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Action & Adventure - Treason and Triumph - Bonnie Toews

Action & Adventure - Treason and Triumph - Bonnie Toews

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Published by: api-3820854 on Oct 18, 2008
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Treason & Triumph
By Bonnie Toews
Monday, April 26th, 1937

Annoying static scratched through the radio speaker. Then, despite the background crackling, the listeners could hear a woman's voice -- her words barely intelligible:

At four o'clock this afternoon, a lone Heinkel 51 bomber began the bloodiest day of the Spanish Civil War... In a surprise attack on Guernica, he hit the town square, the Julian Hotel and the rail station where it's been reported over 200 people on the


platform waiting for the next train have been
killed. For the past two hours, this small Basque
village in the hills of Northern Spain has rocked
under six air strikes by Germany's Condor Legion. I
escaped. Many didn't. Tonight, Guernica burns.

Out of all the bodies I saw -- some so mutilated
their parts were strewn over the jagged craters
where once buildings stood -- the death of one small
boy stands out. I found him on a street littered
with children's bodies. There was no visible injury
to show how he died. He just lay there, as if he
were asleep, clutching his fishing pole.

What does this Condor attack mean? Churches,
convents and monasteries abide here, not military
targets, yet the most sacred symbol in Guernica --
the Monastery of Augustine Fathers -- lies in ruin.
Some observers believe the Basques, an especially
willful and proud people, are General Franco's test
case. The Fascist theory is: if the Basques
surrender to these terror tactics, all of Spain will
give up, and the rules of war can be rewritten.

On April 26th, 1937, history will record Guernica
suffered the first air attack ever launched against

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