Leicester City and other clubs work together for refugees’ better future
It was an atrocity that inspired Picasso’s most famous painting and, more pertinently, a historic U-turn by Britain’s Conservative government. Until the saturation bombing of Guernica 80 years ago on Wednesday Stanley Baldwin, the prime minister, had rejected all calls to accept refugees from the Spanish civil war.
Whitehall had argued that doing so would breach its policy of non-intervention in the conflict. Besides, added Baldwin, “the climate would not suit” people from the Basque region. Then, on 26 April 1937, Nazi bombers, acting on behalf of General Franco, embarked on a mission to annihilate Guernica, a town of 10,000 people. Hundreds were killed, thousands injured and, as the Guardian reported at the time, “even flocks of sheep were machine-gunned”. Demands from the British public to offer shelter to civilians became so strong that the government felt obliged to show compassion despite a small financial burden and its fear of creeping Communism.