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Thread: Barcelona seeks extradition of Italian pilots for crimes against humanity

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    Default Barcelona seeks extradition of Italian pilots for crimes against humanity

    This is probably some sort of political stunt, but a court in Barcelona is accusing Italian pilots who bombed Barcelona during the Civil War (1936-39), causing 5,000 civilian deaths of 'crimes against humanity'.

    Reabierto el frente judicial por los crímenes de la Guerra Civil | Cataluña | EL PAÍS

    A judge in Barcelona will have to investigate crimes committed during the Civil War. The Provincial Court of Barcelona has admitted a case presented by 'la Asociación Altra Italia' (Another Italy) on charges of crimes against humanity. These were allegedly committed essentially by 21 pilots of the [Italian] Aviation Legion during the war. These pilots participated in numerous bombardments of Barcelona between 1937 and 1939 and caused about 5,000 civilian deaths according to various estimations.

    The decision of the Tenth Section of the court of Barcelona obliges the judge, under instruction number 28, to investigate the case and take a number of measures to clarify the facts. The result of this investigation will depend, according to judicial sources, on whether any of these pilots are still alive. In that case, Italy could be forced to extradite some of them.
    Apparently the case is based on the testimony of two people one of whom lost their parents to bombing and the other who was injured.

    The case is based on the accusations of Alfons Cànovas, who on the 19th of January 1938, lost his father in one of the bombardments; and of Anna Raya who on October 1st 1937 was injured by a falling bomb in her school. According to the case presented by the lawyer Jaume Asens, the bombardments by the Italian air force violated all international norms. It was, 'an illegal foreign military intervention without any declaration of war', on the part of Italy.
    It does seem like this is a Catalan nationalist agenda of some sort. In May of 2011, the separatist Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party called in the Ctalan Parliament for an official apology from Italy to the people of Catalonia.

    Alas de horror, espoleta de disculpa | Edición impresa | EL PAÍS

    Anyway, just to make the point that it's not only here that people try to use the past and victimhood for political ends.
    Last edited by JohnD66; 23rd January 2013 at 03:11 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member LamportsEdge's Avatar
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    This is weird for another reason- wasn't the Condor Legion predominantly German? The Italians were as usual a sort of fairly hapless add-on flying planes that were hopelessly out of date compared to the German squadrons and spent more time getting lost and being repaired than they did bombing anything.

    From my reading of Beevor's 'Battle for Spain' one would have thought that German pilots would have been in the frame much more than the few Italian pilots loosely attached to the Condor Legion.
    Whenever understanding exists, accepting or rejecting is unnecessary. (Fundamentals of a Gnostic Education).

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    Quote Originally Posted by LamportsEdge View Post
    This is weird for another reason- wasn't the Condor Legion predominantly German? The Italians were as usual a sort of fairly hapless add-on flying planes that were hopelessly out of date compared to the German squadrons and spent more time getting lost and being repaired than they did bombing anything.

    From my reading of Beevor's 'Battle for Spain' one would have thought that German pilots would have been in the frame much more than the few Italian pilots loosely attached to the Condor Legion.
    Yes but the Condor Legion (all German - in fact an expedition of the German military sent by Hitler) bombarded Madrid and the north (Basque Country among other places). The Italians, based on the island of Mallorca bombed Barcelona and Catalonia. This is competitive victimhood remember, the ERC are only interested in Catalan victims!

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    Politics.ie Member LamportsEdge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD66 View Post
    Yes but the Condor Legion bombarded Madrid and the north (Basque Country among other places). The Italians, based on the island of Mallorca bombed Barcelona and Catalonia. This is competitive victimhood remember, the ERC are only interested in Catalan victims!
    From what I have read I'm simply amazed that they stayed in the air long enough to find Barcelona.
    Whenever understanding exists, accepting or rejecting is unnecessary. (Fundamentals of a Gnostic Education).

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    Politics.ie Member IvoShandor's Avatar
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    In the unlikely event that any of them are still alive,and the even more unlikely event that this comes to anything,they will arrive in Catalonia on stretchers...wheelchairs at best

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    Unless these pilots were tenagers any still alive would be approaching 100.

    Its a load of balls.

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    Politics.ie Member Ramon Mercadar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvoShandor View Post
    In the unlikely event that any of them are still alive,and the even more unlikely event that this comes to anything,they will arrive in Catalonia on stretchers...wheelchairs at best
    Like the Nazi war criminals we see these days.

    Perhaps a German court will seek the extradition of RAF & USAF aircrew.
    In 1908, in London, at the Olympics, Irish American Martin Sheridan announced “This flag dips for no earthly king," when the US team paraded past the royal box.

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    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LamportsEdge View Post
    From what I have read I'm simply amazed that they stayed in the air long enough to find Barcelona.
    There has been a lot of nonsense written about Italian performance in WWII. Basically, the Italian army was not prepared, trained or equipped to fight against a major power. However, in the early days of North African campaign, the aermacchi fighter, based on a speed winning plane of the pre war era was superior to the hurricane and a match for the spitfire. The republicans in Spain had very few modern aeroplanes so there would have been little opposition.
    Anyway, its hard to decide if the thread or actual story is sillier, other than to show that Ireland is not the nutter centre of Europe

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    Politics.ie Member IvoShandor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramon Mercadar View Post
    Like the Nazi war criminals we see these days.

    Perhaps a German court will seek the extradition of RAF & USAF aircrew.
    Unlikely, because the citizens of Coventry,London, Warsaw and Roterdam would,in their turn, demand the extradition of the German Luftwaffe oldsters.
    It would cost more keeping all the oul' fellas criss-crossing Europe in medication then it would be worth.

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    Politics.ie Member Ramon Mercadar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IvoShandor View Post
    Unlikely, because the citizens of Coventry,London, Warsaw and Roterdam would,in their turn, demand the extradition of the German Luftwaffe oldsters.
    It would cost more keeping all the oul' fellas criss-crossing Europe in medication then it would be worth.
    Oh, I agree with you. German judges tend to be less into sensationalism anyway.
    In 1908, in London, at the Olympics, Irish American Martin Sheridan announced “This flag dips for no earthly king," when the US team paraded past the royal box.

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