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World Association of International Studies

Post Spanish Diplomats Who Helped Jewish Refugees
Created by John Eipper on 03/08/17 6:36 AM

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Spanish Diplomats Who Helped Jewish Refugees (Angel Vinas, Belgium, 03/08/17 6:36 am)

Back on January 22nd, John E asked:  "Did Spain have any rogue diplomats who issued visas independently [to Jewish refugees during WWII], as did Portugal's Aristides de Sousa Mendes?

Oh, yes. There were several. Out of my cuff I could mention Angel Sanz Briz, Sebastián Romero Radigales, Julio Palencia, Miguel Ángel Muguiro, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, who I think coincided in Bordeaux with his Portuguese colleague, Bernardo Rolland, and some others.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to which I feel a special attachment, has been at pains to highlight the exploits of these diplomats. Some of them have been declared righteous among the nations by Israel. At least one whom I won't name went from fervid anti-Semite to saviour of Jews.

What the Ministry has never done is try to recover the vanished documentation of Serrano Suñer's times. In my blog (www.angelvinas.es) I've run a series of posts denouncing Serrano´s efforts to create a legend for himself. It turns out that all of the regime used to love Jews...

The hole in the Spanish documentation to which I refer is, I believe, unique in the annals of Spanish diplomacy.

JE comments:  At what point did the long-lived Serrano Suñer (Franco's brother-in-law) seek to re-fashion himself as a defender of the Jewish people?  Sometime during the 1960s, when Israel moved to the front lines of the Cold War, as Spain had done a decade earlier?  I'm looking forward to reading Ángel's posts on the topic.

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  • Why Does WAIS Say "German Holocaust"? (Edward Jajko, USA 03/10/17 3:52 AM)
    I have trouble with the semantics of the WAIS subject heading "German Holocaust."

    The Holocaust of WWII is the holocaust beyond description or exception, and has had no need of descriptive modifiers. To some it is the Jewish Holocaust, but that title ignores the many other victims who were specifically targeted; although Jews were the preponderance of those who were murdered.

    In any event, while the guilt falls on the Germans, to say "German Holocaust" implies that it was the Germans who suffered, not the Jews of various nationalities, the Poles, the Gypsies, and others.

    After all, people don't refer to the "Turkish Genocide"(well, Turks do), but to the Armenian Genocide. It is the object of the action, not its author, that should modify this sort of noun. And with the Holocaust, the Sho'ah, no descriptive modifier is needed. Certainly not "German."

    JE comments: The WAIS subject menu is fixed and predates my time in the editor's chair. Still, Ed Jajko's point is well taken. We'll make the change to "Holocaust/Shoah."

    The victim/executioner semantics of Holocausts is not that simple, however.  "Nazi Holocaust" is a commonly used term; put in quotation marks and you get 389,000 Google hits.  No one would suggest that it's referring to Nazi victims.

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