Economic Relations between Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain, 1936-1945

Economic Relations between Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain, 1936-1945

Economic Relations between Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain, 1936-1945

Economic Relations between Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain, 1936-1945

Synopsis

This is the first comprehensive study of the economic relationship between Nazi Germany and Franco's Spain between the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and the end of the Second World War. It demonstrates how, during the Spanish Civil War, Hitler helped General Franco to victory, but at the same time attempted to turn Spain into an economic colony.

Excerpt

During the night of 25 July 1936 Adolf Hitler, the German Führer, took the far-reaching decision to involve Germany in the Spanish Civil War by granting supplies to the Spanish military insurgents. Nearly three years later, Nazi Germany's intervention had contributed substantially to the victory of Hitler's protégé General Francisco Franco y Bahamonde. During the course of these three years, and as a result of Germany's support for the future victor, a 'special relationship' between the new Spanish Nationalist regime and the National Socialist dictatorship was established. This was true not only for diplomatic and military affairs, but for economic ones as well.

Under orders from leading members of Hitler's regime, most notably Hermann Goering, representatives of the Nazi dictatorship deliberately steered Germany's economic relationship with Nationalist Spain into new waters. A unique trading system was established to deal with the special conditions created by the Civil War in Spain. The available evidence leaves no doubt that the Nazi leadership actively pursued policies to ensure that the balance of the new economic relationship would tilt irreversibly in favour of Germany. Indeed, a large-scale exploitation of Spain's economic resources and particularly her raw-material wealth-- was planned early on during the Civil War and rapidly initiated. By early 1939, at the end of the Civil War, the Nazis had established a foothold in Spain's mining industry and further expansion seemed to face no major restraints.

Yet Germany's 'special' relationship with Franco's Spain--and in particular its economic element--was only given five months to develop under peacetime conditions before Hitler embarked on the realization of his murderous war plans. From the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 to the armistice with France in June 1940, Franco's Spain was virtually cut off from Germany. From the economic standpoint, relations came to an almost complete standstill while diplomatic relations between the two regimes continued largely on the back burner. Although, after the fall of France, relations were fully ignited again, Spain never became a full military member of the Axis. Nevertheless, the relationship with Germany remained extremely close for the next four years. In the . . .

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