We’re pleased to bring you today this article by Christopher Evans in the Welsh daily Nation Cymru, where they again talk about the Basque war children who were taken in there, specifically the ones who made up the Basque Boys soccer team.  This is a can’t-miss story.

These would be the children that were taken in at Cambria House, the home where they lived for two long years.  It’s located in Caerleon, Wales, and is known for its great archaeological value, for having remains from the iron age, and for housing buildings from Roman times.  But it’s also known for being the place of origin of the real King Arthur, who led his Romanized tribe of Silures against the Saxon invasion.

It’s also focused on an amazing story, that of a few of them, the Andrés brothers and their family.

Igarobide de Julio Andrés emitido por el Gobierno de Euzkadi (Credito - Jaime Andrés)
Igarobide of Julio Andrés, issued by the Basque Government (Credito: Jaime Andrés)

Now, we admit that the beginning of this article, where we said we were happy, might seem a bit insensitive, given that this is one of the most sensitive topics about one of the most tragic periods in the history of our nation.

But we are happy, for several reasons:

  • Because by remembering those who came before, we can keep their memory alive, and thereby keep them with us.
  • Because we can fight back against those who say that we should forget that part of our history, and not discuss what happened, because that “opens old wounds.”  For us, these wounds can never truly close, as long as there is a lack of truth, justice, and reparations for so many who suffered death, prison, exile, segregation, and spoliation at the hands of the Francoist rebels and those who benefited from their murderous, illegal régime born of a military victory, which oppressed the whole of Southern Basque society for almost forty years.
  • Because it allows us to remember all those who, in those dark times, helped those facing up to fascism in the Basque Country; to remember their memory and thank them for their work, which is something we should do more often.
  • Because this way, we remember those who even today, outside our homeland, are working hard to keep that part of their, and our, history alive.  We remember them and thank them.
  • Because this way, we can again remember Leah Manning, the educator, social reformer, and Labour MP who was key in opening the doors of Great Britain to the Basque children, as well as George L. Steer and Noel Monks, who told the truth about what happened at Guernica.

Unfortunately, we live in a country where memory is a rare resource.  We all too soon forget our friends, those who helped us and defended us when almost no one else would.  As far as we can, we will not fall into that trap, and we will not be ungrateful.

As we said, to remember them is not only to remember our history, it is also to honor those who suffered so greatly for standing up to fascism.  To remember them is to keep them with us, and to turn their lives into role models now that we can again see that the hydra of totalitarianism, with its multiple heads, so different and yet all the same, again wish to entrap us in their clutches.

The least we can do is to thank those who remember these stories, newspapers like Nation Cymru and journalist Christopher Evans; the Basque Children of ’37 Association, which has become a leader in protecting this very important chapter of our history; and to all those in Great Britain who keep their memory alive.

Natio Cymnu – 27/12/2022 – Wales

A tale of tragedy and triumph: From Wales to Argentina via the Basque Country

Just over 85 years ago, Spain was torn apart by a brutal civil war that raged for over three years. In what was the bloodiest conflict since the end of the Great War, an estimated half a million people lost their lives.

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Last Updated on Jan 13, 2023 by About Basque Country

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