Category Archives: History

Basque Fact of the Week: Bromo, the Basque Double Agent of World War II

Double agents are a trope of movies, their uncertain loyalties adding tension and drama to the story. However, they are inspired by real men and women that played sides against one another. During World War II, a Basque man from Bizkaia, José Laradogoitia Menchaca, actually served as a double agent. This “Basque shepherd, swindler and […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juan Zumárraga, First Bishop of Mexico

Basques, with their adventurous spirit and ambitions for a better life, were key players in the conquest and history of the Americas. Reminders of that history are everywhere, from the names of towns (Durango, Colorado and the state of Durango in Mexico) to some of the most influential figures in American history, such as Simón […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Disappearance of Jesús Galíndez Suárez

The aftermath of Spanish Civil War and World War II forced many Basque intelligentsia to flee their native land and settle elsewhere. Indeed, the Basque government itself was in exile. Many of those Basques eventually found their way to the Americas where they became important figures, both representing the cause of the Basque government or […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juan Bautista de Anza I and II, Explorers of the North American West

As part of the conquest of the Americas, Basques played an outsized role. They were there for many of the pivotal events that ended up shaping both continents. This is no less true for what would become the United States. Far west, in what eventually became California, Juan Bautista de Anza was an explorer, a […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Other Basque Cities Were Bombed During the Spanish Civil War

A couple of weeks ago, on the 84th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika, I posted about Picasso’s Guernica, and how it was inspired by those horrific events. Eneko Sagarbide and Jabier Aldekozea pointed out that Gernika was not the only, nor even the first, Basque city bombed during the Spanish Civil War. In fact, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Picasso’s Guernica

Tomorrow marks 84 years since the bombing of Gernika, that day during the Spanish Civil War when Hitler’s Air Force, at the behest of Franco, bombed the civilian population of the Basque village on a Monday, market day. It was one of the first aerial bombings of a civilian population, though other Basque towns, notably […]

The Power of Story: An Interview with Begoña Echeverria and Annika Speer

On April 26, 1937, the Basque city of Gernika was bombed. This, and other disastrous events during the Spanish Civil War, led to thousands of Basque children being evacuated from the Basque Country. In their play, Picasso Presents Gernika, Drs. Begoña Echeverria and Annika Speer, both professors at the University of California, Riverside, explore the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Sanchos of Pamplona

If there ever was a single political entity that encompassed all of what we now think of as the Basque Country — Euskal Herria with its seven provinces — it was the Kingdom of Nafarroa, originally known as the Kingdom of Pamplona. On the border of what later became France and Spain, it enjoyed great […]

The Linguistic Richness of the Feminine: An Interview with Begoña Echeverria

Professor Begoña Echeverria is no stranger to Buber’s Basque Page. Back in 2014, she wrote a guest column describing her use of song to teach elements of Euskara. However, that is only one of the myriad of activities she is leading to not only promote but also to understand Basque language and culture. Her play […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Saint Pierre and Miquelon

On the furthest reaches of Canada’s eastern coast lies Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a small group of islands just south of Newfoundland. A French Territorial Collectivity, the islands are the last remaining vestige of New France, at least in North America – the people are guaranteed French citizenship. However, perhaps more interestingly, if you look […]