Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika. In remembrance, a piece that didn't make it into today's story:

Josefina Odriozola was 14 when the bombs rained down on her hometown. It was market day in Guernica, and she and her mother were selling cabbages. As the German planes released their cargo, devastating the Spanish Basque town and killing hundreds, the two ran home for safety, pulling the family burro behind them. They would spend the rest of the day hiding inside, listening to the explosions. "It was 70 years ago, but I remember every minute," says Odriozola.

On this, the 70th anniversary of one of the great atrocities of the twentieth century, Odriozola is not the only one remembering. The 1937 bombing of Guernica—among the earliest air attacks on a civilian population, and one carried out by German aviation at Franco's behest—was just one of the events in Spain's bloody civil war and 36-year dictatorship that, for decades, Spaniards didn't really talk about.

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