Spanish Time and The Third Reich
Even today there are surprising vestiges of the Third Reich which survive. The persistence of relatively innocuous Nazi-era laws is the subject of frequent comment in Germany, but somewhat more surprising is the issue of time in Spain. Fascism was a force which swept Europe in the 1930’s. More than one country fell victim. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Turkey and others heeded the call of a government led by a king-like individual. In Spain, the Republican government had solid popular support and only fell to Franco because of assistance from the Reich. Most feel that without this assistance, Franco would have died an obscure general. In gratitude, and to align his country closer with Berlin, Franco moved Spanish time one hour ahead of GMT. To be on the same time as England was no longer seen as a virtue. Portugal’s dictator decreed that his country would do the same. Hitler came and went, but Spanish time even today remains one hour ahead of GMT. Even Portugal eventually abandoned the change. Though the Reich is no more, Spain marks its hours as if a red, white and black flag still flew over the German state.