London, Apr.12 : Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is said to have actively supported the Nazi view that the Aryans had their origins in the Canary Islands, and therefore their claims of racial superiority over the Jews were justified.
According to a new book, they were all that remained of the lost continent of Atlantis. Telegraph report said archaeologists were specifically appointed by Franco to look into claims the Canary Islands were the remains of Atlantis, and joined hands with scientists of Ahnenerbe, an institute set up by Heinrich Himmler, to carry out further research.
They were, however, forced to postpone the project when war broke out in September 1939.
Francisco Gracia Alonso, professor of history at the University of Barcelona, has revealed the extent of the collaboration between Franco's archaeologists and those in Nazi Germany in a new book.
Prof Gracia Alonso reveals the close relationship between Spanish archaeologist Santa Olalla and the Ahnenerbe, which was founded to investigate "the science of ancient intellectual history".
Himmler's organisation sent German scholars around the world to discover the roots of the Aryan race, leading them to examine Bronze Age carvings in Sweden, forgotten folk customs in Finland and even to Tibet to explore claims that Buddha himself was of Aryan descent.
Its scientists were occupied in searching for such legendary objects as Thor's Hammer and the Holy Grail, but were also responsible for carrying out medical experiments on Jews in concentration camps.
The Ahnenerbe's findings were used to justify Hitler's belief that true Germans were descended from an Aryan ideal.
Gracia believes Spanish Fascists wanted to create something similar in Spain in order to maintain control over the ideological basis of the country's archaeology and prehistory.
The book has uncovered evidence that Himmler's unit funded Spanish excavations, providing expensive photographic equipment and lending aircraft to carry out aerial surveys of sites.
Plans were laid for joint excavations of Visigoth sites on mainland Spain and on the Canary Islands where the Nazis hoped to find evidence of an ancestral race of Aryans.
The collaboration came to an abrupt end with the fall of Nazi Germany.
Several leading scholars from the Ahnenerbe were sentenced to death in the Nuremberg trials for their part in the Holocaust.