Un polikarpov de l'època
L'aeroport de Rosanes
Thank you for talking about interesting historical sites which have been forbidden to us during a very long post war period. Even the fact that you come from a distant European country, makes it more laudatory at our Catalan eyes…
Only a few remarks. The fact that Spain did not take part in the “big” war of 1939-45, can be explained in detail. Actually, the Nazi-fascist regime of General Franco took clear sides from the very beginning of the Second World War. They even sent an entire unit of about 45.000-47.000 infantrymen, who served inside the Wehrmacht , during 1941-43 period and treacherously attacked the Soviet Union. These were the “250. Einheit spanische Freiwilliger (Blaue Division)”, known in Spain as ”250 Unidad de Voluntarios Españoles (División Azul)”. Franco put in charge of this Division two prominent generals of the Spanish Fascist army: Agustín Muñoz Grandes and Emilio Esteban Infantes.
In addition to this very clear aggression against the Soviet Union, the Spanish Fascist police never ceased collaborating effectively with the German Gestapo (Geheime Staats Polizei), the secret police of Adolf Hitler, especially after the occupation of France by the Nazis. Both police forces murdered hundreds – if not thousands – of war refugees, because they were Jews (Walter Benjamin) or were prominent Spanish Republican officials (Lluís Companys) or simply because they had served in the Spanish Loyalist army from 1936-39.
Walter Benedix Schönflies Benjamin (Berlin 1892-Port Bou 1940), an eminent philosopher, professor and writer, a member of the Frankfurt School, was cornered on the French-Spanish border, while he was trying to flee to the United States and died there.
Lluís Companys i Jover (Lleida 1882-Barcelona 1940), President of the Autonomous Catalan Government, during the Spanish Second Republic, was arrested in Bretagne (France) by the Gestapo and delivered to the Spanish police, who tortured and murdered him. He was the only European President, democratically elected, who was shot by the Nazi-fascists during this “big” war.
Moreover, after the war, General Franco allowed Spain to serve as a safe haven for former German war criminals. For example, Otto Skorzeny (12 June 1908 – 5 July 1975) was an SS (Schutzstaffel)- Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he was chosen as the field commander to carry out the rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, from captivity.
But in spite of all that, at the end of the Second World War, the United States Government preferred to have a war criminal, like General Franco, as an unconditional ally than to fight against him to restore democracy in Spain.