José Finat y Escrivá de Romaní

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José Finat y Escrivá de Romaní as Ambassador to Germany in 1941 (National Digital Archive, Poland)

José María de la Blanca Finat y Escrivá de Romaní (Madrid, Feb. 11, 1904 - Madrid, May 30, 1995) was a Spanish politician and government official who held several important posts during the Franco dictatorship. After the Civil War he was named Director General of Security and from 1952 to 1965 he was the Mayor of Madrid.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

His father was José Finat y Carvajal, a nobleman who held several titles including Count of Mayalde, Finat and Villaflor. [1] His mother was Blanca Escrivá de Romaní y de la Quintana, daughter of the Count of Casal.

He entered public life in Toledo as a political protégé of the Count of Romanones in the last years of the reign of Alfonso XIII. In 1919, he assumed his father's title of Count of Mayalde. He took a degree in law and began a military career as an artillery commander.

He became an activist for the Liberal-Conservative Party in the municipal elections of 1931. After the establishment of the Second Republic his opinions became radicalized and he became a supporter of the Spanish Falange, a party that was soon incorporated into the larger Syndicalist movement.[2] He participated in the elections of 1933 and 1936, running under the banner of the Popular Action Party and the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups (CEDA). During the Civil War he was personal secretary to Ramón Serrano Suñer.

Franco Dictatorship[edit]

After the war, he became the Director General of Security (DGS).[3] In the early years of the dictatorship, he and two other Falangists were involved in the beating of singer Miguel de Molina, who was targeted for being homosexual. Years later, Molina gave an interview in which he identified two of his assailants: Finat y Sancho Dávila.[4] According to the historian Josep Fontana:[5]

"...it was the Count of Mayalde, a man whose hands were stained with blood who, as Director General of Security, had invited Heinrich Himmler to visit Madrid in 1940, with the intent to establish some form of collaboration with the Gestapo..."

As DGS, he arrested and detained Lluís Companys, the President of Catalonia, who was put on trial and executed by firing squad in 1940. His final act as DGS was to establish the "Jewish Archive", a collection of documents put together by the civil authorities to register and manage the Jewish residents of Spain; approximately 6,000 at that time.[6]

Between 1941 and 1942 he served as the Spanish Ambassador to Germany,[7] coinciding with Operation Barbarossa, which saw Falangist volunteers of the Blue Division at the front. In 1952 he was named Mayor of Madrid, a post he occupied until replaced by Carlos Arias Navarro in 1965, making him Madrid's longest serving mayor. In 1971 he became a solicitor for the Cortes and a Minister in Franco's National Movement. In his later years, he retired to a ranch.

The Avenida del Alcalde Conde de Mayalde in Hortaleza is named after him, as is the Public College "Conde de Mayalde" in Añover de Tajo.

References[edit]