Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post My Father in the Spanish Civil War; from Anthony J. Candil
Created by John Eipper on 04/13/13 5:59 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


My Father in the Spanish Civil War; from Anthony J. Candil (John Eipper, USA, 04/13/13 5:59 am)

JE: Anthony J. Candil (Austin, TX) has followed up on his post of 11 April:

My thanks to John E for posting my last message.

On his last question, I have to say that the so-called "Ley de la Memoria Histórica" (Law for the Historical Memory) was established by former president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in 2004. I know many people will disagree with me, but I think it was an unnecessary measure that ultimately led to reopening buried memories and wounds, once again validating the poem of Antonio Machado about the "two Spains." Spain in 2004 was much in need of many other key reforms, in my humble view, and a review on the immediate and close past shouldn't have been a priority. Today as far as I know that law is still standing, and money much needed elsewhere is being devoted to whomever wants to review the history and write it again, especially if it favors the Republican side. This is just my view.

On the issue of Prime Ministers Zapatero and Aznar being so apart, I'm not so sure. Keep in mind that José María Aznar even managed to say once that his favorite historical person was no other than Manuel Azaña, the president of the Republic, something that neither Zapatero nor even Felipe González ever dared to say. But yes, of course, Aznar and Zapatero were different and very apart. And I don't like either of them. I think both did poorly as Prime Ministers.

On the issue of my father, Ramón Candil. I can tell you that his story is fascinating, and I only came to know about it recently. He never said anything to me nor to anyone.

Let me tell you briefly. He started the war as a Republican, a very young corporal in the Infantry Regiment "Castilla 3," in Badajoz, where he has enlisted as a volunteer in late 1935. In July 1936, he was about to start medical school at the University of Sevilla, where his uncle Fernando Candil was a professor at the Law School. His father--my grandfather Antonio--was a civil servant working at the Ministry of the Interior (then Ministerio de la Gobernación), but due to his affinities and links with the Guardia Civil, he was put in jail at the Convento de San Agustin, Badajoz. It's a complicated story.

My father was the personal secretary those days of the commanding officer of the Regiment (who kept his unit loyal to the Republic), Colonel José Cantero, who was later on executed or killed in action. There's always an ongoing debate on this.

On August 14, 1936, my father was away from his Regiment, trying to provide some relief and help for his father who was still in jail. My father was quickly taken prisoner by a patrol of la Legión (probably from Castejón's column) and later on sent to the infamous Plaza de Toros (bullring), from where he was finally freed two or three days later by his own father and on orders of Lieutenant Colonel Yagüe himself. My father saw many executions. Certainly he was lucky to survive, but he wasn't left many options. Later on as he was about to enter the university, he was sent to one of the many war military academies established by the Nationalists (Academias de Transformación), and by the end of 1936 he was already a very young second lieutenant (alférez) in the Nationalist Army in time to be sent to the capture of Málaga alongside the Italian forces.

Later on he participated in many battles, even at the attempt to land in Cartagena. He ended the war being promoted and much decorated, being just barely 20 years old. But that's another story.

He never spoke to anybody about his experience; never wanted to. But now while he's still with us I'm trying to put his memories in order.  I'm trying to write a book on those August days, when Franco's forces took over the city of Badajoz. Not everything that has been published conforms to that reality, my father says.

JE comments: Civil wars are so tragic (and so fascinating) because your choice of side was often determined by chance. The story of Ramón Candil's arrest by the Franco forces is a case in point. My thanks to Anthony for sharing his father's story.

I'm sure there is an extensive bibliography on the Nationalist "Academias de Transformación." Any recommendations from our SCW experts?  Few things strike me as scarier than re-education camps.

The massacres of Badajoz receive extensive coverage in our colleague Paul Preston's masterful We Saw Spain Die.  See also Paul's WAIS post of 25 November 2012:


Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (1)
Informational value100%

Visits: 114


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (45694 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who