Episode 7- Getting Nazi Spies Out of Spain

Episode 7 with David Messenger

At the end of the Second World War, hundreds of Nazi spies remained in Spain, and the Allies feared those agents could keep Nazism alive under the Franco dictatorship.  In this episode, Professor David Messenger traces the allied effort to repatriate men to Germany for denazification.  How successful was the repatriation program?  What was the fate of the Germans who were deported?  Messenger considers these questions before concluding with the implications of his work on the repatriation program for our understanding of both the Franco regime and postwar Europe more broadly.

The Episode

The Guest

David A. Messenger is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of South Alabama, in Mobile, AL. He previously taught at the University of Wyoming and at Carroll College in Helena, MT and joined USA in 2017. His specialty is 20th Century Europe, and he has focused on the significance of justice in the politics of reconstruction, especially in the aftermath of the Second World War. His primary focus of this has been on the foreign policies of the victorious countries in the war towards the dictatorship of Franco’s Spain in the 1940s. More broadly, Messenger is interested in human rights in international politics and the memory of war and violence in contemporary European societies and especially Spain. He has held fellowships from the Government of Spain, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Mershon Center for International Strategic Studies at the Ohio State University.

Suggested Reading

  • Bowen, Wayne H. Spain During World War II. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006.
  • ———. Spaniards and National Socialist Germany: Collaboration in the New Order. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2000.
  • Collado Seidel, Carlos. Espana: Refugio Nazi. Madrid: Temas de Hoy, 2004.
  • Grande Seone, Emilio. A Balancing Act: British Intelligence in Spain during the Second World War. Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2017.
  • Irujo, Jose María. La Lista Negra: Los espías Nazis protegidos par Franco y la Iglesia. Madrid: Aguilar, 2003.
  • Messenger, David A. Hunting Nazis in Franco’s Spain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014.
  • Rodríguez González, Javier. “El Espionaje Nazi.” In Emilio Grandío Seoane and Javier Rodríguez González, eds. War Zone: La Segunda Guerra Mundial en el Noroeste de la Península Ibérica. Madrid: Eneida, 2012.
  • Ros Agudo, Manuel. La Guerra secreta de Franco (1939-1945). Barcelona: Critica, 2002.
  • Thomas, Joan Maria. Roosevelt, Franco and the End of the Second World War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

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