Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Guernica

From The Writer's Almanac

And it was on this day in 1937 that German bombers attacked and destroyed the city of Guernica in Spain. Hitler was one of the allies of the Fascist side, the side of Franco, in the Spanish Civil War, and he wanted to use the Spanish Civil War as a testing ground for his new blitzkrieg military strategy.

It was a Monday, this day in 1937, a market day in Guernica, farmers were in the town square with their harvest, shoppers filled the street, and that afternoon the German Luftwaffe attacked.


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Guernica, the painting, is one of those permanent memory things for me. I don't remember where I saw it first -- probably in school. I remember feeling confused, and not liking the painting, and how it seemed to make pain look cartoony. I've seen parodies of it I've read about what it means or what it is.

In my vivid imagination, I hear the planes and the sound of bombs and the screaming. All of these noises come from movies and television, and are only imitations of imitations in my head. Still, they scare me enough. Did someone make paintings for other days when bombs came down?

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