I've only recently come to consider the implications for Allied prisoners of war in WWII who made their way to neutral Spain, after escaping from camps in Germany. It always brings to mind the scene at the end of The Great Escape when the Spanish guides take "Danny" and "Willie" over the mountains to "safety".
Given that Spain was a fascist state, and was helped dramatically in their civil war by Italy and Germany, why would Spain harbour escaped Allies? It must have been crawling with Italian, and German agents, as well.
Did Allied countries still maintain diplomatic relations with Spain in those years?
How could escapees possibly find safe harbour in a fascist state?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
EDIT: I've been corrected. It was "Sedgwick" (James Coburn) who escaped to Spain! Not Danny and Willy. They rowed a boat down river, and hopped a freighter to Sweden! (Aw, hell, man! Everybody knows that!)
Source: reddit post