Gernika: Genealogy of a Lie

Gernika: Genealogy of a Lie

by Xabier Irujo


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On April 26, 1937, nearly sixty bombers and fighters attacked Gernika. They dropped between 31 and 46 tons of explosive and incendiary bombs on the city center. The desolation was absolute: 85% of the buildings in the town were totally destroyed; more than 2,000 people died in an urban area of less than one square kilometer. Just hours after the destruction of the Basque town, General Franco ordered to attribute authorship of the atrocity to the “Reds” and that remained the official truth until his death in 1975. Gernika was a key event of contemporary European history; its “alternative facts” historiography an exemplar for commentators and historians faced with disentangling contested viewpoints on current military and political conflicts, and too often war crimes and genocide that result.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845199753
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Publication date: 06/01/2019
Series: Canada Blanch / Sussex Academic Studies on Contemporary Spain Series
Edition description: None
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Xabier Irujo is director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is professor of genocide studies. Member of the editorial board of four academic presses, he has authored more than 15 books and has received awards at national and international levels.

Table of Contents


Author’s Preface
1. Italy and Germany did not intervene.
2. It was a civil and Spanish war.
3. No market was held in Gernika.
4. Gernika has not been bombed: it has been destroyed by fire and gasoline.
5. Gernika was bombed, but the destruction was mainly due to the fire.
6. Gernika was bombed, but the destruction was mainly due to the action of the Italian planes.
7. Gernika was bombed and shelled by Basque troops.
8. It was a strategic bombing whose objective was the Errenteria bridge.
9. It was a strategic bombing whose objective was to cut the withdrawal to the Basque troops.
10. Gernika was a legitimate military objective because…
11. It was not a terror bombing.
12. The destruction was mainly due to the mismanagement of the Basque firefighters.
13. Franco did not know anything.
14. Spanish aircraft did not participate in the bombing.
15. It was an accident.
16. Richthofen ordered his men to spare Gernika and to throw bombs as a signal.
17. 9, 39, or 43 aircraft participated in the bombing.
18. 8 or 28 tons of bombs were dropped.
19. Gernika was bombed at 1,500, 2,300, 3,500, 3,600, and 3,800 meters of altitude.
20. 71 percent of the city was destroyed.
21. 45 people died in the Andra Mari shelter.
22. 126 people died in the bombing.
23. Witnesses lie and exaggerate.
24. We are not monsters…
25. We are the real victims…
26. The bombing of Gernika is a myth.
27. The bombing of Gernika was not a crime.
28. If it were not for Picasso…
29 & 30. Franco Savior, Franco Merciful, Franco Architect of Peace.

Epilogue. Passion for ignorance.


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