Photograph: Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2017
Pablo Picasso’s painting of the bombing of Guernica is one of the 20th century’s most famous images. A vast canvas in sombre tones of grey and blue, it shows in searing detail the suffering of people and animals as German and Italian fascist planes bombed their town. Picasso painted Guernica for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris, then toured it around the world to publicise the massacre.
In August 1937 Aberdonian anti-fascist battler Bob Cooney began his journey to fight in La Guerra. Once in Spain he was appointed British Brigade Political Commissar. ‘Spain – a war of the people fighting for independence against fascism’.
Britain’s leaders were useless; plus ça change. Although UK Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned over the Munich Agreement (Chamberlain’s attempt to appease Hitler), he declared that ‘it wasn’t clear who was responsible for the bombing of Guernica’. Post-war, Eden’s career hit a new nadir when he colluded with France and Israel to use military force against General Nasser after the Egyptian leader had nationalised the Suez Canal in 1956.
Of interest in My Blogs:
Sculptor and political activist Felicia Browne was the first British volunteer, woman or man, to die in armed defence of the Popular Front Government and the fledgling Second Republic.