How a Small Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

When an 80-year-old diary – written partly in code – turned up in a pile of rubbish on the Costa Brava, Marçal Font Espi resolved to unravel its mysteries. The bookseller has connected it to an entire Nazi subculture in Spain, during and after World War II, and to Francisco Franco’s dream of a Spanish A-bomb

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Ferran Barber
Ferran Barber

This story begins in August 2021 in a small coastal town a hundred kilometers north of Barcelona. Buried among the papers and useless objects found by a French scrap dealer in an old building in the town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in the Girona province of Catalonia, was a diary, apparently handwritten by a German. The Frenchman immediately sensed its value, and decided to phone a well-known Barcelona bookseller named Marçal Font Espi. The latter is fascinated by dusty, moisture-stained documents, and loves a good mystery. He did not hesitate for a second to acquire it “for a reasonable price.”

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can