The leading historian on the Spanish Civil War reveals the truth about one of the most horrifying events of the twentieth century – the destruction of Guernica.
Guernica, a quiet market town in the Basque region of northern Spain. On Monday 26 April 1937, as the Spanish Civil War raged, the market square was busy with farmers and townspeople. Just before five o’clock in the afternoon the sky darkened as the Luftwaffe swarmed overhead and began an unrelentingly vicious assault, the first ever on an undefended civilian target in Europe.
The savage attack on Guernica marked the birth of a horrific new kind of warfare. In this searing account of the tragedy, Paul Preston, the foremost historian of 20th century Spain, tells the whole story of the attack, from Franco’s tactics to how events unfolded on the day and how the world responded.
Published to tie in with the 75th anniversary of the bombing this short ebook is a deeply moving account of what happened on that day in Guernica.
Praise for ‘The Spanish Holocaust’:
‘Exhaustively researched and masterfully written… the result is a book of extraordinary moral and emotional power, a classic of historical scholarship and a deeply affecting record of man’s inhumanity to man.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
'A harrowing and moving account of the immense terror and enormous atrocities, especially perpetrated by General Franco's followers, during and after the Spanish Civil War, meticulously researched and superbly written by an outstanding historian.' Ian Kershaw
'As documented by Preston in this moving, brilliantly rendered account, Spain was not only the scene-setter for World War Two, but also the proving ground for the campaigns of mass-murder that became its ghastly hallmark. A deeply important, powerful work of history.' Jon Lee Anderson
'Preston’s study is history as a public good. A substitute for the truth and reconciliation process that has not taken place in Spain.' Independent
'An angry, scholarly revision of the civil war and the subsequent years of Franco’s dictatorship.' Daily Telegraph
About the author
SIR PAUL PRESTON CBE is Professor of Contemporary Spanish History at the London School of Economics and was previously a lecturer at the University of Reading and Professor of Modern History at Queen Mary University London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and holds the Marcel Proust Chair of the European Academy of Yuste. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by universities in Spain and the UK. In 2006, he was awarded the International Ramon Llull Prize by the Catalan Government and, in 2018, the Guernica Peace Prize. Among his many works are Franco: A Biography, Comrades, Doves of War: Four Women of Spain, Juan Carlos, The Spanish Civil War, The Spanish Holocaust, The Last Stalinist, The Last Days of the Spanish Republic and A People Betrayed. In Spain, he was appointed a Comendador de la Orden del Mérito Civil in 1986 and awarded, in 2007, the Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica. He lives in London.