Opening of the the V International PEACE MUSEUM CONFERENCE
Most people associate Guernica with the painting by Picasso which has become one of the worlds most known antiwar symbols and also a symbol for Basque nationalism.
Guernica the small Spanish town in the Basque province was bombed by the German Luftwaffe Condor Legion April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War.
The bombing is said to be the first aerial bombardment in history in which a civilian population was attacked deliberatly to cause terror and to crush the moral. In 1935 German General Erich Ludendorff published Die Totale Krieg (The Total War) in which he introduced his views that civilians and soldiers where all targets in a war.
His ideas interrested Hitler but he needed to test them.
During the Nuremberg Trials, Hermann Göring declared: "The Spanish Civil War gave me an opportunity to put my young air force to the test, and a means for my men to gain experience."
The attack on Guernica was not one but a series of attacks performed by Italian and German forces who supported Franco in his war against the Republican government.
The bombing was performed on market day when the town was crowded with people not just the small population of 5000 people but also many from the surrounding countryside.
After more than 3 hours of of bombardment the whole town was on fire. Only a few buildings survived. How many people died is still not known. The official number says around 1,650 mostly old people, women, and children.
Guernica has a Peace Museum and in 2005 the V International PEACE MUSEUM CONFERENCE is held in Guernica.
The panorama was made at a special opening ceremony May 1 by the American-Australian artist William Kelly
The place is the 'Foru' Square where Gernika's Peace Museum is located.