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El holocausto español: Odio y exterminio en la guerra civil y después

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  285 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Por fin llega la obra definitiva de Paul Preston sobre la represión llevada a cabo por ambos bandos durante la guerra civil española y la inmediata posguerra. El holocausto español se remonta a los orígenes ideológicos de la orgía de violencia que se desató en España en julio de 1936 para, con el mejor estilo de los historiadores anglosajones y su extraordinario conocimien ...more
Hardcover, Tra Edition, 859 pages
Published April 3rd 2011 by Debate Editorial (first published January 1st 2011)
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The term 'holocaust' is one contentious, reserved solely now for the gravest of atrocities (with hyperbole notwithstanding). Although on a slightly smaller scale, Preston makes the assertion that the killings of the Spanish Civil War, and later the Franco regime, are systemic and deliberate in nature, comparable to Hitler or Stalin.

Spain, currently struggling with economic woes, still has some of the remnants and nightmares of the last Fascist regime in Europe. Only in the last ten years have st
Natxo Cruz
Aug 02, 2011 Natxo Cruz rated it really liked it
Magnífic assaig sobre el genocidi i la barbàrie perpetrada sobre tot pel bàndol rebel de la guerra civil (els que la història dels vencedors anomenava "nacionals"). L'autor fa una distinció molt clara entre l'abast, la motivació i l'origen de les matances d'ambdós bàndols. Els rebels tenien el genocidi planificat des de molt abans del "levantamiento" i el van executar d'una forma que recorda els pitjors holocausts de la història moderna (Alemanya, els Balcans, Àfrica...), sota els auspicis dels ...more
Iñaki Tofiño
Aug 04, 2012 Iñaki Tofiño rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miedo de la clase obrera a perder lo poco que se había conseguido durante la República; terror de la burguesía y los terratenientes ante la posibilidad de vivir en una sociedad más igualitaria y tener que compartir parte de su riqueza; pánico de todos ante los juicios sumarísimos, las torturas, las violaciones... Miedo, terror y pánico, eso refleja el libro de Preston y eso vivió la sociedad española, lo que la convirtió en un verdadero infierno desde mediados de los 30 hasta los años 80.
La tesi
Kevin Tole
I'm afraid I gave up on this. The reason? Its just the writing style. It is so dense and hard to get around and get a good bite at it. And believe me I really wanted to read this book. Having read 'Blood of Spain' and Beevor's book on the Spanish Civil War I felt ready for this. But its just not written in a reader friendly way. Its just one after one after one incident - its 120 pages till you get up to the coup. I thought the style might change after that but it doesn't - if anything it gets e ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Wanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this 700+ page history of the Spanish civil war is the foremost scholar of Spanish history in the U.K. This book is not easy reading, in more than one sense. First, the writing is dense and chapters go on and on forever in unrelieved narrative for 40-50 pages. My eyes simply got tired reading more than 15 pages in a sitting. The editors at Harper should have advised him to make his text a bit more readable. Second, the book presumes that the reader knows as much about Spanish histo ...more
Jul 11, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly depressing tale of the brutality of the Spanish Civil War. Worth reading for a reminder of 'man's inhumanity to man'as well as the tragedy of those courageous enough to stand up to blind class hatred and warped beliefs.
Eduardo Hinton
Oct 25, 2015 Eduardo Hinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For my entire life I've been hearing so many things about the Civil War in my country, until I reached a point where people of extremely opposite social positions were saying the same stupidities.

Then I realised I had to find out myself what really happened not only in the years 1936-1939, but also during the 40 years later and what means to Spain right today.

I started with Hugh Thomas's Civil War, watched "Memòria i Oblit d'Una Guerra" (series of documentaries focused on the place I live: Mallo
Petter Nordal
Sep 21, 2011 Petter Nordal rated it liked it
Si tiene algúna pregunta sobre la violencia durante la guerra civil, es el libro que te puede satisfacer. Es bastante pesado, duro, leerlo, con 678 paginas, pero vale la pena para saber la verdad. Y la verdad de la guerra es horrorifico. Si, habia violencia por todos lados, pero al fin y al fondo, los facistas fueron los peores, alcanzando hasta 7 asasinatos para cada uno de los asesinatos del lado opuesto (varios lados entre si: Republicanos burgeses, democratas, comunistas independientes, comu ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Moira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely painful book to read. However, it is a book that needs to be read in order to understand the scale of the cruelty that occurred during the war and for many years after. It is a chilling read for anyone who has ever been a member of a trade union, a freethinker, a democrat or married to one. It helps explain the years of silence and indeed the fragility of democracy in the post Franco era. It will leave a mark on you as I am sure the recording and the writing of it must have ...more
Nov 23, 2016 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If you had asked me why I had joined the militia I should have answered: 'To fight against Fascism,' and if you had asked me what I was fighting for, I should have answered: 'Common decency." ~ George Orwell

I've read one other book on the Spanish Civil War, aptly named Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas. I found that book to be heavily favoured toward the centrist point of view, almost to a fault. Paul Preston seems to be very clearly anti-fascist but I couldn't read where his perspective was out
Julie Thomason
Mar 05, 2016 Julie Thomason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to read it; I lived in Spain for over 20 years. I knew it was going to be a harrowing read; it was distressing and horrific in places. At times you were reading a list of assassinations and atrocities making it difficult to follow. Perhaps a list of important people on both sides at the beginning could have made it easier to refer back too. Man’s inhumanity to man is a terrible indictment on the human race; especially when done in the name of a peace and
Aug 29, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unremittingly brutal no holds barred account of atrocities of this dark and morbidly compelling conflict.

In truth it is remarkable that Spain is the country it is today in spite of all this.

Prestons account as many others have said is very detailed , painstakingly researched and referenced one of the side effects of this however is that is on occasion somewhat turgid as a result. In spite of this I could not stop till I got to the end. Although the narrative is to a degree sacrificed for acc
Pedro Molina
Mar 09, 2013 Pedro Molina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very harrowing account of the violence and repression endured by the civilian population before, during and after the Spanish Civil War. Rich in detail and extraordinarily well documented, this book is surely one of the most important reports on the topic. It challenges a widely held perception in Spain, that there was an equal amount of murderous intent in the actions of both sides during the war, with hard facts and numbers. Fabulous, yet sometimes difficult, read.
Bruno de Maremma
Jul 06, 2012 Bruno de Maremma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A very long list of the atrocities committed by the rebel forces under Franco and to a much lesser extent by the Republican State that the rebels eventually overthrew. Very damning account of the almost unbelievable brutality used to inspire terror in the civilian populace and later to cleanse the country of republican sympathizers.
Jason Walker
A lot of the world thinks of Hitler as the greatest murderer in the 20th Century. Take nothing away from the Holocaust but the Spanish Civil War and the purges by Stalin may surpass. If you like history this is a good book.
Tara Catogge

Gut-wrenching, raw narrative.
Feb 16, 2013 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
First let me address the title of this book “The Spanish Holocaust”, the use of this word was in my opinion a mistake on the part of the author, no matter how hard he tried to justify its use in the prologue, me thinks he tried to hard, or as the case may be not hard enough in finding a suitable title for his word. The use of the word “Holocaust” evokes a whole different dimension to the terror, violence and ultimate death perpetrated on the Jewish race, its use has become to common place, sensa ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that angers the reader because of the injustices perpetrated during the Spanish Civil War, some by both sides, but primarily by those allied with Franco. Also, the role of the Catholic church is pretty shocking. One would expect good Christians to oppose cruel treatment of anyone, regardless of their religious beliefs. When priests not only advocate the execution of the opposition but actually do the executing one has to wonder, if there is an afterlife, where those p ...more
An impressive sleuth Paul Presto, considering the magnitude of information he has had to plough through to write this cascading liturgy of man’s inhumanity to man. It is copious and clear for any lay person to follow the well documented atrocities by both sides with their micro sub-divisions loose within them.

It could have used a time line of which group did what, to run along side the narrative for me personally.

The overall clarity that emanates from this catalogue of appalling cruelty meted ou
José Ramón
Aug 25, 2013 José Ramón rated it it was amazing
Es un gran libro de historia, para iniciados y no iniciados.
El libro es muy bueno, por no decir excelente. Sinceramente me ha encantado, aunque me ha llevado tiempo leerlo.
Una de las cosas que más me gusto, es que considero al autor bastante imparcial, aunque si bien se nota quienes son las fuerzas legitimas y las que intentan imponer por la fuerza una dictadura militar. Hay que ser imparcial, pero no ser un ciego.
Debo reconocer que es una gran síntesis de los acontecimientos dentro de una gran
Bruce Reiter
Jan 10, 2013 Bruce Reiter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is almost everything that I hoped it would be. It is not a rehash of the Spanish Civil War but a look at the repressions both sides took against their unprotected adversaries. The original desaparecidos came in all sizes and shapes of the political spectrum. The roots of the terrorism employed by the military stemmed from the Africanista makeup of the principals and their plan to create a new political order in Spain. The reprisals by the Republicans against the military, the latifundis ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Angelo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book, in part, because of the review in The Guardian. However, it wasn’t what I expected.

I wanted a chronicle of the rise of fascism in Spain, one that detailed the impact on the Spanish people, but that also focused on the broader regional and geopolitical background and influences. While I now have somewhat of an understanding of the detailed brutality of specific individuals, the book lacked sufficient context for me. This was clearly a meticulously researched book, bu
John Rennie
Nov 01, 2012 John Rennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really important in trying to come to terms with the Spanish Civil War but it is painful to read. I have always thought that that war was a tragic defeat for the forces of progress and civilisation but this book makes that defeat seem even more depressing as it uncovers the true brutality of the opposing factions. Before the war, traditional forces of conservatism in Spain were implacable in their determination to crush any glimpses of progress so they forced the left into even more ...more
R.M.F Brown
Aug 07, 2013 R.M.F Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine work of scholarship, but not a book for the layman

If you're looking for a general, all-purpose introduction to the Spanish Civil War, this book is not for you. Dense, meticulously researched, and a compelling narrative, The Spanish holocaust is historical scholarship at its best.

However, its strengths are also a glaring weakness. Other reviews have complained of a narrative that chimes with my own perceptions. For example, Preston goes into great detail about the atrocities visited upon
Oct 30, 2012 Riet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dit is geen boek,dat je in een avond uitleest. Het onderwerp is gruwelijk. Het komt neer op een opsomming van alle gruweldaden, die zijn gepleegd in de spaanse Burgeroorlog en wel door beide kanten. Daarbij winnen de rebellen (onder Franco) het dik van de andere kant, maar toch.. Ook daar ging men goed te keer. Het boek maakt meteen een einde aan alle romantische ideen die je mocht hebben over de anarchisten en de internationale brigades, die aan de kant van de republiek vochten. Vooral de commu ...more
Mark Walker
Often difficult to follow the litany of names and examples of atrocities. Paul Preston is rightly concerned to counteract the amnesia of current day Spain about their past, and I think this leads to him layering on example after example. After a couple of examples, the points are made, but he provides more and more. The language used by the Francoists is so redolent of Nazi Germany, it is amazing the regime was only interrupted by his death in the 1970s. Part of the explanation for that is that ...more
Pep Bonet
May 15, 2015 Pep Bonet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: història, assaig
A terrible reading, but one which is due for any decent Spaniard. Preston tells with a lot of precision and a readable style all the atrocities committed during and after the civil war. The distinction between the killings in the loyalist or Republican zone and the systematic war of extermination on the rebel, Fascist side is crystal clear. Difficult to read for any sensitive person, but a well needed exercise not to ever forget the atrocities planned and carried out by a confederacy of landowne ...more
Stewart Home
Aug 22, 2015 Stewart Home rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dry and depressing account (from a liberal perspective) of the atrocities committed during the Spanish civil war. Preston describes anarchist cruelty and excesses (as well as the attempts of other Republican factions to curb them), while making it clear that only Franco and the fascists operated on the basis of a policy of organised terror, and that the crimes against humanity committed by the nationalists completely dwarf the lesser excesses of some of the anarchists. Turgidly written but well ...more
ماهر Battuti
Jun 12, 2012 ماهر Battuti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed and well-documented book about what is usually called "the most bloody civil war". The author begins by relating the horrors that the "rebels", Franco and his right wing allies, had done . But when we read what the other party, the Republicans", did, we see what civil war is all about. The massacres were usual in both sides, with a vengeance that is strange among citizens of the same blood. And when Franco won the war, it is the dictum " woe to the vanquished!
Now, after democracy
Cary Lackey
A very dense and detailed account of the atrocities committed on both sides of the bloody Spanish Civil War. As Preston showed, Franco had far more blood on his hands than the anarchists and Communists had in the Republican controlled zones, and his treatment on the Nationalists' attempt to rewrite history after the War was especially illuminating. I found the last few chapters, the end of the War and the post-War period, to be the most interesting, as they recounted the fates of prominent Repub ...more
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Paul Preston, author of Franco and Juan Carlos, holds the Príncipe de Asturias Chair of Contemporary Spanish History at the London School of Economics. He lives in London.
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