Saturday, December 4

‘The harsh truth about Franco’s dictatorship’ and two other documentaries to watch on Netflix | TV


Three shocking Netflix documentaries serve as a tool for those who want to know details of the story through characters approached from an unusual perspective. The harsh truth about Franco’s dictatorship, launched on day 1, is a controversial documentary series that recounts in five chapters surprising details of the life of the dictator who was in power for the longest time after World War II. Available from September 22, The most dangerous man in Europe. Otto Skorzeny in Spain is a feature film that tells the story of the lieutenant colonel of the SS, who lived for more than 25 years in Spanish territory. And also released on day 1, Colonia dignity It tells in six chapters how the pedophile Paul Schäfer founded a religious sect in Chile, where he practiced sexual abuse, torture, arms trafficking and murder.

‘The harsh truth about Franco’s dictatorship’

The young and shy Francisco Franco Bahamonde, after being rejected to work in the navy, enters the military academy and suffers bullying of the soldiers because of their short stature (1.63 centimeters). Yet he rises rapidly because he “kept complaining” and “wrote letters to ministers asking why they weren’t getting promoted,” says historian Paul Preston. The German series produced by the ZDF, full of anecdotes about the life of the dictator, addresses the surprising hypothesis that María del Carmen was not the daughter of Franco and not of his wife Carmen Polo, but of her younger brother Ramón with a prostitute. To support it, they explain that “she was never seen pregnant”, in addition to that “there is evidence that maintains that Franco did not like sex.”

Marriage of Francisco Franco and Carmen Polo on October 22, 1923. Frame from the film 'The hard truth about Franco's dictatorship'
Marriage of Francisco Franco and Carmen Polo on October 22, 1923. Frame from the film ‘The hard truth about Franco’s dictatorship’

Better known is the part in which various experts affirm that, without the support of Italy and Germany, Franco could not have won the civil war. Historian Carlos Collado Seidel reveals that there are reports of Mussolini in which basically “his hair is pulled by the unnecessarily long and tedious procedure” that Franco carried out during the coup d’état. Historian Anthony Beevor already points out that Franco behaved like an egocentric in World War II and left Hitler pissed off because he only did the minimum to help him, while trying to get the most out of himself. The writings of the interpreter Paul Schmidt corroborate the claim and point out that Hitler angrily told him: “I would rather have three teeth removed without anesthesia than talk to Franco for one more hour.”

The series tells how the movie Race, written by Franco under a false name and screened in theaters in 42, was seen by the dictator once a week and he always “cried out loud”. When he was older, the dictator spent a lot of the political affairs of the country and dedicated himself exclusively to fishing, hunting and watching television – and he liked television so much that he was 17.

‘The most dangerous man in Europe. Otto Skorzeny in Spain ‘

Otto Scarface Skorzeny, Hitler’s favorite man of action, lieutenant colonel of the SS, responsible for leading surprising missions such as the rescue of Benito Mussolini, flees to Spain after the end of World War II and lives for more than 25 years protected by the dictatorship Francoist. He settled in Madrid, in the El Viso neighborhood, and opened an office on Madrid’s Montera street to run his business. Skorzeny acts as an intermediary for large German companies and the Spanish administration and manages the construction of American military bases in the country. Soon their businesses diversify and Skorzeny starts selling weapons.

Otto Skorzeny and Klays Barbie.  Still from the film 'The Most Dangerous Man in Europe.  Otto Skorzeny in Spain '
Otto Skorzeny and Klays Barbie. Still from the film ‘The Most Dangerous Man in Europe. Otto Skorzeny in Spain ‘

The documentary shows how the German quickly weaves a large network of contacts with members of the High General Staff such as Juan Vigón, Muñoz Grandes, Martínez Campos and with the director of the newspaper Informaciones, Victor de la Serna y Espino. It becomes common to see Skorzeny at Club Stella, Pasapoga, Morocco or in Casablanca, always in good company. One of her friends, Klaus Barbie, former head of the Gestapo in France, appears in photos next to Skorzeny, both dressed as women. Soon Cara Cortda acquires numerous real estate properties, such as his holiday retreat in Morer Vermell, on the island of Mallorca, which sparks various protests from the neighborhood against his attempts to privatize a part of the coast.

Documents clearly show that the network Skorzeny is connected to is the network that carried out the assassination of President Kennedy.

Later Skorzeny begins working as a spy in the service of his former enemies. Historian Alexandra Jones asserts that he was probably recruited by the OSS, a forerunner of the CIA, and historian Ralpg Ganis asserts that the documents “clearly show that the network to which Skorzeny is connected, is the network that carried out the assassination of the President Kennedy ”. Skorzeny also becomes involved in the conflict between Egypt and Israel, initially helping Egyptian President Nasser recruit scientists for a ballistic missile construction program, but subsequently making an agreement with Mosad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, to sabotage the program. Skorzeny changes sides when it suits him, as this production shows thanks to a good documentary work. When he died at his home in El Viso in 1975, he had an extraordinary funeral in which “there have never been so many Nazi greetings since the end of World War II,” notes one commentator. The film, co-produced by Quindrop, RTVE and Balearic television IB3, was directed by Pedro de Echave and Pablo Azorín.

Colonia Dignidad. Pedophile Shelter

Paul Schäfer, a German member of the Hitler Youth, who had founded an organization for minors at social risk in Germany, fled his country on charges of pedophilia. Escaped in Chile, Schäfer organized the emigration of several hundred members of his community and founded a colony 350 kilometers south of the capital, at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Wolfgang Kneese relates that the first night he spent at the home he was sexually abused, but he managed to escape and made a complaint. Schäfer, cunning and full of contacts, managed to transform the victim into a perpetrator, orchestrated a large demonstration to defend him and accused the complainant of theft, homosexuality and defamation: the young man was sentenced to five years in prison.

They put a helmet on me, attached the electrical terminals to my eyes, to my urethra, to my anus, and they began to ask about people

In the documentary, directed by Wilfried Huismann and Annette Baumeister, the secretary general of the Frente Nacionalista Patria y Libertad, Roberto Thieme, affirms that the colony helped carry out the coup in Chile. Witnesses describe how Schäfer trafficked weapons and gave each child a pistol, so that they would always carry them with them. Willi Malessa, one of the boys from the colony, tells how they accurately rebuilt the components of a submachine gun and began serial production of weapons. The colony soon becomes a torture center for opponents of the dictatorship. Luis Peebles, leader of the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR), reveals that they took him to the colony, put a helmet on him, attached the electrical terminals to his eyes, urethra, anus, and began to ask about people.

Still from the documentary series
Still from the documentary series “Colonia Dignidad”. Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on a visit to the colony

Testimonies confirm that countless military personnel visited the Nazi frequently, even the dictator Augusto Pinochet appears in a video in the colony next to Schäfer. With the arrival of democracy, several complaints and the children’s statements corner the leader of the sect, who fled Colonia Dignidad in 1998. In 2005, Schäfer was arrested in Argentina at the age of 84 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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