Friday, April 27, 2012

Gernika 75th anniversary

Sorry: I have been busy with other stuff so I actually let the actual date of the anniversary slip through. But I certainly want to pay my little homage to this highly symbolic instance of war crimes against civilians. 

The town of Gernika-Lumo, most commonly known as simply Gernika, commemorated yesterday the 75th anniversary of the fascist bombing, later immortalized by Pablo Picasso. It was just advance notice of the horrors that would come with World War II but it was the very first town completely razed by an air bombing.

Among the many activities scheduled through the year, yesterday was central and silence overcame the town as alarms and bells sounded as they did 75 years before (video).

Four minutes of alarms and silence

This is made every year. At 15:45, four minutes of silence are dedicated to the memory of the victims of this and so many other military crimes, four minutes in which only alarms and bells are heard.

Additionally the Basque-made film Gernika under the bombs has been presented to the public and a monument by one of the great Basque sculptors still alive, Nestor Basterretxea, was uncovered for the occasion:

Nestor Basterretxea inaugurates his Agony of Fire

Later mass citizen street theater Gernika sutan (Gernika on fire) was represented and the journey concluded with a silent demonstration. 

A declaration was presented before a mural that reads: self-setermination, freedom, peace...

Source: Gara[es].


  1. Hi there, and thanks for posting this. My name is Stuart Walsh, and I am a member of National Clarion Cycling Club, which is a socialist cycling club that has been around since 1895. In 2008 we did a cycle ride from Glasgow to Barcelona, commemorating three of our members who died fighting against fascism in Spain, and also recreating a ride that another two of our members made in 1938 from Glasgow to Barcelona as a fundraising event for Aid to Spain, and during which they raised £800. On that ride in 2008, we visited International Brigade memorials in Scotland and England, and in Spain we also visited sites of significance to the SCW. Our first stop on getting off the boat in Bilbao was of course Gernika, and we were met at the quayside by members of Ciclista Gernikes ( Gernika Cycling Club ), who escorted us to Gernika, and joind us for the next five days cycling through Euskadi, Arragon, and Catalonia, and during those days enduring bonds of friendship and solidarity were formed, not only with GCC, but also with Amurrio Cycling Club, and other countless individuals and groups who welcomed us with unbelievable warmness and solidarity. Yesterday in Manchester, at a conference on Gernika 75, organised by Lancaster University, I was honoured to be allowed to read the following message to the conference on behalf of GCC :

    " Fraternal greetings from the Gernika Cycling Club : we want to wend a message of peace on this anniversary of the bombing, but, above all, we want to share with you today our wish for solidarity, only thus will we be able to work together to avoid similar events happening again.

    Even from our bicycles we can further this goal, as Clarion CC showed in 2008, when they came to Euskadi as part of their hommage to victims of the Spanish Civil War. That short visit with their bikes to Gernika is not forgotten, it has remained in our hearts and our thoughts, and it is our hope taht we will ride together again, in solidarity and peace, and thus forge one more small link to heal our still broken world.


    Isidro Rodriguez, on behalf of Ciclista Gernikesa. "

    As it happens, we are returning next year, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the departure of the International Brigades in 1938, and if any readers of thie want to join us they will be warmly welcomed.

    Thanks again, for your posting, yours in solidarity,

    Stuart Walsh

    1. So you are a cyclist association who have been fighting against fascism since (at least) 1936. That's a very interesting story and one I'm glad you mentioned.

      Note: sorry that Blogger Spam Filter (not me, I can't deactivate it) sent it to the catacombs for a short time: solved.


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