Xabier Irujo and Queralt SoléNov 28, 2022
Nazi Juggernaut in the Basque Country and Catalonia
Center for Basque Studies 2019
Today I talked to Xabier Irujo about his book (co-authored with Queralt Solé) Nazi Juggernaut in the Basque Country and Catalonia (Center for Basque Studies, 2019).
Hitler and Mussolini's decision to help General Franco with war materiel and troops brought war to the Basque Country and Catalonia. Between 1936 and 1939, the German Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria carried out a brutal campaign of terror bombings that resulted in thousands of air strikes against open cities. This caused innumerable casualties among the civilian population. Franco's victory in 1939 caused the exile of hundreds of thousands of Basque and Catalan civilians, but the beginning of World War Two and the subsequent occupation of the Northern Basque Country and Northern Catalonia by German troops gave rise to new forms of repression: concentration camps, forced labor, executions and imprisonment. As a consequence, the period from 1936 to 1945 is one of the bloodiest episodes in the contemporary history of Catalonia and the Basque Country.