Many Basque people have done our bike tour, but few have expressed the pride in their
heritage of this couple. We visited Bogotá’s Parque Vasco, a small park in the Teusaquillo neighborhood with a memorial to the Basque Country’s most tragic episode: the savage April 1937 bombing of the town of Guernica, carried out by Nazi warplanes, practicing for the coming horrors of World War II.
While Guernica was a rehearsal for the Nazis’ later blitzkrieg warfare, which was to destroy countless European cities, it turned out that this Basque couple came from towns near Guernica which the Germans had bombed as practice for the attack on Guernica itself. Many have suggested that if Francisco Franco’s Nazi-backed forces had not won in Spain, Hitler would have had second thots about invading Europe.
Guernica Park contains plaques, some of them in the Basque language, and a reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s famed work memorializing the tragedy of the attack. Across the street is the Basque Cultural Center, which gives classes in Basque culture and language.