The new Spanish Dictionary of Biography’s historical revisions tell us more about what’s
wrong with Spain now than in the past. Is well worth the read as are many of the comments.

The good news is that the Spanish academy admits Franco bio may need fixing.

Miguelanxomurado in the Guardian comments section goes on to point out that
“PP, (Conservative party) like its predecessor AP were founded by former Francoist
minister Fraga (albeit a reformist in that context) and Aznar described himself in his youth as “an indepedent Falangist” and rejected democracy and the Constitution until after many Francoists did.
I don’t think, though, that the PP or Aznar are Francoist in the sense that they would like to see a dictatorship in place. They are a (hard) righwing party, but I don’t doubt their commitment to democracy.
What’s infuriating about them is this anomaly of accepting democracy but rejecting its history in Spain.
It’s like saying “I’m a pacifict, but I think Gandhi should have been shot and my favorite character in history is Gengis Khan”

The editors of the Biography commissioned the article  from Luis Suárez, a historian who is actually a specialist of the Middle Ages who was the Head of Department for National Education during the
Dictatorship and currently a patron of both the Valle de los Caídos Foundation and the Francisco Franco Foundation.

Miguelanxomurado continues:
One of the most pervasive myths about Franco is that he kept Spain out of WWII, no matter how many historians debunk it time and again. The opposite is true: Franco was eager to enter the war.
It was Hitler who stopped him. He didn’t want having to protect Spain’s extensive coasts, the Spanish army was of no use to him and, most of all, Franco was demanding all of French Morocco just when
Hitler had reached an agreement with General Petain. Still, Franco did join the war: he sent 75.000 Spanish troops to fight in the Russian front (the “Blue Division”) and, in terms of Intelligence and supplies,
wholly cooperated with the Nazis until it became clear they were going to loose.
There’s no reason to believe that Spain would have become a Communist country in the event of a republican victory, in the same way Britain didn’t become a communist country in spite in spite of its
alliance with Stalin to defeat Hitler.
Communists in Spain, in 1936, were a negligible force they got 3,5% of the vote
and got 17 seats in a parliament of 473. Even at the height of its influence in the war there were no more than 10.000 Communist militiamen in the whole country.

On a more cheerful note one Spanish Institution recently got things very right:
Leonard Cohen has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters
One connection to Spain came through his personal interest in the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca..
Several years later, Cohen and García Lorca came together spiritually when flamenco singer Enrique Morente used their poems as the basis of his seminal 1996 album Omega.


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