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Glorious Brothers, Unsuitable Lovers: Moroccan Veterans, Spanish Women, and the Mechanisms of Francoist Paternalism

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Contemporary History
Issue number1
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)52-74
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/08/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Out of the 78,504 Moroccans who fought in the Francoist army during the Spanish Civil War, an estimated 55,468 sustained injuries over the course of the conflict. Within the deeply hierarchical and militaristic regime of Francisco Franco, a privileged symbolic space was reserved for troops from the Spanish Protectorate who had sacrificed their bodily integrity in the ‘Crusade’. Such veterans were presented by the regime as the ‘glorious mutilated’, and a special body was established to manage their disability pension claims. Yet this privileged position did not imply parity with veterans’ Spanish counterparts, especially when it came to romantic relationships with Spanish women. This article will explore how the Francoist regime’s paternalism towards its Moroccan veterans helped to entrench racial hierarchies in Francoist Spain while respecting military ones. Through an examination of the everyday bureaucratic interactions between representatives of the Francoist state and Moroccan men, paternalism emerges as an overlooked and undertheorized – yet highly significant – discourse in modern European politics and society. Far from being a by-product of colonial politics, paternalism in many ways defined the Francoist regime’s governing ethos more broadly, and helped to ensure its long-term survival both in the Protectorate and in Spain.