On January 4, 1937, the largest massacre of innocent people in its history took place in Bilbao.
239 people, of all types and conditions, neither great rich, nor illustrious prelates, nor very high military personnel. Rich and poor, old and young, priests and laity, illiterate and enlightened, villagers and citizens, all mostly ordinary people, extracted from their homes and towns for their political ideas or religious profession, simply.
Practically no police or judicial proceedings had been opened on the vast majority of them, but all of them were considered "affectionate" to the rebels, and "enemies of the regime." As on the other side.
They were assassinated in their jails for calls to protect them from the mob.
First pistols, then rifles. First militiamen, then companies, with belts, helmets and rifles. In front their bosses and officers. La Ertzaña directing traffic.
A real disaster, political, military and propaganda.
The beautiful dream, with the aspirations of a gentleman, of a Basque Government vanishes. It came with the massacre on the prison ships on October 1 and leaves with the massacre of the prisons on January 4.
Was the PNV guilty? Was it José Antonio Aguirre?
But elucidating about that responsibility, beyond his justice or not, is not so easy. There was never an official report on the events, there has never been a detailed explanation of what was experienced within the Basque Government during the events. There has never been a personal testimony of the political protagonists.
This work, fundamentally based on the summaries instructed, reconstructs the massacre step by step, and the responsibilities that derived from it. The judgment of the story on such a tragic "event" is left to the reader.