Fighting the International Conspiracy: The Francoist Persecution of Freemasonry, 1936–1945

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This article examines the persecution of Spanish Freemasonry under the Franco regime (1936–75). It emphasises the significance of the Francoist conviction that a ‘Judeo-Masonic-Communist’ conspiracy not only made the Civil War ‘inevitable’ but also continued to threaten Spain after final victory in 1939. Thus in March 1940, Franco felt compelled to create a special repressive framework to fight Freemasonry in the ‘Law for the repression of Freemasonry and Communism’. This article demonstrates that despite its title, the law was primarily an anti-Masonic measure. It also shows that the persecution of Freemasons was not alleviated by Allied victory in the Second World War in 1945. Indeed, despite the abolition of the March 1940 law in 1963, the regime continued to fear the supposed dark powers of Freemasonry until Franco's death in November 1975.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-196
JournalPolitics, Religion and Ideology
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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