One of the most prized possessions we Basques have has always been those people from outside our homeland who have defended our culture and our nation’s way of life. That’s why we’d like to start our blog off this year, and this decade by remembering and thanking all of them. And all of them can be personified in George L. Steer, the Times journalist who broke the news to the world about the truth of the Basques who were fighting fascism, the truth about those Basques who had become the first front in the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.
And there are even more heavyweights in history like him, such as President John Adams; communities like Newcastle which played a key role in getting Great Britain to take in the Basque War Children; film directors like Orson Welles; people like Pat Bieter who became fully Basque for love; those who tend bridges between the Basque culture and other ones, even on the other side of the world; those who preserve and share the bridges Basques have created with other communities, such as in Iceland; those who came to visit and took away a deep love for our country, as is the case with actor William Petersen, better known as “Grissom”; researchers of Basque traditions who come from other countries, as is the case with Wentworth Webster … And thousands and thousands of anonymous people who believed in our People and our right to keep our place in History alive.
We’ve written many article on this topic. And with them, we’re sure, we’ve only just scratched the surface of the world of the “friends of the Basques” that truly needs to be documented, cataloged, and shared. That’s rather outside the realm of our knowledge and possibilities, but it should undoubtedly be a priority for our society as a whole. “We are”, in part, thanks to all of them, and we should be capable of remembering and honoring them.
We would like to personify that homage in the journalist who risked everything he had so that those Basques fighting against totalitarianism would be known as what they were and not what totalitarian propaganda made them out to be.
We choose him firstly because he fascinated us and secondly, because, a few days ago, Christmas to be precise, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of his passing in Burma, fighting against the Axis forced in the Second World War.
Through him we thank each and every person who publicly or privately, from every point of the globe, contributed their part to defending the Cause of the Basque People.