Collaboration between officials and civilians in Franco’s post-civil war Spain surpassed that found in Nazi Germany

Singling out victims: denunciation and collusion in the post-civil war Francoist repression in Spain, 1939–1945

From European History Quarterly

This article considers the Franco regime in post civil warSpain to reveal how it was not only imposed on society but that its supporters at the grassroots played an important role in consolidating it from below. Although historians in recent years have done much valuable work to unearth the long hidden brutal Francoist repression it is clear that much remains to be learnt about the complicity that lay behind the mass killing and incarceration.

This study outlines farcical prosecutions in military tribunals and reveals how in a significant number of cases the authorities followed the lead of their civilian collaborators who singled out potential victims for them. Repression became so aggressive because both local officials and ‘ordinary’ Francoist inhabitants shared a deep ideological loathing for supporters of the Republic and worked easily and effectively together to pummel and destroy neighbours that they both detested. In this regard the scale of collaboration in some areas of Franco’s Spain surpassed that found in Nazi Germany.

**This article won the 2010 European History Quarterly prize for ‘Best content from young scholars**

Abstract

The article explores the role of denunciation and collusion in driving the post Civil Warjudicial repression in Spain between 1939 and 1945. It argues that in recent years historians have done much valuable work to unearth the long hidden Francoist repression, but that much remains to be learnt about the complicity that lay behind the mass killing and incarceration. Accordingly, to help further our understanding of collaboration in the repression, the article offers a case study of the launching of prosecutions in military tribunals. It shows that regime officials and their supporters in the community often conspired to herd their mutual political enemies through farcical summary prosecutions. It also demonstrates that in a significant number of cases the authorities followed the lead of their civilian collaborators who singled out potential victims for them. Thus it concludes that the Franco regime did not simply impose itself on society but that its supporters at the grassroots played an important role in consolidating it from below.

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Article details
Anderson, P. (2009). Singling Out Victims: Denunciation and Collusion in the Post-Civil War Francoist Repression inSpain, 1939–1945 European History Quarterly, 39 (1), 7-26 DOI: 10.1177/0265691408097364

     
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