Peace Brigades International receives Gernika Award for Peace and Reconciliation

Published by Brent Patterson on

On April 26, PBI-Spanish State tweeted:

“Great emotion to finally collect the Gernika award for peace and reconciliation that the @AytGernika [Gernika town hall] granted us in the year 2020.”

They also tweeted:

“We sincerely appreciate the recognition of these 41 years of work accompanying human rights defenders. This award is especially dedicated to all of them.”

Pforzheim News has also reported: “On the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the bombing of the city of Gernika, Mayor Frank Fillbrunn visited Pforzheim’s Basque twin city and was impressed by the great hospitality and warmth of the hosts.”

That article adds: “Mayor Fillbrunn presented the 2020 Peace and Reconciliation Award to Miriam García Torres of Peace Brigades International. Due to the pandemic, the award could only now be handed over.”

The video of Miriam accepting the award can be seen here.

Peace Brigades International was chosen as a recipient of the Gernika Awards for Peace and Reconciliation for “facilitating the transformation of conflicts and for laying the foundations for future reconciliation processes.”

On April 26, 1937, the German Luftwaffe Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria conducted an aerial bombing of the Basque town of Gernika on behalf of Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

The BBC explains: “General Franco wanted to terrorise the people in the Basque region, an area of strong resistance to his nationalist forces in the Civil War. For Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, it was an opportunity to get some practice with a new form of warfare: strategic, aerial bombing of civilians. No strictly military objectives were touched. Factories and bridges were left alone – civilians were the only targets.”

More than 100,000 pounds of bombs were dropped on the town.

In 2005, the Gernika Awards were established by the Gernika-Lumo city council, Pforzheim’s city council, Gernika Gogoratuz (the peace research centre Remembering Gernika) and others, to recognize work done for peace, reconciliation, human rights and social justice.

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