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Post Catalonia Benefited from Franco More Than Any Other Region: Jose Faraldo
Created by John Eipper on 02/02/19 4:14 AM

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Catalonia Benefited from Franco More Than Any Other Region: Jose Faraldo (Angel Vinas, Belgium, 02/02/19 4:14 am)

After having been away from WAIS for so long I hesitate in coming back to the fold.

I'm not well versed in present-day politics after over a year of total immersion in Spain's Republican years between 1931 and 1936. In a few months my forthcoming book will be out and I´ll be more than happy to discuss it. The title is Who Wanted the Civil War? History of a Conspiracy. I should add that it's based on documentary evidence of the period which for whatever reasons has escaped the attention of historians.

This said, I think that WAISers able to understand Spanish might be interested in having a look at this article published by a colleague of mine, younger than me obviously, who has traveled a lot, speaks several languages (among which one or two of the hard sort) and has written a couple of substantial books. The link is:


JE comments:  The author, historian José Faraldo, argues that no region in Spain fared better under Franco than Catalonia, and no region maintains a stronger imprint of Franquismo on its habits and worldview.  Moreover, it was the powerful Catalonian businessmen who influenced Franco's economic policies, which permanently kept Castile in a pre-industrial, agricultural state.

Faraldo ultimately sees Franco's victory as a triumph of the old Carlists, not the Falange.  He therefore finds it absurd that Catalonia's independentists use the "Franquista" label to criticize the unionists/constitutionalists.

This is a startling thesis that will get WAISers talking.  We should, however, add the postscript that the essay first appeared in 2017, which is a lifetime in Catalonian politics...or not?

And congratulations, by the way, to Ángel Viñas for yet another new book.  You are an inspiration to us all, Ángel!

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  • Franco-Era Repression by Region (Francisco Rodriguez Jimenez, Spain 02/03/19 7:12 PM)

    Thanks to Ángel Viñas for his comment of February 2nd, and congratulations on his forthcoming book. Most probably, as has happened with Ángel's previous works, it will shed enriching light on Spain's past.

    As for the repression in Cataluña and Madrid, the following charts (composed by Francisco Espinosa) offer a slightly different scenario.

    Yet Faraldo's main reasoning is, of course, valid: Repression in Catalonia was much less intense than let's say Andalucia, Extremadura or Castilla La Mancha, regions which in the immediate postwar suffered another terrible "blast."  Thousands of their citizens had to emigrate to the part of the Spanish state where Franco's government concentrated industrial investment. (It is also true that the economies of those more developed regions was more advanced before the outbreak of the war--why Franco did not strive for a more equal distribution of the wealth and job opportunities among all the regions of Spain would open another debate.)

    Ignasi Riera's book Los catalanes de Franco offers complementary data on how many Catalans were eager Franco supporters from the very beginning:



    Ironically enough, some of the current pro-independence politicians have close relative ties with those other Catalan pro-Franco supporters depicted in Riera's study.

    JE comments:  See charts below.  The numbers contradict my long-held assumptions that the Catalans and the Basques suffered disproportionately under Franco.  Andalusia fared worst of all.  What is not clear from the charts is the time frame.  Do the numbers reflect Civil War-era killings, the postwar period, or both?

    It's great to hear from Francisco Javier Rodríguez of the U of Salamanca, which has recently celebrated its 800th birthday.  Francisco, your city has been on my students' minds of late.  In my literature survey we're reading the stories of two immortal Salamancans:  Celestina and Lazarillo de Tormes.




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    • Were Spain's Peripheral Nationalisms Repressed More under Franco? (Francisco Rodriguez Jimenez, Spain 02/06/19 3:33 AM)
      John E wrote on February 4th: "[Francisco Javier's numbers] contradict my long-held assumptions that the Catalans and the Basques suffered disproportionately under Franco. Andalusia fared worst of all. What is not clear from the charts is the time frame. Do the numbers reflect Civil War-era killings, the postwar period, or both?"

      The highlighted sentences prove the truth of something that many scholar argue lately: Peripheral nationalisms in Spain have "sold" the message abroad that they were much more repressed that any other regions.  And as José Ignacio Soler sagaciously explained in a recent WAIS post, it is a more nuanced story than black or white.

      As for John's second question, it depends on which specific case are you referring to. Yet broadly speaking, the charts I posted cover basically 1936-1945-'46. In places which were controlled by Franco earlier, guerrilleros appeared earlier too.  Many of them were assassinated. In any case, the victims of the guerrilla do not figure much in the overall numbers.

      Apart from exile, the rate decreased significantly after 1946.  This was likewise connected with international pressure exerted against the Franco regime.  Think of the UN resolutions against Franco in December 1946.

      Diverse exile organisations, helped by international solidarity, had an important role in that international pressure.  I explored this issue in an article I reference below. By the way, American trade unions, such as AFL-CIO and UAW (led by Walter and Victor Reuther) were an "oxygen ball" for Spanish anti-Franco labor unions.

      Francisco Javier Rodríguez Jiménez, "Trade Unionism and Spain-US Political Relations, 1945-53."  Ventunesimo secolo. Anno XIII, Numero 37 (2016), pp. 96-124.

      This, together with the previous reasons mentioned, explains why the number of executions decreased almost to zero after 1948, '49, and onwards.  Many of those death sentences were "commuted" and replaced with long jail sentences.

      JE comments:  Francisco's article can be accessed at academia.edu.  I'm particularly interested in the influence of the Reuthers (Detroit's own!) on the Spanish trade unions.  I drive the Walter P. Reuther Freeway (I-696) on my commute between Adrian and Royal Oak.



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