What did Hitler mean by this?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ricardolindo, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Location:
    Portugal
    Speer recorded that Hitler once told him: "You know my opinion of Franco... We ought to keep these Red Spaniards on the back burner... They're lost to democracy, and to that reactionary crew round Franco too... I believe you to the letter, Speer, that they were impressive people. I must say, in general, that during the civil war the idealism was not on Franco's side; it was to be found among the Reds ... one of these days we'll be able to make use of them... The whole thing will start all over again. But with us on the opposite side."
    This is pretty strange. What did he mean?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    SpicyJuan and Lord_Vespasian like this.
  2. riggerrob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    Divide and conquer.
    Ironically, when Spanish communists retreated to France, the Vichy gov’t collected them in forced labour camps.
    Only a handful of Spanish communists joined the French Resistance.
     
    Evil Crusader, wtw and James Ricker like this.
  3. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    It was the drugs talking. Just my opinion. Hitlers inner circle left some really bizarre quotes from him. His babbling sounds just like some of the drug abusing clients I meet doing assistance work with veterans in trouble.
     
  4. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    The Spanish Communists & other leftists were all confined in the camps at Vernet when the Gestapo arrived. So were thousands of anti nazi Germans. The French swept all German nationals into the lockup irregardless of their politics. This was very convient for the Gestapo. The French even continued to provide guards and administrate the "refugee" camps, under German observation by the Armistice Commission & Gestapo.
     
    wtw likes this.
  5. Lalli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    I think that Hitler had just taken too much drugs and begin write some odd things. We hardly ever can know what this means.
     
    comrade cat and Johnrankins like this.
  6. Look More Closely Later Gone fishing means 'responses unlikely'

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Do you have a date for when Hitler is supposed to have said that? Some context of what was ongoing in the historical situation at the time might help.
     
  7. Thon Taddeo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Is it possible that Speer was not being entirely truthful about what Hitler said? Or might he have misremembered something?
     
  8. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    One thing to keep in mind, and something that is often forgotten these days, is that to Hitler, the word "reactionary" was an insult. And, while right-wing libertarians today have certainly exaggerated the degree of affnities between Communism and Nazism, the top Nazis probably did see themselves as genuine revolutionaries. It also is the case that Hitler didn't much like Franco at all.

    So my reading of the quote...

    Hitler thought that one day, with Communism vanquished, Nazism would emerge as the true revolutionary movement, and fight against old-school aristocratic authoritarians like Franco. When that happens, the old anti-Franco Communists, with their "impressive" skills and "idealism", would be useful allies for the Nazis.

    Of course, this probably bears little resemblance to political reality of the time(and absolutely none to the postwar reality), but it does follow the pattern of a coherent worldview.
     
  9. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Location:
    Portugal
    He said that in January 1943.
     
  10. Garetor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    I have heard that the most fanatically militant communists or Nazis in Weimar Germany tended to convert sides and be equally fanatic after they switched. For them, it was more about an aesthetic of bravura and revolution than ideology about dialectic or DER JUDEN.
     
    SpicyJuan, Bomster, karatachi and 2 others like this.
  11. James Ricker Own your mistakes

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    Franco wasn't as cooperative as he could have been with the Germans during World War II. I believe Hitler may have been planning on replacing Franco with someone a little more cooperative after the business of the war was over.
    If he had to use former communist to make the Spanish government a little more left-leaning it wouldn't matter if it was more leaning towards German interests.
     
    Bomster and wtw like this.
  12. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Location:
    Portugal
    Why would Hitler believe that any communists would side with him after Barbarossa?
     
  13. James Ricker Own your mistakes

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2016
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    They were screwed already, they had nothing to lose.
    The prospect of getting out of a forced labor camp and shifting Spain's government to the left would be quite tempting to a lot of people who weren't totally committed to the cause.
     
  14. Mariam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Aye. Hitler and Mussolini both had a pretty strong hatred of Franco and supported him largely out of convenience rather than solidarity (and even then, thoughts of severing support anyway as Franco's conservatism became more blatant were not unheard of). It's important to remember that Fascism and Nazism traditionally held conservatives, monarchists and reactionaries in as low esteem as liberals, socialists or communists. They saw them as simple minded, stubbornly backwards aristocrats who'd only get in the way of the national revolution Fascism and Nazism sought to impose on all aspects of society. And contrary to popular belief, Franco was by no means a Fascist. He utilized fascist rhetoric and aesthetics to his advantage, but otherwise, he was just a typical reactionary Catholic nationalist who was actually disliked by Spanish fascists.

    If Hitler or Mussolini were given the opportunity, they would have removed Franco and establish a genuine fascist regime in Spain in a heartbeat.
     
  15. Onkel Willie Kaiser

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I don't know the date of this quote, but Hitler was angry with Franco after their meeting in Hendaye in 1940. Perhaps this means he had longer term plans to get rid of Franco somehow, with the communists somehow playing a role, though I doubt the communists would end up coming out on top when it's all over.
     
    Max Sinister likes this.
  16. History Learner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    IIRC, the quote is from The Last Will and Testament and was made in February. In addition to this, he made several comments disparaging the Anglo-French too, which puts this into context; he was very bitter Franco and the Vichy didn't join the conflict, as well as the British refusing to bend to what he thought they would do over the course of the war. if Hitler supporting Spanish Communists sounds weird, look up what he said should've been done with the Vichy French and Italian colonies, colonialism in general and Jews. It reads more like a Bolshevik view then the Hitler we all know and hate.
     
  17. lionhead Pretty fly for a white guy

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    If it was in 1943, he was pretty delusional by then and since Speer is the most untrustworthy of them all, he might not have said it at all. Speer could have said anything about him he wanted.
     
  18. jerseyguy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Franco deliberated sidelined the ideological fascists on the Spanish nationalist side. On an authoritarian spectrum from "revolutionary right" fascists like Hitler to less ideological conservative authoritarians like Miklos Horthy, Franco's rule was much closer to Horthy's than Hitler's.

    There are Hitler quotes floating about how frustrated he was by earlier negotiations with Franco for Spain to join the axis or allow passage for German troops to Gibraltar, so he could also be referring to earlier interactions w/ Franco. It would have been undiplomatic to just say no to Hitler's requests. Franco said the same thing in a more indirect fashion by agreeing to join the axis, but only if a laundry list of ridiculous benefits (that were designed to be rejected) were also fulfilled.

     
    Max Sinister likes this.
  19. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Location:
    Portugal
    Actually, this quote is from in Speer's diary entry for 26 December 1950 recalling a conversation with Hitler in January 1943, published in Spandau: The Secret Diary.
     
    History Learner likes this.
  20. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Location:
    Portugal
    What did he say about colonies? Also, The Last Will and Testament seems to often be confused with another document The Last Testament which is claimed by David Irving to be a fake one.
    Note: While David Irving is a holocaust denier, I'm not one, please don't ban me for saying this.