This article was translated by John R. Bopp
We’ve been sitting on this story for a while. It’s about an article by Julian Zabalbeascoa, from Los Banos, California but obviously of Basque descent, that was published last February in The Bakersfield Californian.
Julian is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and also writes fiction. Like many young Basques born in the US, he maintains a strong connection to the land of his ancestors.
The article we’re discussing today is about the Bombing of Guernica, which we’ve covered in detail. Honestly, we didn’t want this article to fly under the radar, lost among all the articles we were writing about that terrible tragedy. That’s why we were saving it for a special occasion, and that occasion has arrived.
We know we didn’t upload it immediately, but we’re writing this article on June 19, the day the rebel troops occupied Bilbao and completed their work in sinking us into a dictatorship that would flog the Southern Basque Country for the next 40+ years.
Julian makes a direct reference to this sad event, which marked the beginning of the definitive exile for tens of thousands of Basques, and which would serve as the prologue to the suffering that fascism would inflict throughout Europe, even on the Northern Basque Country.
The author relates the tragedy those Basques suffered, their march into exile, and their arrival in their host countries with that being lived through by other refugees escaping similar war and violence today, trying to find a place to survive and remake their lives. There’s no difference between the Basque refugees’ tragedy and that of today’s refugees that we see on our TVs.
We think it’s a magnificent article, full of Memory, Pride, Hope, Commitment, and Faith in our nation and its people. It’s a perfect way to remember those events and their consequences.
The Bakersfield Californian – 2/2/2017 – USA
80 years after Basque village’s bombing, a modern lesson
First, a story — a Basque story: 80 years ago this April, during the Spanish civil war, Spain’s military — along with the fascist European powers assisting it — destroyed the village of Gernika, a Basque village in Northern Spain. It was the first carpet-bombing of its kind upon a civilian population. A nightmare hitherto unimaginable had been brought into the world. Easier to imagine, then and now, were the limited options available to those displaced by the attack who worried for what terror might materialize next from the sky.