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The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain Hardcover – April 16, 2012
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Paul Preston's The Spanish Holocaust, is the most illuminating study I have seen of the complex, modern conflict that observers of Spain today still find difficult to understand. Anyone wanting to know modern Spain will read with great interest, this brilliant, well-informed analysis. --John Brademas, author of "Anarcosindicalismo y revolucion en Espana, 1930-37"
Paul Preston s The Spanish Holocaust, is the most illuminating study I have seen of the complex, modern conflict that observers of Spain today still find difficult to understand. Anyone wanting to know modern Spain will read with great interest, this brilliant, well-informed analysis. --John Brademas, author of Anarcosindicalismo y revolucion en Espana, 1930-37"
Magisterial account... it is bound to be an essential reference for anything written on the subject for years to come. --Adam Hochschild"
A harrowing and moving account of the immense terror and enormous atrocities, especially perpetrated by General Franco's followers, during and after the Spanish Civil War, meticulously researched and superbly written by an outstanding historian. --Ian Kershaw"
Paul Preston is the outstanding scholar of Spain's Civil War, and The Spanish Holocaust, is unquestionably his opus magnus. For the first time, the horror of the Spanish conflict has been placed in its appropriate historical context. As documented by Preston in this moving, brilliantly rendered account, Spain was not only the scene-setter for World War Two, but also the proving ground for the campaigns of mass-murder that became its ghastly hallmark. A deeply important, powerful work of history. --Jon Lee Anderson"
What Preston knows about the years of civil war, 1936-1939, is astounding Preston s work is a powerful intervention in a Spanish discussion. It s significance transcends the events it brings to light, and suggests some basic re-evaluations of recent European history. --Thomas Snyder"
Fascinating... Unflinchingly, Preston sifts through the pillage, torture, and mass executions of this bleak chapter in Spanish history. "
Monumental study... [The Spanish Holocaust] directly links Spain s Nationalists to the Nazi regime, stressing that Franco s reign of terror, like that of Hitler and Goebbels, was carefully planned and systematically executed.... The Spanish Holocaust draws on Preston s vast research, as well as scores of recent historical studies, to establish the most accurate possible estimates of numbers of Spanish victims statistics that, ever since the outbreak of the war, have been notoriously subject to manipulation and distortion.... [Preston] has produced an indispensable, important book. --Sebastiaan Faber"
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Top Customer Reviews
This book brings together immense amounts of research and archeology by others designed to document exactly who died where under what circumstances. Because the Nationalists (called the rebels throughout the book), who were responsible for most of the killings refused to allow any investigation of atrocities not caused by the Republicans it has only been since the death of Franco that any serious research has been conducted. The investigations continue, despite laws that prohibit pursuing the perpetrators in court.
This book is a chronological description of the deaths, tortures and imprisonments caused by the rebels alternating with sections on abuses caused in Republican Spain. Unlike the other books I have read by this author, this book makes no attempt to provide a bigger picture or context to the violence. Again, this book has a very narrow and focused purpose: to document the atrocities, the holocaust.
Much of the critical response to this book has focused on the title, and his use of the highly charged word holocaust. In the prologue Preston explains why no other word in the English language adequately conveys the widespread, intentional violence committed against a largely civilian population.Read more ›
One thing I realized from reading about the 'Spanish Holocaust' (learn about Preston's reasons for carefully choosing this title in the preface) is that the casualties of this civil war were far more numerous and unspeakable on the rebel side than the republican side. That much would be clear no matter how you want to boil it down to statistics or records which hadn't already been wantonly destroyed by the fascists. This clear and unflinching text is often gutwrenching in its descriptions of violent acts; both sides certainly contributed to the body count, but again it becomes apparent that those who identify with tradition and values of 'hearth and home' undeniably perpetrated the most glaring atrocities.
While we know much about Germany and Italy at this time, it is utterly tragic that Spain's inner conflict is so misunderstood and overlooked today. This book does a great job of laying it out and detailing the passage of events up to and throughout the civil war. I think it's worthwhile to study this subject because there are many parallels with the breakdowns (imminent or underway) of many Western nations now. Much as authoritarians like to warn us of a dangerous and violent underclass that needs to be subdued and controlled, they are themselves the true instigators of violent acts in all significant cases. They are after all much better armed and connected than a few piffling insurrectionists.
Third, the horrific circumstances in which many people, mostly civilians, died at the hands of Franco supporters, after suffering humiliation and torture, is so unrelieved that readers may feel overwhelmed by the cruelty of the events portrayed.
Fourth, I think that it is misnamed. One cannot call everything a genocide or a holocaust. And the Spanish civil war was neither. Cruel though events were that shattered this country, there was no actual plan to exterminate any one single group - except those "who do not think as we do."
Preston describes the absolute loathing that Franco and his friends (landowners, the army) had for the "lower classes" and he roundly calls to task the Catholic Church which had a near racist hatred for anyone " who do not think as we do" and whose leaders were hell bent on destroying them. Anti-Semitism abounds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If he accomplished nothing else (and he did) Preston's greatest contribution to understanding the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War was to provide clear distinctions between the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by T. Good
A thorough description of the evolution of the Spanish Civil War starting with the 2nd Republic. Preston makes an unbiased recount with tons of notes and bibliography. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Paco Lopez
I'm about half way through this after three weeks or so. Truth to tell, it's not easy to read. Oh, it's well written, shows immense research, and is a must-read for those who are... Read morePublished 6 months ago by J. Lapham
The writer offers little in the area of insights and critical analysis. The book is an endless stream of minutiae common to all violent conflicts between nations, people's, and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Samuel L. Kalush
Excellent. Very thoroughly researched. Should be required reading at colleges everywhere.Published 11 months ago by Helowitch
This very thorough book is an effort to describe the considerable crimes that were part of the Spanish Civil War. Read morePublished 13 months ago by R. Albin