A new book about the early years of Salvador Allende is the subject of two recent articles (1, 2) in the Telegraph. The book is based on Allende’s doctoral dissertation, which he wrote in his twenties and which has not previously been published in full. It makes clear that young Allende had views that we would consider fascist, contra the popular image of him as a humane democrat.
Allende’s family insists variously that the book’s allegations are not true or are based on facts taken out of context, and that anyway Allende later changed his views. The author, Victor Farias, counters that Allende displayed Nazi sympathies during his periods in public office.
Why does it matter? The author has a plausible hypothesis:
. . . “Allende was a false hero. Europeans need a socialist hero in South America. That’s never been the case for Allende, his image is a construct made in Spain and Germany and other countries. But I think with this book this construct must go. The opposition is very hard but the arguments are from him himself, it is his voice.”
Of course Mr. Farias is also trying to sell books. The controversy that awaits the release of this one promises to be educational.
The book is Salvador Allende: Anti-Semitism and Ethanasia by Victor Farias.