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Perhabs a good comparison is with aerial bombing. In the European consciousness, Guernica is the archetype of the horror of 'fighting' against a civilian population from high above. However, in Guernica, the Nazis only applied a colonial method for thr firt time in Europe. It was pioneered in the North African colonies by the Spanish, Italian and French colonialists (and their ocassional US hired guns) before WWI, and  brought to its full bloom by the British Empire (under none other than WWII 'hero' "Bomber" Harris).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 03:26:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then why does the firebombing of Dresden not occupy the same place in Western consciousness as the carpet bombing of Gernika?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:10:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would it? Dresden was not a 'first'.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:17:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I'm not sure it doesn't. In America the Dresden bombing is better known than Guernica, perhaps in part due to Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.  Dresden is far more part of the German consciousness than Guernica is, or for that matter the German destruction of various cities during WWII. In Poland Dresden is also better known than Guernica.  On the other hand it makes sense for Guernica to be a larger part of Spanish collective memory than Dresden - it was the Spanish who were its victims (or Basques I guess if one wishes to quibble)
by MarekNYC on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding Gernika, it pissed me off to no end when a Basque nationalist leader whose father fought alongside Franco said something like "for us the bombs and for Madrid the paintings" in reference to the Gernika painting being in a Madrid museum, conveniently forgetting that Madrid endured almost 3 years of Franco's siege and aerial bombings.

The history of a people is too often just a list of grievances.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:27:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

(Second from left)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:42:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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