Thursday, January 08, 2009

Basques Are Not Spaniards

The article you are about to read was published at a web page called 24 Hour Museum, and it is a fine example of how wrong things can go if you sacrifice historic accuracy for political correctness. Here you have it:


By Culture24 Staff

A project to preserve the memories of nearly 4,000 Spanish children who fled to Southampton more than 70 years ago has received a grant of £47,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The header says they were Basque children by suddenly the first paragraph insists they were Spaniards. This could be just a small little details of no consequence if it was not for one single devastating fact: the Basques were forced to evacuate their children because the Spaniards were conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign in the Basque Country. Would you swap nationalities between Serbs and Bosnians? Or between Israelis and Palestinians? Of course not!

Sarajevo, a Bosnian city, was demolished by Serbian troops, so everyone is extra careful not to call the Bosnian refugees by the nationality of those who mercilessly attacked them. Well, Basques deserve the same kind of attention and calling them Spaniards is a real insult.

But lets keep reading:

The Los Ninos exhibition at Southampton University will produce an education pack for schools and an online exhibition chronicling the stories of Basque children who arrived in the city during the Spanish Civil War.

Professor Chris Woolgar, Head of Special Collections at the University of Southampton Library, said: “HLF support creates an important opportunity for us not only to record the life stores of some of the child refugees who came from Spain in 1937, but also to engage today’s children in understanding how conflict and migration have an impact on everyday life.”

Once again, those children did not get there from Spain, they got there from the Basque Country, a newly created republic attacked by Francisco Franco's troops that were supported and armed by Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Would you start calling the Roma by the term of German just because the Nazis slaughtered them?

Accompanied by teachers, assistants, Catholic priests and doctors, the cherubic fleet made the pilgrimage to a makeshift camp at North Stoneham, and were later resettled by the Salvation Army and the Catholic Church. Most returned to Spain at the end of the civil war in 1939.

Ok, for the last time, they went back to the Basque Country, a nation violently occupied by Spain. Are the Albano-Kosovars to be called Serbians?

The following paragraph contains the only historically accurate fact about why those children had to be evacuated to England:

Thirty surviving members of the group, who escaped attacks by fascist forces in the Basque region and a Nazi bombing campaign on the town of Guernica, will have their memories recorded, creating a travelling exhibition which will tour museum and library venues around Hampshire.

Michelle Davies, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East England, said: “This project is perhaps the last opportunity to record the memories of some of those who were involved in this unique event – the first mass evacuation of child refugees to Britain following the first-ever massed bombings of a civilian population.”

A spokesperson for the Basque Children of ’37 Association UK added: “As time goes by and more and more of the children enter their 80s, it is difficult to stress how important and urgent it is to record their memories and preserve them for future generations.”

So, as you can see, despite being a well intentioned note in the end it becomes another piece of propaganda that only serves Spain, condemning the Basque people to a media limbo. Talk about how to prostitute freedom of speech.

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