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David Craigie writes from Australia on October 13, 2002
Real History and the 1937 Guernica incident
I WOULD like to alert you to a reference made to your book "Göring" by Piers Brendon yesterday [October 12, 2002] on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio in which he dismisses your account of the Guernica bombings [by General Franco's forces and the Legion Kondor in April 1937].
Related item on this website:
The Facts and Figures about the 1937 Nazi air raid on Guernica
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David Irving replies:
SO LONG as I have my arms tied behind my back -- I am not invited to a free debate with these geniuses --, there's not much I can do about them at this range; none of them so afr as I know, and certainly not the indolent Mr Brendon, has looked at the German archives or spoken to the German and Spanish generals, let alone visited Guernica to investigate on the spot with city officials as we did in the 1970s. For my references on Guernica, I read the private diary of the later Field Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen, who headed the Legion Kondor (his widow Jutta made it available to me), and years earlier we visited Guernica, and checked the city archives and newspaper files: the local anti-Franco newspaper after the air raid listed the names of the 30 injured, which gives an idea of the size of the actual death toll. After checking hospital and mortuary records we concluded that 98 had died, most of them in one incident where a German bomb struck an asylum. This does not accord very well however with the communist, anti-Franco legend that was put around immediately after the event.