BERLIN -- Italy and Germany, leading Fascist nations of Europe, recognized the revolutionary regime of General Francisco Franco today as the official government of Spain.
As Madrid tottered, stricken almost to death under the most savage aerial and artillery bombardment of a civilian population in history, the two dictators, Benito Mussolini and Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, recognized Franco as a fellow dictator.
An official communique explaining the position of the German government said:
"Inasmuch as the government of General Franco has taken possession of the largest part of the state territory and inasmuch as developments of the last few weeks have shown always more clearly that there can no longer be a question of the exercise of responsible governmental power in other parts of Spain, the Reich government has decided to recognize the government of General Franco and take up diplomatic relations with a charge d'affaires who will be accredited to his government.
"The new German charge d'affaires will present his credentials to General Franco's government in the near future. The German charge d'affaires hitherto at Alicante (emergency seat of the government which fled from Madrid) will be recalled.
"The charge d'affaires of the former (Madrid) Spanish government left Berlin at the beginning of November of his own free will."
An official spokesman of the Propavanda ministry confirmed that the German government, acting on concert with Italy, has decided to anticipate the fall of Madrid, but refused to say whether the step was intended to make difficult the aid of Soviet Russia to the beleaguered Madrid leftists, who derive much of their support from the Spanish Communists.
The German Italian plan originally had been to await the fall of Madrid before officially admitting that the Spanish government, to which the controlled press has referred to for weeks only in quotation marks, has ceased to exist.