, the accident with weapons of this category had the most serious consequences to date, see . Franco may later aspired to nuclear weapons himself, see and ( Memento from January 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  116. James Wright formulated a contemporary criticism of this rapprochement with Franco-Spain in his poem Eisenhower's Visit to Franco (1959), see ( Memento of February 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  117. a b Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 107.
  118. As early as 1950 Arthur Koestler wrote ( The Trail of the Dinosaur , London 1950, p. 200): “ We consider Franco's totalitarian régime to be as abhorrent as any other tyranny. But […] we refuse to fall into the trap of Cominform propagandists who want to divert our attention and energies from the real threat into a crusade against Francisco Franco.
  119. a b Holzer, von Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 105.
  120. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 111.
  121. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 112.
  122. The texts can be looked up in the original text below (Spanish)
  123. ( Memento from March 5, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  124. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 405.
  125. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance… p. 116 f.
  126. Holzer, from Conta: Spain: Renaissance ... p. 123.
  127. ^ Bernhard Schmidt, in: Spanien-Lexikon. P. 298 ff.
  128. On this topic, compare in general Sören Brinkmann: Between Apocalypse and Redemption: The Myths of Franquism ( Memento of December 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; German; 172 kB), or also: Sören Brinkmann, Catalonia and the Spanish Civil War. History and memory , Berlin (edition tranvía) 2007, ISBN 978-3-938944-12-7 .
  129. On the other hand, the militarily unsuccessful release of Toledo probably contributed to the fact that Franco lost time before Madrid and the city could not be taken in a coup.
  130. However, there is still no trace of the 100 left hostages that the defenders took with them in the Alcazár (Beevor: The Spanish Civil War, p. 161).
  131. Luis did not die until a month later in retaliation for an air raid (Beevor: The Spanish Civil War. P. 161).
  132. Hugh Thomas describes this episode in: The Spanish Civil War. Pp. 165 f. The dialogue has come down to us in various versions with differing wording. Example (Spanish):
  133. (PDF; 94 kB) p. 6 of the PDF or p. 82 of the work.
  134. 41 ° 17 ′ 59 ″  N , 0 ° 44 ′ 57 ″  W.
  135. The Spanish Civil War. P. 145.
  136. Hans-Peter von Peschke, in: Geschichte 2/2001, p. 31:

    “The more cynical terror of the right was opposed to a rampant one on the left. Almost indiscriminately, self-proclaimed groups of vengers who called themselves 'Chekas' seized people who somehow seemed right-wing, clerical or just suspicious, and shot them without much deliberation. "

  137. Beevor ( The Spanish Civil War. P. 111 f.) Locates such excesses primarily in Aragón, Catalonia and Valencia. In contrast, in the Basque Country “the Church was not touched” ( The Spanish Civil War, p. 111 f.).
  138. This picture from the holdings of the Instituto Municipal de Historia, Barcelona, ​​shows members of an unidentified republican militia at the desecration of a church in Barcelona (Milicianos durante la profanación de una iglesia en Barcelona). Members of the order disguised as peasants are arrested in the Episcopal Palace of Sigüenza (Frailes vestidos de paisano detenidos por los milicianos en el palacio episcopal de Sigüenza, Guadalajara).
  139. ^ A b Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 331.
  140. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 157.
  141. Thomas mentions the fire in the library of the Cathedral of Cuenca as an example, which a.o. contained the Catecismo de Indias . ( The Spanish Civil War , p. 143 ff.)
  142. a b History of Spain. P. 217.
  143. ^ Brenan: History of Spain. P. 54:

    “Within Spain, religion was not the only connection between the individual provinces, but it was the greatest [sic!] Link. Marx's statement that religion is the opium of the poor [sic!] Has never been more incorrect. In all social disputes of that time [...] it was the monks who guided and supported the people. As in present-day Germany [sic !, written around 1940], the power of national religion alone caused a country [sic!], In which the division into nobility and plebeians had hitherto been particularly blatant, to become remarkably egalitarian from 1620 onwards. [...] Class differences also lost importance. The French and Italians were shocked by the cheek with which the smallest trader, equipped with a coat and sword, even when he had nothing to eat at home, bumped into the most illustrious counts. "

  144. Spain. P. 332. Significantly, nothing happened to Protestant churches and they remained open during the war. But there were only a little over 6,000 Protestants in all of Spain (Hugh Thomas, p. 143).
  145. Hugh Thomas ( The Spanish Civil War , p. 151) reports of "some" individual cases in which priests actually took part in the fighting with weapons in hand, but here the exception apparently confirmed the rule. There may have been weapons hiding places in churches and monasteries, but - as well as cases in which the fire should have been opened from church towers - these were mostly rumors, see Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 332. Beevor reports from Barcelona of shots from church towers, but these were entrenched soldiers, not the clergy ( The Spanish Civil War , p. 95).
  146. The Spanish Civil War , p. 144.
  147. Quoted from: Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War. P. 144.
  148. To the figures of the Vatican compare the link below about the beatifications in 2001. We are talking about 13 bishops, 4,184 priests, 2,365 friars and 283 nuns. These figures are confirmed by Antony Beevor ( The Spanish Civil War, p. 111). Salvador de Madariaga speaks of around 6,800 clergymen, religious men and women religious killed. Also indicates: Cerca de 7000 religiosos fueron asesinados .
  149. ^ Salvador de Madariaga: Spain. P. 338.
  150. Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War. P. 150 f.
  151. Compare here on (Spanish), Sermon John Paul II (German). This was followed by further beatifications in 2005 .
  152. The Spanish Civil War. P. 144 f.
  153. Beevor ( The Spanish Civil War. P. 111) refers to the fact that even the official Spanish list of the crimes of the republic from 1946 does not prove a single such case and only suspects one.
  154. Compare The incident described is very reminiscent of the thirteen-year-old Joseph Bara (also Barra), who is said to have been killed in 1793 because he insisted on shouting "Vive la République" instead of "Vive le Roi" .
  155. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 146.
  156. Antony Beevor (in: The Spanish Civil War. P. 111) reports of a massacre by Francoist troops of 16 members of the clergy, including the archpriest of Mondragon, and of the murder of 20 Protestant clergy. The Bishop of Vitoria then caused the Pope to protest against the executions at Franco. Hugh Thomas adds ( The Spanish Civil War , p. 349) that 278 pastors and 125 friars were also deposed, imprisoned or transferred to prison.
  157. ^ Francis L. Carsten: The rise of fascism in Europe. P. 237.
  158. Hugh Thomas: The Spanish Civil War. P. 197.
  159. Compare this illustration
  160. Compare this interview with the English historian Paul Preston: The End of Silence . In: Die Welt , May 26, 2005.
  161. Complete text and MP3 by Tenemos un Caudillo (Spanish)
  162. Bernd Rill, Geschichte 2/2001, p. 38.
  163. On the thirtieth recurrence of this date in 2005, compare Zeitlaufte: When Spain stood still . In: Die Zeit , No. 47/2005.
  164. ^ Testamento de Francisco Franco in the Spanish-language Wikisource.
  165. a b Quoted from: Karin Schneider-Ferber, MA, In: Geschichte. 2/2001, p. 40.
  166. Karin Schneider-Ferber 2001, p. 41.
  167. ^ Montejurra in the English language Wikipedia
  168. Laqueur: Fascism Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow. P. 177 f.
  169. Survey on the image of the Franco dictatorship in Spain 30 years after Franco's death ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Spanish)
  170. On the subject of the Spanish coming to terms with the past during and after the Transición, see Julia Machter: Repression for the sake of reconciliation? (PDF; German; 504 kB) as well as this interview with Walther L. Bernecker and interview with Paul Preston: Das Ende des Schweigens . In: Die Welt , May 26, 2005. See also Wonderful Mamita . In: Die Welt , October 10, 2006.
  171. A summary of the film can be found on .
  172. Compare, for example, Franco still divides Spain . In: Die Welt , November 19, 2005.
  173. a b c Alexander Nützenadel , Wolfgang Schieder : Contemporary history as a problem . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004, ISBN 3-525-36420-2 , p. 105.
  174. Where Franco had 5000 victims buried . In: Spiegel Online , September 1, 2003.
  175. Irene Fuentetaja Cobas, Laura Mestre Gascón in ( Memento from September 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  176. ^ W. Bernecker, S. Brinckmann: Between history and memory. How to deal with contemporary history in Spain. In: Alexander Nützenadel et al. (Ed.): Contemporary history as a problem. National traditions and perspectives of research in Europe ( History and Society , special issue 20), Göttingen 2004, pp. 78-106, 105. A painful past uncovered. In: Guardian. August 21, 2008; see for example: Republicanos muertos en Albalate. In: El Periódico de Aragón. September 5, 2008, ( February 6, 2009 memento in the Internet Archive ). PP y CC rechazan realizar una de ley de exhumación de desaparecidos en Canarias durante la Guerra. In: Canarias 24 horas. June 12, 2008, PoblacionPress, Tenemos un problema en Monroyo, May 22, 2007: . La exhumación cuenta con el apoyo de la alcaldía. In: La Voz de Asturias. August 2, 2007. Compare also the statement of the conservative mayoress of Santa Cruz in the documentary Santa Cruz por ejemplo… - The murder of Santa Cruz by H. Peseckas and G. Schwaiger. Ute Müller: Franco victim: Richter wants to clarify fate . In: Die Welt , September 3, 2008.
  177. On the events in Madrid in 2005.
  178. Spain wants to remove Franco symbols . ( Memento of October 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In: Tages-Anzeiger , October 11, 2007.
  179. Cortes de España: LEY 52/2007, de 26 de diciembre. (PDF; 197 kB) December 27, 2007, accessed on June 10, 2012 (Spanish, text of the law).
  180. A magazine of the Ministry of Culture from 2009 deals with the problem of the destruction of cultural property as a result of this law. Antón Castro, Antonio Rodríguez Ed .: Conservar o destruir: la Ley de Memoria Histórica . Revista patrimonio cultural de España. Ministerio de Cultura, 2009, ISSN  1889-3104 , p. 322 ( [PDF]).
  181. Patricia Campelo: Los simbolos franquistas desapareceran de Santa Cruz. Pú, September 14, 2010, accessed June 10, 2012 (Spanish).
  182. ^ Alberto Darias Principe: Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Ciudad, Arquitectura y Memoria Histórica 1500–1981 . Tomo I. Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2004, ISBN 84-89350-92-2 , p. 567 (Spanish).
  183. Late homecoming . In: Die Welt , January 26, 2009.