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4 de jul. 2019

Hitler's references to Spain (1941-1944)

References to Spain in Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944: Secret Conversations. H.E. Trevor-Rope (ed.) 1951.
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5 June 1942, at dinner
A Saint is promoted to the rank of General!
A report was submitted to the Führer, according to which the Caudillo had decided, in a decree dated 22nd September 1941, to award the full honors of a Field-Marshal to Saint Funicisla, the patron saint of Segovia, in recognition of the miracle she performed five years ago, whereby three thousand nationalist soldiers under the command of de Valera, the Minister for War at the time, were enabled successfully to defend that city against an assault by fifteen thousand Reds. He was told also of another case in which a saint was appointed General because, when a bomb penetrated the church of which she was the patron saint, she prevented it from exploding. The Führer intervened as follows:

I have the gravest possible doubts that any good can come of nonsense of this kind. I am following the development of Spain with the greatest skepticism, and I've already made up my mind that, though eventually I may visit every other European country, I shall never go to Spain.

June 1942, midday
Monarchical tendencies in Spain supported by the Church - Same old tactics for the seizing of power - A new revolution in Spain would spell ruin - Two "little requests" from Admiral Horthy - The river Tisza is the Hungarian Rhine - Horthy's son - Interallied Military Commissions in 1925 - Treason among Germans - The émigrés of 1933 - Views on the crime of treason - All traitors should be shot - Conscientious objectors - Settling with "Bible students." 

During discussion about the Blue Division - the Spanish Division serving on the Eastern front - the conversation turned once more to the internal situation in Spain. Reichsleiter Bormann remarked that the increasing swing in favor of a monarchy received more than a little encouragement from the clergy. The Führer agreed, and continued:

   The activities of the Church in Spain are no different from those of the Catholic Church in our own country, or indeed from those of most Churches in any other country. Any Church, provided it is in a position to exert influence on the civil régime, will, as a matter of principle, support or tolerate only such a régime under the aegis of the Church, and is therefore dependent, for purposes of general administration, solely on the Church, as the only organized leadership of the people.

  Unless it is prepared to renounce the striving for power, which is inherent in every Church participating in politics, the Church in Spain cannot recognize the present régime, which has created in the Falange organization of its own for the direction of the Spanish people. There is therefore only one thing the Falange can do to establish definite relations with the Church, and that is to limit the intervention of the latter to religious - that is, supernatural - affairs. If one once allows the Church to exercise the slightest influence on the governing of the people and the upbringing of the younger generation, it will strive to become omnipotent, and one makes a great mistake if one thinks that one can make a collaborator of the Church by accepting a compromise.

   The whole international outlook and political interest of the Catholic Church Spain render inevitable conflict between the Church and the Franco régime, and a new revolution thus comes within the bounds of possibility. Spain may well have to pay with her blood, in the not roo distant future, for her failure to carry through a truly national revolution, as was done in Germany and Italy...

7 June 1942, at dinner
A Procession at Barcelona - Harassing the Falange - My distrust of Serrano Suñer - Superior resistance of Italians to Church heresies - German Emperors and the Church - A Requiem Mass for the Protector of Bohemia and Moravia.

The Führer was informed that on the occasion of the Corpus Christi procession in Barcelona, the Governor of the town forbade by edict the people taking part in the procession to wear the uniform either of the Falange. the Falangist Militia or any part of them. A solitary exception was made in favor of the regional Chief of the Falange and his suite. It appears from the report that this prohibition was obtained by the Nationalists through the medium of the Church authorities. In this connection it will be recalled that some weeks ago incidents occurred between the Nationalists and the members of the Falange, who nevertheless represent the official State Party. It is further significant that the Madrid newspaper Arriba attacks this ban and states roundly that the wearing of the blue shirt is a duty to which the Falangists are bound, and that all those who oppose them are despicable creatures. The Führer's opinion follows: 

One sees only too clearly from this sort of thing how the Spanish State is rushing towards fresh disaster. The priests and the monarchists - the same mortal enemies who opposed the resurgence of our own people - have joined Spain. If a new civil war breaks out, I should not be surprised to see the Falangists compelled to make common cause with the Reds to rid themselves of the clerico-monarchical muck. What a pity it is that the blood shed in common by the Falangists, the Fascists and the National Socialists during the war has not brought better results! But in Spain, unfortunately, someone will always be found willing to serve the political interests of the Church. Serrano Suñer, the present Minister for Foreign Affairs, is one of them. From my first meeting with him I was conscious of a feeling of revulsion, in spite of the fact that our Ambassador, with abysmal ignorance of the facts, introduced him to me as the most ardent Germanophile in Spain.

7 July 1942, at dinner
The changing Spanish scene - Serrano Suñer and the Church - Where Franco's policy differs from National Socialism or Fascism-Spanish Reds are not Russia's vassals - A nincompoop not a hero - The intervention of Heaven in war - and of the skies - a different thing - The first Falange - General Muñoz Grandes, a fine soldier - Antisocial elements, female Communists.

   General Jodl told the Führer of an incident wbich had occurred at the Spanish frontier on the occasion of the return home of some wounded of the Blue Division. These men were refused places in the South Express, and when they tried to get into the guard's van, a company of infantry intervened on the orders of the Military Governor and ejected them. Marshal Keitel suggested that the Blue Division was in bad odor because of its name. the color blue being a reminder of the old original Falange, which was not a disciple of the Church. In the new Falange admission could be obtained only with the approval of the local priest. The Führer said:

   The Spanish situation is developing in a deplorable fashion. Franco obviously, has not the personality to face up to the political problems of the country. Even so, he started off from a much more favorable position than either the Duce or myself; for we both had not only to capture the State, but also to win over the armed forces to our side. Franco, on the other hand, had both political power and military force in his own hands. It is obvious that he is incapable of freeing himself from the influence of Serrano Suñer, in spite of the fact that the latter is the personification of the parson in politics and is blatantly playing a dishonest game with the Axis Powers. 

   In point of fact, these parsons are too stupid for words. They are trying through Serrano Suñer, to give a reactionary impulse to restore the monarchy; all they will succeed in doing, however, is to cause another civil war, which they themselves will certainly never survive. 

   General Jodl suggested that the British pound might well be behind it all, and that the Spanish politics and that the British hoped in this way to create a second front. The Führer continued:

   One must be careful not to put the Franco regime on the same level as National Socialism or Fascism. Todt, who employs many so-styled "Red" Spaniards in his workshops, tells me repeatedly that these Reds are not red in our sense of the word. They regard themselves as revolutionaries in their own right and, as industrious and skilled workers, have greatly distinguished themselves. The best thing we can do is to hold as many of these people as we can,  commencing with the forty thousand already in our camps, as reserves in case a second civil war should break out. Together with the survivors of the old Falange, they will constitute the most trustworthy force at our disposal.

   Ambassador Hewel then said that he had seen soldiers without arms or badges of rank working under armed guard in the streets of Madrid. He presumed that they were old soldiers of the Red army and thought that, if they must be employed in this fashion, they should at least be given different clothing. Marshal Keitel said that, in passing judgment on the Spanish army, German criteria were of no value. When the Führer met Franco, he continued, the Spanish Guard of Honor was deplorable, and their rifles were so rusty that they must bare been unserviceable. When the meeting was being arranged, Admiral Canaris warned me that the Führer would be disillusioned to meet in Franco - not a hero, but a little pipsqueak [statt eines Heroen ein Würstchen]" The Führer continued:

   Franco and company can consider themselves very lucky to have received the help of Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany in their first civil war. For, as the Red Spaniards never cease explaining, they had not entered into co-operation with the Soviets on ideological grounds, but had rather been forced into it - and thence dragged into a political current not of their own choosing simply through lack of other support.

   One thing is quite certain. People speak of an intervention from Heaven which decided the civil war in favor of Franco; perhaps so - but it was not an intervention on the part of the madam styled the Mother of God, who has recently been honored with a Field Marshal's baton, but the intervention of the German General von Richthofen and the bombs his squadrons rained from the heavens that decided the issue.

   Ambassador Hewel said the upper classes in Spain were both bone idle and quite impervious to adverse criticism. Hitler continued:

   Well, thank goodness, the discipline of both the Reds and the Falangists working in the Todt organization is first class, and the more of them we can recruit, the better. 

   But the finding of people capable of clearing up the Spanish political situation will be much more difficult. The problems are more of an internal political, than of a military, nature; and the foremost of them - the food crisis - is, in view of the proverbial idleness of the population, about the thorniest of the lot.

   Whether a General possesses the political acumen necessary to success, the future alone will show. But in any case, we must promote as much as we can the popularity of General Muñoz Grandes, who is a man of energy, and as such the one to master the situation. I am very pleased indeed that the intrigues of the Serrano Suñer clique to get this General dismissed from the command of the Blue Division were frustrated at the last moment; for the Blue Division may well once more play a decisive role, when the hour for the overthrow of this parson-ridden régime strikes.

28 August 1942, midday
Italian susceptibilities - Germany faces the Asiatic hordes - If Charles Martel had been defeated - Horthy and the Habsburgs - Budapest and Vienna The new capital of the Reich.

.... Only in the Roman Empire and in Spain under Arab domination has culture been a potent factor. Under the latter, the standard of civilization attained was wholly admirable; to Spain flocked the greatest scientists, thinkers, astronomers and mathematicians of the world, and side by side there flourished a spirit of sweet human tolerance and a sense of the purest chivalry. Then, with the advent of Christianity, came the barbarians. The chivalry of the Castilians has been inherited from the Arabs. Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers -  already, you see, the world had fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing was Christianity! - then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so.

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