José Antonio de Aguirre, the exiled President of the Basque Republic, found himself caught between the Spanish Nationalists and the Gestapo as the Germans invaded France in 1940. This book is first and foremost the exciting account of a miraculous escape from the Germans, but it contains far more than mere adventure; threaded into the story are pictures of democracy and dictatorship and their effects on the lives of individuals, of religion in war, of human progress and decency surviving every adversity, of optimism where it might be least expected. Here is a man, by temperament a philosopher and by career the president of his people, interpreting 1940s Europe for his readers and explaining how people in Berlin, Antwerp, and Paris felt. This annotated edition, published nearly 50 years after the book first appeared, attests to the timeliness and foresight of Aguirre's message. Annotations and introduction by Robert Clark.
About the Author
José Antonio de Aguirre (1904-1960) was the first president (lendakari) of the Basque Republic during its brief and tragic history as an ally of the Spanish Republic. He was forced into exile in France when the Nationalists overran his fledgling country. After escaping the Nazis, he spent the rest of his life in exile, fighting for the reestablishment of the Republic and against the Franco regime. He died in Paris in 1960.