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The 75th anniversary of the bombing Gernika arouses interest in Berlin: this week, film and conferences


Some members of Berlin's Basque club board of directors along with historians, and filmmakers (photo Helena Falabino)
Some members of Berlin's Basque club board of directors along with historians, and filmmakers (photo Helena Falabino)


Berlin’s Basque club is carrying out a complete program of activities to commemorate the 75 anniversary of the bombing of Gernika by Nazi planes in 1937. Even though the anniversary is on the 26 of this month, the Basque club has been hosting various commemorative events since April 1, with the inauguration of an exhibit. During the presentation one could see two documentaries on this tragedy, 'Gernika' by Klaus Ihlau and 'Die sichtbare Stimme' (Visible Vote) by Pia Kuhlmann and Pedro Deltell. This week, the Basque club offers a conference and two more documentaries.

Berlin, Germany.  Berlin’s Euskal Etxea was originally created by historians and German euskaltzaleak, dedicated to preserving the memory of the bombing of Gernika and its importance as a symbol of the culture of peace.  No wonder, then, that it has been so involved in the 75 anniversary of the tragedy that destroyed this Bizkaian village in 1937, and why the euskal etxea has been hosting various events since the beginning of the month, that have all been very well received, according the Unai Lauzirika, club member. 

The events began on April 1, with the inauguration of an exhibit on the bombing carried out by the Nazis, who were allied with Franco, on April 26, 1937.  A reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica” was featured in the exhibit as a denunciation of the attack.  The event gathered more than 70 people, who followed the presentation by Wolfgang Wipperman with great interest. The activity was followed by a screening of Gernika by Klaus Ihlau.

Berlin Gernika 75. urteurrena (2)

[Wolfgang Wipperman During his presentation of the exhibit on Gernika, in front of the reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica” (photo Helena Falabino)]

After the break, those in attendance enjoyed a selection of pintxos, and then Die sichtbare Stimme by Pia Kuhlmann and Pedro Deltell, was shown with the presentation being done by Deltell himself. Both the attendees and the event organizers were very satisfied with the day in general, according to Basque club sources.

The next event took place on April 3, with a conference by historian Ingo Niebel entitled, “The Bombing of Gernika: German Historiography.”  The event “evolved into a question and answer session, because the audience had so many questions.  The theme really aroused interest,” said club members.  On April 8, Sunday, music took the stage, thanks to the Udaberria choir, visiting from Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Berlin Gernika 75. urteurrena (3)

[Presentation by German historian Ingo Niebel (photo Helena Falabino)]

This week’s events

The events will continue through this week and next.  To begin, tomorrow, Thursday, Emilio Majuelo, Professor of History at the Public University of Navarre, will give a talk entitled “Historical memory in the Basque Country and Spain.”  On Sunday two more documentaries will be shown on the bombing at the Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte  (House of Democracy and Human Rights) center, headquarters for all of the events. Their titles, Gernika: Bombing by Alberto Rojo and Bizi naizen lekutik (From the Place where I live) by Oier Plaza and Daniel Asua.


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