Synopses & Reviews
The remains of General Francisco Franco lie in an immense mausoleum near Madrid, built with the blood and sweat of twenty thousand slave laborers. His enemies, however, met less-exalted fates. Besides those killed on the battlefield, tens of thousands were officially executed between 1936 and 1945, and as many again became "non-persons." As Spain finally reclaims its historical memory, a full picture can now be given of the Spanish Holocaust-ranging from judicial murders to the abuse of women and children. The story of the victims of Franco's reign of terror is framed by the activities of four key men-General Mola, Quiepo de Llano, Major Vallejo Najera, and Captain Don Gonzalo Aguilera-whose dogma of eugenics, terrorization, domination, and mind control horrifyingly mirror the fascism of Italy and Germany. Evoking such classics as and sheds crucial light on one of the darkest and most unexamined eras of modern European history.
"The murder of 200,000 Spaniards and the deaths of countless more from disease, slave labor, and the ravages of concentration camps was a deliberate plan by Franco's troops to eliminate their opponents, says Preston, a leading scholar of 20th-century Spanish history at the London School of Economics. Preston (The Spanish Civil War) provides more than enough illumination of this lesser-known holocaust in this thick, intensely detailed, indignant account. Spain entered the 20th century impoverished and largely rural. Industrialization and the rise of militant unions after WWI provoked conflicts that worsened after the passing of a reformist 1931 constitution, which outraged landowners, army officers, and the Catholic Church. They supported the rising Falangist movement, which denounced the government in familiar fascist rhetoric. The 1936 rebellion was led by Gen. Francisco Franco, who, after taking power, 'perfect... the machinery of state terror' in order to maintain power. Although Preston describes many Republican atrocities, a relentless stream of gruesome trials, executions, and massacres presses his case that the Right committed the lion's share. Many conservatives, finding much to admire in Franco, have accused Preston of bias, and this latest work is unlikely to silence them. Illus." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Long neglected by European historians, the unspeakable atrocities of Franco's Spain are finally brought to tragic light in this definitive work.
About the Author
Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War, Franco and Juan Carlos, and The Spanish Holocaust, is the world's foremost historian on twentieth-century Spain. A professor at the London School of Economics, he lives in London.