Juan-Carlos Arias

Country/area: Spain

Organisation: ELDIARIO.ES Andalucía edition

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 18/04/2021

Credit: This is a personal work published


 born 1960 in Seville-Spain. He studied law at the University of Seville and journalism at the Complutense of Madrid to finally graduate in Cruiminology (1984). Before that, in 1983, he founded Andalucía Viva, a group of freelancers who published in various media and collaborated with television production companies preparing scripts. He has obtained the 2011 Sol de Oro journalism award-tourism press and is a regular blood donor, having been awarded for this solidarity facet after exceeding 140 donations.

Project description:

 The candidacy for the award is a work that uncovers the figure of an obscure German consul in Seville, the capital of southern Spain. Gustav Draeger was actually a key spy for the Nazis and led Franco's aid to win the Spanish fratricidal war (1936-39). As an Axis agent he 'took' the British bait in the Mincemeat Operation validating it. After World War II it was claimed in vain by the Allies. His clumsiness as a spy saved thousands of lives.

Impact reached:

 The project took years to be embodied. It required consultations in archives, the few books published on Nazis in Spain, journalistic information and visits to the cemetery of Seville and Huelva. Once published in the Andalusian edition of ELDIARIO.ES, its thousands of readings uploaded it to the state edition due to the firsts of data that the research work carried out entailed. In addition, it had a great impact on social networks. Twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=gustav%20draeger%20eldiario.es&src=typed_query&f=top Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=gustav%20draeger%20 In google the report comes out the first one on the generic of Gustav Draeger https://www.google.com/search?q=gustav+draeger&oq=gustav+draeger&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0i10i30j69i59j69i60l3.9437j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Techniques/technologies used:

 The published research work summarizes a series of visits to the cemeteries of Seville and Huelva. Historical archives, civil and property registry. The documentation was extracted in part from the internet and from works published on the first months of the Spanish Civil War, whose operational epicenter had Seville as a platform. It was also where Nazi (German) and fascist (Italian) military aid was channeled to Franco's troops against the Second Republic.

What was the hardest part of this project?

 Almost 90 years after the end of the Spanish war, the subject of the Nazis in Spain is taboo. They were protected by the Franco regime (1939-1975) and evidence that attacked the supposed Spanish neutrality during the Second World War is silent. Discreet searches on silences and pressures have been deployed about this in order not to reveal what happened in Gustav Draëger during his splendor and fall from grace. His two daughters and grandsons do not use the surnames of said Nazi consul-spy because they knew how proud and bloody he was in life, since he was an officer of Prussian origin during the First World War. Publishing a short story about this character is an achievement that deserved to be shared so that you know the full truth about the Nazis outside of Germany

What can others learn from this project?

 Other colleagues must learn that the truth must be sought. With determination and will and minimal means, it is worth investigating the most elusive. The award is the data that is confirmed, the truth that 'comes out of the closet' and the people or events that can finally be shared because in addition to being true they were not known by the citizen. Today the problem is the half truths and lies that we read and see or sell to us. Investigative journalism is a challenge worth challenging to become better professionals

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