PROPAGANDA VERSUS ART

THE REMODERN REVIEW

Spanish Bombs

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

It’s one of the best known paintings of the Modern era. Expatriate Spaniard Pablo Picasso created Guernica in response to an atrocity that occurred during the Spanish Civil War, an episode that was a harbinger of the ruthless slaughter of the Second World War.

On April 26, 1937, the Condor Legion, a corps of German Luftwaffe pilots who had volunteered to assist the Nationalist forces fighting in Spain, launched a raid on the defenseless Basque city of Guernica. Multiple waves of airplanes bombed and strafed the civilian population of the town. The total number of casualties is disputed, but hundreds were killed.

An early experiment in the terrorizing carpet bombing later refined by the Nazis, the Guernica bombing demonstrated the callous brutality and effectiveness of twentieth century warfare, and the willingness to reach beyond the conventional battlefield to strike at enemies. The world recoiled…

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