Hunting Nazis in Franco's Spain

Hunting Nazis in Franco's Spain

by David A. Messenger


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In the waning days and immediate aftermath of World War II, Nazi diplomats and spies based in Spain decided to stay rather than return to a defeated Germany. The decidedly pro-German dictatorship of General Francisco Franco gave them refuge and welcomed other officials and agents from the Third Reich who had escaped and made their way to Iberia. Amid fears of a revival of the Third Reich, Allied intelligence and diplomatic officers developed a repatriation program across Europe to return these individuals to Germany, where occupation authorities could further investigate them. Yet due to Spain's longstanding ideological alliance with Hitler, German infiltration of the Spanish economy and society was extensive, and the Allies could count on minimal Spanish cooperation in this effort.
In Hunting Nazis in Franco's Spain, David Messenger deftly traces the development and execution of the Allied repatriation scheme, providing an analysis of Allied, Spanish, and German expatriate responses. Messenger shows that by April 1946, British and American embassy staff in Madrid had compiled a census of the roughly 10,000 Germans then residing in Spain and had drawn up three lists of 1,677 men and women targeted for repatriation to occupied Germany. While the Spanish government did round up and turn over some Germans to the Allies, many of them were intentionally overlooked in the process. By mid-1947, Franco's regime had forced only 265 people to leave Spain; most Germans managed to evade repatriation by moving from Spain to Argentina or by solidifying their ties to the Franco regime and Span-ish life. By 1948, the program was effectively over.
Drawing on records in American, British, and Spanish archives, this first book-length study in English of the repatriation program tells the story of this dramatic chapter in the history of post—World War II Europe.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807155639
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 05/12/2014
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

DAVID A. MESSENGER, associate professor of history and global & area studies at the University of Wyoming, is the author of "L'Espagne Républicaine": French Policy and Spanish Republicanism in Liberated France and numerous articles and book chapters dealing with the Franco regime's international stance from the civil war through the Cold War.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations xi

Introduction 1

1 Denazification, Neutrality, and European Security after World War II 11

2 Intelligence Wars: Nazi and Allied Spies in Neutral Spain during and after the War 37

3 Neutrality, Postwar Politics, and the Diplomacy of Repatriation 70

4 Petitions to Franco: German Activism and the Fight to Stay in Spain 99

5 The Fate of Repatriation in Germany, Spain, and Beyond, 1947-1948 132

Conclusion 162

Notes 171

Bibliography 201

Index 211

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