The bombing of Guernica and what really happened

Other | Thursday 27th April 2017 | Grace

The area between Northern Spain, the Atlantic Ocean and the French border is home to the Basque country, and the region of Guernica within the country holds a dark history that has only recently come to light.

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80 years ago, bombs were dropped on the city in a controversial attack planned by their own government, in an effort to determine what it would be like to obliterate a whole community.

At the time of the attack, there was a civil war happening under the leadership of dictator, General Franco. The civilian attack on the city that was believed to have had strong roots in communism and resistance against the government, became the perfect guinea pig for the potential warfare between Nazi Germany and fascist Italy that existed at the time.

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The tale worsens, when it was discovered that not only 1,654 people reportedly died during the aerial bombings, but anyone who spoke up about what happened was punished by means such as having their heads shaved and labelled as communists.

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Finally, in 1975, the death of General Franco meant that despite governments still telling people not to dig out the past, the truth could be uncovered but with the city having never truly recovered, what really happened in Guernica can never be forgotten.

Pablo Picasso even painted a famous piece called ‘The Guernica’, in remembrance of all the lives lost on that day. 

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Find out more here.