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SPAIN: Franco and Negrin



Carmen Negrin, the grand-daughter of Juan Negrin, the last prime minister of the Second Spanish Republic, writes: "Of course, there were negotiations with Franco (or his representatives). They were not secret, and there was no corruption either. The objective was to find an honorable end to the civil war and safety for the defeated. This, of course, was not accepted by Franco, who killed quite a few thousands of people after the war was over, more than the number of priests mentioned by Christopher Jones. Most of these murders were publicly criticized by the Republican Government and exploited by the fascists. They were not necessarily killed by the legal army. There were priests killed by both sides (I'm still waiting for the Pope to canonize some Republican priests!); my great uncle, who was a priest, survived the Franco killings "por un pelo"! by an inch. The church was far from neutral, in fact there is an ongoing debate about it asking for forgiveness... (Christopher Jones would probably say what for!) As for the Bolshevik role of my grand father and the gold, there has been enough said about it, including that he was pro-Soviet because my grandmother was Russian. They forget to say that she fled the Soviet Union because she was from a very well-to-do anti -communist family, close to the Tzar".

RH: These issues are matters of heated argument. The fact is that Negrín did send the Spanish gold to Moscow, but in The Spanish Civil War Hugh Thomas says (p. 619): "Negrín died in 1956 in Mexico, leaving in his will the documents relating to the Spanish gold to General Franco. In 1945 he had resigned as Prime Minister, in the hope of uniting all the exiles". RH: Did he leave the documents to Franco to prove that he had acted honorably?

Ronald Hilton - 8/5/03


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