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Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany, and World War II Paperback – February 24, 2009
"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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About the Author
Stanley G. Payne is Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History Emeritus, University of WisconsinMadison. He is a world authority on the history of European fascism and is the author of many books on Spanish and modern European history, including The Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union, and Communism and The Collapse of the Spanish Republic, 19331936, both published by Yale University Press. He lives in Madison, WI.
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Top Customer Reviews
FaH may be of limited interest for most WW2 enthusiasts but it is well done and presented in a concise style. Even though the subject matter is a bit dry, at least it moves along nicely. It's mostly "high politics" so you don't really get much of a feel for what was going on in Spain at the time; I would have liked to know more about the success (or lack thereof) of the massive pro-German propaganda campaigns. How did the majority of the Spanish people see the war? Did they share Franco's (proclaimed) desire to fight with the Axis? There is also a chapter or two about the Blue Division (Spanish volunteers on the Eastern Front) but, personally, I would have liked a more in-depth look at them.
Anyway, HaF is well done history.
Payne concludes that Hitler's attitude toward Spain was ambivalent.Despite the fact that the he had a high respect for Spanish valor,he was generaly ignorant of the country,pontificating that "in the Spanish people there is a mixture of Gothic,Frankish and Moorish blood", the native Celtic-Iberian population being presumably nonexistent.Isabella,the Catholic queen was,in his view,the greatest harlot in history and opined that had Islam conquered Spain forever,humanity would have gained only benefits from this fact.One must also remember that Hitler regarded the Spaniards as the only Latins "willing to fight".
The special relationship between Hitler and Franco and their countries developed as a result of the Spanish Civil War.Spanish public figures hoped that Germany would be the source which would help modernize and industrialize Spain.This relationship sagged somewhat between the end of the Civil War and the fall of France.Franco thought,after France's defeat,that Hitler had actually won the war,however he constantly refused to make any concessions to the Nazi dictator.The famous-and only-meeting between the two in Ocober,1940 produced a commitment by Spain to enter the war as Hitler's ally,but this never happened mainly because Frnco was always suspicious of Hitler.Another reason was that Churchill played an important role in making sure that Spain remain neutral.This he had achieved by successfully bribing officers in Spain through a notorious Mallorcan dealer,Juan March.Read more ›
The story of the relationship between Hitler and the putatively fascist Spanish leader, Francisco Franco, is one that is not well known but needs to be studied in order to help give people a more complete picture of events that shaped the war's outcome. In this rather slim volume, author Stanley G. Payne paints a picture of a Spain that is economically prostrate after its civil war and of a Franco, despite being sympathetic to the Nazi cause, who artfully manages to resist Nazi blandishments to join the Axis powers in carving up Europe and the African colonies of Britain and France.
I am not going to recount the story, but it is very interesting to see how Franco was able to maintain a delicate balance between domestic political considerations and the demands of a foreign policy that was officially non-belligerent, but tilted heavily toward the Axis. Franco, if anything, proved to be a canny survivor as he ever so gradually began a tilt toward the Allies as it became increasingly clear that Germany was going to lose the war. There are a lot of "what ifs" mulled in the book that are interesting and even sobering to consider.Read more ›
It also provides good reason to distrust some other recent titles rewriting history to make an anti-fascist hero out of Franco. He was mostly a pragmatist and a nationalist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once again Stanley Payne has proved to be the most honest objective chronicler of the Spanish Civil War. Unlike the vast majority of books written about the S.C.W. Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by dennisg
Dull and hard to read but has useful information. Actually more useful than the author realizes because can use to support different conclusion than given in the text. Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by Lawrence H. Feldman