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Published on Jun 22, 2015
The ‘Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevik’ Conspiracy in the Spanish Second Republic, 1931-1936
Christopher Bannister (European University Institute)
The establishment of the Second Republic on 14 April 1931 caused convulsions across the Right in Spain. In little over a year, the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera had fallen and soon after the Borbón royal family, rulers of Spain for over two hundred years, followed suit. If the replacement of a monarchical military regime with a democratic republic was not a brutal transition enough, the form the Second Republic took was of great distress to the forces of reaction. With its establishment of universal suffrage, commitment to land reform and intent to curb the political influence of the Catholic Church and the Army, the Republic represented, for many on the Right in Spain, an abomination, a betrayal of national values. The proposed research project will focus upon a particular assertion within certain strands of the Spanish Right-Wing media that the Republic was, in fact, not of Spanish origin at all, but instead subject to the diktats of a cabal of ‘Masons, Communists and Jews’. The belief being that its origins and subsequent progressive, leftist agenda, so foreign to the reactionary understanding of ‘Spanish’ values, must have been the work of foreign agents.
This lecture will examine the concept of the ‘Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevik’ Conspiracy during the Spanish Second Republic, to understand its influence in fostering anti-Republican feeling prior to the outbreak of war and to ultimately assess its contribution to Francoist repression during the dictatorship (1939-1975), all within a broader European context. In the fraught atmosphere of the Civil War proper, the apparently outlandish assertion that the Republic was being run by the ‘International Jewry’ from Moscow via Europe’s Masonic lodges became a key theme in Francoist propaganda, one that would continue long into the posguerra. The lecture will examine the roots of this discourse, detailing the confluence of more traditionally ‘Spanish’ anti-Semitic attitudes and the broader European conception of an international ‘Judeo-Marxist’ Conspiracy.