Monday, April 13, 2009

Guernica Revisited

The most famous anti-war image of modern times is Pablo Picasso's large mural, "Guernica".

It commemorates the 1937 bombing by German aircraft of Guernica, a small village in the Basque country of northern Spain, a bastion of Republican resistance to Franco's fascists. The raid targetted the civilian population, mostly women and children, gathered in the village centre on market day. The attack, which lasted for several hours, killed an estimated 250 to 1,600 as the warplanes repeatedly bombed and machine-gunned the defenceless population.

Hitler's forces carried out the raid in solidarity with their Spanish fascist allies and as an opportunity to test out new weapons. It may have been the first time that aerial warfare had been used to in an attempt to intimidate and demoralise a civilian population.

The lesson of Guernica has been well learned by the leaders of modern-day Israel. What else was the recent attack on Gaza for than to test out its arsenal of new weaponry and to bomb a defenceless population into submission? While it may have successfully tested the effect of white phosphorous, flechettes and new and horrifying munitions on human bodies, it failed utterly to demoralise a population of incredibly brave and resilient people. 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful comparrison and 100% correct

rememberpalestine said...

Thanks Abbey, I thought the comparisons were obvious. I wish more of the world could see it.

Anonymous said...

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Love to have the input of a fellow Australian :)