Spain in Transition

April 20, 1945

Report Outline
Fascist Spain at Close of European War
Anglo-American Relations with Franco
Rivalries of Spanish Groups in Exile

Fascist Spain at Close of European War

Isolation of Spain by Allied Victory Over Nazis

At the close of the war in Europe, Spain will be the only remnant of Fascist territory on the Continent. German and Italian aid during the civil war of 1936–39 enabled General Francisco Franco to fasten Fascism on Spain. In the general war that followed on the heels of the Spanish struggle, nearly all of Europe fell under Nazi-Fascist sway. Complete Allied victory will raise the question whether Fascism, eliminated from the remainder of the Continent, can stand alone in Spain. There is the question also whether the Spanish people can restore democratic government without going through another period of civil strife.

Franco's Efforts to Improve Standing with Allies

The Spanish dictator made no secret of his sympathy for the Axis as long as Hitler held the upper hand in Europe. But after the fall of Mussolini and the invasion of Italy in 1943, Spain abandoned her status as a non-belligerent ally of the Nazis and announced a policy of neutrality. Under Anglo-American pressure, various concessions to the Allies followed. When Allied victory appeared to be just over the horizon, Franco began on his own initiative to take steps obviously calculated to improve his position with the winning side.

Early in April the Madrid government forbade German commercial planes to land in Spain. At the same time it said an inspection system was being set up to prevent Nazi war criminals from entering or settling in Spain. Later developments included an offer of political amnesty to Spanish exiles not having criminal charges against them, lifting the censorship on foreign correspondents' dispatches from Spain, and predictions that the court for suppression of Masonry and Communism would be abolished.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
May 24, 1974  Threatened Spanish Succession
Sep. 18, 1968  Spain and the West
Aug. 12, 1959  Spain and the Free World
Dec. 22, 1951  Franco Spain and European Defense
Oct. 03, 1949  Relations with Spain
Apr. 20, 1945  Spain in Transition
Jan. 26, 1939  Spain's Civil War and the Great Powers
Regional Political Affairs: Europe