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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark and compelling - not for the faint hearted!
I am an unabashed Hispanophile - I first went to Spain in 1949. My father had an involvement with Harveys of Bristol and we drove to visit sherry bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera from Gibraltar, my mother's childhood home. It was the first foreign country I ever visited. I felt at home immediately.

Here I am 63 years later commenting on a book which should have...
Published on 22 April 2012 by David J. Glazier

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A shocking account of the conditions experienced by the civilian population of Spain up to and including the Civil War.
Graphic accounts of what the Spanish people had to endure at the hands of Franco's forces and the sheer hatred of anyone who had a left wing opinion. The accounts became a little repetitive.
Published 4 months ago by Roger Bridgeman


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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark and compelling - not for the faint hearted!, 22 April 2012
By 
David J. Glazier (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Hardcover)
I am an unabashed Hispanophile - I first went to Spain in 1949. My father had an involvement with Harveys of Bristol and we drove to visit sherry bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera from Gibraltar, my mother's childhood home. It was the first foreign country I ever visited. I felt at home immediately.

Here I am 63 years later commenting on a book which should have been written many years ago but nobody had the courage to do so. During the several years that I lived and worked in the country and during the many visits that I have made since 1949 people were very reluctant to talk about the Civil War to me or my wife. One was aware of it, of course, but the circumstances and reasons for what happened seem to be so impossible to obtain that Spaniards seem to suffer from collective amnesia no matter which "side" they or their families were on. Of course, not many Spaniards who were involved at the time are now alive so first hand accounts are hard to come by. It seems that the experts on the period are either British - Hugh Thomas and Paul Preston, for example - or Irish, Ian Gibson, of course.

The Spanish Holocaust is not a book to be read for pleasure nor, indeed, quickly. Preston goes to pains to record the atrocities committed by both sides - it is a pity that at times he seems to want to register the "score" with the Nationalists clearly "winning" but he also places much emphasis on the equally insidious acts of the anarchist movement and the involvement of opportunistic criminal elements. What is very clear, and very disappointing to me as a Catholic, is that the Church took sides with the Nationalists and justified much of the mayhem - maybe the Church in the Basque Country was an exception. What is also very disturbing to me is that cities I know well such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Jerez de la Frontera, Málaga, seem to have no memorials to the civilian "caidos" and victims - men, women and children.

Thank you, Paul Preston, for "The Spanish Holocaust", it moved me to tears. Let us hope that todays Spain is not just a veneer attempting to hide the awful events of 75 years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Title is well-suited, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (Kindle Edition)
I was intrigued by this book and its title, about a subject in world history which I honestly didn't know anything about. Paul Preston provides the reader with unbiased, as best certified numbers of those killed in both the republican and Franco zones; The reasons behind the murders for the forces with much of killings in republican zones being as result in reprisals due Franco air raids and assault on the clergy who represented the status quo before the civil war in which the working class of Spain were controlled by society structure typical of the twentieth century. With the Franco violence to rid Spain of communists and develop an atmosphere of terror and fear that would help ensure the survival of his dictatorship. Paul Preston informs about the build-up to the outbreak of the civil war which gives the reader the necessary insight into what driving the coup by Franco and the democratically elected socialist government who tried to improve the lives of poor working class Spaniards through reforms which threatened the lives of the rich, compounded by the events of 1930s Europe which save much social unrest in communist takeover of Russia and fascist takeovers in Italy, Germany. This book has sparked a keen interest in learning more about the Spanish Civil War.
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental Scholarship, 29 Mar 2012
By 
Willy Maley (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Hardcover)
With this book Paul Preston has produced the most compelling account of the Spanish Civil War to date, presenting in unflinching detail its causes, its chaos, its carnage, and its consequences. Preston's limitless erudition is offered up in an elegant prose that refuses to sanitize or sensationalize a period marked by unspeakable atrocities that nevertheless must be spoken of. The traumatic tales told in this incredible memorial to human suffering will make the reader lay it down from time to time - as its author had to do in the writing of it. As someone whose father fought for the International Brigades in Spain, and was captured at Jarama in 1937 and imprisoned at Salamanca, I have a personal connection to the conflict, but this is not a book about the International Brigades, or heroism, or one that shies away from looking long and hard at the despicable violence on all sides. Preston's clear-eyed study will make readers cry, but his utterly unsentimental analysis of war crimes, while never resorting to easy morality or high-minded condemnation, is a salutary lesson in understanding one of the most vicious episodes in modern history. This is research in the interests of recovery of memory, and that's arguably among the most important roles that scholarship can fill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century, 7 May 2013
By 
Tone: "Historical Fad" (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Paperback)
Really I was looking to see how the Germans got involved in bombing towns in Spain, that brought me to purchase this book. What have read so far is horrifying. The writer has given the reader all the details of the massacres that occured, province by province, not only the workers who were all classed a Communists but also the persecution of the Catholic church and deaths of Priests,Nuns and Nurses. It is a gripping read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and the definitive history., 12 May 2013
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Paperback)
Very, very comprehensive and unbiased. Be warned, even if you thought you knew a lot about the Spanish civil war and its consequences for the Spanish people, you will be shocked by the sheer numbers (not just numbers - many are named and the specific circumstances of their deaths recounted) and the pervasive brutal thinking behind many of the executions and atrocities set out. Also, I had not realised the enormity and violence of the repression that continued for so long AFTER the war had ended.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Definitive!, 22 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Hardcover)
Nobody has written about the Spanish Civil War quite like Paul Preston. He is the "go to" historian in both English and Spanish.

Preston's `The Spanish Civil War' is already the definitive book for any antifascist who wants to understand the tragedy that was the fall of Spanish Republic. Throughout his substantial cannon of work he has eloquently portrayed the sacrifices that men and women from across the world made to fight Franco's brutal fascist regime and the shadowy and sinister support he received from Hitler and Mussolini, that was criminally ignored by the rest of Europe.

`The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain' is Preston's tour de force and possibly even surpasses his unparalleled biography of Franco to become his most important contribution to our understanding of 20th century Spain. As ever, Preston has sought to re tell the events, massacres and heroism through the eyes and memories of the lives of those who suffered most. The tragic tales of men and women who took up arms against a military machine that wanted to crush all vestiges of democracy, humanity and secularism.

The primary premise of this 700 page work is that Franco's belief in a Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik conspiracy resulted in a conscious and systematic attempt to eradicate all Republicans. Preston places the figure of murdered Republicans as high as 200,000 which certainly justifies his use of the term Holocaust. Franco's fanaticism even allowed the Nazis to test drop their bombs on the Spanish people. To its shame, the outside world refused to come to their aid.

A large section of the book is given over to Preston's meticulous research, testament that he has laboured harder and more thoroughly than others that may draw their own or different conclusions. It is often said that in wars, the victors get to write the history. It is the case that of the Spanish Civil War, the victors' have nothing palatable worth remembering, celebrating or commemorating. Preston has often said that he has spent his life fighting Franco. Those who continue to try and apologise for Franco now have their work really cut out as The Spanish Holocaust unquestionably delivers a blow to Franco's reputation that it will be hard to overcome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 18 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (Kindle Edition)
My husband is Catalan and after hearing many stories about the diabolical treatment of his nation by Franco and the like i felt i wanted to try and understand why and how it happened and this book truly opened my eyes to all! VISCA CATALUNYA!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immensely detailed and compelling, 9 April 2012
By 
bookelephant (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Hardcover)
There is no doubt that Preston knows his stuff - he is the "go to" man for this era of Spanish history. So if you want a meticulous authoritiative account, this may well be your resource. One can't say it is a fun or an easy read. The subect matter precludes the former, and the sheer weight of detail precludes the latter.

I would not myself recommend it to a first time reader on this subject; having approached it as such myself I found it really quite a struggle and had to go off and get some background elsewhere to put me in context, after I spent the first hundred pages or so feeling my head was spinning. However I gather from other reviews that if you are less lamentably ignorant on the subject than I was, it is much less of a struggle; so if you know a bit about the subject chances are you will revel in it. And to be fair once I did get a bit settled I found it a hugely informative, if deptressing, book.

My one niggle (and this may be my ignorance, but the Lit Rev reviewer seemed to think this too) - there seemed to be something of a pro-Republican bias. All the republican outrages seemed to be accepted as legitimate revenge for earlier horrors by the rightists; but a rightist outrage, even where it was expressly said to be in revenge (and where Preston accepted such a republican attack had taken place, which he often does not, sometimes without explaining why) never seems to be accepted as justified revenge ...
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48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking and meticulous, 7 Mar 2012
By 
Skateraw (Muchalls, Portlethen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust (Hardcover)
Paul Preston's 'The Spanish Holocaust' is ground-breaking, meticulous and one of the most important, riveting and most chilling studies of the consequences of the Spanish Civil War published to date, an opinion and endorsement which I have absolutely no hesitation in expressing both as a researcher on the subject myself and the publisher of the English-language edition of Peirats (whose publication in English, incidentally, Paul Preston helped finance!) -- and as a friend and occasional publisher of Diego Camacho (Abel Paz). The book is of even greater relevance today in view of the recent decision by the Partido Popular cabinet to abolish the Office for Victims of the Civil War and Dictatorship and, in all likelihood, begin their long-promised move to repeal the Historical Memory Law. Fortunately, Preston's 'The Spanish Holocaust' will stand as a monument to the untold thousands of victims of Francoism and as an ever-present reproach to those who would deny them - and those who honour their memory -justice. Thoroughly recommended and essential reading for everyone - and not just students and aficionados of the SCW. - Stuart Christie
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror Upon Horror..., 24 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (Kindle Edition)
I always knew that General Franco and his merry men were monsters, but until I read this book, I was unaware of the scale of their crimes. From the illegal uprising against a legally elected government to the horrendous atrocities against civilians, one's blood chills and chills again at the horrors perpetrated by the Francoist forces. The initial Nationalist advance, until checked at Madrid, saw mass executions and sexual abuse of women captives so horrific that even right-wing foreign correspondents embedded with Franco's forces were having nervous breakdowns. Even Mussolini was shocked at the scale of the violence; even the German government protested at the way Franco's good Catholic soldiery treated the Spanish Protestants. Read this book and understand what motivated so many foreign volunteers to go and fight in Spain in the International Brigades. Read and wonder how Franco lasted for so long.
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