Our regular readers will have had the opportunity to discover many reports on our blog about the Basque Children of ’37 Association, a group of people in Great Britain working hard to preserve and share the memory of our Basque War Children.
Some of the members of this association are relatives of the young ones who were taken in by British society to protect them from the barbarism of fascism. Others are British, with no direct relationship to those refugees, who are determined to have the children’s story, and that of all those anonymous heroes who managed to protect them, be told.
They are the direct moral heirs of those people who faced up to their own government, the British government, which was impeding the arrival of those boys and girls. That resistance was broken by the Bombing of Guernica. People on the right and the left, Catholics and Anglicans, rich and poor, they all organized a network to take in an protect those victims of the war. And they did all this while still not knowing that what was happening in the Basque Country was but a preview of what they themselves would be facing at the hands of the totalitarian monster.
— Basque Children of ’37 Association (@basquechildren) January 2, 2020
Today, the association announced on their Twitter feed that Herminio Martínes, one of those refugees, has passed away. The unstoppable circle of life is leaving us without our living memory of those people who created our History.
Fortunately, we have excellent projects like the documentary “The Guernica Children do remember” by Steve Bowles, in which their memory of the hardship of those years as refugees because of Franco is preserved and recorded. Herminio Martínez played an important part in said documentary.
We never tire of working to keep the memory and the stories of that generation of Basques and of all those who suffered the blows of Fascism alive. Similarly, we will never tire of thanking all those people, from so many different places, who took in and helped the Basque refugees for their solidarity. Today, the refugees are coming from other places, and there is no doubt that we should give back to the world the good that they gave us in our time of need.
There is a version of this documentary on Vimeo, subtitled in Spanish, which we’re linking to, along with a photograph that sums up the whole of the tragedy those boys and girls who had to be separated from their families had to live through.