The entrance of Franco´s troops to Barcelona the 26th of January, 1936 marked the end of war in the city and gave rise to a new scenario in which the values of the franquist regime would impose themselves with blood and fire. The synagogue and the community center on the Provenza Street are sacked . The president of the community Edmundo Grunebaum, is arrested and made prisoner because he had a high rank as a Mason. Just half a year after, Germany would make the offensive over Poland, and in that way the Second World War would start. Franco, facing a devastated nation as a result of the fratricide conflict, chooses to declare neutrality. Nevertheless, what might seem to international eyes as a non-belligerent posture, in Spanish territoy the opposite occurs The regime shows freely an attitude in favor of the Axis powers, making their espionage and logistics tasks easier ( at least until 1942). From then on the city of Barcelona receives a constant and slow entrance of refugees that are escaping from nazism and who illegally go through the borders between France and Spain by the Pyrenees ( this flow will continue all through the war). The city that embraces them is gray and a plotter dominated by uncertainty.
The refugees wait with anxiety their visas that never arrive while the streets are full of spies and police from the Gestapo. On May 13, 1942, each and everyone of the civil Spanish governors receive notice from the Dirección General de Seguridad. In it they are ordered to send individual information about “the israelites, national and foreigners living in that province (…) indicating their personal and socio political filiation, way of life, comercial acitivities, current situation, degree of danger, pólice conceptutation”.
During this time the increase that experiments the Jewish community of Barcelona is ficticious, as the people are just passing by, they are waiting for papers that will get to friendlier territories, America and Palestine mostly.
In April 1939, a commission made up by Jacque Danon, vice-president. Marcel Calef, secretary, and Samuel Maytek, responsible for the Hebrá Kadishá appears before the civil government asking to see the Governor, González Oliveras, in order to obtain permission to reopen the aynagogue and community center. González Oiveras does not receive them and during that very month he officially closes the building in Provenza Street. The documents are confiscated and sent to the Archive in Salamanca.
A very dark and dangerous time for the Jews living in the city begins. In the area belonging to security, the government will adopt police measures of control creating a department of Judaism called the Judaic Archive which will be run by José Finat and Escrivá Romani. On the sidelines of this organigram the Special Brigade was also created commanded by the furious antisemite, Mauricio Carlavilla. His most important mission was to control the Jews living in Spain, attending, in that way, to the special and expressly request made by Himmler, chief of the SS and of the sevices of security of the Third Reich, who had an interview with Finat in Berlin. The creation of the Judaic Archive was the reult of a memo from the Dirección General de Seguridad issued on the 5th of May 1941in which José Finat ordered all civil governors to send individual reports about the “Israelites, national snd foreigners living in that province” in a predetermined format indicating “personal and socio-political filiation, means of life, comercial activities, current situation, degree of danger, pólice conceptualization”. As well as other complementary information.
When the WWII ends and after six years of franquism, the regime promulgates el Fuero de los Españoles, which regulates the status and functioning of the religious non catholic institutions. The Jews will not be bothered but they will have to practice their cult in privacy. This will be the time when Fortunato Buenarroch, president in charge, will seek help form the International Jewish Congress to reopen the synagogue, The intervention from Isaac Weissamn who was delegate for the council for Spain and Portugal will be decisive to solve the case. On January 15, 1946, Mr. Benarroch recieves the oficial letter from the Dirección General de Seguridad in which que is authorized to open the synagogue. On the month of April they will recieve permission to sacrifice cattle in the slaughterhouse.
On November 27, 1947, CIB is mad up by 128 heads of the family from very different origins (34 Sapnish, 25 turkish, 22polish, 10 Greek, 7 German and others like italian, french, hungarian, portuguese, etc), On April 1949 with the intention of reducing expenses and looking for a place to build the future headquarters, CIB goes, in a temporal way, to an aparment on 153 Avenida Roma. Finally, after two years, on September 1954, in Rosh Hashaná the current building is inaugurated , the first temple built in Spanish soil after the expulsion in 1492.