Tag: Xabier Irujo (page 2 of 3)

July 29, 1940: British government agrees to back Basque independence in event of Spanish support for Hitler

The tumultuous period between the end of the Spanish Civil War in April 1939 and the outbreak of World War II in September that same year marked a critical time in Basque history. Basques exiles who had fled into France and beyond during and after the Spanish Civil War suddenly found themselves once more prey to the advance of Fascism.

Following the fall of Poland in 1939,  Hitler’s forces swept north and westward in the spring of 1940, taking Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and, finally, France, with Paris falling to the Germans on June 14. In the less than a year most of Western Europe had fallen to the Nazis. Only the United Kingdom held out.

The charismatic leader of the Basque government-in-exile, Jose Antonio Agirre, had gotten caught up in these events and had been forced underground–ultimately in of all places, Berlin–into an incognito existence as he sought an escape from the Fascist clutches (on this, if you haven’t already done so, check out his riveting memoir Escape via Berlin: Eluding Franco in Hitler’s Europe). In his absence, the Basque government-in-exile was replaced by a Basque National Council, headed by Manuel Irujo and based in London.

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Manuel Irujo, Jose Antonio Agirre, and Jose Ignacio Lizaso, London, 1945.

It is during that time, in the interesting period before Agirre’s reappearance in October 1941, that the Basque National Council carried out a series of negotiations, most notably with both the British government and the representatives of Free France (effectively the exiled democratic French government) led by Charles de Gaulle. Most famously, perhaps, these negotiations resulted in the creation of the Gernika Battalion, made up of Basque exiles, which fought with distinction with the French army in defeating the Germans in 1945 (the story of which we covered in a previous post here).

Less well known, certainly, was a fascinating agreement brokered by the Basque National Council in London. Xabier Irujo picks up the story in his Expelled from the Motherland (p. 17):

In less than a month the Basque National Council and the British government had made their first agreement on military collaboration. Robert J. G. Boothby, representing the British government, and Jose Ignacio Lizaso, representing the Basque National Council, signed the first agreement on July 29, 1940, which spelled out that the British government was committed to defending the independence of the Basque Country if the Spanish government went to war on the side of the Axis powers.

Ultimately, and despite plenty of willing on the part of Franco, Spain did not enter the war on the side of Hitler and this agreement was never implemented; yet another example of one of those twists of fate around which history revolves.

If you’re interested in this topic, as well as the abovementioned works, see also War, Exile, Justice, and Everyday Life 1936-1946, edited by Sandra Ott, available free to download here; and, for more general background, Modern Basque History, by Cameron Watson, available free to download here.

 

Experts gather to discuss Basque Academic Diaspora

On July 12 the University of the Basque Country held the First Symposium on the Basque Academic Diaspora at its campus in Donostia-San Sebastián.

Quoting the organizers’ own introduction:

This 1st Symposium on the Basque Academic Diaspora is devised as a starting point to lay the foundations  of an international network of academics and researchers, with Basque descent or ties with  the Basque Country, dispersed all over the world. The network aims to stay in tune with the  roots that define their members, foster and consolidate future partnerships for mutual benefit, in terms of knowledge and sense of belonging. It will be the opportunity to identify the research, intellectual and cultural activity  scattered internationally and link  it to its roots in the Basque Country.

The William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies was well represented at the event. Bill Douglass himself gave the keynote lecture, “Configuring an International Scholarly Network of Basque Diaspora Specialists,” and Xabier Irujo spoke about  “Basque Bibliographic Production.”

See full details of the symposium here.

Xabier Irujo interviewed in Noticias de Gipuzkoa

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Dr. Xabier Irujo, photo borrowed from the Noticias de Gipuzkoa.

The Center’s Xabier Irujo was interviewed in the Basque daily Noticias de Gipuzkoa on Sunday, May 22. In the interview, Xabier talks about his research on the state of the Basque language in exile outside the Basque Country, within the diaspora network. Zorionak Xabier!

See the original (in Spanish) here.

Check out a full English translation, courtesy of our good friends at Euskalkultura, here.

 

Xabier Irujo to speak on Basque language, writing and exile at the Sabino Arana Foundation

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Andima Ibinagabeitia, Jokin Zaitegi, and Nikolas Ormaetxea, Orixe. Source: Center for Basque Studies Archive.

Dr. Xabier Irujo will speak on the situation of the Basque language from the Second Carlist War until after the Spanish War of 1936-1939. Beginning from the premise of writers like Miguel de Unamuno, who relegated Basque to a second tier, Xabier will lead the audience through the Basque renaissance that happened following the Second Carlist War that continued through the 1936 war, at which time the major impetus for the preservation fell upon the Basques, exiled from the Francoist dictatorship, who carried on this important work in exile, usually in Latin America. Among many others, Zaitegi, Ibinagabeitia, Orixe and Ametzaga were some of the Basque writers and patriots in exile. In this conference, Xabier will treat the importance of translation of these authors who lived in exile in París, Casablanca, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, México and Caracas, and, in general, on the importance of Basque.

The conference will take place at the Sabino Arana Foundation in Bilbao on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm.

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Readers interested in this subject should check out Xabier’s Expelled from the Motherland, and for a bit of a different story of exile, A Basque Patriot in New York by Inaki Anasagasti and Jose Erkoreka.

Professor Irujo Teaches 30th Weekend Workshop at Boise State University

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Dr. Irujo taught the workshop “Genocide Studies: An Introduction to the Holocaust” at BSU on April 2 and 3, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm. 49 students were enrolled.

This course offered students an introduction to genocide studies and the Holocaust offers an excellent case study. The workshop provided students with a global view of how terror has been generated and how it has been managed with political aims in the twentieth century in Europe and other parts in the world.

Dr. Irujo focused on the study of the theoretical and technical development of tools and strategies to generate and manage terror during the twentieth century, with special attention to the Holocaust. The analysis of the atrocities perpetrated by the German regime from 1933 to 1939 and, after that, in the occupied territories between 1939 and 1945 in the light of international law gave the opportunity to students to discuss and understand concepts such as atrocity, crime, aggression, terror, and genocide.

By the end of this course successful students will be able to demonstrate knowledge on the Holocaust (causes, development, denial, and recognition); discuss the interaction of psychological, sociological, and cultural factors that cause genocide; articulate characteristics unique to the Holocaust in the context of genocide in the 20th century and discuss major historical, legal, and political problems regarding genocide.

William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies hosts start of major International Congress on Jose Antonio Agirre

Agirre Congress

On the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Lehendakari (Basque president)Jose Antonio Agirre’s passing through Berlin on his odyssey to flee fascism in Europe,  the Center is proud to announce its participation in a major new congress on his legacy that starts here this weekend.  This is the first step in a three-part congress, “The International Legacy of Lehendakari Jose Antonio Agirre’s Government,” running through March and June, to be held successively at UNR, Humboldt University in Berlin, and Columbia University in New York.

The congress has been jointly organized by the Center and the Etxepare Basque Institute, with the help and participation of  the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies and the Basque Government’s General Secretariat for Foreign Affairs, with the collaboration of the Mikel Laboa Chair at the University of the Basque Country.

The Center will host the first part of the congress, March 26-28, which will focus on the international contribution of Agirre, with talks by faculty members Xabier Irujo, Joseba Zulaika, and Sandra Ott, together with visiting guest speakers Ángel Viñas (Complutense University, Madrid) and Julián Casanova (University of Zaragoza). Details of the Reno gathering are as follows:

March 26, Sparks Heritage Museum, 2 pm: Xabier Irujo, “The Bombing of Gernika.”

March 28, Basque Conference Room, 305, third floor, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada, Reno, 4 pm: Ángel Viñas, “The English Gold: British Payment of Multi-million Pound Bribes to Franco’s Top Generals.”

March 28, Basque Conference Room, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada, Reno, 5 pm: Julián Casanova, “Francoist repression.”

March 29, Basque Conference Room, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada, Reno, 4 pm: Joseba Zulaika, “From Gernika to Bilbao.”

March 29, Basque Conference Room, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada, Reno, 5 pm: Sandra Ott, “Occupation of Iparralde (1940-1944).”

Then on June 1, Humboldt University in Berlin will host the second installment, addressing the exile of Agirre and other Basques as well as the formation of a united Europe, with talks by Paul Preston (London School of Economics), Carlos Collado Seidel (Phillips University Marburg), Joan Villarroya (University of Barcelona), the writer and journalist Nicholas Rankin, historian Hilari Raguer i Suñer, and Xabier Irujo.

Finally, on June 9 Columbia University will host the third and final part of the Congress, with talks by former lehendakari Juan José Ibarretxe, Ludger Mees, Mari Jose Olaziregi, Jose Ramon Bengoetxea, Izaro Arroita, and Amaia Agirre of the University of the Basque Country, as well as Leyre Arrieta of the University of Deusto.

Besides the academic gathering, the Basque Club or Euskal Etxea of Berlin will also organize a program of cultural events through May and June to commemorate Agirre’s legacy. Titled “Agirre in Berlín 1941-2016. Das Baskenland mitten in Europa” (Agirre in Berlin 1941-2016: The Basque Country in the heart of Europe), this program will pay specific attention to the effects of the civil war and Basque exile from different artistic perspectives, including publications, lectures, concerts, and other diverse events.

See the full program of the Agirre Congress here.

CBS faculty, friends, authors, and graduates front and center in Basque Yourself 1st International Summer School 2016

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The Miramar Palace, host venue for the Basque Yourself 1st International Summer School 2016 classes. Photo by Generalpoteito, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This summer the University of the Basque Country is launching the Basque Yourself 1st International Summer School 2016.  This is a comprehensive program of classes, supported by excursions and leisure activities, specifically designed to learn about Basque culture and society.

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View from Miramar Palace looking toward downtown Donostia-San Sebastián. A spectacular setting to Basque yourself! Photo by Jaume Meneses, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Many people associated with the William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies will be among those teaching these classes:

July 4: Mari Jose Olaziregi, former Center faculty member, author of Waking the Hedgehog: The Literary World of Bernardo Atxaga (available free to download here) and editor of both Writers In Between Languages:  Minority Literatures in the Global Scene and Basque Literary History, will give a lecture on “Basque Literature.”

July 6: Olatz González Abrisketa, author of Basque Pelota: A Ritual, an Aesthetic, will give a talk of the same title.

July 8: Center graduate Mariann Vaczi will give a talk titled “Local Play in Global Sport: Athletic Club de Bilbao.” She will be followed by another Center graduate, Pedro Oiarzabal, author of The Basque Diaspora Webscape and Gardeners of Identity: Basques in the San Francisco Bay Area, who will speak about Diaspora Studies and the Memoria Bizia project. Finally, this session will be wrapped up by former William A. Douglass Distinguished Scholar at the Center, Oscar Alvarez Gila, whose talk is titled “Explorer-missionaries and sheepherders: Basque emigration to the USA.”

July 11: William A. Douglass will lecture on “Reno Basque Country: The Shaping of Basque Culture in Northern Nevada.” He will be followed by Oscar Alvarez Gila, who will speak this time about  “The Basques on Screen: How Hollywood portrays the Basques.” Finally, Xabier Irujo will discuss “The Good Sheepherders: The Basque Diaspora in Nevada.”

July 12: Joseba Zulaika will lecture on “Basque Diaspora Culture: Memory, Fantasy and Identity.” He will be followed by David Río, author of Robert Laxalt, the Voice of the Basques in American Literature, who will talk about “Reno Literature: Beyond the Sin City Image.” Thereafter, Sandra Ott will discuss “Basques in the City of Mountains: The Meaning of ‘Home’ in the Almost Extinct American West of Northern Nevada.”

See a full program of classes here.

 

New Museum Exhibit in Sparks Showcases Basques

February 5: The new temporary exhibit Hidden in Plain Sight: The Basques opened in the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center.

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Communal work patterns defined Old World Basque culture

The exhibit tells of the unique origins, language and history of the Basque people, along with their contributions throughout history.  It illustrates the strong cultural connection the Basques in the United States have with their homeland.  Covering every part of the Basque culture from immigration to music and dance, boarding houses to mythology and famous Basques, this exhibit is not one to miss.  Learn about the unique Basque language, unlike any other language in the world, understand the reasons that Basques were so successful in the sheepherding industry, and explore reasons for their perseverance throughout history. Former Governor of Nevada, Paul Laxalt even makes an appearance among the many influential Basques throughout history.

If you live in Northern Nevada, or if you’re planning on visiting the Reno-Sparks area this spring, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see one of the best ever exhibits of Basque culture! For more information click here.

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The classic image of the New World Basque experience

See a report on the opening of this great new exhibit by KOLO-TV here.

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Old World traditions preserved in the New World

The Museum will also include a free Basque Lecture Series this Spring featuring speakers from the Center. On March 26 at 2:00 pm Xabier Irujo will present “The Bombing of Gernika” (more details here) while on April 2 at 2:00 pm Sandra Ott will talk about “Creating a Basque American Identity” (more details here).

 

Center Course Offerings for Spring Term, 2016

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Professor Sandy Ott teaches students at the Center. The Center offers a diverse set of classes on different subjects relating to Basque Studies.

 

The Center for Basque Studies will be offering five classes for the 2016 Spring semester. Come seize this opportunity with us and enjoy learning the language, culture, and history of a rich region!

Elementary Basque II (BASQ 102)

Monday — Thursday 10:00—10:50

Kate Camino

(4 units)

Introduction to the language through the development of written and conversational language skills and through structural analysis. Emphasis on Unified Basque but includes an introduction to the dialects. NOTE: Course also offered online through Independent Learning (call 775-784-4652).

 

Second-year Basque II (BASQ 204)

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00—12:15

Kate Camino

(3 units)

Structural review, conversation and writing. Includes further work with the unique structure of the Basque verb and system of suffixes. Completion of BASQ 204 satisfies the College of Liberal Arts foreign language requirement.

Prerequisite(s): BASQ 203.

 

Basque Cultural Studies (BASQ 220)

Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:30—3:45

Joseba Zulaika

(3 units)

Examines the representations of Basques worldwide in the media, the arts, scholarship, international politics and the Internet. (Diversity course.)

 

Identity Across Borders (BASQ 378)

Wednesdays 4:00—6:45

Xabier Irujo

(3 units)

Theories of globalization, social identity, diaspora foreign policy, identity construction, and nationalism are utilized to compare Basque individual and institutionalized ethnicity in the United States. (Diversity course.)

 

War, Occupation, and Memory (BASQ 477/677)

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00—12:15

Sandra Ott

(3 units)

The experiences of Basque resisters, evaders, collaborators, and Jewish refugees in World War II in the French Basque Country provide the focus for discussions about history, memory and anthropology. (General Capstone course.)

Prerequisite(s): CH 201 or CH 202 or CH 203; ENG 102 ; junior or senior standing.

Center’s Xabier Irujo Presents Closing Session for Basque Conference on the Exile of 1936

Expelled from Motherland (35)-blog

Dr. Xabier Irujo, left, was, as a child, a member of the Basque exile in Venezuela, an experience that has shaped much of Dr. Irujo’s work.

On December 15th our own Xabier Irujo, along with writer Arantzazu Amezaga Iribarren presented the closing remarks at the 14th International Conference La otra cara de la memoria historica (The other face of historical memory), which took place in various places in Tolosa and Donostia-San Sebastián from December 10–15, 2015. The subject of this years conference was “Hetorodoxias del exilio de 1936” (Heterodoxies of the 1936 exile). Dr. Xabier Irujo’s work on the exile is extensive and the subject of this talk was “Diálogo ondulado: exilio y heterodoxias” (Ondulating dialogue: exile and heterodoxies).

The annual conference is organized by Hamaika Bide Elkartea, an organization aimed at recoving memory of the exile, together with the GEXEL Group of the Autonomous University or Bareclona, together with Deusto University and the University of the Basque Country. The aim of the this year’s conference is to shed light on the forgotten or understudied members of the exile. Read more, in Spanish, here in the Diario Vasco.

Professor Xabier Irujo has published widely on exile and on the Civil War, most recently publishing with the University of Nevada Press Gernika: The Market Day MassacreThe Center he published an extensive history of the Basque exile, Expelled from the Motherland.

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