German revokes Guernica pilot's honours

28th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 January 2005, BERLIN- Germany stripped a late fighter pilot's name from two military institutions because his squadron participated in the devastating bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

28 January 2005

BERLIN- Germany stripped a late fighter pilot's name from two military institutions because his squadron participated in the devastating bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

A spokesman said Defence Minister Peter Struck decided to remove the name of Werner Moelders from the sites after a television news programme revealed last year that the pilot had belonged to Nazi Germany's infamous Condor Legion, which served with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco's forces in the raid.

Barracks in the northern town of Visselhoevede and the fighter squadron 74 in the southern town of Neuburg an der Donau will now bear new names, which have not yet been chosen.

The lower house of parliament voted in 1998 to no longer allow military sites to carry the names of Condor Legion soldiers.

The defence ministry spokesman said Struck had spoken with officials from the German air force and a relative of Moelder before making the decision.

The pilot, who was not personally involved in the Guernica raid, died in a crash in 1941 in Poland at the age of 28.

The 1937 bombardment, which Pablo Picasso captured in the celebrated painting Guernica, killed hundreds of civilians. Franco's forces took the city two days after the atrocity.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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