Was the Republic of Spain communist
On April 26, 1937 Wolfram von Richthofen, chief of the staff of the Condor Legion, gave the order that the small Basque industrial city of Guernica be bombarded into rubble and ashes. On this day, as in November 1936 with the attacks on Madrid, the modern face of the war reappeared. In no previous military conflict had there been a more powerful air force. (7) The firepower of this flying unit alone exceeded the total potential of all air forces in the First World War. At the same time, the destruction of civilian targets, neither of buildings nor of people, has been organized in any war before. The cruelty of this war consisted in the fact that human casualties among the civilian population were accepted or even deliberately provoked during the air raids. (8) With the targeted bombardment, von Richthofen wanted to prevent republican troops from retreating through this town into the mountains. In contrast to earlier attacks by the Wehrmacht on Madrid, Almería and Barcelona, the eradication of the small Basque town, which was not even a frontline town, outraged the world public. Around 2,000 of the 17,000 inhabitants were killed. The Wehrmacht tried to downplay the event. Because of the violation of the neutrality agreement, sanctions by the Western European governments now threatened. First, the Wehrmacht successfully denied the massacre by claiming that retreating Bolsheviks had burned Guernica themselves.
Never before had the world public paid so much attention to the events in Spain. But since the bombing of Guernica, the eyes of the world have turned to Spain. (9) It was in this climate that the Spanish Republic presented itself at the World Exhibition in Paris. The development of the design of the pavilion had the highest political priority and resulted in a propaganda masterpiece. The opening ceremony in Paris took place just a few weeks after the bombing of Guernica on May 25, 1937, but the Spanish Pavilion was not completed and opened to the public until July 12.
In addition to the non-intervention of August 1936, which enabled Franco to obtain war material without hindrance from abroad, the Munich Treaties of November 1938 became the decisive event that was to lead to the fall of the Spanish Republic. With the fact that there was recognition of National Socialist foreign policy by the Western powers, Mussolini had no repression to expect if he openly supported Spanish fascism. His troop contingents were deployed alongside Moroccans, Foreign Legionnaires, Germans, and Spaniards from December 1938 onwards only one in three had a rifle at all.
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