On January 27, we commemorated the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops in 1945. This is the day that the United Nations has chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This year marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of this Nazi-created hell on earth where 1.1 million people were tortured and killed, most of the Jewish (90%, or one million).
And now, we must live through the days of the beginnings of post-truth, spreading the lie by fabricating a story that Basque nationalists were almost allies of Nazis and made pacts with it. Today, we’ve just posted an entry presenting a book by historian Ingo Niebel about the adventures Lehendakari Aguirre had to survive to escape the clutches of Francoism and Nazism to feel to the heart of Nazi-controlled Europe, where the historian writes:
“post-truth also kidnaps history when its supporters think that they can write it to their liking without having to respect even the most basic rules of science, such as basing claims on sources. About fifteen years ago, a current began flowing that, to this day, is attempting to “nazify” both the first lehendakari, José Antonio Agirre Lekube, as well as his party, the PNV.
Doing so is free of charge or consequence. That’s why it’s so easy to paint the past so arbitrarily without going through the complicated work of the historian which, like the coroner, has to try to not contaminate the object of study so that, at the same time, he may gather this greatest amount of data. That’s why there are methods, which require time, and which may at times prove something unwanted. But that’s how Science works.”
We brought you an entry on the blog about that “nazification” and its disastrous consequences. We’re referring to the documentary titled “The Basque Swastika (Una esvástica sobre el Bidasoa)” which, as a consequence of a confused narrative, insinuated that there had been collusion between Basque nationalism, the Basque Government, and Nazi authorities. From that to even having Lehendakari Aguirre go to Berlin to negotiate an independent Basque Country with the Nazi hierarchy under the protection of that hateful regime was just a short jump. And it was taken. It’s now even become part of a select group of crazy theories which compete for the prize of “the stupidest” alongside flat-earthers, those who believe reptiles are going to take over, or those who believe that birds don’t exist and are just government drones.
So a day like today is a good opportunity to remember what was the published and broadcast opinion of Basque nationalism regarding German and Italian totalitarianism at the beginning of the 1930s.
For that, we turn to two articles written by J. Aitzol, the nom de plume used by Tolosa priest José Ariztimuño Olaso, a key figure in Basque society in the first third of the 20th century, and one of the ideologues of Basque nationalism at that time.
Aitzol the humanist, Aitzol the defender of the Basque language, Aitzol the cultural catalyst, Aitzol the missionary, Aitzol the literary critic, Aitzol the author, Aitzol the journalist, Aitzol the preacher, Aitzol the speaker, Aitzol the polemicist, Aitzol the activist, Aitzol the nationalist, Aitzol the theorist, Aitzol the Red Priest, Aitzol the researcher, Aitzol the bertzolari, Aitzol the modernist, Aitzol the martyr, and Aitzol the symbol. Julio Urkaregi used up to 19 descriptors in 1987 to define the life and work of a priest born in Tolosa in 1896 who was barely forty when he was murdered by the Franco army. He was one of many priests who were shot by the “very Catholic” Francoists, and who have never been recognized as martyrs by the Catholic Church.
He, and his articles, occupied many front pages at the Euzkadi newspaper, where he analyzed several topics of the day from the Basque nationalist point of view, which was already defining itself as one of the bases of European Christian Democracy.
In 1933, under the nom de plume J. Aitzol, he wrote two articles, published on the front page of that daily, which can help us understand the position Basque nationalism took regarding fascism, Nazism, and their thoughts on racial superiority, imposition over other nations, and persecution of the Jewish people. We bring you both articles here today, as they were printed, with transcriptions for easier reading.
We also include a compilation of entries we’ve published related to the collaboration between Basques and Jews in those agitated times, when almost six million of that community were killed, and many survivors could barely walk after their purgatory in concentration camps. Some of them were even locked up with Basque republicans.
Diario Euzkadi – 10/1/1933 – Euzkadi
From historical Italian nationalism to racist German nationalism
J Aitzol (José Ariztimuño Olaso)
Every “real” nationalism carries its own stamp and exclusive features. The universal nationalist phenomenon as an identical generic in abstraction acquires a differential nuance in each country.
This goes for both theory and practice. Thus, for example, many treatise writers have based their nationalist concepts on several different bases. Buckle and Bunstcheli determined that the main characteristics to specify a nationality are the soil and the climate. For Mohl, the nation is an ethnic concept; race is the basis for nationality. It is this theory which is most common and authorized among German treatise writers. Burgess expresses an identical opinion: “Primarly and appropriately, the word ‘nation’ is an ethnological term, and the concept it expresses is an ethnological concept.”
For others, however, these are not essential factors for nationalisty, which do in and of themselves express something material, but rather those others that are a revealing index of the spirituality of a people. For them, language is a primordial element, which determines the existence of a nation. Gumplowiez, who rejects “the racial or physical as a note of unity that is characteristic of nationality, I admit,” he writes, “the moral and spiritual, and I declare that nationality is expressed through the common language.” Schafe is of the same opinion when he states that “language is the symbolic capitalization of sll spiritual work, the outward symbol of the spiritual character of a people.”
Many and varied are the opinions about the essential notes of nationality of essayists, treatise writers, and authors which share and defend them. Such opinions, in our opinion, more than scientific canons, are due to the patriotic desires to strengthen the position and creed of their own nationalities.
A very eloquent example of that is offered to us by modern-day nationalisms. German nationalism is based on race. Germany indisputably believes in the superior destinies and extraordinary virtues of the Germanic race. A long list of renowned philosophers, such as Hegel, Nietzsche, Kant, Leibnitz, have only paved the way for the frenzied pseudo-scientific nationalist ideas of Fichte. He even declared that Germany is the “People” that, much like the Hebrew in antiquity, by the outstanding virtues of the Germanic race, is called to rule over humanity.
Some have believed that the enthusiasm set alight in Germany by Hitler is a passing fever of patriotic tension. This popular movement has deeper roots. The philosophical conceptions and the teachings of the essayists have made the Germany people believe, by showing them pseudo-scientific reasons, that within their racial guts they carry the seed of worldwide regeneration. Hitler’s smart bet has been precisely to exploit those messianic feelings of the German people, focusing them on a popular, false, and erroneous program, if desired, but for many years had been authorized and made prestigious by the teachings of the philosophers.
On the other side completely is Italian nationalism, which we’ve already studied. Fascist nationalism is of the historic type. It dreams of universal empires and powers. It wishes to restore the ancient empire of Rome, to spread the wings of the Latian eagle over all peoples. The history of the Latin greats speaks to the soul of the Italian people, dominated by Fascism. Rather than in race, the Fascists base their imperialist destinies on the historical mission of that great empire, whose most direct and legitimate heirs are modern-day Italians.
Of course the Italians also invoke race, just as the Germans recall the great Germanic empire. But the most firm rock each of these peoples base their “exaggerated” nationalism on, which is transformed into an execrable imperialism, is the race for the Germans, their ancient and always pure and uncontaminated German race, and for the others, the heritage, that most brilliant heritage, of the Roman empire.
We would have nothing to oppose in either of these two theories if each of them, sticking closely to their own missions, limited themselves to cultivating and fomenting their nationality. They do not disturb us Basques, neither in theory nor in practice, these diverse opinion that make up the nationality they uphold, nor that each people makes use of these or other “scientific” reasons to back up their claims. We, who possess each and every one of those characteristics that the philosophers and essayists demand to determine the existence and truth of a nationality, must not condemn if one or another people justifies their national longings by basing them on one or another characteristic, because they lack others, or they are not sufficiently well contrasted and confirmed.
But what we must condemn is that, by some basing themselves on the superhuman destinies of an uncontaminated race, and the others on the idea that they are heirs to an empire, dream that they have the historical mission to rule over other nationalities.
These rights they strive for, rooted in a history of iniquities, are not legitimate for Italy to oppress other races, we’ve already seen that. That’s why their “supernationalism” is execrable.
For the same reason, nor must Germany deify their race until it is a god, denying the sovereignty of God and the rights of the Church, considering other peoples and inferior castes.
The idea of Fascist “supernationalism” is so damnable for its imperialism, for its racism, or for its superhuman exaltation of its Germanic origin, denying all divinity.
If possible, Hitler’s nationalism is more “exaggerated” than Mussolini’s, we shall see..
Diario Euzkadi – 10/3/1933 – Euzkadi
Triumph of nationalism over internationalism
J Aitzol (José Ariztimuño Olaso)
The racial sentiments of German nationalism have beaten the utopian internationalist movement based on economic interest. The two internationalist organizations of Germany, socialism and communism, have been steamrolled by the racist ideal.
Hitler, the incarnation of the ethnic nationalism of Germania, has received the confidence of the majority of the German people. It is indisputible that, nowadays, the nationalist idea, though dressed up with notes that are too radical, is stopping the socialist internationalist campaigns.
But the hosts of Hitler have not fed solely on the contributions of social internationalist field, but also on the desertion of Catholic organizations.
The racist German caudillo has been smart about running an electoral campaign that attracts the Catholics, and especially, the youth. These youth, who had already joined a large number of the national-socialist organizations before the elections, was to be supposed, and after such a well-run campaign, they have definitely joined Hitler in greater proportion.
The now chancellor of German has been very careful in pleasing the Catholics in his speeches. In the one Hitler gave at the Palace of Sport in Berlin before 20,000 people, he said this to them: “The causes of decadence must be radically suppressed with the help of God Almighty. I will never accept a compromise in the stuggle that must be summed up in this statement: Marxism against the German people. Our great task must be to return faith in God to the people and build a nation atop the two pillars of the German farmer and the German worker. Accompanied by Catholic Minister von Papen, Hitler in Stuttgart exclaimed, “Help the Government that not only is of Christians and with Catholics at its head but which is also determined to always fight for Christian culture and against the atheist Marxism that foments the godless. Flee from those who allied themselves with the organizers of lay schools.”
There can be no doubt that together, these categorical statements of Christian and even Catholic spiritualism with the nationalist exaltation proclaimed by Hitler attract not a few Catholics to vote for the racist leader’s candidacy.
If Hitler’s nationalist doctrine were nothing but an exaltation of his race, based on German nationalism encourage by these Christian and Catholic statements, we would have nothing but reasons for just joy and satisfaction.
But are these statements by the national-socialist leader sincere? Has he retracted his agnostic and anti-Christian ideas, his doctrines of hatred against the Jews, and his designs on sacrificing the invalid and ill for the sake of the purity of the German race? These pagan and materialistic ideas earned German nationalism the condemnation of Cardinal Faulhaber, denouncing him and his exaggerations as 20th-century heresy.
This won’t al have been shown in the electoral campaign as a premeditated tactic to gain the sympathy and support of German Catholics? Or is it that Hitler, taking stock of the extremism of his exaggerated nationalism, wants to set it on a straighter course to more serene and just waters?
The postulates supported by Hitler until just a few months ago were precisely those that the exaggerated nationalism reproached by Pope Pius XI cosist of.
So, for example, his racism was attempting to restore the religion and worship of the ancient Germanic peoples, implanting national idolatry. “The emblem of the Sun-God contains and encompasses all the secrets of universal future; he will restore wisdom; he is the key to the liberation of man; in him divine essence must be found,” he wrote in his national-socialist ideology; “It is not Christianity which has given us morality; its values are lasting and real; it is the German soul which has given them to us,” exclaimed leader Alfred Rosenberg.
It is well known that, in these same columns, we have said that the Germans proclaim race to be the essence of their nationalism. Thus it has come to be said that in order to substitute the Trinity that came from the Orient, the German people proclaimed their Trinity was condensed into the “Trinity of Blood, Faith, and State.” This idolatrous exaltation of race has led racism to preach hate and war with no truce against the Jewish people. And it is for this reason that they claim the Old Testament to be a detestable and despicable book, as it is so closely tied to the Isrealite people. However, this does not keep Robert Ley from writing this nonsense: “I see in Jesus the first Hiterlite when he exclaimed, aren’t the Jews a race of bandits and snakes?”
It is not possible for us form among the abundant documentation to unravel quotes to check the confusing and absurd religious ideas the primates of German racism have. One of the fundamental points of Hitler’s national-socialism is the thinly-veiled grudge against the Vatican. He means for racism to create a German church, with the fusion of Protestantism and Catholicism, but of a totally and absolutely national character.
And a necessary condition of the constitution of this German Church would be to “rip it away from the influence of Rome, the Internationale, and the Old Testamente, which are things that are especially Jewish.” Therefore, the philosopher and spiritual master of racism, Count Reventlow, has written, “One: peace with Rome results in an absolute, essential, and intolerable break with the idea of national-socialism.”
It is easy to see from these statements of the doctrine-writers of racism and the latest statements from Hitler that between them and an undeniable Christian and Catholic spiritualism, there is an abyss. For us, the most likely explanation is that a transcendental reformation has been introduced into national-socialism by the collaboration of leading Catholics. They have exiled those pagan, agnostic, and rationalist errors. They will also bring racism closer to the Catholic church. That way they can be rid of the latest actions and statements Hitler has made.
Even the most steadfast adversaries of Hitler will recognize a great depth of spirituality in his doctrines: the principles of a severe morality as regards habits and the discipline of a virile way of acting that tends to strengthen the will.
God wants the “exaggerated” nationalism of Hitler, until a few months ago based in Germany, to trend towards a robust and energetic nationalism that is serene and fair, that handles itself within the postulates of universal fraternity.
That reasonable and true nationalism will be the greatest enemy of the atheist and materialist internationalism preached by socialist organizations.
The Basque who signed the first international agreement in Basque, and the father of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A trip through the Italian peninsula by Navarrese rabbi and traveler Benjamin of Tudela
From Canada: footprints of the Jewish presence in the Basque Country
Jiří Popper, the young Jew killed at Auschwitz wearing a Real Sociedad pin
Last Updated on Feb 5, 2022 by About Basque Country