Francisco Franco Bahamonde[a] (/ˈfræŋkoʊ/; Spanish: [fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko]; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general and politician who ruled over Spain as a military dictator from 1939, after the nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. This period in Spanish history is commonly known as Francoist Spain.
During the 1923–1930 dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, Franco was promoted general at age 33, the youngest in Europe. As a conservative and a monarchist, Franco opposed the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a democratic secular republic in 1931. With the 1936 elections, the conservative Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups lost by a narrow margin, and the leftist Popular Front came to power. Intending to overthrow the republic, Franco followed other generals in launching a coup that failed to take control of most of the country and precipitated the Spanish Civil War. With the death of the other generals, Franco quickly became his faction's only leader. Franco gained military support from various authoritarian regimes and groups, especially Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican side was supported by Spanish communists and anarchists as well as the Soviet Union, Mexico and the International Brigades. In 1939, Franco won the war, which claimed half a million lives. He established a military dictatorship and proclaimed himself Head of State and Government under the title El caudillo. In April 1937, Franco merged the fascist and traditionalist political parties in the rebel zone (FE de las JONS and Traditionalist Communion), as well as other conservative and monarchist elements, into FET y de las JONS. At the same time, he outlawed all other political parties, and thus Spain became a one-party state.
Upon his rise to power, Franco implemented policies that repressed political opponents and dissenters, as many as 400,000 of whom died through the use of forced labor and executions in the concentration camps his regime operated. During World War II, he espoused neutrality as Spain's official wartime policy. However, he provided military support to the Axis in numerous ways: he allowed German and Italian ships and submarines to use Spanish harbors and ports, the Abwehr operated in Spain, and the Blue Division fought alongside the European Axis against the Soviet Union until 1944. Scholars consider it as conservative and authoritarian, rather than truly fascist. Historian Stanley G. Payne states, "scarcely any of the serious historians and analysts of Franco consider the Generalissimo to been a core fascist."
Spain was isolated by many other countries for nearly a decade after World War II. By the 1950s, the nature of his regime changed from being openly totalitarian and using severe repression to an authoritarian system with limited pluralism. During the Cold War, Franco was one of the world's foremost anti-Communist figures: his regime was assisted by the West, and it was asked to join NATO. After chronic economic depression in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Franco presided over the Spanish miracle, abandoning autarky and pursuing economic liberalization, delegating authority to liberal ministers. Franco died in 1975 at the age of 82. He restored the monarchy before his death, which made King Juan Carlos I his successor, who led the Spanish transition to democracy.
Franco in 1964
|Caudillo of Spain|
1 October 1936 – 20 November 1975
|Preceded by||Miguel Cabanellas|
as President of the Technical State Junta of the Nationalist side
as President of the Defence Council of the Republican side
|Succeeded by||Rodríguez de Valcárcel|
as President of the Regency
Juan Carlos I
as King of Spain
|Prime Minister of Spain|
30 January 1938 – 8 June 1973
General Agustín Muñoz Grandes
Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco
|Preceded by||Francisco Gómez-Jordana|
as President of the Technical State Junta of the Nationalist side
as President of the Defence Council of the Republican side
|Succeeded by||Luis Carrero Blanco|
Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde
4 December 1892
Ferrol, Galicia, Kingdom of Spain
|Died||20 November 1975 (aged 82)|
|Resting place||Valle de los Caídos, Spain|
|Political party||Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS|
|Children||María del Carmen|
|Residence||El Pardo, Madrid|
|Alma mater||Infantry Academy of Toledo|
|Allegiance|| Kingdom of Spain (1907–1931)|
Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936)
Francoist Spain (1936–1975)
|Branch/service||Spanish Armed Forces|
|Years of service||1907–1975|
|Rank||Captain General of the Army|
Captain General of the Air Force
Captain General of the Navy
|Battles/wars||Rif War (WIA)|
Revolution of 1934
Spanish Civil War
Franco was born on 4 December 1892 at 108 Calle Frutos Saavedra in Ferrol, Galicia. He was baptised thirteen days later at the military church of San Francisco, with the baptismal name Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo; Francisco for his paternal grandfather, Paulino for his godfather, Hermenegildo for his maternal grandmother and godmother, and Teódulo for the saint day of his birth.
His father was of Andalusian ancestry.[b] After relocating to Galicia, the family was strongly involved in the Spanish Navy, and over the span of two centuries produced naval officers for six uninterrupted generations, down to Franco's father Nicolás Franco y Salgado Araújo (22 November 1855 – 22 February 1942).
His mother was María del Pilar Bahamonde y Pardo de Andrade (15 October 1865 – 28 February 1934) and she was an upper middle-class Roman Catholic. His parents married in 1890. The young Franco spent much of his childhood with his two brothers, Nicolás (Ferrol, 1891–1977) and Ramón, and his two sisters, María del Pilar (Ferrol, 1894 – Madrid, 1989), and María de la Paz (Ferrol, 1899 – Ferrol, 1903). The latter died in infancy. Nicolás was later a naval officer and diplomat who in time married María Isabel Pascual del Pobil y Ravello. Ramón was a pioneer aviator, a Freemason with originally leftist political leanings who was killed in an air accident on a military mission in 1938. María del Pilar married Alonso Jaráiz y Jeréz.
Francisco was to follow his father into the Navy, but as a result of the Spanish–American War the country lost much of its navy as well as most of its colonies. Not needing any more officers, the Naval Academy admitted no new entrants from 1906 to 1913. To his father's chagrin, Francisco decided to try the Spanish Army. In 1907, he entered the Infantry Academy in Toledo, graduating in July 1910 as second lieutenant (251st out of 312 cadets). At 19, Franco was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in June 1912. Two years later, he obtained a commission to Morocco. Spanish efforts to occupy their new African protectorate provoked the protracted Rif War (from 1909 to 1927) with native Moroccans. Their tactics resulted in heavy losses among Spanish military officers, and also provided an opportunity to earn promotion through merit. It was said that officers would receive either la caja o la faja (a coffin or a general's sash). Franco quickly gained a reputation as a good officer.
In 1913, Franco transferred into the newly formed regulares: Moroccan colonial troops with Spanish officers, who acted as shock troops. This transfer into a perilous role may have been decided because Franco failed to win the hand of his first love, Sofía Subirán. (The letters between the two were found and she was questioned by journalists.)
In 1916, aged 23 and already a captain, he was shot by enemy machine gun fire. He was badly wounded in the abdomen, specifically the liver, in a skirmish at El Biutz and possibly lost a testicle. The physicians of the battle later concluded that his intestines were spared because he inhaled the moment he was shot. His survival marked him permanently in the eyes of the native troops as a man of baraka (good luck). He was recommended for Spain's highest honour for gallantry, the coveted Cruz Laureada de San Fernando, but instead received the Cross of Maria Cristina, First Class. With that he was promoted to major at the end of February 1917 at age 24. This made him the youngest major in the Spanish army. From 1917 to 1920, he served in Spain. In 1920, Lieutenant Colonel José Millán Astray, a histrionic but charismatic officer, founded the Spanish Foreign Legion, on similar lines to the French Foreign Legion. Franco became the Legion's second-in-command and returned to Africa. On 24 July 1921, the poorly commanded and overextended Spanish Army suffered a crushing defeat at Annual from Rif tribesmen led by the Abd el-Krim brothers. The Legion and supporting units relieved the Spanish enclave of Melilla after a three-day forced march led by Franco. In 1923, by now a lieutenant colonel, he was made commander of the Legion.
On 22 October 1923, Franco married María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdès (11 June 1900 – 6 February 1988). Three years later the couple had a daughter, María del Carmen. Following his honeymoon Franco was summoned to Madrid to be presented to King Alfonso XIII. This and other occasions of royal attention would mark him during the Republic as a monarchical officer. Promoted to colonel, Franco led the first wave of troops ashore at Al Hoceima (Spanish: Alhucemas) in 1925. This landing in the heartland of Abd el-Krim's tribe, combined with the French invasion from the south, spelled the beginning of the end for the short-lived Republic of the Rif. Franco's recognition eventually caught up with him and he was promoted to brigadier general on 3 February 1926. This made him the youngest general in Spain, and perhaps, along with Major-General Joe Sweeney of the Irish Army, one of the youngest generals in Europe. In 1928 Franco was appointed director of the newly created General Military Academy of Zaragoza, a new college for all army cadets, replacing the former separate institutions for young men seeking to become officers in infantry, cavalry, artillery, and other branches of the army. Franco was removed as Director of the Zaragoza Military Academy in 1931; about 95% of his former Zaragoza cadets later came to side with him in the Civil War.
With the fall of the monarchy in 1931, Franco did not take any notable stand. But the closing of the Academy in June by War Minister Manuel Azaña provoked his first clash with the Spanish Republic. Azaña found Franco's farewell speech to the cadets insulting. Franco stressed in his speech the Republic's need for discipline and respect. For six months Franco was without a post and under surveillance.
Franco was a subscriber to the journal of Acción Española, a monarchist organisation, and a firm believer in the Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik conspiracy or contubernio (filthy cohabitation)—'one of Franco's favourite words': a conspiracy in which Jews, Freemasons, Communists, and other leftists alike allegedly sought the destruction of Christian Europe, with Spain the principal target.
On 5 February 1932, he was given a command in A Coruña. Franco avoided involvement in José Sanjurjo's attempted coup that year, and even wrote a hostile letter to Sanjurjo expressing his anger over the attempt. As a side result of Azaña's military reform, in January 1933, Franco was relegated from the first to the 24th in the list of brigadiers; the same year, on 17 February, he was given the military command of the Balearic Islands: a post above his rank, but Franco was still angered that he was purposely stuck in the positions he didn't want to be. Yet it was quite common for the Conservative Officers to be moved or demoted.
New elections held in October 1933 resulted in a centre-right majority. In opposition to this government, a revolutionary communist/anarchist movement broke out on 5 October 1934. This uprising was rapidly quelled in most of the country, but gained a stronghold in Asturias, with the support of the miners' unions. Franco, already General of Division and aide to the war minister, Diego Hidalgo, was put in command of the operations directed to suppress the insurgency. Troops of the Spanish Army of Africa carried this out, with General Eduardo López Ochoa as commander in the field. After two weeks of heavy fighting (and a death toll estimated between 1,200 and 2,000), the rebellion was suppressed.
The insurgency in Asturias (see Asturian miners' strike of 1934) sharpened the antagonism between Left and Right. Franco and López Ochoa (who, prior to the campaign in Asturias, had been seen as a left-leaning officer) emerged as officers prepared to use 'troops against Spanish civilians as if they were a foreign enemy'. Franco described the rebellion to a journalist in Oviedo as, 'a frontier war and its fronts are socialism, communism and whatever attacks civilisation in order to replace it with barbarism.' Though the colonial units sent to the north by the government at Franco's recommendation consisted of the Spanish Foreign Legion and the Moroccan Regulares Indigenas, the right wing press portrayed the Asturian rebels as lackeys of a foreign Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy. At the start of the Civil War, López Ochoa was assassinated. Some time after these events, Franco was briefly commander-in-chief of the Army of Africa (from 15 February onwards), and from 19 May 1935, on, Chief of the General Staff.
After the ruling centre-right coalition collapsed amid the Straperlo corruption scandal, new elections were scheduled. Two wide coalitions formed: the Popular Front on the left, ranging from Republican Union to Communists, and the Frente Nacional on the right, ranging from the centre radicals to the conservative Carlists. On 16 February 1936, the left won by a narrow margin. Growing political bitterness surfaced again. The government and its supporters, the Popular Front, had launched a campaign against the Opposition whom they accused of plotting against the Republic. According to the right-wing opposition, the real enemies of the Republic were not on the Right but on the Left; Spain was in imminent danger of falling under a "Communist dictatorship", and therefore by fighting the democratically elected Popular Front, they were merely doing their duty in defence of law and order and of the freedom and the fundamental rights of the Spanish people.
On 23 February Franco was sent to the Canary Islands to serve as the islands' military commander, an appointment perceived by him as a destierro (banishment). Meanwhile, a conspiracy led by Emilio Mola was taking shape. In June, Franco was contacted and a secret meeting was held within the forest of La Esperanza on Tenerife to discuss starting a military coup. An obelisk commemorating this historic meeting was erected at the site in a clearing at Las Raíces.
Outwardly Franco maintained an ambiguous attitude almost until July. On 23 June 1936, he wrote to the head of the government, Casares Quiroga, offering to quell the discontent in the Spanish Republican Army, but received no reply. The other rebels were determined to go ahead con Paquito o sin Paquito (with Paquito or without Paquito; Paquito being a diminutive of Paco, which in turn is short for Francisco), as it was put by José Sanjurjo, the honorary leader of the military uprising. After various postponements, 18 July was fixed as the date of the uprising. The situation reached a point of no return and, as presented to Franco by Mola, the coup was unavoidable and he had to choose a side. He decided to join the rebels and was given the task of commanding the Army of Africa. A privately owned DH 89 De Havilland Dragon Rapide, flown by two British pilots, Cecil Bebb and Hugh Pollard, was chartered in England on 11 July to take Franco to Africa.
The assassination of the right-wing opposition leader José Calvo Sotelo by government police troops, possibly in retaliation for the murder of José Castillo, precipitated the uprising. On 17 July, one day earlier than planned, the African Army rebelled, detaining their commanders. On 18 July, Franco published a manifesto and left for Africa, where he arrived the next day to take command.
A week later the rebels, who soon called themselves the Nationalists, controlled a third of Spain; most naval units remained under control of the Republican loyalist forces, which left Franco isolated. The coup had failed in the attempt to bring a swift victory, but the Spanish Civil War had begun.
The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 and officially ended with Franco's victory in April 1939, leaving 190,000 to 500,000 dead. Despite the Non-Intervention Agreement of August 1936, the war was marked by foreign intervention on behalf of both sides, leading to international repercussions. The nationalist side was supported by Fascist Italy, which sent the Corpo Truppe Volontarie, and later by Nazi Germany, which assisted with the Condor Legion. They were opposed by the Soviet Union and communists, socialists and anarchists within Spain. The United Kingdom and France strictly adhered to the arms embargo, provoking dissensions within the French Popular Front coalition which was led by Léon Blum, but the Republican side was nonetheless supported by the Soviet Union and volunteers who fought in the International Brigades (see for example Ken Loach's Land and Freedom).
Because Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin used the war as a testing ground for modern warfare, some historians, such as Ernst Nolte, have considered the Spanish Civil War, along with World War II, to be part of a European Civil War which lasted from 1936 to 1945 and was mainly characterised as a left/right ideological conflict. This interpretation has not been accepted by most historians, who consider the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War to be two distinct conflicts. Among other things, they point to the political heterogeneity on both sides (See Spanish Civil War: other factions) and criticise a monolithic interpretation, which overlooks the local nuances of Spanish history.
Following 18 July 1936 pronunciamiento, Franco assumed the leadership of the 30,000 soldiers of the Spanish Army of Africa. The first days of the insurgency were marked with a serious need to secure control over the Spanish Moroccan Protectorate. On one side, Franco had to win the support of the natives and their (nominal) authorities, and, on the other, had to ensure his control over the army. His method was the summary execution of some 200 senior officers loyal to the Republic (one of them his own cousin). His loyal bodyguard was shot by Manuel Blanco. Franco's first problem was how to move his troops to the Iberian Peninsula, since most units of the Navy had remained in control of the Republic and were blocking the Strait of Gibraltar. He requested help from Benito Mussolini, who responded with an unconditional offer of arms and planes; in Germany Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr military intelligence, persuaded Hitler to support the Nationalists. From 20 July onward Franco was able, with a small group of 22 mainly German Junkers Ju 52 aircraft, to initiate an air bridge to Seville, where his troops helped to ensure the rebel control of the city. Through representatives, he started to negotiate with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy for more military support, and above all for more aircraft. Negotiations were successful with the last two on 25 July and aircraft began to arrive in Tetouan on 2 August. On 5 August Franco was able to break the blockade with the newly arrived air support, successfully deploying a ship convoy with some 2,000 soldiers.
In early August, the situation in western Andalusia was stable enough to allow him to organise a column (some 15,000 men at its height), under the command of then Lieutenant-Colonel Juan Yagüe, which would march through Extremadura towards Madrid. On 11 August Mérida was taken, and on 15 August Badajoz, thus joining both nationalist-controlled areas. Additionally, Mussolini ordered a voluntary army, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (CTV) of some 12,000 Italians of fully motorised units to Seville and Hitler added to them a professional squadron from the Luftwaffe (2JG/88) with about 24 planes. All these planes had the Nationalist Spanish insignia painted on them, but were flown by Italian and German nationals. The backbone of Franco's aviation in those days were the Italian SM.79 and SM.81 bombers, the biplane Fiat CR.32 fighter and the German Junkers Ju 52 cargo-bomber and the Heinkel He 51 biplane fighter.
On 21 September, with the head of the column at the town of Maqueda (some 80 km away from Madrid), Franco ordered a detour to free the besieged garrison at the Alcázar of Toledo, which was achieved on 27 September. This controversial decision gave the Popular Front time to strengthen its defenses in Madrid and hold the city that year, but the holding of Alcázar was an important morale and propaganda success for the Nationalists.
The designated leader of the uprising, General José Sanjurjo, died on 20 July 1936, in a plane crash. Therefore, in the nationalist zone, "political life ceased." Initially, only military command mattered; this was divided into regional commands (Emilio Mola in the North, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano in Seville commanding Andalusia, Franco with an independent command and Miguel Cabanellas in Zaragoza commanding Aragon). The Spanish Army of Morocco itself was split into two columns, one commanded by General Juan Yagüe and the other commanded by Colonel José Varela.
From 24 July a coordinating junta was established, based at Burgos. Nominally led by Cabanellas, as the most senior general, it initially included Mola, three other generals, and two colonels; Franco was later added in early August. On 21 September it was decided that Franco was to be commander-in-chief (this unified command was opposed only by Cabanellas), and, after some discussion, with no more than a lukewarm agreement from Queipo de Llano and from Mola, also head of government. He was, doubtlessly, helped to this primacy by the fact that, in late July, Hitler had decided that all of Germany's aid to the nationalists would go to Franco.
Mola had been somewhat discredited as the main planner of the attempted coup that had now degenerated into a civil war, and was strongly identified with the Carlist monarchists and not at all with the Falange, a party with Fascist leanings and connections ("phalanx", a far-right Spanish political party founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera), nor did he have good relations with Germany; Queipo de Llano and Cabanellas had both previously rebelled against the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera and were therefore discredited in some nationalist circles; and Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera was in prison in Alicante (he would be executed a few months later) and the desire to keep a place open for him prevented any other Falangist leader from emerging as a possible head of state. Franco's previous aloofness from politics meant that he had few active enemies in any of the factions that needed to be placated, and also he had cooperated in recent months with both Germany and Italy.
On 1 October 1936, in Burgos, Franco was publicly proclaimed as Generalísimo of the National army and Jefe del Estado (Head of State). When Mola was killed in another air accident a year later (which some believe was an assassination) (2 June 1937), no military leader was left from those who organised the conspiracy against the Republic between 1933 and 1935.
Franco personally guided military operations from this time until the end of the war. After the failed assault on Madrid in November 1936, Franco settled on a piecemeal approach to winning the war, rather than bold maneuvering. As with his decision to relieve the garrison at Toledo, this approach has been subject of some debate; some of his decisions, such as in June 1938 when he preferred to head for Valencia instead of Catalonia, remain particularly controversial from a military viewpoint. Valencia, Castellon and Alicante saw the last Republican troops defeated by Franco.
Although both Germany and Italy provided military support to Franco, the degree of influence of both powers on his direction of the war seems to have been very limited. Nevertheless, the Italian troops, despite not being always effective, were present in most of the large operations in large numbers, while the German aircraft helped the Nationalist air force dominate the skies for most of the war. The Portuguese dictator Salazar also openly assisted the Nationalists from the start, contributing with 20,000 troops.
Franco's direction of the German and Italian forces was limited, particularly in the direction of the Condor Legion, but he was by default their supreme commander, and they rarely made decisions on their own. For reasons of prestige it was decided to continue assisting Franco until the end of the war, and Italian and German troops paraded on the day of the final victory in Madrid.
The Nazis were disappointed with Franco's resistance to installing fascism. Historian James S. Corum states:
Historian Robert H. Whealey provides more detail:
From 1937 to 1948 the Franco regime was a hybrid as Franco fused the ideologically incompatible national-syndicalist Falange ("Phalanx", a fascist Spanish political party founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera) and the Carlist monarchist parties into one party under his rule, dubbed Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS), which became the only legal party in 1939. Unlike some other fascist movements, the Falangists had developed an official program in 1934, the "Twenty-Seven Points". In 1937, Franco assumed as the tentative doctrine of his regime 26 out of the original 27 points. Franco made himself jefe nacional (National Chief) of the new FET (Falange Española Tradicionalista; Traditionalist Spanish Phalanx) with a secretary, Junta Political and National Council to be named subsequently by himself. Five days later (24 April) the raised-arm salute of the Falange was made the official salute of the Nationalist regime. In 1939 the personalist style heavily predominated, with ritualistic invocations of "Franco, Franco, Franco." The Falangists' hymn, Cara al Sol, became the semi-national anthem of Franco's not-yet-established regime.
This new political formation appeased the pro-German Falangists while tempering them with the anti-German Carlists. Franco's brother-in-law Ramón Serrano Súñer, who was his main political advisor, was able to turn the various parties under Franco against each other to absorb a series of political confrontations against Franco himself. Franco expelled the original leading members of both the Carlists (Manuel Fal Condé) and the Falangists (Manuel Hedilla) to secure his political future. Franco also appeased the Carlists by exploiting the Republicans' anti-clericalism in his propaganda, in particular concerning the "Martyrs of the war". While the loyalist forces presented the war as a struggle to defend the Republic against Fascism, Franco depicted himself as the defender of "Catholic Spain" against "atheist Communism."
By early 1939 only Madrid (see History of Madrid) and a few other areas remained under control of the government forces. On 27 February Chamberlain's Britain and Daladier's France officially recognised the Franco regime. On 28 March 1939, with the help of pro-Franco forces inside the city (the "fifth column" General Mola had mentioned in propaganda broadcasts in 1936), Madrid fell to the Nationalists. The next day, Valencia, which had held out under the guns of the Nationalists for close to two years, also surrendered. Victory was proclaimed on 1 April 1939, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered. On the same day, Franco placed his sword upon the altar of a church and in a vow, promised that he would never again take up his sword unless Spain itself was threatened with invasion.
According to Paul Preston, 150,000 wartime civilian executions took place in the Francoist area, as well as 50,000 in the Republican area, in addition to 20,000 civilians executed by the Franco regime after the end of the war.[c] According to Helen Graham, the Spanish working classes became to the Francoist project what the Jews were to German Volksgemeinschaft.
According to Stanley G. Payne, at least 70,000 people were executed during the civil war. Franco's victory was followed by thousands of summary executions (from 15,000 to 25,000 people) and imprisonments, while many were put to forced labour, building railways, drying out swamps, digging canals (La Corchuela, the Canal of the Bajo Guadalquivir), construction of the Valle de los Caídos monument, etc. The 1940 ordered execution of the president of the Catalan government, Lluís Companys, was one of the most notable cases of this early suppression of opponents and dissenters. According to Gabriel Jackson, the number of victims of the "White Terror" (executions and hunger or illness in prisons) only between 1939 and 1943 was 200,000.
Stanley Payne approximates there were 50,000 Civil War executions by the Republicans and approximately 70,000 by the Nationalists. Payne further approximates there were 30,000 post-Civil War executions by the victorious Nationalists.
In his history of the Spanish Civil War, Antony Beevor "reckons Franco's ensuing 'white terror' claimed 200,000 lives. The 'red terror' had already killed 38,000." Julius Ruiz concludes that "although the figures remain disputed, a minimum of 37,843 executions were carried out in the Republican zone with a maximum of 150,000 executions (including 50,000 after the war) in Nationalist Spain."
Despite the official end of the war, guerrilla resistance to Franco (known as "the maquis") was widespread in many mountainous regions, and continued well into the 1950s. In 1944, a group of republican veterans, which also fought in the French resistance against the Nazis, invaded the Val d'Aran in northwest Catalonia, but they were quickly defeated.
The end of the war led to hundreds of thousands of exiles, mostly to France (but also Mexico, Chile, Cuba, the USA and so on.). On the other side of the Pyrenees, refugees were confined in internment camps of the French Third Republic, such as Camp Gurs or Camp Vernet, where 12,000 Republicans were housed in squalid conditions (mostly soldiers from the Durruti Division). The 17,000 refugees housed in Gurs were divided into four categories (Brigadists, pilots, Gudaris and ordinary 'Spaniards'). The Gudaris (Basques) and the pilots easily found local backers and jobs, and were allowed to quit the camp, but the farmers and ordinary people, who could not find relations in France, were encouraged by the Third Republic, in agreement with the Francoist government, to return to Spain. The great majority did so and were turned over to the Francoist authorities in Irún. From there they were transferred to the Miranda de Ebro camp for "purification" according to the Law of Political Responsibilities.
After the proclamation by Marshal Philippe Pétain of the Vichy France regime, the refugees became political prisoners, and the French police attempted to round up those who had been liberated from the camp. Along with other "undesirables", they were sent to the Drancy internment camp before being deported to Nazi Germany. 5,000 Spaniards thus died in Mauthausen concentration camp. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who had been named by the Chilean President Pedro Aguirre Cerda special consul for immigration in Paris, was given responsibility for what he called "the noblest mission I have ever undertaken": shipping more than 2,000 Spanish refugees, who had been housed by the French in squalid camps, to Chile on an old cargo ship, the Winnipeg.
In September 1939 World War II began. On 23 October 1940, Hitler and Franco met in Hendaye in France to discuss the possibility of Spain's entry on the side of the Axis. Franco's demands, including supplies of food and fuel, as well as Spanish control of Gibraltar and French North Africa, proved too much for Hitler. At the time Hitler did not want to risk damaging his relations with the new Vichy French government. (An oft-cited remark attributed to Hitler is that the German leader said that he would rather have some of his own teeth extracted than to have to personally deal further with Franco.) Franco had received important support from Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during the Spanish Civil War, and he had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact. He described Spain as part of the Axis in official documents, while offering various kinds of support to Italy and Germany. He allowed Spanish soldiers to volunteer to fight in the German Army against the USSR (the Blue Division), but forbade Spaniards to fight in the West against the democracies. Franco's common ground with Hitler was particularly weakened by Hitler's propagation of Nazi mysticism and his attempts to manipulate Christianity, which went against Franco's fervent commitment to defending Catholicism. Contributing to the disagreement was an ongoing dispute over German mining rights in Spain. Some historians argue that Franco made demands he knew Hitler would not accede to in order to stay out of the war. Other historians argue that Franco, as the leader of a destroyed and bankrupt country in chaos following a brutal three-year civil war, simply had little to offer the Axis and that the Spanish armed forces were not ready for a major war.
Yet, after the Fall of France in June 1940, Spain did adopt a pro-Axis stance (for example, German and Italian ships and U-boats were allowed to use Spanish naval facilities) before returning to a more neutral position in late 1943 when the tide of the war had turned decisively against the Axis Powers, and Italy had changed sides. Franco was initially keen to join the war before the UK was defeated. In the winter of 1940–41 Franco toyed with the idea of a "Latin Bloc" formed by Spain, Portugal, Vichy France, the Vatican and Italy, without much consequence. Franco had cautiously decided to enter the war on the Axis side in June 1940, and to prepare his people for war, an anti-British and anti-French campaign was launched in the Spanish media that demanded French Morocco, Cameroon and the return of Gibraltar. On 19 June 1940, Franco pressed along a message to Hitler saying he wanted to enter the war, but Hitler was annoyed at Franco's demand for the French colony of Cameroon, which had been German before World War I, and which Hitler was planning on taking back for Plan Z. Franco seriously considered blocking allied access to the Mediterranean Sea by invading British-controlled Gibraltar, but he abandoned the idea after learning that the plan would have likely failed due to Gibraltar being too heavily defended, and it would have given the British the grounds to declare war on Spain and thus give the UK and its allies an excellent opportunity to take both the Canary Islands and Spanish Morocco, as well as possibly invade mainland Spain itself. Franco was aware that his air force would not be able to protect Spanish cities from attacks by the British Royal Air Force, and the British Royal Navy would be able to blockade Spain to prevent imports of crucial materials such as oil. Spain depended on oil imports from the United States, which were almost certain to be cut off if Spain formally joined the Axis. Franco and Serrano Suñer held a meeting with Mussolini and Ciano in Bordighera, Italy on 12 February 1941. Mussolini affected not to be interested in Franco's help due to the defeats his forces had suffered in North Africa and the Balkans, and he even told Franco that he wished he could find any way to leave the war. When the invasion of the Soviet Union began on 22 June 1941, Franco's foreign minister Ramón Serrano Suñer immediately suggested the formation of a unit of military volunteers to join the invasion. Volunteer Spanish troops (the División Azul, or "Blue Division") fought on the Eastern Front under German command from 1941 to 1944. Some historians have argued that not all of the Blue Division were true volunteers and that Franco expended relatively small but significant resources to aid the Axis powers' battle against the Soviet Union.
Franco was initially disliked by Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, who, during World War II, suggested a joint U.S.-Latin American declaration of war on Spain in order to overthrow Franco's regime. Hitler may not have really wanted Spain to join the war, as he needed neutral harbors to import materials from countries in Latin America and elsewhere. In addition Hitler felt Spain would be a burden as it would be dependent on Germany for help. By 1941 Vichy French forces were proving their effectiveness in North Africa, reducing the need for Spanish help, and Hitler was wary about opening up a new front on the western coast of Europe as he struggled to reinforce the Italians in Greece and Yugoslavia. Franco signed a revised Anti-Comintern Pact on 25 November 1941.
After the war, the Spanish government tried to destroy all evidence of its cooperation with the Axis. In 2010 documents were discovered showing that on 13 May 1941, Franco ordered his provincial governors to compile a list of Jews while he negotiated an alliance with the Axis powers. Franco supplied Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, architect of the Nazis' Final Solution, with a list of 6,000 Jews in Spain.
Franco was recognised as the Spanish head of state by Great Britain and France in February 1939. Already proclaimed Generalísimo of the Nationalists and Jefe del Estado (Head of State) in October 1936, he thereafter assumed the official title of "Su Excelencia el Jefe de Estado" ("His Excellency the Head of State"). He was also referred to in state and official documents as "Caudillo de España" ("the Leader of Spain"), and sometimes called "el Caudillo de la Última Cruzada y de la Hispanidad" ("the Leader of the Last Crusade and of the Hispanic heritage") and "el Caudillo de la Guerra de Liberación contra el Comunismo y sus Cómplices" ("the Leader of the War of Liberation Against Communism and Its Accomplices").
On 26 July 1947 Franco proclaimed Spain a monarchy, but did not designate a monarch. This gesture was largely done to appease the monarchists in the Movimiento Nacional (Carlists and Alfonsists). Franco left the throne vacant until 1969, proclaiming himself as a de facto regent for life. At the same time, Franco appropriated many of the privileges of a king. He wore the uniform of a Captain General (a rank traditionally reserved for the King) and resided in El Pardo Palace. In addition he began walking under a canopy, and his portrait appeared on most Spanish coins and postage stamps. He also added "by the grace of God", a phrase usually part of the styles of monarchs, to his style.
Franco initially sought support from various groups. His administration marginalised fascist ideologues in favor of technocrats, many of whom were linked with Opus Dei, who promoted economic modernisation.
Although Franco and Spain under his rule adopted some trappings of fascism, he, and Spain under his rule, are generally not considered to be fascist; among the distinctions, fascism entails a revolutionary aim to transform society, where Franco did not seek to do so, and, to the contrary, although authoritarian, he was by nature conservative and traditional. Stanley Payne notes that very few scholars consider him to be a "core fascist". The few consistent points in Franco's long rule were above all authoritarianism, nationalism, Catholicism, anti-Freemasonry, and anti-Communism.
With the end of World War II, Spain suffered from the consequences of its isolation from the international economy. Spain was excluded from the Marshall Plan, unlike other neutral countries in Europe. This situation ended in part when, in the light of Cold War tensions and of Spain's strategic location, the United States of America entered into a trade and military alliance with Franco. This historic alliance commenced with the visit of US President Dwight Eisenhower to Spain in 1953, which resulted in the Pact of Madrid. Spain was then admitted to the United Nations in 1955. American military facilities in Spain built since then include Naval Station Rota, Morón Air Base, and Torrejón Air Base.
|* Personal Standard Franco as Head of State|
* Coat of arms of Franco as Head of State
* The Victor, another emblem used by Franco
The first decade of Franco's rule following the end of the Civil War in 1939 saw continued oppression and the killing of an undetermined number of political opponents. Estimation is difficult and controversial, but the total number of people who were killed during this period probably lies somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000.
By the start of the 1950s Franco's state had become less violent, but during his entire rule, non-government trade unions and all political opponents across the political spectrum, from communist and anarchist organisations to liberal democrats and Catalan or Basque separatists, were either suppressed or tightly controlled with all means, up to and including violent police repression. The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) trade unions were outlawed, and replaced in 1940 by the corporatist Sindicato Vertical. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) were banned in 1939, while the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) went underground. The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) went into exile, and in 1959 the ETA armed group was created to wage a low-intensity war against Franco.
Franco's Spanish nationalism promoted a unitary national identity by repressing Spain's cultural diversity. Bullfighting and flamenco were promoted as national traditions while those traditions not considered "Spanish" were suppressed. Franco's view of Spanish tradition was somewhat artificial and arbitrary: while some regional traditions were suppressed, Flamenco, an Andalusian tradition, was considered part of a larger, national identity. All cultural activities were subject to censorship, and many, such as the Sardana, the national dance of Catalunya, were plainly forbidden (often in an erratic manner). This cultural policy was relaxed over time, most notably during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Franco also used language politics in an attempt to establish national homogeneity. He promoted the use of Castilian Spanish and suppressed other languages such as Catalan, Galician, and Basque. The legal usage of languages other than Castilian was forbidden. All government, notarial, legal and commercial documents were to be drawn up exclusively in Castilian and any documents written in other languages were deemed null and void. The usage of any other language was forbidden in schools, in advertising, and on road and shop signs. For unofficial use, citizens continued to speak these languages. This was the situation throughout the 1940s and to a lesser extent during the 1950s, but after 1960 the non-Castilian Spanish languages were freely spoken and written, and they reached bookshops and stages, although they never received official status.
On the other hand, the Catholic Church was upheld as the established church of the Spanish State, and it regained many of the traditional privileges which it had lost under the Republic. Civil servants had to be Catholic, and some official jobs even required a "good behavior" statement by a priest. Civil marriages which had taken place in Republican Spain were declared null and void unless they had been confirmed by the Catholic Church. Divorce was forbidden, along with contraceptives and abortion.
Most country towns and rural areas were patrolled by pairs of Guardia Civil, a military police force for civilians, which functioned as Franco's chief means of social control. Larger cities and capitals were mostly under the jurisdiction of the Policia Armada, or the grises ("greys", due to the colour of their uniforms) as they were called.
Student revolts at universities in the late 1960s and early 1970s were violently repressed by the heavily armed Policía Armada (Armed Police). Plain-clothed secret police worked inside Spanish universities.
The enforcement by public authorities of traditional Catholic values was a stated intent of the regime, mainly by using a law (the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes, Vagrancy Act) enacted by Azaña. The remaining nomads of Spain (Gitanos and Mercheros like El Lute) were especially affected. Through this law, homosexuality and prostitution were made criminal offenses in 1954.
Francoism professed a devotion to the traditional role of a woman in society, that is being a loving daughter and sister to her parents and brothers, being a faithful wife to her husband, and residing with her family. Official propaganda confined the role of women to family care and motherhood. Immediately after the war most progressive laws passed by the Republic aimed at equality between the sexes were nullified. Women could not become judges, or testify in a trial. They could not become university professors. Their affairs and economic lives had to be managed by their fathers and husbands. Until the 1970s a woman could not have a bank account without a co-sign by her father or husband. In the 1960s and 1970s these restrictions were somewhat relaxed.
Spain attempted to retain control of its colonial empire throughout Franco's rule. During the Algerian War (1954–62), Madrid became the base of the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), a right-wing French Army group which sought to preserve French Algeria. Despite this, Franco was forced to make some concessions. When French Morocco became independent in 1956, he surrendered Spanish Morocco to Mohammed V, retaining only a few enclaves (the Plazas de soberanía). The year after, Mohammed V invaded Spanish Sahara during the Ifni War (known as the "Forgotten War" in Spain). Only in 1975, with the Green March, did Morocco take control of all of the former Spanish territories in the Sahara.
In 1968, under pressure from the United Nations, Franco granted Spain's colony of Equatorial Guinea its independence, and the next year it ceded the exclave of Ifni to Morocco. Under Franco, Spain also pursued a campaign to force a negotiation on the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and closed its border with that territory in 1969. The border would not be fully reopened until 1985.
The Civil War ravaged the Spanish economy. Infrastructure had been damaged, workers killed, and daily business severely hampered. For more than a decade after Franco's victory, the devastated economy recovered very slowly. Franco initially pursued a policy of autarky, cutting off almost all international trade. The policy had devastating effects, and the economy stagnated. Only black marketeers could enjoy an evident affluence.
On the brink of bankruptcy, a combination of pressure from the United States, the IMF, managed to convince the regime to adopt a free market economy. Many of the old guard in charge of the economy were replaced by "technocrata", despite some initial opposition from Franco. From the mid-1950s there was modest acceleration in economic activity after some minor reforms and a relaxation of controls. But the growth proved too much for the economy, with shortages and inflation breaking out towards the end of the 1950s.
When Franco replaced his ideological ministers with the apolitical technocrats, the regime implemented several development policies that included deep economic reforms. After a recession, growth took off from 1959, creating an economic boom that lasted until 1974, and became known as the "Spanish Miracle".
Concurrent with the absence of social reforms, and the economic power shift, a tide of mass emigration commenced to other European countries, and to a lesser extent, to South America. Emigration helped the regime in two ways. The country got rid of populations it would not have been able to keep in employment, and the emigrants supplied the country with much needed monetary remittances.
During the 1960s, the wealthy classes of Francoist Spain experienced further increases in wealth, particularly those who remained politically faithful, while a burgeoning middle class became visible as the "economic miracle" progressed. International firms established factories in Spain where salaries were low, company taxes very low, strikes forbidden and workers' health or state protections almost unheard of. State-owned firms like the car manufacturer SEAT, truck builder Pegaso and oil refiner INH, massively expanded production. Furthermore, Spain was virtually a new mass market. Spain became the second-fastest growing economy in the world between 1959 and 1973, just behind Japan. By the time of Franco's death in 1975, Spain still lagged behind most of Western Europe but the gap between its per capita GDP and that of the leading Western European countries had narrowed greatly, and the country had developed a large industrialised economy.
Franco was reluctant to enact any form of administrative and legislative decentralisation and kept a fully centralised government with a similar administrative structure to that established by the House of Bourbon and General Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja. Such structures were based on the model of the French centralised state. The main drawback of this kind of management was that government attention and initiatives were irregular, and often depended more on the goodwill of regional government representatives than on regional needs. Thus, inequalities in schooling, health care and transport facilities among regions were patent: classically affluent regions like Madrid, Catalonia, or the Basque Country fared much better than Extremadura, Galicia or Andalusia. Some regions, like Extremadura or La Mancha did not have a university.
The Basque Country and Catalonia were among the regions that offered the strongest resistance to Franco in the Civil War. Franco dissolved the autonomy granted by the Second Spanish Republic to these two regions and to Galicia. Franco abolished the centuries-old fiscal privileges and autonomy (the fueros) of two of the three Basque provinces: Guipuzcoa and Biscay, but kept them for Álava which had sided with the nationalists in the civil war.
Franco also decided to preserve Navarre's centuries old fiscal privileges and autonomy, the so-called Fueros of Navarre. Navarre, the northern half of which was Basque-speaking, was one of Franco's areas of greatest support during the civil war. The regional privileges for Álava and Navarre were kept because they had participated in the initial coup d'état against the Republican government on 18 July 1936.
Franco abolished the official statute and recognition of the Basque, Galician, and Catalan languages that the Second Spanish Republic had granted for the first time in the history of Spain. He returned to Castilian as the only official language of the state and education. The Franco era saw the popularisation of the compulsory national educational system and the development of modern mass media, both controlled by the state and both using the Castilian language, which significantly reduced the number of speakers of Basque, Catalan and Galician, as happened during the second half of the 20th century with other European minority languages which were not officially protected, such as Scottish Gaelic or French Breton. By the 1970s the majority of the population in urban areas could not speak the minority language or, as in some Catalan towns, their social use had been abandoned, leaving them limited to family use.
Because of the already fragile situation of the Basque language before the Civil War, it became the most endangered language in Spain. By the 1970s Basque lacked a sufficient number of new speakers to assure its future, and moved closer to extinction. It is now recognised that the Basque language would have disappeared in a few more decades if the same linguistic policies had been preserved. This was the main reason that drove the Francoist provincial government of Álava to create a network of Basque medium schools (Ikastola) in 1973 which were state-financed.
Franco decided to name a monarch to succeed his regency but the simmering tensions between the Carlists and the Alfonsoists continued. In a bid to avoid a repeat of the Carlist Wars, he offered the throne to the Habsburg Archduke Otto von Habsburg; by doing so he believed that he could eliminate the question of a Bourbon succession entirely since the Habsburg family which had ruled the Habsburg Spain during its golden age had an alternate claim to the Spanish throne before the War of the Spanish Succession. Archduke Otto declined, stating that he would be seen as a German ruling Spain and could never forget his Austrian identity. In 1969 Franco nominated as his heir-apparent Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón, who had been educated by him in Spain, with the new title of Prince of Spain. This designation came as a surprise to the Carlist pretender to the throne, as well as to Juan Carlos's father, Don Juan, the Count of Barcelona, who had a superior claim to the throne, but whom Franco feared to be too liberal. By 1973 Franco had surrendered the function of prime minister (Presidente del Gobierno), remaining only as head of state and commander in chief of the military.
As his final years progressed, tensions within the various factions of the Movimiento would consume Spanish political life, as varying groups jockeyed for position in an effort to win control of the country's future. The death of prime minister Luis Carrero Blanco in a 20 December 1973 bombing by ETA eventually gave an edge to the liberalizing faction. On 19 July 1974, the aged Franco fell ill from various health problems, and Juan Carlos took over as Acting Head of State. Franco soon recovered and on 2 September he resumed his duties as Head of State. A year later he fell ill again, afflicted with further health issues, including a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Franco's last public appearance was on 1 October 1975 when, despite his gaunt and frail appearance, he gave a speech to crowds from the balcony at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid. On 30 October 1975 he fell into a coma and was put on life support. Franco's family agreed to disconnect the life-support machines. Officially, he died a few minutes after midnight on 20 November 1975 from heart failure, at the age of 82 — the same date as the death of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the Falange. Historian Ricardo de la Cierva claimed that he had been told around 6 pm on 19 November that Franco had already died.
Franco's body was interred at Valle de los Caídos, a colossal memorial built by the forced labour of political prisoners in order to honour the casualties of the Spanish Civil War. His funeral was attended by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and Chilean leader General Augusto Pinochet – who revered Franco and modelled his leadership style on the Spanish leader. Former US President Richard Nixon called Franco "a loyal friend and ally of the United States."
On 24 August 2018, the government of the president Pedro Sánchez approved legal amendments to the Historical Memory Law stating that only those who died during the civil war will be buried at the Valle de los Caídos, resulting in plans to exhume Franco's remains for reburial elsewhere. Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo Poyato stated that having Franco buried at the monument "shows a lack of respect ... for the victims buried there". The government gave Franco's family a 15-day deadline to decide Franco's final resting place, or else a "dignified place" will be chosen by the government. The family finally agreed. On 13 September 2018, the Congress of Deputies voted 176-2, with 165 abstentions, to remove Franco's body from the monument.
In Spain and abroad, the legacy of Franco remains controversial. When he died in 1975, the major parties of the left and the right agreed to follow the "Pact of Forgetting." In order to secure the transition to democracy, they agreed not to have investigations or prosecutions dealing with the civil war or Franco. The agreement effectively lapsed after 2000, the year the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory was founded and the public debate started. In 2006, a poll indicated that almost two-thirds of Spaniards favored a "fresh investigation into the war."
A highly controversial figure within Spain, Franco is seen as a divisive leader. Supporters credit him for keeping Spain neutral and uninvaded in the world war. They emphasize his strong anti-communist and nationalist views, economic policies, and opposition to socialism as major factors in Spain's post-war economic success and later international integration. Abroad he had support from Winston Churchill and many American Catholics, but was strongly opposed by the Truman Administration.
Conversely, critics on the left have denounced him as a tyrant responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in years-long political repression, and have called him complicit in atrocities committed by Axis forces during World War II due to his support of Axis governments.
The Oxford Living Dictionary uses Franco's regime as an example of fascism. Franco served as a role model for several anti-communist dictators in South America. Augusto Pinochet is known to have admired Franco. Similarly, as recently as 2006, Franco supporters in Spain have honored Pinochet.
The length of Franco's rule, his suppression of opposition, and the effective propaganda sustained through the years have made a detached evaluation difficult. For forty years, Spaniards, and particularly children at school, were told that Divine Providence had sent Franco to save Spain from chaos, atheism, and poverty.
In 2006, the BBC reported that Maciej Giertych, an MEP of the clerical-nationalist League of Polish Families, had expressed admiration for Franco, stating that the Spanish leader "guaranteed the maintenance of traditional values in Europe".
Spaniards who suffered under Franco's rule have sought to remove memorials of his regime. Most government buildings and streets that were named after Franco during his rule have been reverted to their original names. Owing to Franco's human-rights record, the Spanish government in 2007 banned all official public references to the Franco regime and began the removal of all statues, street names and memorials associated with the regime, with the last statue reportedly being removed in 2008 in the city of Santander. Churches that retain plaques commemorating Franco and the victims of his Republican opponents may lose state aid. Since 1978, the national anthem of Spain, the Marcha Real, does not include lyrics introduced by Franco. Attempts to give the national anthem new lyrics have failed due to lack of consensus.
In March 2006, the Permanent Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted a resolution "firmly" condemning the "multiple and serious violations" of human rights committed in Spain under the Francoist regime from 1939 to 1975. The resolution was at the initiative of Leo Brincat and of the historian Luis María de Puig, and was the first international official condemnation of the repression enacted by Franco's regime. The resolution also urged that historians (professional and amateur) be given access to the various archives of the Francoist regime, including those of the private Fundación Francisco Franco which, along with other Francoist archives, remain inaccessible to the public as of 2006. The Fundación Francisco Franco received various archives from the El Pardo Palace, and is alleged to have sold some of them to private individuals. Furthermore, the resolution urged the Spanish authorities to set up an underground exhibit in the Valle de los Caidos monument to explain the "terrible" conditions in which it was built. Finally, it proposed the construction of monuments to commemorate Franco's victims in Madrid and other important cities.
In Spain, a commission to "repair the dignity" and "restore the memory" of the "victims of Francoism" (Comisión para reparar la dignidad y restituir la memoria de las víctimas del franquismo) was approved in 2004, and is directed by the socialist deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.
Recently the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARHM) initiated a systematic search for mass graves of people executed during Franco's regime, which has been supported since the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party's (PSOE) victory during the 2004 elections by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's government. A Ley de la memoria histórica de España (Law on the Historical Memory of Spain) was approved on 28 July 2006, by the Council of Ministers, but it took until 31 October 2007, for the Congress of Deputies to approve an amended version as "The Bill to recognise and extend rights and to establish measures in favour of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the Dictatorship" (in common parlance still known as Law of Historical Memory). The Senate approved the bill on 10 December 2007.
Official endeavors to preserve the historical memory of the Franco regime include exhibitions like the one the Museu d'Història de Catalunya (Museum of Catalan History) organised around the prison experience.
The accumulated wealth of Franco's family (including much real estate inherited from Franco, such as the Pazo de Meirás, the Canto del Pico in Torrelodones and the Cornide Palace in A Coruña), and its provenance, have also become matters of public discussion. Estimates of the family's wealth have ranged from 350 million to 600 million euros. While Franco was dying, the francoist Cortes voted a large public pension for his wife Carmen Polo, which the later democratic governments kept paying. At the time of her death in 1988, Carmen Polo was receiving as a pension more than 12.5 million pesetas (four million more than the salary of Felipe González, then head of the government).
|Ancestors of Francisco Franco|
Franco in Spain were also Fascist
as President of Spain
| Head of the Spanish State
1 October 1936 – 20 November 1975
Alejandro Rodríguez de Valcárcel
as President of the Regency
| Prime Minister of Spain
30 January 1938 – 8 June 1973
Luis Carrero Blanco
The Copa del Generalísimo 1976 Final was the 74th final of the Spanish Cup. The final was played at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, on 26 June 1976, being won by Atlético Madrid, who beat Real Zaragoza 1–0.
It was the last final to be called the Copa del Generalísimo, following the death of Francisco Franco in November 1975. Since then, it has been called the Copa del Rey. The match was watched by King Juan Carlos I and the eight-year-old Prince of Asturias (later Felipe VI). Felipe became an Atlético fan after watching them win.Alhucemas landing
The Alhucemas landing (also known as Al Hoceima landing) was a landing operation which took place on 8 September 1925 at Alhucemas of the Spanish Army and Navy and, in lesser numbers, an allied French contingent, that would put an end to the Rif War. It is considered the first amphibious landing in history involving the use of tanks and massive seaborne air support.The operations consisted on disembarking a force of 13,000 Spanish soldiers transported from Ceuta and Melilla by a combined Spanish-French naval fleet. The commander of the operation was the then dictator of Spain, general Miguel Primo de Rivera, and, as the executive head of the landing forces at the beach of Alhucemas bay, general José Sanjurjo, under whose orders were the columns of the chief generals of the brigades of Ceuta and Melilla, Leopoldo Saro Marín and Emilio Fernández Pérez, respectively. Among the participating officers, there was the then colonel Francisco Franco who, for his leadership of the Spanish Legion troops, was promoted to brigadier general.Capital punishment in Spain
The 1978 Spanish Constitution bans capital punishment in Spain. Spain completely abolished capital punishment for all offenses, including during wartime conditions, in October 1995.The last executions were carried out on September 27, 1975 when five members of ETA and Revolutionary Antifascist Patriotic Front (FRAP) were executed by firing squad for murder following a much-publicised trial in which a number of the convicted (including a pregnant woman) were given clemency by General Francisco Franco, and the sentences of the remaining five, due to the unavailability of executioners versed in the use of the garrote, were carried out by shooting. Strangulation by garotte had been portrayed as a draconian act by the publicity after its last use in 1974, when Salvador Puig Antich was executed in Barcelona and Heinz Chez in Tarragona.Falangism
Falangism (Spanish: falangismo) was the political ideology of the Falange Española de las JONS and afterwards of the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (both known simply as the "Falange") as well as derivatives of it in other countries. Under the leadership of Francisco Franco, it largely became an authoritarian, conservative ideology connected with Francoist Spain.Opponents of Franco's changes to the party include former Falange leader Manuel Hedilla. Falangism places a strong emphasis on Catholic religious identity, though it has held some secular views on the Church's direct influence in society as it believed that the state should have the supreme authority over the nation. Falangism emphasized the need for authority, hierarchy and order in society. Falangism is anti-communist, anti-democratic and anti-liberal; under Franco, the Falange abandoned its original anti-capitalist tendencies, declaring the ideology to be fully compatible with capitalism.The Falange's original manifesto, the "Twenty-Seven Points", declared Falangism to support the unity of Spain and the elimination of regional separatism, the establishment of a dictatorship led by the Falange, utilizing violence to regenerate Spain, and promoting the revival and development of the Spanish Empire. The manifesto supported a social revolution to create a national syndicalist economy that creates national syndicates of both employees and employers to mutually organize and control the economic activity, agrarian reform, industrial expansion and respect for private property with the exception of nationalizing credit facilities to prevent capitalist usury. It supports criminalization of strikes by employees and lockouts by employers as illegal acts. Falangism supports the state to have jurisdiction of setting wages. The Franco-era Falange supported the development of cooperatives such as the Mondragon Corporation because it bolstered the Francoist claim of the nonexistence of social classes in Spain during his rule.The Spanish Falange and its affiliates in Hispanic states across the world promoted a form of panhispanism known as hispanidad that advocated both cultural and economic union of Hispanic societies around the world.Falangism has attacked both the political left and the right as its "enemies", declaring itself to be neither left nor right, but a syncretic third position. However, scholarly sources reviewing Falangism place it on the political right.Francisco Franco, 2nd Lord of Meirás
Don Francisco de Asís Franco y Martínez-Bordiú, 2nd Lord of Meirás, Grandee of Spain, 11th Marquis of Villaverde (born 9 December 1954 in Madrid), is a Spanish aristocrat and grandson of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. In Spanish, his peerage is written El XI Marqués de Villaverde (English: The 11th Marquis of Villaverde).Francisco Franco National Foundation
The Francisco Franco National Foundation (Spanish: Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco, FNFF for short) or National Francisco Franco Foundation is a foundation created in 1976 which promotes a positive interpretation of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. The only child of Franco, Carmen Franco (1926-2017) led the organisation and later became its honorary president.In 2017 200,000 people signed a petition, calling on the Spanish government to ban the organisation.In 2018, after new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez promised that Franco's remains would be removed from the Valley of the Fallen, the Foundation collected a petition with 24,000 signatures to oppose the proposal, with its leader, General Juan Chicharro Ortega, calling the site a "monument to reconciliation".Franco, ese hombre
Franco, ese hombre, translated into English as Franco, that man, is a 1964 documentary film by Spanish director José Luis Sáenz de Heredia. It follows the military and political career of the Spanish Head of State Francisco Franco until the 25th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. It uses diverse footage and interviews Franco's doctor in Morocco, Manuel Aznar Zubigaray, and Franco himself. It is a commemorative documentary of the 25th anniversary of Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War.Francoist Spain
Francoist Spain (Spanish: España franquista), known in Spain as the Francoist dictatorship (Spanish: dictadura franquista), officially known as the Spanish State (Spanish: Estado Español) from 1936 to 1947 and the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España) from 1947 to 1975, is the period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975, when Francisco Franco established a totalitarian dictatorship. Francoist Spain has been considered fascist in the terms of authoritarian ultranationalism, but it has been described by some authors as semi-fascist.Franco took control of Spain with the Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War establishing a dictatorship. During the Second World War its entry into the Axis powers was prevented largely by Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) efforts that included up to $200 million in bribes for Spanish officials. Spain nevertheless helped Germany and Italy in various ways. After the war Franco's regime evolved into a more classic autocratic regime.The Spanish Civil War started with the 1936 Spanish coup d'état led by the peninsulares and the africanistas. The coup had the support of most factions sympathetic to the right-wing cause in Spain, including the majority of Spain's Catholic clergy, the Falange and the Alfonsine and Carlist monarchists. The coup escalated into a civil war lasting for three years once Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany agreed to support Franco, starting with airlifting of the africanistas onto the mainland. Other supporters included the Estado Novo regime of António de Oliveira Salazar, while the presentation of the Civil War as a "crusade" or "renewed Reconquista" attracted the sympathy of Catholics internationally and the participation of Irish Catholic volunteers. Although the government of the United Kingdom was more sympathetic to the Francoists while the government of France was anxious to support the Republic, both factions observed the non-intervention agreement of October 1936. From December 1936, the Second Spanish Republic was backed by the Soviet Union and Mexico, but the help was much less than that provided to the forces of the Spanish fascists.Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
"Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" is a catchphrase that originated in 1975 during the first season of NBC's Saturday Night (now called Saturday Night Live, or SNL) and which mocked the weeks-long media reports of the Spanish Caudillo's impending death. It was one of the first catchphrases from the series to enter the general lexicon.List of surviving veterans of the Spanish Civil War
The following is a list of known surviving veterans of the Spanish Civil War (17 July 1936 – 1 April 1939). The total number of participating personnel is unknown, but an estimated 35,000 foreigners fought on the Republican side in what was known as the International Brigades. In addition, Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany sent as many as 20,000 soldiers (not all at the same time) and Benito Mussolini of Italy sent as many as 60,000 soldiers to fight alongside the soldiers of Spanish General Francisco Franco.
Veterans, for this purpose, are defined as people who were members of the armed forces of one of the combatant forces up to and including the date recognized as the end of the War, which was 1 April 1939.National Catholicism
National Catholicism (Spanish: Nacionalcatolicismo) was part of the ideological identity of Francoism, the political system with which dictator Francisco Franco governed Spain between 1939 and 1975. Its most visible manifestation was the hegemony that the Catholic Church had in all aspects of public and private life. As a symbol of the ideological divisions within Francoism, it can be compared to National syndicalism (nacionalsindicalismo), an essential component of the ideology and political practice of the Falangists.National Fascist Union (Argentina)
The National Fascist Union (Unión Nacional Fascista, UNF) was a fascist political party formed in Argentina in 1936, as the successor to the Argentine Fascist Party.In August 1936, UNF leader Nimio de Anquín attempted to force students at a law school in Cordoba to pledge a statement of support for the Spanish general Francisco Franco. Police responded with a crackdown against Argentine nationalists. Support for the UNF surged after two nationalists were shot in the Colegio Montserrat in 1938. In the aftermath of the Montserrat murders, Anquin denounced the middle and upper class for complicity and cowardice and claimed that "communism, Judaism, and degenerate Radicalism" were responsible for causing the murders. Anquín called for the mourners to swear "by God, honour, and the Fatherland, to return the homicidal bullet".By 1939, the UNF was largely defunct, and Anquín returned to his hometown to resume his earlier career as a lecturer.Raza (film)
Raza (English: Race) is a 1942 Spanish war film directed by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia. It is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco under the pseudonym of "Jaime de Andrade."
The film won the Prize of the National Syndicate of Spectacle.Sant Jordi Awards
The Sant Jordi Awards (Catalan: Premis Sant Jordi de Cinematografia) are film prizes awarded annually in Barcelona by the Catalonia region of the Spanish radio network RNE. They were established in 1957 to encourage Catalan cinema at a time when Catalan language films were banned by the Spanish government under Francisco Franco. They were subsequently extended to all Spanish films.Awards are made in the following categories:
Millor òpera prima (Best first work)
Millor pel·lícula espanyola (Best Spanish film)
Millor actriu de pel·lícula espanyola (Best actress in a Spanish film)
Millor actor de pel·lícula espanyola (Best actor in a Spanish film)
Millor pel·lícula estrangera (Best foreign film)
Millor actriu de pel·lícula estrangera (Best actress in a foreign film)
Millor actor de pel·lícula estrangera (Best actor in a foreign film)
Premi especial del jurat (Special jury prize)
Premi de la indústria cinematogràfica (Film industry prize)
Premi Sant Jordi de la crítica de RNE (Spanish National Radio critics' prize)Second Spanish Republic
The Spanish Republic (Spanish: República Española), commonly known as the Second Spanish Republic (Spanish: Segunda República Española), was the democratic government that existed in Spain from 1931 to 1939. The Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931, after the deposition of Alfonso XIII, and it lost the Spanish Civil War on 1 April 1939 to the rebel faction, that would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco.
After the proclamation of the Republic, a provisional government was established until December 1931, when the 1931 Constitution was approved a Constitutional Republic was formally established. The republican government of Manuel Azaña would start a great number of reforms to "modernize" the country. After the 1933 general election, Alejandro Lerroux (Radical Party) formed a government with the confidence and supply of the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (CEDA). Under Lerroux's premiership, the Republic found itself before an insurrection of anarchists and socialists that took a revolutionary undertone in Asturias. The revolt was finally suppressed by the Republic with the intervention of the army. The Popular Front won the 1936 general election. On 17–18 July 1936, a coup d'état fractured the Spanish Republican Armed Forces and partially failed, marking the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
During the Spanish Civil War, there were three governments. The first was led by left-wing republican José Giral (from July to September 1936); however, a revolution inspired mostly on libertarian socialist, anarchist and communist principles broke within the Republic, which weakened the rule of the Republic. The second government was led by socialist Francisco Largo Caballero of the trade union General Union of Workers (UGT). The UGT, along with the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), were the main forces behind the aforementioned social revolution. The third government was led by socialist Juan Negrín, who led the Republic until the military coup of Segismundo Casado, which ended republican resistance and led, ultimately, to the victory of the nationalists, who would establish a military dictatorship under the rule of Francisco Franco, known as Francoist Spain.
The Republican government survived in exile, and it had an embassy in Mexico City until 1976. After the restoration of democracy in Spain, the government formally dissolved the following year.The Dream and Lie of Franco
The Dream and Lie of Franco is a series of two sheets of prints, comprising 18 individual images, and an accompanying prose poem, by Pablo Picasso produced in 1937. The sheets each contain nine images arranged in a 3x3 grid. The first 14, in etching and aquatint, are dated 8 January 1937. The remaining four images were added to the second printing plate later, without use of aquatint, and dated June 7, 1937.The Dream and Lie of Franco is significant as Picasso's first overtly political work and prefigures his iconic political painting Guernica. The etchings satirise Spanish Generalísimo Francisco Franco's claim to represent and defend conservative Spanish culture and values by showing him in various ridiculous guises destroying Spain and its culture while the poem denounces "evil-omened polyps". Three of the four images added in June 1937 are directly related to studies for Guernica.The individual images were originally intended to be published as postcards to raise funds for the Spanish Republican government, and sold at the Spanish Pavilion of the 1937 World's Fair, although it is unclear whether any prints were made or sold in postcard format.In his review of the etchings for The Spectator in October 1937, art historian (and member of the Cambridge Five spy-ring) Anthony Blunt complained that the work could not "reach more than the limited coterie of aesthetes". Critic and author John Golding on the other hand, claimed that "more than any other work by Picasso Dream and Lie of Franco breaks down, as the Surrealists so passionately longed to, distinctions between thought, writing and visual imagery."The Last Circus
The Last Circus (Spanish: Balada Triste de Trompeta; "Sad Trumpet Ballad") is a 2010 Spanish dark comedy drama film written and directed by Álex de la Iglesia. It premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.The Most Excellent
The Most Excellent (Spanish: Excelentísimo Señor (male) or Excelentísima Señora (female), literally "Excellent Sir/Mister") is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in Spain and certain Spanish-speaking countries. The honorific is mainly used in written documents and its retention after the holder leaves office is left for the most important positions of the state.
The prefix is similar in meaning to that of "His/Her Excellency", but in the 19th century "The Most Excellent" began to replace the former. The use of the prefix Excellency was re-introduced in Francoist Spain by Generalísimo Francisco Franco himself, who was formally styled as Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado ("His Excellency The Head of State"), although his ministers and senior government officials continued using the prefix "The Most Excellent".Valle de los Caídos
The Valle de los Caídos (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaʎe ðe los kaˈiðos], "Valley of the Fallen") is a Francoist regime monument, Catholic basilica and a monumental memorial in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, erected at Cuelgamuros Valley in the Sierra de Guadarrama, near Madrid. Franco claimed that the monument was meant to be a "national act of atonement" and reconciliation.The monument, considered a landmark of 20th-century Spanish architecture, was designed by Pedro Muguruza and Diego Méndez on a scale to equal, according to Franco, "the grandeur of the monuments of old, which defy time and memory." Together with the Universidad Laboral de Gijón, it is the most prominent example of the original Spanish Neo-Herrerian style, which was intended to form part of a revival of Juan de Herrera's architecture, exemplified by the royal residence El Escorial. This uniquely Spanish architecture was widely used in public buildings of post-war Spain and is rooted in international classicism as exemplified by Albert Speer or Mussolini's Esposizione Universale Roma.
The monument precinct covers over 3,360 acres (13.6 km2) of Mediterranean woodlands and granite boulders on the Sierra de Guadarrama hills, more than 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level and includes a basilica, a Benedictine abbey, a guest house, the Valley, and the Juanelos — four cylindrical monoliths dating from the 16th century. The most prominent feature of the monument is the towering 150-metre-high (500 ft) cross erected over a granite outcrop 150 metres over the basilica esplanade and visible from over 20 miles (32 km) away.
Work started in 1940 and took over eighteen years to complete, with the monument being officially inaugurated on 1 April 1959. According to the official ledger, the cost of the construction totalled 1,159 million pesetas, funded through national lottery draws and donations.
The complex is owned and operated by the Patrimonio Nacional, the Spanish governmental heritage agency, and ranked as the third most visited monument of the Patrimonio Nacional in 2009. The Spanish social democrat government closed the complex to visitors at the end of 2009, citing safety reasons connected to restoration on the façade. The decision was controversial, as the closure was attributed by some people to the Historical Memory Law enacted during José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's premiership, and there were claims that the Benedictine community was being persecuted. The works include the Pietà sculpture prominently featured at the entrance of the crypt, using hammers and heavy machinery.
In November 2010, citing safety reasons, the Zapatero government closed down the Basilica for Mass. Mass was celebrated in the open for several weeks. Checkpoints were set up, according to socialist government sources, to prevent right-wing political manifestations such as Falange flags, in accordance with the Historical Memory Law. However, Catholic sources claimed that the government was simply trying to interfere with the celebration of the Mass. After Zapatero's electoral defeat and his leaving office on 21 December 2011, normal service at the Basilica resumed.
In 1999, the Valle de los Caídos was bombed by the Marxist terrorist organisation GRAPO.