Title: Interview to Max Gallo on his book 'Historia de la España franquista' (History of the francoist Spain)
Duration: 5 min., 31 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Entrevista a Max Gallo sobre su último libro, Historia de la España franquista
During the sixties (of the 20th century), France lived an unusual interest for the publication of works about the contemporary history of Spain, specially, those that concerned the period of the Civil War. Nevertheless, the interest was not for works written by Spanish people, but by hispanists from different origins. Italy, France, Great Britain, United States and some countries of Latin America were pioneering in this field. Of course, “Radio París” payed special attention to the phenomenon, because of several fundamental reasons: it treated an aspect with clear incidence in France, which was directly related with Spain and that had a fundamental political component (in addition to the cultural), since the majority of these works were systematically forbidden in Spain, prohibition that was maintained for many of them until the end of the Transition. The publication in France of the work of the Italian politician Pietro Nenni, published by Masperó in 1960, was one of the pioneering works on the subject. It was not an academic book, but an living proof of the experiences the author had as a member of the International Brigades during the conflict. Afterwards there were made the historical studies. Broadcasts have been conserved on the works mentioned below:
There is no doubt that the work of main transcendence was the French edition of 'The Spanish Civil War', of Hugh Thomas, published at the beginning of the decade. Hugh Thomas took up the baton left by Gerald Brenan and his 'The Spanish Labyrinth', and wrote one of the most complete and objective works on the conflict, still considered a reference book, reason why “Radio París” dedicated to this author two interviews. The preserved recordings that conserve are eloquent about it. 'La crisis española del siglo XX' (published in French with the title 'La crise espagnole au XXº siècle', Paris, Fischbacher, 1962), by the historian and Uruguayan sociologist Carlos Manuel Rama, occasional contributor of the radio station, was equally interesting. The controversial North American hispanist Herbert R. Southworth was interviewed too (Very feared by the Franco regime, given his ability for refuting the myths created by the propaganda); a book whose prologue was titled 'The Falange in the war of Spain. The unification and Hedilla', by the former Falangist Maximino García Venero, likewise, the broadcast also payed attention to the French hispanist Max Gallo, by his work 'Histoire de l'Espagne franquiste' (Paris, Laffont, 1969).
In the seventies, the interest on the subject continued. In 1970, "Radio París" interviewed two more French hispanists: Jean Descola, by his book 'Les grandes heures of l'Espagne' (which remains a colloquium), and Jacques Georgel, author of 'Le franquisme: Histoire et bilan. 1939-1969' (Paris, du Seuil, 1970). Regarding the last of the recordings on the subject kept, it focuses in Jacques Pinglé, one of the maximum responsibles of the reopening of the Franco-Spanish relations at the end of the fifties, by his book 'Histoire des espagnols' (Paris, Editions Universitaires, 1975).
All of these books (there were many more, of course), together and separately, had a fundamental importance: they were studies done with all care, that unquestionably refuted the fundamental myths of the regime. Hence, in May 1965, the Minister Fraga Iribarne created the Section of Studies on the Spanish Civil War of the Ministry of Information and Tourism (in charge of Ricardo de la Cierva), with the purpose of thwarting the effect of these books, trying to support the propaganda of the dictatorship and update it somehow. All these recordings mean a fundamental contribution for the reconstruction of our history and our memory. But at the same time they had an interesting and precise function. Most of them were published in Spanish by the most important publishers of the exile in Paris, especially by Ruedo Ibérico, a publisher whose publications were clandestinely brought in Spain, destined to the inner dissidence. Thus, many of these books were already known by the Spaniards, even before their publication, thanks to “Radio París”.
University of Alicante. University Library. Fonoteca