The Last of the Fascists was General Francisco Franco of Spain
Fascism is a philosophy that is as old as history. It really means that when there is chaos in society then the government must take over with an Iron hand. This theory of Fascism comes down to modern times from the Roman era. In the 20th century when in Europe there was an economic recession and people were wondering what to do and Italy and Germany were struck by unemployment and lack of real wages, the stage was set for an extremist philosophy. In this scenario, Europe became the breeding ground of. fascism.
Fascism rose in Italy under Benito Mussolini. He was a great man in his own way but his wayward life let him down. Towards the end of the war, he was a broken man who almost became a running boy of Hitler. He met a sad end as partison fighters shot him dead and his body was hung in the public square in Milan. Another place where Fascism grew is Germany. The First World War had so crippled Germany, that even buying a loaf of bread was a torture . WIth all round economic stagnation, Adolf Hitler rode to power on the theory of Fascism and German Pride. Hitler formed the Nazi party and within a span of half dozen he had control overy almost the entire Eurone.
He turned his attention to Spain where another Fascost general Francisco Franco was fighting the Royalists in a civil war.
Hitler and Franco
Hitler thought his this duty to help Franco and he dispatched guns and volunteers to help the Spanish leader. Franco believed in Fascism and he won the Civil war in Spain . The forces of general Franco were able to consolocate his rule and by mid-thirties, Franco became Caudillo or the leader of Spain. In 1940 Adolf Hitler made a train journey after the conquest of France to meet the Caudillo . He came with the idea of asking Spain to help him in the war
Franco was a shrewd man and though he made some verbal promises, he did not commit on the dotted line to Hitler and Mussolini. I do not know if he had a Sixth Sense but probably he had a feeling that the bubble may burst anytime and it would harm him. Therefore he did not actively take part in the war on the side of Hitler though he was a Fascist to the core.
The fact that general Franco did not join Hitler and Mussolini in World War II was a factor that saved him at the end of the war. With Mussolini and Hitler dead, general Franco was the last surviving fascist. Franco ruled for almost 40 years and during this period he made some very far reaching decisions. One of his decisions was that after his death the Spanish royal house would be restored and Spain would become a monarchy again. Ths was in my view a very great decision and Franco must take credit for it. He could have easily asked one of his children to succeed in him but Franco was a changed man after World War II. To show the United States and UK that he was on their side and to ensure his own survival he joined NATO
During the four decades of Franco's rule, the one gift that he bestowed on the Spanish people was stability. He suppressed all the seperatist tendencies and Catalonia which wanted independence was boxed in. What's next? He believed in the unity of Spain and it is on record that Franco rarely went out of Spain.
One reason for this was that he had the stigma of being the last surviving fascist companion of Hitler and Mussolini. He was lonely but story records he not only survived in Spain but continued ruling four decades. This is no mean achievement.Franco remains one of the most enduring rulers in Europe during the 20th century.Franco has a permanent place in world history as he was the only fascist who died a natural death.The Spanish people sometime must be wondering how Franco who was a designated friend of Hitler and Mussolini survived.
Place in history
Franco has a permanent place in the history of Spain.Many people still remember him as a strong man- as a man who brought order in society but now with Franco dead and gone, fissiparous tendencies have come up in Spain and people sometimes wonder whether Franco's rule was good or bad for Spain.
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