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DEM BONES, DEM BONES, DEM DRY BONES

By Patrick Van Roy On December 3rd, 2018

Guest Post by Paul McMahon

As VOX, the far – right party of the rump Spanish Falange, take twelve seats in the regional Andalucian government elections it got me to thinking about their predecessors and Spain’s Ley de Memoria Histórica, (Historical Memory Law), which formally condemns the Franco dicatorship and gives rights and recognition to the victims and the descendants of victims of the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent Franco regime.

Above is El Valley De Los Caídos, (the Valley Of the Fallen) complex, situated around 50kms north – west of Madrid. It’s monstrous in size covering some 13.6 kms squared and was built by the Franco regime as a  ‘national act of atonement and reconciliation’ with work starting in 1940 and taking almost nineteen years to complete. Although forced labour was prohibited under Spanish law Republican Prisoners of War ‘convicts’ were able to choose voluntary work on the basis of redeeming two days of conviction for each day worked and the motto used by the Spanish Franco government was ‘el trabajo enoblece’, (‘work enobles’. Hmmmmmm). It’s claimed that up to 20,000 prisoners were used for the overall construction of the monument and that forced labour took place with Jaume Bosch, a Catalan politician and former MP, stating:

‘I want what was in reality something like a Nazi concentration camp to stop being a nostalgic place of pilgrimage for Francoists’

Beneath the valley’s ground are buried the remains of some 40,000 people, both from the republican and nationalist sides that fought in the Spanish Civil War, and these 40,000 names are held in a register in the monument  however in the basillica contained in the complex two bodies are buried, Franco is buried directly beneath the altar and José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the fascist Spanish Falange Party and executed in 1936, to the altar’s left. In the early 21st century Spain’s then socialist government instituted a statewide policy of removal of Francoist symbols from public buildings and spaces and an Expert Commission for the Future of the Valley of the Fallen was formed to convert the Valley to a ‘memory centre that dignifies and rehabilitates the victims of the Civil War and the subsequent Franco regime’ and in 2011 it recommended that the remains of Franco ‘be removed from the Valley of the Fallen for reburial at a location to be chosen by his family’ based on the fact the Franco is the only person whose remains are buried at the complex not to die in the Civil War.

In July 2012, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Vice-President and Spokesperson of the government stated during parliamentary questioning the Popular Party government of President Mariano Rajoy had ‘no intention of following the recommendations of the Expert Commission for the Future of the Valley of the Fallen with respect to the removal of the remains of Franco from the valley, the relocation of the remains of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera within the Basilica or otherwise since the government considers the report to lack validity’ however in 2016 the municipal authorities in Pamplona exhumed the remains of two architechts of the 1936 military conspiracy, José Sanjurjo and Emilion Mola from the the crypt to the Monument To the Fallen in Pamplona city centre:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/spain-exhumes-conspirators-whose-coup-sparked-civil-war-1.2870873

Last summer the socialist government of Pedro Sanchez came to power in Spain and Sanchez voiced his intentions of removing Franco’s remains from the basillica and on 13 September 2018 the Congress of Deputies approved by a vote of 176 in favor, 165 abstentions and 2 no votes the proposed decree of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) government to modify two aspects of the 2007 Historical Memory law to permit the exhumation of the remains of Franco from the Valley of the Fallen. All deputies of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, Podemos, Republican Left of Catalonia, Basque Nationist Party, Catalan European Democratic Party, EH Bildu, Coalició Compromís and the Canarian Coalition voted in favor of the decree while all 165 abstention votes were cast by Popular Party and Citizens Party parliamentarians. This lead to gun enthusiast and reported VOX  activist Manuel MS being arrested at the beginning of last month for plotting to shoot Sanchez :

http://www.anews.com.tr/world/2018/11/08/franco-admiring-sniper-detained-for-threats-to-kill-spain-pm-sanchez

So, should Franco’s remains stay or should they go?

105 Responses to “DEM BONES, DEM BONES, DEM DRY BONES”

  1. This has nothing to do with Franco’s remains or the the Valley Of the Fallen. Those who want Franco’s remain removed couldn’t give a damn about any of that. Half of them supported the Soviet Union and regret its passing. They never have a thing to say about the 100 million victims of 20th-Century radical left politics.

    It’s just a tantrum against Franco. It’s trying to get in one last dig, long after the bell has gone, against the man who saved Spain from communist tyranny.

  2. It’s just a tantrum against Franco

    Just in case you’re unaware Pete he died in 1975.

    Why should speaking about divisive national historical legacy necessitate having ‘a thing to say about 100 million victims of 20th-Century radical left politics?’ I never took you to be a globalist.

    Against the man who saved Spain from communist tyranny

    Against a man who overthrew a democratically elected government and imposed a thirty five year regime of absolute brutal state & government control?

    Pete Moore’s libertarian man of the people facade slips again.

  3. Great stuff, Paul. Another one of my Spanish fascinations. I’d love to visit some day.

    I’m conflicted as to your question though. If it Is to become a proper memorial to all the civil war dead then, of course, Franco and Jose Antonio should be removed.

    But that masks it’s original intention, which was as a triumphalist memorial to fascism and murder.part of me thinks it is more powerful left untouched.

  4. Of course it’s a monstrosity to the Franco regime Reg, built with the slave labour of Republican POWs.

    Visit it? Only if it was transformed to a true memorial of what actually happened. In it’s present state I couldn’t care less if it was levelled.

    As to the exhumation of Franco, if I had my way I’d exhume the remains, burn them to dust and dump them in some undisclosed part of the Atlantic.

    IMO he deserves nothing less.

  5. Oh, in relation to VOX picking up twelve seats in the regional Andaluc government, there have been thousands marching in protest against it in Andalucia’s major cities:

    https://www.elmundo.es/andalucia/2018/12/03/5c058f29fdddff8d808b4753.html

  6. I think we’re on the same page. My point is just that, as a monument to evil, it is possibly better left as is – with the master butcher under the altar.

  7. As to the exhumation of Franco, if I had my way I’d exhume the remains, burn them to dust and dump them in some undisclosed part of the Atlantic.

    IMO he deserves nothing less.

    Fair enough – it’s an opinion. But what would Spain be like if Franco had been defeated by those described by George Orwell in the book Homage to Catalonia. Here’s a taste of what would have happened……

    https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Story/TabId/2672/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/1794/Catholic-persecution-in-the-Spanish-Civil-War.aspx

    Both during and since, much about the Spanish Civil War has been disputed, and that is no accident. “No episode in the 1930s has been more lied about than this one,” historian Paul Johnson wrote. Communist disinformation masterminded in Moscow found a willing audience in the “naivety, gullibility … and mendacity” of left-leaning Western intellectuals, Johnson added.

    Among Church personnel, those executed during the war — almost all of them by the leftists — included 12 bishops (the bishops of Jaen, Lerida, Segorbe, Cuenca, Barcelona, Almeria, Guadix, Ciudad Real, Tarragona, and Teruel along with the apostolic administrators of Barbastro and Orihuela); 283 religious sisters and nuns; 4,184 priests; 2,365 religious priests; and an unknown number of laypeople killed for their faith.

    Now just imagine if these Stalinists had won. Back in those days, the IRA was actually nationalist and Christian – they sent volunteers to fight for Franco, and they were right to do so.

  8. Clemency was not a word that Captain Manuel Díaz Criado understood. During his four months in charge of security in the Andalusian capital of Seville following the capture of the city in July 1936 by the forces of General Francisco Franco, he launched a reign of terror, rounding up anybody suspected of Republican sympathies, and subjecting them to summary execution. He is credited with ordering the deaths of at least 10,000 men and women. Even those who supported Franco were shocked by his brutality. “He would organize orgies where the most unimaginable acts of sadism would take place, and then send men and women off to be shot,” wrote the civil governor later, adding: “He was a degenerate, and took advantage of his position to sate his thirst for blood, to enrich himself, and to satisfy his sexual appetites.”

    At the same time, several hundred kilometers to the northeast in the small town of Caspe, in the Aragonese capital of Zaragoza, Pascual Fresquet Llopis, a member of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI), was proud of the reputation that his unit, named the Death Brigade, had earned, and had played no small part in its grim activities. He led operations to rid Aragón, Teruel and Tarragona of anybody suspected of Francoist sympathies. The unit traveled in a 35-seater bus daubed with a skull and crossbones, and its members wore the macabre symbol on their berets. By October 1936, when the CNT anarchist labor union finally brought him under control, his unit had killed more than 300 people – or, as Fresquet Llopis saw it, had handed out revolutionary justice.

    It appears there was no good side in the Spanish Civil War

    Both sides committed huge massacres, Franco’s forces killed many more than the loyalists

  9. Allan,

    I suggest you read the works of informed historians, such as Paul Presto,n to get a balanced view on the civil war rather than rambling internet ravings.

    The Blueshirts under Eoin O’Duffy sent volunteers to fight with Franco. As far as I am aware, any Irish republicans that went to Spain fought for the Republic (inc. Frank Ryan, Peadar O’Donnell, Charlie Donnelly).

  10. Phantom, there was a good side. The side that were democratically elected by the Spanish electorate in open, democratic elections in 1936.

    O’Duffy’s Blueshirts were ‘the IRA?’ Jesus Christ, if there was ever a comment that demonstrated lack of knowledge of a historical event that’s it.

  11. Allan in historically inaccurate comment “shocker”!

    It’s like saying Reagan was a Democrat President, cos like, he was in the Democratic party once.

  12. Before 1936, there were many restrictions on religious liberty, including I believe a prohibition on religious instruction in some or all areas.

    And burning of churches and convents by leftists. And church buildings were nationalized by the leftist government.

    This is your good side?

  13. http://www.rarenewspapers.com/view/647548

    You are quite sure that these were the good guys?

  14. Before 1936, there were many restrictions on religious liberty, including I believe a prohibition on religious instruction in some or all areas.

    And church buildings were nationalized by the leftist government.

    What? Where on earth did you get those ideas from?

  15. Although I have to say, I don’t necessarily think that nationalisation of Church property to be a bad idea.

  16. Phantom,

    With respect, that is a relativist cop-out. The republic was troubled and imperfect but was a democracy. Any anti-clerical/leftist violence was not sanctioned by the elected govt. The Soviet link was reluctant, deeply divisive and only came into being due to the cowardice of the other democracies. In contrast, the Francoist forces started a civil war and declared openly tgey used terror and murder as a policy both during and after the civil war (not to mention their enthusiastic embrace of Nazi support).

    Yes, there was a good side. It was abandoned, fell asunder and lost.

  17. Another great read.

    Many thanks,Paul.

  18. It appears there was no good side in the Spanish Civil War

    Phantom – just imagine what would have happened if the Stalinists had won. They massacred nuns and priests in the thousands just as in Russia, and the population would have had gulags in their midst. As one sees with the leftists at ATW as everywhere, their opinions are for posturing and preening, but never a moment’s reflection is given to the consequences of such opinions because – it’s always somebody else who suffers. The consequences of a Soviet Spain would have been dreadful for everybody.

  19. Allan, a minority of them were ‘Stalinists’. If you had read Orwell’s book like you reccommend above you’d have known that. You’re also as correct on your retroactive speculation as you are about O’Duffy’s Blueshirts being ‘the IRA’

    🙂

    tHANKS VERY MUCH mARK. gLAD YOU ENJOY IT.

  20. Paul – your post is welcome. Personally I think you are giving the Republicans idea a significant pass. They could be as rotten as Franco’ crowd.

  21. That’s the problem with everyone.

    If the other guy commits a bad deed, that’s condemned.

    But if my guy commits a bad deed, it’s an understandable overreaction, etc.

    Even on this discussion, Paul says I don’t necessarily think that nationalisation of Church property to be a bad idea.. Presumably, that would be nationalization without compensation, Castro style theft.

    Paul, how’d you like if your property was nationalized by the lousy government?

  22. Whoops, apologies for caps lock Mark.

  23. Let’s look further at the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War…..

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/george-orwell-spain-barcelona-may-days

    Eighty years ago, Barcelona’s calamitous May Days sealed the fate of a worker-led social revolution. George Orwell was there to bear witness.

    The list of differences between the far-left’s rival factions was exhaustive. They’d only laid their competing aims aside in the face of an existential Nationalist threat.

    The “Stalinist” PCU and PSUC distrusted the rival nonconformist POUM, all Marxist political parties but differing over the formers’ adherence to the Stalin-backed Comintern in Moscow. Anarchists, meanwhile, holding to their libertarian principles, were nearly as distrustful of Marxist bureaucracy in any form as they were of bourgeois capitalism.

    The question looming largest in the Republican camp was the unsolved question of the revolution. From the start, the Popular Front was an uneasy alliance between the left-wing revolutionaries and the Republican loyalists, Spain’s political left-center which opposed the military coup. Effectively, it represented the liberal bourgeoisie and the middle class, each intensely wary of any workers’ revolution.

    They had good cause to be — throughout Republican-held Spain, wherever workers took control, varying degrees of “Red terror” followed. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed by mobs, firing squads, and assassinations — not just known and suspected Francoists (tactics pervasive on both sides of the Civil War), but landowners, industrialists, politicians, and the vast majority of the Catholic clergy in Republican-held zones.

    If one weren’t a far-leftist, you were killed – and if you were the ‘wrong kind’ of far-leftist, you were killed too.

    Russian military aid had arrived in the Republic’s most desperate hour, providing essential arms and munitions the Republican side proved utterly incapable of mustering on their own. While it lasted, this aid was an essential counterweight to what the other side was provided by Hitler and Mussolini. But heroic as the militias had been in resisting the initial uprising, their prospects in a conventional war against Franco and his fascist backers were overwhelmingly dim.

    Stalin’s planes and tanks came with considerable strings attached. The price turned out to be more than just Spain’s famous gold reserves, but submission to Soviet-Communist interference in Spanish politics.

    Why did a communist regime want gold? Surely that was a capitalist symbol of oppression, unless communism was another side of the same coin.

    Andres Nin, the POUM leader whose arrest and disappearance spurred outcry in Barcelona, had resisted torture and was ultimately killed by agents of the Soviet Union. Nin was not alone. From the outset of Russian aid, Communist policy in Spain, answerable to Moscow, called for the elimination of rivals to Stalin’s own authoritarian brand of communism.

    If this lot had won, it would have been massacre after massacre throughout Iberia, and the disease would have spread to central and south America.

  24. Paul McMahon, on December 3rd, 2018 at 10:33 PM Said:

    Allan, a minority of them were ‘Stalinists’. If you had read Orwell’s book like you reccommend above you’d have known that.

    Paul – I did know that, and the Stalinists were so ruthless that they killed any rivals. Do you really believe that being a ‘minority’ would have had any effect on the goals, and the ways of achieving these goals, that these mass-murderers had?

  25. The undisputed leader of world leftism / Communism at the time was the mass murder Stalin.

    I don’t really see good guys here.

    The Spanish are a wonderful people, but they were in a very bad place back then.

  26. mass murderer Stalin, who was 99% as bad as the Austrian.

  27. They could be as rotten as Franco’ crowd.

    Both sides committed atrocities as happens in wars, particularly vicious civil wars, but to suggest that one was as bad as the other simply isn’t true. For example Republican forces didn’t engage in the wholesale slaughter that Franco’s forces did.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Badajoz

    Phantom, where did you come up with the ideas that religion was banned and church property nationalised?

    Paul, how’d you like if your property was nationalized by the lousy government?

    I wouldn’t like it but then again I work for everything I possess and don’t have the opportunity to be funded by public monies.

  28. However, some laws nationalized Roman Catholic Church properties and required the Roman Catholic Church to pay rent for the use of properties which it had previously owned. In addition, the government forbade public manifestations of Catholicism such as processions on religious feast days, dissolved the Jesuits and banned Catholic education by prohibiting the religious communities of nuns, priests and brothers from teaching even in private schools.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Constitution_of_1931

    Is this not correct?

    This

  29. Paul – I did know that, and the Stalinists were so ruthless that they killed any rivals

    Good, then you’ll also know that the ‘Stalinists’ were very much a minority within the Republican forces and your retrospective rubbish about gulags blah blah blah is nothing more than rhetorical scaremongering.

    The only countries to assist the Republican government were Mexico and the USSR after France and Britain disgracefully imposed an arms embargo while your heroes in the Reich and fascist Italy were piling all sorts of troops and hardware into Spain.

    Phantom, if the other countries had come to the assistance of the Republican government then the the wouldn’t have depended so much on the moustachioed meglomaniac in Moscow. It also wouldn’t have given the Austrian a dry run for his plans three years later.

  30. Republicans did commit mass atrocities. It is a matter of historical record. They may very well have committed more had they not been thwarted by losing. There was a very interesting documentary on the Irish experience that I watched this year, and I have in true middle age blanked on.

  31. The left imprinted its views on the constitution, especially its religious clauses. Historically conditioned anticlericalism had already led the government to tolerate an outburst of church burning (May 1931). The Socialists and Left Republicans inserted in the constitution an attack on religious education and the regular orders, which forced the resignation of Alcalá Zamora and Maura.

    https://www.britannica.com/place/Spain/Primo-de-Rivera-1923-30-and-the-Second-Republic-1931-36

  32. Controlling Church property and prohibiting religious orders from teaching isn’t ‘nationalising Churches’ nor ‘prohibition on religious instruction’ Phantom.

  33. What is it then? Freedom of religion?

  34. Republicans did commit mass atrocities. It is a matter of historical record

    Certainly not to the extent of Franco’s forces.

    They may very well have committed more had they not been thwarted by losing

    May they? Speculation, unlike the 20,000 Franco had murdered after the war finished.

  35. Paul

    Wrong.

  36. It is agreed that the loyalists murdered less than Franco did.

    But the left murdered even before 1936.

  37. What is it then? Freedom of religion?

    They weren’t free to practice worship?

    The Catholic Church has always enjoyed a privileged position in Spain. Loss of those privileges isn’t ‘nationalising Churches’ nor ‘prohibition on religious instruction’.

  38. Again, the issue you seem to be missing is not the Franco was good. He was not. But that the Republicansame committed atrocities that were by no means modest in their numbers or their violence.

  39. Republican leftists point guns at Christian monument

    Yes, I’m sure sorry that we didn’t send the US military to fight on the same side as these fellows.

  40. No they were not free, there were laws against their open expression of faith and religious education.

  41. Wrong.

    Wrong what?

    But the left murdered even before 1936.

    And the right didn’t?

  42. Good, then you’ll also know that the ‘Stalinists’ were very much a minority within the Republican forces and your retrospective rubbish about gulags blah blah blah is nothing more than rhetorical scaremongering.

    Paul – your mind is completely lost. Stalinists were a minority in the Republican side and were prepared to kill ALL rivals, and did exactly that to the extent that they could. If they had won, they would have done to Spain what was done to Russia and Ukraine, and I assume that you know what happened there.

  43. Wrong what, indeed.

  44. There were laws against their open expression of faith and religious education.

    There were laws against religious public prosessions and a ban on cleargy teaching in the education system. That isn’t ‘nationalising Churches’ nor ‘prohibition on religious instruction’.

  45. Time for bed. I’ll come back to this tomorrow if needed.

    Wrong what Phantom?

    Paul – your mind is completely lost.

    I’m afraid it was Franco’s forces and not ‘Stalinists’ that murdered some 20,000 people when they won Allan.

  46. The religious buildings were seized, and the Church had to pay rent in order to keep using them.

    Religious instruction was restricted, even in private schools.

    All of this was religious persecution. There aren’t two sides to this.

  47. But that the Republicansame committed atrocities that were by no means modest in their numbers or their violence.

    And once again no one is denying that Mahons but to try to state the ‘one was as bad as the other’ as some here seem to be doing simply isn’t true.

  48. All of this was religious persecution. There aren’t two sides to this

    Loss of privileged status in secular society isn’t ‘religious persecution’. It’s a loss of previous preference.

  49. Definitely off to bed.

  50. Paul McMahon, on December 3rd, 2018 at 11:12 PM Said:

    Speculation, unlike the 20,000 Franco had murdered after the war finished.

    “speculation”? OK – let’s speculate, and take a look at the track record:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Book-Communism-Crimes-Repression/dp/0674076087

    “Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit,” Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experience-in the China of “the Great Helmsman,” Kim Il Sung’s Korea, Vietnam under “Uncle Ho” and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah. The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin’s destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu’s leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the widescale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao’s Red Guards. As the death toll mounts-as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on-the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century.

    So my assertion that a victory for Stalin’s lackeys in Spain would have led directly to gulags in Iberia is “rhetorical scaremongering”? Far from it – it’s a certainty. How many millions in Spain would have been massacred if the Stalinists had won? As a statement of fact, the least bad side won.

  51. Pure ahistorical speculation.

    On 18 July 1936 the elected govt was not communist and was not pro-Soviet.

    It was an unstable, fragile democracy and it was destroyed by forces that used terror and political mass murder as policy. That is fact.

  52. I tend to agree with Phantom here. Franco’s crimes were vast and, in form and extent, were very much in line with the Nazis’ behaviour in eastern europe 5 years later.

    In the initial stages of the war at any rate, any villages they conquered in S. Spain would have almost their entire male populations taken out and shot immeditely after the village surrendered.
    It was so bad that even the church intervened to ask Franco to tell his forces not to shoot so many people near wells and rivers as the constant massacres were causing contamination.

    But Republican attacks on Catholic Spain – people and its institutions – had started before Franco’s uprising and long before the Communist coup de etat. Not only did they murder priest and nuns, but even formed iconoclast committees to smash local churches and even destroy religious images on headstones in graveyards. Orwell also refers to this in his great book.
    I’m sure stories of these atrocities were part of the reason the Nationalists gave no quarter when they took prisoners.

    A lot of people have a kind of fondness for the 1930s, the titanic struggle between the forces of the Right and the Left. But it was “a dirty dishonest decade” as Auden said, full of hatred, intolerance and infinite propaganda on all sides.

  53. More than pure historical speculation Reg, retroactive wishful thinking.

    Communists murdered millions in Asia / western Eurasia so it then follows that a small group of Stalinists would then kill millions in southern Europe? Here’s a good barometer of your fantasy, the second Republic was established in 1931. Count how many murders there were in the five years preceeding the Civil War in 1936 with overthrew the Republic and then count how many murders there were in the five years following the Civil War’s ending in 1939.

    Noel, I think you are conflating fact with myth. As I explained to Phantom previously, The Church certainly lost it’s privileged preferential position within Spanish society, (no doubt this is seen as an attack by some), but it wasn’t until the Civil War began and the Spanish Catholic Church, traditionally associated with the Monarchy and large landowners in Spain, largely sided with the rebels that preists, nuns and monks, (many active fighters with the rebels), were killed, and yes, they were atrocities. The Basque Catholic Church for example largely sided with the Republic and thus were absolutely not persecuated.

    Here’s a balanced account:

    Though there was much wanton killing in rebel Spain, the idea of the limpieza, the “cleaning up” of the country from the evils which had overtaken it, was a disciplined policy of the new authorities, and a part of their programme of regeneration. In republican Spain, most of the killing was the consequence of anarchy, the outcome of a national breakdown, and not the work of the state; even though some political parties in some cities abetted the enormities, and even though some of those responsible ultimately rose to positions of authority

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Terror_(Spain)

  54. The anti Catholic position of the Republic contributed to its eventual demise. When convents were burned in 1931 the reaction of the government could at best be described as accepting, at worst approving. Laws against the Church were not merely removing privilege but also aimed at eradicating freedom in education, speech, assembly and practice.

  55. Firstly the burning of convents in 1931 was the result of riots instigated by monarchists and not a premeditated act Mahons.

    Laws against the Church, traditionally associated with the monarchy and large land owners in Spain, were to remove its privileged position. There was no eradicating freedom in education, clerics were banned from teaching in schools, public religious processions were banned so I’m not sure how this squares with your ‘eradicating freedom in education, speech, assembly and practice’

    Spain’s experience of the Catholic Church was not the same as the US which you seem to be trying to equate it with and, once again, the Basque Catholic Church largely sided with the democratically elected government and weren’t persecuted in any way.

    You seem to be arguing that because the Republican Government discontinued the Catholic Church’s privileged position in Spanish society it justfied the killing of hundreds of thousands by Franco?

    It is necessary to spread terror. We have to create the impression of mastery eliminating without scruples or hesitation all those who do not think as we do . There can be no cowardice. If we hesitate one moment and fail to proceed with the greatest determination, we will not win. Anyone who helps or hides a Communist or a supporter of the Popular Front will be shot

    – General Emilio Mola, 19th July 1936.

    That’s really ‘eradicating freedom in education, speech, assembly and practice’

  56. Stealing Catholic school and other buildings Was not Removing the church from a privileged position

    It was stealing

    Euphemisms don’t help here

    As said above, that government helped create its own enemies through such stupidity

  57. Yes, charging the Catholic Church rent justified a military coup, a thirty five year fascist dictatorship and the murder of tens of thousands after the war.

    Remember what I said about the Catholic Church not being persecuted in the Basque Country? It would seem I was wrong:

    In an unprecedented step, a service was held in the cathedral of the Basque Country’s capital, Vitoria, to remember 14 priests who were killed by Franco’s forces during the 1936-39 war

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/5810704/Basque-Bishops-call-for-Catholic-Church-apology.html

    Franco forces shooting priests? Whatever for?

    Oh dear

    Did the Spanish Catholic Church criticise never mind condemn thirty five years of fascist dictatorship, oppression and murder?

    But hey, their privileged position in Spanish society was restored so that’s okay then.

  58. Phantom,

    There is no doubt the popular front govt was stupid, petty, weak, divided and divisive. There is a quote somewhere about Azana’s “traditional Castilian arrogance”. He was a deeply flawed politician…but compare that to the butchers on the other side. And, again, atrocities on the republican side were not sanctioned govt policy. This is in stark contrast to the Nationalists.

  59. It always amazes me how people on ATW often argue by claiming someone has taken a position they have not and then argue against it. Literally arguing against themselves. I’be never remotely argued or implied Franco’s atrocities were justified. I’be not compared the Church in Spain to the Church elsewhere.

  60. The Republican Government banished religious orders, religious figures who opposed them, failed to act against attacks, and proscribed religious processions. It was a political act of superseding dissent, not merely removing privileged status.

  61. . I’be never remotely argued or implied Franco’s atrocities were justified. I’be not compared the Church in Spain to the Church elsewhere.

    Good then my ‘your seem to be’ wasn’t correct. I’m glad we’ve ironed that out.

    Do you accept that the Catholic Church in Spain were traditionally on the side of monarchy and big landowners and were seen differently than in other countries and would you like to comment on my question why the Spanish Catholic Church never criticised nor condemned thirty five years of murderous, fascist dictatorship?

  62. Paul

    You minimize the religious oppression

    You don’t solve injustice by using injustice as a tool yourself

  63. “We” didn’t iron it out, I ironed out your claim regarding my position.

    The Church institutionally sided with the monarchy and landowners. On another level it also supported social services and the poor.

  64. The Church should have condemned Franco’s atrocities.

  65. No Phantom. What I state are facts.

    You would agree that the thirty five year campaign of oppression and murder were much worse than the Church having to pay rent and clerics being banned from teaching yeah? .
    Why did the compassionate, caring church not condemn or even criticise it?

  66. If the rebels were so incensed by Republican anti clericism why did they shoot Basque priests?

  67. Paul

    You continue to blow off the theft of church properties ( “ having to pay rent “) and the other oppression of the church and believers

    The seizing of church property was unjust. Why is this so hard for you to say?

  68. Do you think that The ban on religious processions was an injustice?

  69. //Do you accept that the Catholic Church in Spain were traditionally on the side of monarchy and big landowners //

    The Catholic hierarchy in Ireland were also monarchists and were violently opposed to Republicanism and Republicans. During the civil war they excommunicated all Republicans en bloc and even supported the Govt’s policy of summary execution of captured republicans. “Hell is not hot enough for them”, they said, or did they say that about the Fenians.

    That didn’t make the IRA burn convents and kill nuns.

    There’s no question that Franco’s regime was by far the more murderous. His forces were also guilty of mass rape, murder of civilians – including pregnant women – lying in hospitals and torture and the killing of children. That was also official policy; they even used to boast about it. On the Republican side, on the other hand, at least some efforts were made in prevent atrocities and some prosecutions were made.

    But all sides were guilty. Of the 200,000 or so civilians executed in the war, the Republicans killed around one quarter and the Falangists the rest.

  70. “We” didn’t iron it out, I ironed out your claim regarding my position.

    There’s really no need to be so immodest and trimuphalist Mahons. My comment came with a question mark at the end of it, there was a reason for that.

    The Church should have condemned Franco’s atrocities.

    Yes, but they didn’t. Cementing their traditional position in Spain as defenders of the oppressor.

    Answering a question with a question Phantom?

    There’s no question that Franco’s regime was by far the more murderous. His forces were also guilty of mass rape, murder of civilians – including pregnant women – lying in hospitals and torture and the killing of children. That was also official policy; they even used to boast about it. On the Republican side, on the other hand, at least some efforts were made in prevent atrocities and some prosecutions were made.

    Yes Noel, that’s why I’ve been trying to continuously make that point that ‘one side is as bad as the other’, that some have been trying to suggest, isn’t true.

    Anyone want to have a go at why the Church wasn’t persecuted in the Basque Country and why Franco forces shot Basque priests?

  71. It is actually elementary. The Basque region supported the Republicans which is why they were not targeted by Republicans and we’re targeted by Franco’s gang. A fair criticism of the Church in 2018 is that while Republican victims have been canonized and beatified in large numbers, the victims of Franco have not.

  72. Give it up, chief.

  73. There is a mix of political in all of it. Astoundingly Franco had been given such sway in the Church he had a hand in designating bishops.

  74. It is actually elementary. The Basque region supported the Republicans which is why they were not targeted by Republicans and we’re targeted by Franco’s gang

    Yes, it is. So we’re agreed that it wasn’t all one way anti clericism and that it was based on politics rather than religion?

    Give it up, chief.

    I can see that you’re attempting your normal stonewalling.

  75. It was easier for Eliza Doolittle to say the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain than to get Republican nostalgists to condemn Republican atrocities.

  76. It was based on politics and religion.

  77. And wickedness, hatred and intolerance.

    On both sides.

  78. Personally I think you are giving the Republicans idea a significant pass. They could be as rotten as Franco’ crowd.

    Who said that?

    Except they weren’t

    Both sides committed atrocities as happens in wars, particularly vicious civil wars, but to suggest that one was as bad as the other simply isn’t true.

    The atrocious acts committed on the Republican side were wrong and should absolutely condemned but to say that both sides were equal in barbarity is incorrect.

    See? Not that difficult.

  79. I think it is fair to say Franco and his allies engaged in barbarity that resulted in more victims. I don’t think it unfair to say the Republicans didn’t engage in equal barbarity, even if we can agree that they created less victims.

  80. The barbarousness was very similar, very probably equal, but the Franco-ites managed to do more of it.

  81. My last sentence should read “The Republicans also engaged in equal barbarity, though I agree they created less victims”

  82. As a peace offering I promise not to report Paul using a spiritual inspired by Ezekiel for the title of his post. I don’t want the Spanish Republican Whitewash Society to revoke his membership for religious reasons…

  83. //The barbarousness was very similar, very probably equal, //

    They weren’t equal. For example, I’d be very surprised to hear that Republicans engaged in mass rape, murdered pregnant women, and paraded through towns with the severed noses and ears of their victims displayed on the points of their swords and brandishing the underwear of the women they’d raped. But I wasn’t really surprised to learn that Franco’s crowd did exactly that and more.

    I don’t think there were any kind of atrocities that the Republicans committed that the Nationalists didn’t, but there were certainly a lot the other way round.

    But, as I said, killings by govt forces of 50,000 civilians and massacres of prisoners are bad enough by any comparision.

    You said yourself, Phanto, earlier on that there were no good guys. Leave it at that.

    The problem was that the Republican side was totally fragmented and included far too many fanatics. Republican resisance depended too much on Communists, who spared no effort in destroying their rivals. If the western democracies had supported the government, it would not have needed the Communists, and the war – and the 20th C – might have turned out very differently.

  84. I have no opinion regarding Franco’s remains but the image and the article were fascinating, Paul.

  85. If the western democracies had supported the government, it would not have needed the Communists, and the war – and the 20th C – might have turned out very differently.

    Exactly, Noel.

  86. Oops. New phone. Put wrong bit in block quotes. You get my point though!

  87. If the western democracies had supported the government, it would not have needed the Communists

    Is that true?

    They still would have faced the Franco led rebellion.

    Are we really sure that there would not have been a united front with Communists in it in any event?

  88. How significant was the Communist ( et al ) hard left support to the electoral coalition

  89. My recollection was not very much so looked it up. Of the 285 seats won by the popular front, the communists won 17; the Trotskyist poum 1; the anarchists 2. There were a handful of other regional parties won a handful of seats but not sure how radical or otherwise they all were.

  90. The 20th Century turned out as it did. Hitler and Stalin were already in place. And Western governments were rightly leary of socialist/communist developments (hence the nonintervention) and of getting drawn into conflicts.

  91. I don’t think Franco is deserving of such a national monument and if there is a consensus his remains should be removed. I don’t think defiling them is consistent with reconciliation efforts.

  92. Is that true?

    Very, very likely. As I explained early on in the thread, there was a disgraceful arms embargo slapped on the Republic with only Mexico and the USSR assisting while the Bohemian Corporal and the Roman Emperor of Abissynia were flooding the place with guns, tanks, troops and aircraft. And, regarding your sneering comment last night, the Republic didn’t want the ‘US military to fight alongside them’ (although gallantly many Americans of conscience did), it wanted the US to sell them arms, something that you’re historically pretty magnificent at.

    The barbarousness was very similar, very probably equal, but the Franco-ites managed to do more of it.

    If your still trying to insist that ‘one was as bad as the other’ regarding levels of viciousness and barbarity then you must be obstinately ignoring the links and quotes in the thread along with knowledgeable guys like Noel and Reg.

    I don’t want the Spanish Republican Whitewash Society to revoke his membership for religious reasons…

    Rest easy then Mahons as the Society and their families were summarily executed by those oh so persecuted and compassionate Catholics after ’39.

    Glad you enjoy the image Patty, the scale of the complex needs to be viewed to appreciate its enormity. There a much much smaller one in the centre of Pamplona whose mausoleum held the remains of José Sanjurjo and Emilion Mola until they were exhumed two years ago, (as explained above). Here’s a collection of images of it:

    https://www.google.es/search?q=los+caidos+pamplona&rlz=1C1CHBD_esES788ES788&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigrPSt3obfAhXlXhUIHfV7CwAQ_AUIDygC&biw=1517&bih=695#imgrc=_

    If you’re a fan of architecture Spain is wonderful.

  93. // And Western governments were rightly leary of socialist/communist developments (hence the nonintervention) //

    Yes, so were German middle-of-the-road parties. And so they got Hitler.

  94. I don’t think defiling them is consistent with reconciliation efforts.

    I’m unaware of any movement to defile them and what I express above is my own opinion.

    After all, similar was good enough for Osama Bin Laden and he only instigated the murder of thousands as opposed to tens of thousands.

  95. “How significant was the Communist ( et al ) hard left support to the electoral coalition”

    I guess it depends on how one identifies the PSOE, the largest party in the Popular Front. Theoretically it was a Marxist party (and didn’t formally abandon Marxism until after the restoration of Spanish democracy). However it is the main socialist party in the Spain and would be largely similar to most social democratic parties in Europe. Theoretically Marxist but ultimately not Communist, certainly not in the USSR sense. To put a long story short it was a lot closer to the British Labour Party, and the German SPD, than the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    All told, out of 285 seats, Communists won 20 (including 17 Stalinists (PCE), 1 Trotskyist (POUM) and 2 Syndicalists). The largest party was the PSOE, a socialist/social democratic party.

    The largest group of thought was probably not socialist or even social democratic. It was Radicalism, a school of republican liberalism. The IR and UR, both Republican, both liberal, neither socialist, took 87 and 37 seats each. Even if you include the PSOE as a Communist party then it is still a minority group in the coalition.

    The remaining seats were 4 independents (who without knowing who they are I couldn’t tell you of what persuasion they were) and 36 regionalist or nationalist groups (mostly Catalan socialists and liberals).

    “And Western governments were rightly leary of socialist/communist developments (hence the nonintervention)”

    Except that by not intervening they condemned Spain to one of two extremes (Falangism or Stalinism). The Popular Front was a democratically elected, centre-left government. By abandoning, shamefully abandoning it, in her hour of need, it pushed the Republicans into the arms of Stalin. Had France, Britain etc… supported the Republicans then they likely wouldn’t have become as extreme left as they eventually became.

  96. Communists murdered millions in Asia / western Eurasia so it then follows that a small group of Stalinists would then kill millions in southern Europe?

    Nice try, but your sleekit ways are too obvious. Eastern Europe, including Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Hungary are not ‘western Eurasia’, a tortuous example of geographical evasiveness – they are eastern Europe, and what happened there would have happened in Iberia if Franco had lost. 20,000 murdered by Franco’s forces is bad enough but a few more zeroes would have been needed for the slaughters that the Stalinists would have carried out.

  97. Thank you for the google link to images, Paul. You are inspiring me to wrangle another trip to Spain out of nowhere. I love Spain and I think I might have been a flamenco dancer in another lifetime. Where are you again?

    I’ve been to Seville for the Semana Santa, Barcelona and then a short stay on the island of Minorca, but that’s about the extent it. I would love to go back.

  98. It does follow that Communists would kill millions.

    In this era, Moscow was the undisputed leader of world communism, and killing by the hundreds of thousands was Stalin’s way of saying hello.

  99. Germany was fertile ground for the likes of Hitler. He certainly didn’t arise merely because of anti-communism sentiments.

  100. Eastern Europe, including Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Hungary are not ‘western Eurasia’, a tortuous example of geographical evasiveness

    And there’s the straw man being set up. Now watch a protracted argument of the definition of something or other.

    Of course none of Russia or the USSR isn’t / wasn’t ever in Asia.

    Now, back to the crux of the allegation:

    Here’s a good barometer of your fantasy, the second Republic was established in 1931. Count how many murders there were in the five years preceeding the Civil War in 1936 with overthrew the Republic and then count how many murders there were in the five years following the Civil War’s ending in 1939.

    There you are.

  101. I’m in Pamplona Patty. If you ever find yourself here I’d be happy to show you around.

  102. Oh, wow, ….nice that you’re in Pamplona, Paul. And thank you for such a kind offer.

    I have always wanted to go from San Sebastian to Biarritz, to see the Basque country. Someday, perhaps.

  103. There’s prettier seaside towns than both San Sebastian, (Donostia), and Biarritz in between both. Hondarribia and Hendaya are both spectacularly, breathtakingly beautiful.

  104. Here’s a good barometer of your fantasy, the second Republic was established in 1931. Count how many murders there were in the five years preceeding the Civil War in 1936 with overthrew the Republic and then count how many murders there were in the five years following the Civil War’s ending in 1939.

    Paul – nobody and not even you was discussing the conditions pre-Civil War. The issue is what would have happened had the Stalinists won the Civil War, and there would have been mass murders because that just happened to be what they did. There’s no point in you throwing up chaff – the record of the adherents of this ideology is written in blood in every country where they held power, even those in far-western Eurasia as Ukraine and Russia are apparently known in a house in Pamplona.

  105. Nobody was discussing China, Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Ethiopia, Afghanistan etc etc either but they were used by you in your book link above as ‘evidence’ as to what a handful of Stalinists would have done in your head Spain.

    Here’s a good barometer of your fantasy, the second Republic was established in 1931. Count how many murders there were in the five years preceeding the Civil War in 1936 with overthrew the Republic and then count how many murders there were in the five years following the Civil War’s ending in 1939.

    Of course the historical reality is that tens of thousands were murdered by Franco after the war which wasn’t the case in the Republic prior to the war but I wouldn’t expect anyone who claimed that O’Duffy’s Blueshirts were ‘the IRA’ to care too much about historical reality.

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