The past few days, we Basques have had to witness, stupefied, the spectacle of watching Vox, a far-right Spanish party that defends Francoism, accuse Basque nationalism of having made secret pacts with the Nazis during the Second World War, and to see them threaten to make it illegal as soon as they can.
This situation, unfortunately, is not unusual, as lying and threatening to outlaw are two of the most used tools Spanish totalitarianism has used to try to silence Basque nationalism. But it is still a worrying situation that leads us to publish our thoughts on the blog.
As regards the accusation of the existence these supposed secret pacts, well, there’s nothing new here. This the same lie that was perpetuated, either knowingly or not, by the documentary “The Basque Swastika”, which “hinted” at the idea. It’s quite clear that Spanish unionist media, the natural enemies of Basque nationalism, were going to make the most of this insinuation to promote a campaign that would transform the insinuation into a truth: “Basque nationalism made a pact with Hitler”. This is the message that several media are transmitting over and over again, with a complete lack of shame or professional dignity. Some have even jumped to the conclusion that Lehendakari Aguirre went to Berlin not to escape from totalitarian persecution, but rather to meet up with the higher-ups in the Nazi régime and sign a pact to support his régime in exchange for “independence”.
Reality is stubborn, though: not only does it show that Basque nationalism suffered at the hands of Francoist and Nazi totalitarian persecution, it was also always fighting against the forces of the Axis, be it on the battlefield or collaborating with the Resistance. What’s more, the Basques are one of the few stateless nations within Nazi-occupied Europe that didn’t send troops to fight in German armies in exchange for the creation of their own state at the end of the war.
It is true that there were Basques who supported Hitler’s Germany and who fought side-by-side with its troops. Those are the same Basques who supported the Francoist insurrection; those who enthusiastically welcomed Nazi visits; those who even volunteered to help them fight the USSR, all alongside the other enthusiastic defenders of the Franco dictatorship. Friends of totalitarianism need not be sought among Basque nationalists, but rather among the political (and often biological) fathers of the members of that far-right party, and among many other members of the foul Spanish right who still resent that Franco’s body was removed from its pharaoh-like mausoleum at the Valley of the Fallen.
But not only do they lie, they also threaten. They threaten to, if they can, make nationalist parties illegal (as long as they’re not Spanish nationalist). They long for and dream of the times of their fathers, when laws and judges were at the service of the interests of the dictatorship. They want those times to return, back to when democrats were illegal and fascists were the lords and masters of Spain.
They threaten while other members remain silent, while judges refuse to act, and while the media treat them as just another political party, and not as a dangerous group of far-right-wingers. They all act like the European powers did during the expansion of Nazism, watching silently and praying that “it didn’t happen to them”.
History is a great teacher, and shows us that totalitarianism never stops. It never rests. The French realized this when Hitler posed in front of the Eiffel Tower. The English realized when Nazi bombs blew up half of London. And the Soviets realized when their pacts with Hitler were treacherously broken with an invasion that brought Nazi troops all the way to the outskirts of Moscow. We hope that Spanish political parties, judges, and media, as well as Spanish democrats, have learned the lesson.
We democratic Basques who defend the Cause of the Basque People are used to being persecuted, used to our nation, the Basque nation, being condemned to disappear. That’s nothing new. That never silenced us before. The Fascists and those assimilated always found us facing them head-on.
In addition to a report from Newtral regarding this matter, we’re linking to two older articles, one on our opinion of the documentary “The Basque Swastika”, and another about what the gudaris would think about these accusations and threats.
Newtral -24/9/2019 –
Nos habéis preguntado por la relación entre el PNV y Hitler
Nos habéis preguntado a través de redes sociales por las diferentes alusiones sobre supuestos acuerdos entre el Partido Nacionalista Vasco y la dictadura de Adolf Hitler expresadas en los últimos meses por dos dirigentes destacados de Vox, Santiago Abascal y Javier Ortega Smith. Lo explicamos.