Basque News.

Euskal Kazeta

‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

The film

The film "Basque Swastika" looks at the NAZI occupation of the Basque Country. Photo: San Sebastian Film Festival.


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A World War 11 documentary that premiered at the 2013 San Sebastian Film Festival explores the interest of top Nazi officials in the unique Basque culture and its mysterious origins. The film, “Basque Swastika,” will be shown at the Basque Cultural Center on Friday, March 6. (It was originally set for April 10.)

“The Basque Swastika” relies on rare archival footage, historic documents and eyewitness accounts to feature an interesting look at Basque resistance and cooperation with the Nazi occupiers.

The film is part of the San Francisco Basque Film Series, which also includes “Jostunak” on April 10 and “Señales de Vida” on May 1. The films are shown at the Basque Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m. and are free. The center is located at 599 Railroad Ave. in South San Francisco.

RELATED EUSKAL KAZETA REPORTS:

Basque films at San Sebastian Film Festival
Basque filmmaker Features Bertsolaritza
International Film Festival in San Sebastian

The 80-minute film was directed by Alfonso Andrés, whose career began at Teledonostia and has worked on several film projects, and Javier Barajas.  Barajas has written screenplays for documentaries including  “Los Vascos y la Segunda Guerra Mundial” and “La Joya del Cantábrico.”



After Adolph Hitler’s military defeated France in 1940, German scouting troops arrived at the Bidasoa River near Hendaye. This paved the way for the arrival of Nazi forces that occupied parts of the Basque Country until 1944, according to the film.  Among those who visited the Basque Country was Heinrich Himmler, head of the Gestapo and one of the most powerful figures in Germany.

Among the footage used by Andrés and Barajas is a short Nazi propaganda film titled ““Im lande der Basken,” or “In the Land of the Basques.”  It was produced by noted German director Herbert Brieger, whose son is featured in “The Basque Swastika.”

Other compelling footage shows German planes crashing at the beach at Donostia, or San Sebastian, and Nazi soldiers enjoying rest and relaxation on the sand at Biarritz.

Even though the Basques opposed Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who was supported by Hitler, several commentators in the documentary say that the Nazis viewed the Basques as one of Europe’s  “purer” races.  The Basques were neither French nor Spanish, which in the view of some Nazis meant that they were not tainted by  impurities of other cultures, according to the film.

Critics who saw The Basque Swastika at the festival, such as this writer from The Hollywood Reporter, described it as eye-opening and well-received by audience members.

View the trailer for The Basque Swastika:

Originally published October 2013.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Comments

5 Responses to “‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF”

  1. Leonard Bloom on October 5th, 2013 10:38 am

    Will this documentary be available here in the U.S. for viewing? Let me know if someone has the answer.

    [Reply]

    rjl Reply:

    Leonard, we will be monitoring this and report on it if the documentary plays in the U.S. Thanks – the editors.

    [Reply]

  2. Sandra Ott on October 7th, 2013 10:17 am

    I am completing a book manuscript about Franco-Basque-German relations during the German occupation of Iparralde. I would be particularly keen to know how a copy of the film might be obtained by our Basque Library at the University of Nevada, Reno. Thank you for any further information about the film.

    [Reply]

  3. Aitor on November 11th, 2013 7:45 am

    More information in http://thebasqueswastika.com/

    [Reply]

  4. Marie-Nicole LAPEYRADE on November 24th, 2013 9:28 pm

    How can I see it in San Francisco, CA?Pls let me know how I might procure it for the film library for the Gure Euskal Etxea in South San Francisco CA, USA

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Basque Cultural Day to center on Mythology and Spirituality

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Spanish-Basque wins Women’s Wimbledon 2017

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    The Film “Guernica”: A must-see for Basques

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Basque Song: Konplize ditut eta

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Basque Song: Xalbadorren Heriotzean

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    The city of Bilbo: A Revival and Evolution

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Basque kayaker wins a gold medal in 2016 Rio Olympics

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Basque Athletes in Rio Olympics

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Ancient Basque Salt Production featured at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

  • ‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF

    Basque Country

    Iturengo Joaldunak bring old tradition to Smithsonian Festival

Basque News.
‘Basque Swastika’ part of Basque Film Series in SF