A few weeks ago a book was published in Spanish entitled Nazis en la Costa del Sol (Nazis on the Costa del Sol, in English). In charge of the Almuzara publishing house, its author is José Manuel Portero, born in Seville, but well known in Benalmádena, among other reasons because he has lived there for more than thirty years and because he has been the director of a secondary school.
The book collects stories about the condition of the coast of Malaga as a haven for Nazis. In its pages appear, therefore, people as important in that dark age as Aribert Heim, also known as Doctor Muerte; Otto Remmer, the SS general who saved Hitler; Alfred Giese Hausmann, head of German military espionage in Malaga; Belgian General Leon Degrelle, or Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s chief of special operations and the person who led Mussolini’s rescue operation.
Just to find out about the lives of these men is worth the book, since they are about some of the most sinister who were in the service of the Third Reich for a few years, about all those that coincided with the Second World War, which changed the world map.
But the importance of this work goes further. As with others published on the same issue, some focused on other geographical areas of Spain, it is yet another proof of the collaboration that Franco’s Spanish government had with the Nazi regime. A collaboration that was very important during the war, but which also lasted after 1945.
We have been made to believe that Spain was neutral during the Second World War. But it’s a lie. One of the great lies in the most recent history of this country. Franco collaborated with Hitler from the beginning.
There was political affinity, but he also had to return the favor of the help that the Germans gave to the Francoists in the Civil War, a help without which they would surely not have been able to win.
The espionage and sabotage operations that the Germans carried out in Spain, especially in the area closest to Gibraltar, had the direct help of Spaniards.
The Nazis also had at least three supply bases in this country for their submarines. The sale of tungsten was also very important for Hitler’s war machine. These are just a few of the many examples in which that help was embodied.
And that collaboration was about to turn the tide of World War II. It would have done so if the so-called Operation Felix had been carried out for the invasion of Gibraltar. They would have cut off access to the Mediterranean for the Allies, the subsequent occupation of North Africa would not have been carried out, the British and Americans would not have been able to enter Europe through Italy ... An operation, by the way, that was studied down to the last detail. It even had a date, 11 January, 1941. But in the end it was not carried out. Fortunately.
It is also striking that this aid to the Nazis continued after the war and despite the German defeat. What happened precisely on the Costa del Sol is good proof.
And for that reason alone it is convenient to read the book. It is always good to know history, if only so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.