“Prussian Jews wanted to come back to Spain in 1854”

The story of the Moroccans with keys to houses in Granada is well known. La Cruz, The Cross, a Catholic periodical carried what sounds like a variant of this in 1854, claiming that Prussian Jews were about to petition the Spanish court to abolish the 1492 expulsion decree. Léon Carbonero y Sol wrote:

In truth it does not surprise us that at this time in which Spain appears a putrefying corpse, these stinking worms emerge into the public, this accursed race, which, no matter how hard it strives, will not be able to erase from its forehead the execrable anathema that reduced it to nomadism, without temple, ministers, fatherland, or home, always persecuted and always hated wherever it desires to leave its foul footprint.

That’s a no, then.

Jane S Gerber’s Jews of Spain: A History of the Sephardic Experience provides background to Spain’s extraordinary and persistent tradition of Jew-hating, shared by left and right, and debunks the myth of the Franco regime’s role in helping Jews escape; I’ve got a couple of examples of recent folk-religious and commercial applications; and Gustavo D Perednik has posted an excellent detailed history of what he refers to as Judeophobia here. Here‘s a slightly different view of Ernesto Giménez Caballero to his:

“The Spanish d’Annunzio”, “the first Spanish fascist” … maintained a great admiration for the Jews, and in particular for the Spanish-speaking Jews, the Sephardim. In La Gaceta Literaria … he rejected the anti-Semitism (sustained for example by [Basque novelist] Pío Baroja). [20s dictator] Primo de Rivera even sent him on a tour of the Balkans to give speeches to the Sephardic communities there.

I think this latter followed on the extension of protection to non-Muslims in the old Ottoman domains following the treaty with Turkey in 1923, and based on the writings of Angel Pulido, a liberal deputy, who was amazed to find Ladino speakers during a trip to the Balkans in 1903. Pulido, says Gerber, believed that these 500,000 “Spaniards without a Fatherland” could return and resuscitate Spain, restoring some of its past greatness now the Pacific and American colonies were lost. Spain and the Jews were not interested, and, to judge by the preface Caballero later wrote for his collection of Baroja’s ravings, Comunistas, judíos y demás ralea, his views subsequently hardened.

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Last updated 26/10/2006

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Generation of '98 (23): The Generation of '98 Generación del 98 or Generación de 1898) was a group of novelists, poets, essayists, and philosophers active in Spain at the time of the Spanish–American War. The name Generación del 98 was coined by José Martínez Ruiz, commonly known as Azorín, in his 1913 essays titled "La generación de 1898", alluding to the moral, political and social crisis in Spain produced by the loss of the colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam after defeat in the Spanish–American War that same year.

Kaleboel (4307):

Moors (89):

Pío Baroja (21): Pío Baroja y Nessi was a Spanish writer, one of the key novelists of the Generation of '98.

Russia (108):

Spain (1881):

Spanish literature (171):


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