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Gernika Peace Museum

The Documentation Centre on the Bombing 
                      of Gernika
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Research

The Documentation Centre is continuing its research work in archives, newspaper and periodicals libraries, film libraries and other information centres to compile the information that exists worldwide about the bombing of Gernika and the Spanish Civil War.

LATEST ACTIVITIES IN THIS FIELD:

Research in the Archivio Storico Diplomatico. Ministero degli Affari Esteri (Rome, Italy; December 2016)

The most important section for the study of the Civil War is the Ufficio Spagna, created by the Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano. We can find the reports on the situation in Spain between January and March 1937, with numerous references to the situation in the Basque Country.

-Negotiations with Basque nationalists (April 5, 1937).
-Report on Franco's skepticism about the possible surrender of Bilbao (April 12, 1937).
-Conditions for the surrender of Bilbao proposed by the Francoists (April 25, 1937).
-Report of the consul Cavaletti on his meeting with Basque delegates for the surrender of Bilbao (May 11, 1937).
-Instructions from Ciano to Cavaletti to suspend contacts with the Basque delegates (May 15, 1937).
-Summary of the negotiations with the Basque delegates since the end of March 1937 (June 29, 1937).
-Note of the nationalist canon Alberto Onaindia on how to carry out the surrender of the Basque battalions (July 7, 1937).
-Report of the Italian ambassador in which he narrates an interview with Franco regarding the attitude of the Basques surrendered and the commutation of most of the death sentences passed (September 18, 1937).
-Informative note on the commutation of the death penalty of Juan Ajuriaguerra (December 15, 1937)
(More than 1000 documents).


Reserch at the Ufficio Storico dell Stato Maggiore dell’Aeronautica Militare (Rome, Italy; december 2016)

This archive contains numerous documentation on the air operations in the Basque Country during the Civil War, which is concentrated in the section OMS (Operazioni Militari Spagna), formed by 97 files. Most of the documentation refers to the campaigns of Biscay and Santander in the spring and summer of 1937.
The main documents are operations orders, which transmitted to the different units instructions on the actions they were to carry out: the purpose of the attack, their situation, the equipment in charge of carrying out the attack, the schedule and the route to be followed, the attack and the number of bombs to be used, among other technical data. (More than 1000 documents).


Research at the Federal Public Services of Foreign Affairs. Archives diplomatiques (Brussels, Belgium) (November 2016)

Documents on the Civil War in Euskadi are kept in different files concerning the communications of the Belgian consul in Bilbao, Emile Dubois, and the Belgian ambassador in San Juan de Luz, R. Everts, the situation and evolution of the armaments industry in Eibar during the War, evacuations, requests for help from the lehendakari Agirre to the Belgian government, situation of the children refugees and repatriations, bombardment of Gernika, telegrams of the Basque and Catalan government denouncing the actions of Franco's aviation, documents of the House of Representatives, etc.


Research at the Royal Library of Belgium (November 2016)

Consultation of the Belgian press in 1937 in relation to the Civil War in Euskadi, the bombing of Gernika and the exile.


Research in the Archives of the Kingdom of Galicia (La Coruña) Iglesias Brage collection (Head of Operations of the North Front) (2016)

Digitization of the following documentation: (1936-1937)
-Documentation of Mission Orders: Front Biscay-Álava.
-Orders of operations: Front Biscay-Álava.
-General orders of operations Brigades of Navarre.
-Part of campaign: Front of Biscay-Álava.
-Aerodrome of Vitoria.
-Aerodrome of Lasarte.
-Photographs of Gernika after the bombing taken on April 28 by Breguet 19 reconnaissance aircraft.
-Photographs from Euskadi taken by reconnaissance aircraft.
-Situation maps North-Euskadi.
-Urban centers maps (Euskadi).
(More than 1,000 documents).


Research in the Francisco Franco Foundation (Madrid) 2016

Investigation into the bombing of Gernika and the Civil War in Euskadi.
Inventories Civil War Euskadi and Basque Government: Agirre.


Investigation in the Civil Registry (1937) Court of Gernika-Lumo (2016)

Research on the victims of the bombing of Gernika.
Death Proceedings Volume 15. Section III (Deaths): November 16, 1932 - April 25, 1937.


Army Air Forces Archive (Madrid) Jesús Salas Larrazabal collection (2016)

Digitization of all the documentation generated in his research on the bombing of Gernika: interviews with German pilots, sketches, plans, correspondence, and so on. (More than 1,000 documents).


Félix Maíz collection (Private Secretary of Emilio Mola) (Iruña) (2016)

Research in the General Archive of Navarra (Collection Maíz): Correspondence with Francisco Franco and Serrano Suñer. Photographs of Mola, Franco, Serrano Suñer, etc.


Indalecio Prieto Foundation Archive (Alcalá de Henares, Spain) (June 2015)

There are a lot of documentation about the Civil War in Euskadi (Basque Country). It should be noted the war reports of aviation as well as the correspondence of Prieto with Jose Antonio Agirre and Manuel Irujo.


Research in the Archives of the Army Air Forces (Villaviciosa de Odón, Spain) (June, 2015)

There has been checked the diaries of operations conducted by air forces in the north between October 15th, 1936 and October 21st, 1937. It highlights the general plan of operations in Biscay for the war in the north. You can look up information on the activity of aerodromes in Vitoria between March 1937 and March 1938 and campaign aerodromes of Agoncillo (Logroño), Somorrostro and Sondica (Biscay). The documentation of the Condor Legion and Italian Legionary Aviation has been consulted.
The Kindelan Family archive has also been consulted; there are a lot of important correspondence between Vigón and Kindelan about the campaign in the North.


Research April 2015: The National Archives (Kew, London, United Kingdom)

The National Archives (Kew, London, United Kingdom) contains a lot of documentation related to the Spanish Civil War in various collections of different departments. The Basque issue was addressed by the British government, so there is information on the Cabinet papers-CA about the Basque refugee children and the bombing of Guernica in April 1937. The most important section is the Foreign Office-FO Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This time the research has been focused on the English documentation on the Italian air forces in the Spanish civil war.


Research December 2014: in various archives of New York.

The staff of the Documentation Centre on the Bombing of Gernika (CDBG), continuing with the research work on the Bombing of Gernika and the Spanish Civil War, will investigate at Roosevelt Archives, New York University and Columbia University.

RESEARCH AT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PRESIDENTIAL ARCHIVE (HIDE PARK-NEW YORK)

RESEARCH AT TAMIMENT LIBRARY (NEW YORK UNIVERSITY)

RESEARCH AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY


Research 2014: Centro Documental de Memoria Histórica (Salamanca) - Arxiu Montserrat Tarradellas i Macia (Cataluña)

- Centro Documental de Memoria Histórica (Salamanca)
- Arxiu Montserrat Tarradellas i Macia (Poblet. Cataluña)


Research in the Bundesarchiv, Politisches Archiv (PAAA) and Staatsbibliothek from Germany (2013, Berlin)

Research in the Archives of the Army Air Forces (Villaviciosa de Odón, Spain) (2013)

Research in Military Archives of Avila (Spain) (2013)

From July 8th to 12th 2013, the staff of the Documentation Centre on the Bombing of Gernika has conducted a research on the bombing of Guernica and the Spanish Civil War in the Basque Country. This has taken place in the Military Archives of Avila (Spain), although a first research was carried out fifteen years ago.

However, new photographic collections from Martínez Bande and J.M. Campúa, among others, have recently appeared. In addition, a large number of documents on those subjects have been consulted (Zona Roja, Zona Nacional, Cuartel General del Generalísimo, Gobierno de Euzkadi, etc). More than 900 documents have been digitilized and will be available after being classified.


Research in Archives Administration (Alcala de Henares) (November, 2012)

The research in the Administration Archives (AGA) (Alcala de Henares) has focused on the extensive documentation on construction and reconstruction activities undertaken by the former "Dirección General de Regiones Devastadas" (Ministry of Devastated Regions) in the town of Gernika.

Furthermore, the AGA preserves other photographic collections and archives including images of Gernika throughout the 20th century, in the province of Biscay during the Civil War, archives and photographic collections compiled by Delegación Nacional de Prensa, Propaganda y Radio del Movimiento Nacional / Medios de Comunicación Social del Estado (National Press, Radio and Advertising Delegation of the National Movement / State Social Media Communication).


Research in the Archives of Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito of Italy (Rome) (March 2012)

There is important documentation on the military operations in Biscay at the archive of "Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito". The type of documents: reports, maps and photographs relating to the Italian participation in the Civil war in the Basque Country.

It is interesting the documentation relative to the Iron Belt, to the agreements between Italians and the Basque nationalists in 1937, and to the surrender of the Basque battalions.

It is necessary to stand out the funds called "Campagna di Spagna 1936-1939", with the topographic number VS/1, which contains 300 photographs corresponding to the effects of Aviazione Legionaria's bombings in several places.


Research in the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States (NARA) (Washington) (December 2011)

Research in the National Archives of Washington: an important document collection on the Spanish Civil War in Euskadi (Basque Country) composed by documents generated by the U.S. Embassy in Donibane Lohitzune (Saint Jean de Luz, France) and by the Consulate of Bilbao as well as other Spanish consulates (Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Sevilla, Valencia and Vigo).


Research in the Archives of Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito of Italy (Rome) (October 2011)

There is important documentation on the military operations in Biscay at the archive of "Stato Maggiore dell'Esercito". The type of documents: reports, maps and photographs relating to the Italian participation in the Civil war in the Basque Country.

It is interesting the documentation relative to the Iron Belt, to the agreements between Italians and the Basque nationalists in 1937, and to the surrender of the Basque battalions.

It is necessary to stand out the funds called "Campagna di Spagna 1936-1939", with the topographic number VS/1, which contains 300 photographs corresponding to the effects of Aviazione Legionaria's bombings in several places.


Research in the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Roma) (March 2011)

Continuation of the research in the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Rome), Archivio Storico Diplomatico, Ministero degli Affari Esteri in March 2011.

Research in the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Roma) (November 2010)

The research in the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Rome) Archivio Storico Diplomatico, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, November 2010, has been focused on the consultation of documents relating to those series: Affari Politici, Ufficio Fondi di Spagna and Guerra-Guerra di Spagna, the most important documents for the study of Civil War in the Basque Country. There are important reports of Italian troops in the campaign of Biscay and the documents relating to Santoña's Agreement and the surrender of Basque battalions.


Research at the Ufficio Storico Estado Major dell'Aeronautica Militare (Italy) (May, 2010)

The Ufficio Storico Estado Major dell'Aeronautica Militare (Ministry of Defence)(Italy) contains many documents on air operations in the Basque Country during the Civil War. The main documents are the orders of operations transmitted to the different units: the target of the attack, its location, equipment makers do, schedule and route, the mode of attack and the number of bombs to be used, among other technical data.


Research in the German Foreign Office (2009. Berlin)
(Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts (PAAA)

The Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts (PAAA), the Political Archive of the German Foreign Office, keeps all the international agreements and documents on German foreign policy since 1867.

German foreign policy documents. Series D (1937-1941)1. This collection includes the documents prepared by the ministers Konstantin von Neurath and Joachim von Ribbentrop and their Secretaries of State, by the German ambassador in Salamanca Wilhelm Faupel and other German and foreign institutions.


Research in the British National Archives (2009. United Kingdom)

Second phase of the research on the Foreign Office documentation (1936-1939) that deals with British international relations with foreign powers, the policy of Non-Intervention in the Civil War, the evacuation of Basque children to England, the setting up of the committee for the investigation of the bombing of Gernika...


Research in the British National Archives (United Kingdom)

Foreign Office documentation (1936-1939) that deals with British international relations with foreign powers, the policy of Non-Intervention in the Civil War, the evacuation of Basque children to England, the setting up of the committee for the investigation of the bombing of Gernika...


Fernando Gomez Pelaez Collection

The Fernando Gomez Pelaez archive is one of the most important collections of Spanish libertarians in exile. The documents that make up the archive, compiled throughout his long-standing affiliation to the National Labour Confederation (CNT) from his tireless publishing activity as an editor of libertarian publications in exile, have become a fundamental source of knowledge about post-civil war anarcho-syndicalism.


Jose Martinez Guerricabeitia Collection

Collection of newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, correspondence, manuscripts and other printed documentation, that covers the 1939-1980 period as a whole.


Research in the Amsterdam Social History Institute (Holland)

Institute where a lot of documents were taken over the Pyrenees in 1939, a few weeks before Franco took the last Republican areas in the North. Research will be carried out specifically in the José Martínez Guerricabeitia and the Fernando Gomez Peláez Collections that contain a great deal of graphic and written documentation on the Civil War in the Basque Country.


Research in the Vatican Secret Archive (2008. Vatican)

In the second phase of their research in March 2008 they looked through all the documents in Affari Ecclesiastici Straordinari. Spagna 1937. Fondo Segreteria di Stato that had still not been opened up to be consulted on their first visit to the archive.
Once the research phase is over and the documents have been catalogued, they will be available to be consulted in the Documentation Centre.


Research in the Vatican Secret Archive (2007. Vatican)

In June 2006 it was officially announced that documents from the Vatican Secret Archive on the Pontificate of Pius XI were to be opened to researchers, and that these could be consulted from September of that year. The declassification of these documents dating from 1922 to 1939 provides new data on the conduct of the Holy See during the Spanish Civil War. In January 2007, Iratxe Momoitio Astorkia, Director of the Peace Museum in Gernika, and Ana Teresa Nuñez Monasterio, Head of the Documentation Centre on the Bombing of Gernika and the Civil War, went to Rome to consult these declassified documents and to reproduce any interesting material to bring it back to Gernika so that it could be consulted by the public.
In this first phase of research they were able to consult everything concerning the Nunciature of Madrid where lists of Basque refugee children, letters from children sent to their families from abroad, Monsignor Antoniutti's correspondence, etc are kept.


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