Historical catalanophobia: a selection of quotes


The following selection of anti-Catalan quotes was curated by Toni Amat (@txeka_cat) and posted in a thread on Twitter between 23-24 January, 2018.

“The Catalan is the saddest and most wretched creature that God created and the Catalans three-handed thieves. While Catalonia still has one Catalan left, and stones in the deserted fields, we will have enemies and war.”
Francisco de Quevedo, 1640

“We must reduce Catalonia to Castilian customs and habits.”
Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, 1641

“Schools should not allow books in Catalan, or for it be written or spoken in schools, and the Christian doctrine should be, and be learnt, in Spanish…”
Philip V of Spain, 1715

“If the state did not impose Castilian throughout all of Spain, the dialects would prevail over Castillian.”
Miguel de Unamuno, 1905

“Catalonia must be Castilianised… They must think in Spanish, speak in Spanish and behave like Spaniards, if not by choice then by force.”
Army and Navy, 1906

“Catalonia must be filled with the worst that Spain has to offer.”
Martínez Anido, in a letter to Primo de Rivera

“If a majority of Catalans are determined to deviate from the Spanish route, we will have to consider the possibility of converting that land into a colony and moving the armies of North Africa there. Everything except … the other.”
Ramiro Ledesma Ramos, 1931

“An aquaintance of mine assures me that Spanish historical law requires Barcelona to be bombed every fifty years. Philip V’s system was unfair and harsh, but sound and convenient. It has been valid for two centuries.”
Manuel Azaña, 1931

“I have never been what one might call jingoistic or a Spanish nationalist, but these things incense me. If those people are going to dismember Spain, I prefer Franco.”
Manuel Azaña, 1931

“I am not waging war against Franco to create a stupid and provincial nationalism in Barcelona.”
Juan Negrín, 1931

“Catalans, Jews and renegades, you will pay for the damage you have caused. Up and at ’em, men. A new day is dawning in Spain.”
Version of ‘Cara al Sol’ (Facing the Sun) sung during the Battle of the Ebre.

“A warning. This behaviour is over, the betrayal is over, because we would prefer to see these lands pulverized than see them go against the sacred destiny of Spain once again.”
Jose Antonio Giménez Arnau, 1938

“Do you think that we have waged war so that Catalan can be once again used in public?”
Acedo Colunga, 1952

“Catalonia was occupied by Philip IV, who defeated it, it was bombed by General Espartero, and we occupied it in 1939 and we are willing to take it again as many times as is necessary and for this I am ready to take up arms again.”
Manuel Fraga, 1968

“I like Catalonia. What I don’t like are the Catalans.”
Santiago Bernabeu, 1968

“The emigration of Spanish-speaking people to Catalonia and the Balearic Islands must be encouraged to ensure the preservation of the Spanish sentiment that it brings.”
Calvo Sotelo, 1983

“Catalans only matter when they speak in Castilian.”
Jose Prat, 1984

“Terrorism in the Basque Country is a matter of public order, but the the real danger is Catalan distinction.”
Felipe González, 1984

“I don’t go to Barcelona to learn languages.”
Antonio Gala, 1994

“We will transform Madrid into a garden, Bilbao into a large factory and Barcelona into a huge building site.”
Queipo del Llano, 1936

“Never trust those who claim to be Galicians, Catalans, Basques … before Spaniards. They are usually incomplete, insufficient Spaniards, from whom nothing great can be expected.”
Antonio Machado, 1937


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