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L'holocaust espanyol. Pautes d'extermini durant i després de la guerra civil

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  74 reviews
El dia que va rebre la notícia de la rebellió militar al Marroc, un terratinent de Salamanca va ordenar als jornalers de la seva finca que es posessin en fila, en va triar sis i els va matar a trets per donar una lliçó als altres. Així comença aquesta obra apassionant i alhora tràgica sobre la duríssima repressió que va tenir lloc des del mateix esclat de la Guerra Civil ...more
736 pages
Published 2011 by Base
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Start your review of L'holocaust espanyol. Pautes d'extermini durant i després de la guerra civil
The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain, by Paul Preston, is a blow by blow account of the atrocities commuted by both rebel and Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War in the mid-1930's. The book starts off chronicling early unrest pre-Civil War, where fascist/monarchist elements on one hand, and anarcho-communists on the other, assassinated journalists, politicians and others that were opposed to their cause. Fascist elements in the Spanish Army ...more
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 ...more
Oct 06, 2012 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 ...more
Nov 23, 2016 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
Julie Thomason
Mar 05, 2016 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. Mans inhumanity to man is a terrible indictment on the human race; especially when done in the name of a peace and
Eduardo Hinton
Oct 25, 2015 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:
Pep Bonet
May 15, 2015 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 ...more
Jul 11, 2012 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.
Charles J
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, the dubiously named "The Spanish Holocaust," analyzes through a hard Left lens the killings of the Spanish Civil War. Unlike Preston's magnum opus, his 1993 biography of Franco, which while biased is a classic work worth reading, this book is a work of unhinged propaganda, designed to whitewash and excuse all Republican killing, and to magnify the horror of all Nationalist killing. It is pure propaganda, and a pack of lies, by commission and omission.

Words such as savage and vicious
Mar 08, 2012 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
Clinton Sweet
Looong read, very detailed. I was hoping to understand the Spanish Civil War at a high level from reading this. But found most of it written on the assumption the reader would already know it. Regardless, it definitely left me with the understanding the period was a terrible time to be alive for any person on any side of the many fences in Spain. And it now makes so much sense why Spain wasn't in WWII as they were clearly picking up the pieces post this mess
Aug 29, 2012 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
Bruno de Maremma
Jul 06, 2012 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.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It is necessary to spread terror. We have to create the impression of mastery, eliminating without scruples or hesitation all those who do not think as we do." So proclaimed General Emilio Mola Vidal in Pamplona on the Day of the Holy Uprising 19 July 1936 - ushering Spain's contribution to the multiple holocausts of the 20th century. Paul Preston's mastery of the time and place has shown throughout his career, and this heavy volume - psychologically more than its size - is the culmination of ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It may be some 80 years since the Spanish Civil War but the country remains torn apart by this period of their history 1936-1939, and by the 25 year repression that followed under General Franco. Paul Preston, in a hugely well-researched and documented book, sweeps away the lies, false memories, propaganda and well-hidden secrets to reveal the atrocities that took place before, during and after the war on both sides, the Republicans and the rebels. What is evident is that Republican atrocities ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is clearly a very well-researched piece of work, and I found it horrific but very interesting. My only concerns were that it was somewhat repetitive (mentioning certain facts more than once in a short span, though oddly not reinforcing other facts that were significant to a point much later on) and it didn't strike me as very balanced. I appreciate that he was making a point, and also that a significant majority of the atrocities were perpetrated by the nationalists, but it seemed that ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unrelenting recap of seemingly every single atrocity committed by (primarily and the vast majority by) the Franco forces, and the many murders as well by the Republican supporters. The only difference being that it was an authorized policy for torture, rape, and murder on Franco's side, and one performed mostly by mobs and anarchists on the other; and that it was at least three times as many murders by Franco's forces. The book is difficult to read, not only because of its focus - Franco's army ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Preston has written an incredible history of atrocities during Spanish Civil War and afterwards. This is not an easy book at all. Preston is meticulous attempting to account for every person murdered during the period. The psych toll of a book like this most be incredible. The gratuitous cruelty alone is incalculable. Given the rising levels of hatred in the United States - towards people of color, towards women, towards the queer and the inability to have a conversation let alone a ...more
Kerry Postle
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm researching the Spanish Civil War for my next novel and this book has been invaluable to me. Fascinating and balanced, it's provided me with an insightful introduction into this most divisive of wars.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A marvellous book despite a certain pattern of repetition but Preston seems to want to get all the evidence down on paper to underline his contention that there was a Spanish holocaust. Its hard to argue with him. ...more
North Landesman
Didnt finish this. Well researched and written. I couldnt get through the endless descriptions of massacres and killings by both sides.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long and sometimes difficult to follow but very informative.
Interesting view on how the Spanish Civil war started, relating to what most people would consider a horrible event in our recent history, a genocide of a race.
Feb 16, 2013 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, ...more
Mar 07, 2015 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 ...more
An impressive sleuth Paul Presto, considering the magnitude of information he has had to plough through to write this cascading liturgy of mans 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
Bruce Reiter
Jan 10, 2013 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 ...more
Aug 31, 2013 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 wasnt 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, but
John Rennie
Nov 01, 2012 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
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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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“A fin de proteger los pilares de ese régimen, en las áreas ocupadas por los rebeldes las víctimas inmediatas no fueron solo los maestros de escuela, los masones, los médicos y los abogados liberales, los intelectuales y los líderes de los sindicatos, es decir, los posibles diseminadores de las ideas. La matanza se extendió también a quienes habrían podido recibir la influencia de sus ideas: los miembros de un sindicato, los que no iban a misa, los sospechosos de votar al Frente Popular, las mujeres que habían obtenido el sufragio y el derecho al divorcio...” 0 likes
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