The Spanish Right and the Jews, 1898-1945 by Isabelle Rohr

The Spanish Right and the Jews, 1898-1945 by Isabelle Rohr

Antisemitism and Opportunism

Studies on Contemporary Spain

This book debunks the so-called ‘paradoxical’ nature of Franco’s supposed benevolence towards the Jews, showing that any generosity on the regime’s part was both opportunistic and unreliable. Dr Rohr grounds Franco’s relationship to the Jews during World War II in the fascinating and complex history of post-Inquisitorial Spanish attitudes towards Jews, ranging from Philosephardism to various forms of antisemitism according to shifting ideological goals. Rohr’s reading of Franco’s neo-Philosephardism in the context of his colonial ambitions in Northern Africa is groundbreaking.
– Dr. Soledad Fox, Ass’t. Prof. of Spanish and Comparative Literature, Williams Coll.

The author has reconciled several different kinds of history – exploring political myths, colonialism and foreign policy during wartime as well as contributing to both Spanish and Jewish history. This engaging, stimulating and original work firmly gives the issue of race in contemporary Spain the historiographical importance that it merits. Just as the Moorish ‘Other’ has long been recognised as a significant term of reference of Spanish identity, this books shows how the construction of ‘the Jew’ plays a similar role.
– Dr Michael Richards, U. of the West of England

A penetrating appraisal of the specific mixture of ideological and strategic (indeed frankly opportunistic) motives driving the contradictory policies adopted by Francoists towards different groups of European Jews in the period between c. 1936 and 1945. The particular strength of Dr Rohr’s work is its understanding of the constant interplay between the political mythology of Spanish antisemitism and Spain’s geopolitical interests and colonial aspirations.
– Prof. Helen Graham, Dept. of History, Royal Holloway, U. of London

Year first published: 2022

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