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Dublin Commemoration Of Nazi Bombing Of Gernika On Its 75th Anniversary

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Thursday April 26, 2012 14:32author by Dublin Basque - Dublin Irish Basque Solidarity Committeeauthor email basquedublin at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Dublin Basque Solidarity Committee commemorates world-famous event of the Spanish Civil War

This week 75 years ago, the Basquetown of Gernika was virtually destroyed with huge loss of life in a bombing raid by the Condor Legion, a cover name for a detachment of the Luftwaffe loaned to the Spanish generals leading a mutiny against the elected Popular Front government of the Spanish state. The Dublin Basque Solidarity Committee will be commemorating this event on Friday 27th (the actual anniversary is the 28th).


The bombing was part of an experiment in urban civilian air-bombing for the Nazis, which they and the Allies were later to use in the Second World War. For the Spanish Generals, it was a punishment for the Basques who sided with the Popular Front Government (which belatedly granted them autonomy, as they had earlier done to Catalonia).

Even so, the Generals denied responsibility and blamed the Basques, saying they had burned the church and the flames had spread. At the time, Basque society was overwhelmingly Catholic and church-going but it took the reporting for the London Times of George Steer, who visited the ruins and also recovered fragments of German ordinance, to expose the truth to the world. That same year, in mid-June, Pablo Picasso painted the famous Guernica (sic) and it went on exhibition in Paris (the painting is now in Madrid but Basques say it should be in their country).

Gernika had no military or economic significance, but it did have the ancient oak, the Tree of Gernika, under which the kings of the Basques had sworn to uphold the rights of the Basque landowners.

The Dublin Basque solidarity committee wishes to commemorate this historic event in a general spirit of anti-fascism and also to support the Basque spirit of resistance which has continued right up to the present moment. It also wishes to point out that the spirit of General Franco, one of the butcher Generals of the Civil War and dictator of Spain for decades afterwards, is unfortunately alive and well in the Spanish state. This can most clearly be seen in the Spanish government's treatment of the Basques in the four provinces of the nation which are under their rule (the other three being under France's): repression, censorship, banning, arrests, torture, unjust trials, long prison sentences and ill-treatment of convicted prisoners. It is a fact that the "democratisation" of the Spanish state after Franco's death was a veneer, leaving all the old fascists in all the institutions still in position.

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author by Dublin Basque - Dublin Irish Basque Solidarity Committeepublication date Thu Apr 26, 2012 14:34Report this post to the editors

apologies, the actual anniversary of the bombing was the 26th April

author by Milestogopublication date Sat Apr 28, 2012 18:01Report this post to the editors

I was about to unleash the "dogs of war" until I reread, and spotted "which they and the Allies were later to use in the Second World War"
Well done and I hope that things went well.
People are at a low ebb but keep up your good work educating which in turn will help towards rebuilding national confidence.
Then the effective resistance will begin.

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