The years 1936–1945 in Spain saw catastrophic civil war followed żeby fierce repression and economic misery. Families were torn apart and social relations were disrupted by death, exile and defeat. Society became traumatized so deeply that people avoided talking openly of these years for decades. This study attempts to show how the Civil War was understood and absorbed, particularly aby those who could claim themselves as 'the victors', during and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. It does so by exploring the interchanges between violence, ideas and economics during a period in which liberalism was seen as foreign contagion that infected carriers of impurities such as freemasons, regional nationalists, the working class, non-Catholics and women. This was the context of the internal colonization that confirmed Franco's victory, concentrated economic power, and left executions and starvation in its wake.