In August 1936, UNF leader Nimio de Anquín attempted to force students at a law school in Cordoba to pledge a statement of support for the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Police responded with a crackdown against Argentine nationalists. Support for the UNF surged after two nationalists were shot in the Colegio Montserrat in 1938. In the aftermath of the Montserrat murders, Anquin denounced the bourgeoisie for complicity and cowardice and claimed that "communism, Judaism, and degenerate Radicalism" were responsible for causing the murders. Anquín called for the mourners to swear "by God, honour, and the Fatherland, to return the homicidal bullet".
By 1939, the UNF was largely defunct, and Anquín returned to his hometown to resume his earlier career as a lecturer.