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Guernica is a Basque community located in Spain about 260 miles north of Madrid and about 8 miles south of the Biscay coast. The city, founded in the 14th century, is an important center of Basque history and cultural identity. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), on April 26, 1937, the medieval town and most of the rest of the city were destroyed by German and Italian bombers in a 2-hour bombing raid on the crossroad city and the Republican troops stationed there. The Republican government labeled the raid as a senseless attack on innocent lives, and it later came to be seen as an example of calculated Nazi brutality.

The attack on Guernica was not the first time that civilians were subjected to bombing attacks ...

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