p. 12

The Spanish Civil War

p. 14

The day, April 26, was well chosen: Monday is market day in Guernica, the streets are crowded from the inhabitants of the city and nearby villages; in the city of 7000 souls besides 3000 refugees from the area of Irun and Santander are accommodated. After the experience of Durango air defense measures had been introduced. But the refuge places were not enough for the overcrowded city.

At half past three the church-bells ring the alarm. Five minutes later a Junkers Trimotor bomber appeared, flying at low altitude ocer the city and dropped six heavy bombs. After another five minutes a second airplane came and threw six bombs on the city center. One quarter of an hour later appeared a group of three airplanes, which began the systematic destruction work.

The bombers could fly safely deep enough, in order to destroy accomodation on accomodation following the map. At first with light bombs, which killed the population on the streets. Then with three hundred and five-hundred-Kilo bombs, which destroyed entire house blocks and which cracked the ceilings of the protection cellars. Finally a rain took place from incendiary bombs and light fire shells, which developed heat, which fiery tongues hurled by air and set almost the whole city in fire with the explosion up to three thousand degrees.

As on the stakes of the Roman Imperators humans burn like living torches. The shouting, the explosions, cracking of the houses and showers of the fire mix themselves to a noise of hell. The destruction rage of humans exceeded the frights of the heaviest natural catastrophe.

Like vultures around the victim, around the burning city the fighter pilots hunt the defenselessly fleeing women, children and old persons with machine guns, into death.

At seven o'clock only a few particularly resistant old buildings are left from Guernica. The holy oak, the mark of the Basques, strains its bald black branches over a dead city. Of the ten thousand persons more than 800 dead, more than 3000 injured.

Thirty Junkers 52, fifteen Heinkel fighter aircrafts and five Caproni bombers have thrown thirty kilometers behind the front ninety thousand kilograms of bombs within three and a half hours. The fragments, which are found during the cleaning up among the burned houses and the charred corpses, carry the inscription: «Berlin Rheinsdorf 1936. Heil Hitler!»

On April 27, Gandeguiz Arteaga is bombed, on April 28 Amorebieta is bombed, on April 29 Rigoitia, on April 30 the circle begins again: Durango is bombed.


Last change: 22 Jun 2000