My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II

My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II

My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II

My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II

Excerpt

For six years, during the most dramatic period in Spanish history since the crusade against the Moors, I was accredited Ambassador to Spain by President Roosevelt. I loved Spain and had admiration and affection for the Spanish people. During the first three and a half years I traveled extensively into every section of that delectable country, partly to familiarize myself with the Spanish scene, but frequently to check personally on the ground absurd stories of anarchy and disorder put out by Fascist propagandists. No one can grasp the significance of what took place later without this background of political maneuvering, since the international conspiracy of the Fascist powers was quietly unfolding during the period of outward peace when covert conversations were going on in Berlin and Rome. The record of the political events during these years reveals the technique of the totalitarians, of both the Right and Left, in setting the stage for their attacks on democratic nations.

The manuscript was withheld from publication during the World War because its caustic treatment of Mr. Chamberlain might have been misinterpreted as an attack upon the English people; and later because I doubted the propriety of its publication while active in the foreign service of the United States. Now that I have retired it can be published after fourteen years.

The immediate menace just before the war was the Nazi and Fascist segment of the totalitarians; since the war the immediate menace has come from the communist segment, and the danger is that in fighting one we may lose sight of the antidemocratic ideology of the other, which is by no means dead. I prefer to think that we shall not return to the shoddy days just before the war when it was popular in high circles to believe that to oppose communism one must follow the Fascist line. The two segments of totalitarianism are equally bent on the extermination of democracy and the freedoms.

I hope I have been able to picture the lovely Spain of peace. In driving thousands of miles through this magic land I came to love its mountains looming on the horizon everywhere, enveloped in their blue or purple haze, the quaint old dusty villages soaked with . . .

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