The extraordinary outpouring of histories, memoirs, and interviews that have come out of Spain since the death of Franco continues unabated. A people denied historical expression ultimately responds by raising historical studies to new levels of development. Ronald Fraser’s Blood of Spain used oral history to provide a broad perspective on the participants in the Civil War. Special studies like The Forgotten Men continue use of the oral process by looking at the “moles” who disappeared from view at the end of the war.
The moles, of course, were Spaniards who remained hidden for as long as thirty-seven years after the war’s end. There were Republican soldiers who feared retribution and former socialists who chose not to go into exile. Some hid simply out of fear. Their experiences are studies in evasion and solitude, a reflection of the cruelty inflicted by fratricide.
The Forgotten Men, unfortunately, adds little that is new. Miguel García’s Franco’s Prisoner (1972) discussed the more interesting story that took place in Nationalist prisons, and M. Mora’s In Hiding (1975) described quite amply the lot of the fugitive in hiding. The Forgotten Men is simply a broader study of the impact of fanaticism upon segments of a nation.