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            While it may seem at first glance that Guernica, by Pablo Picasso, is a political statement against the tragedy of the bombing of a small Basque town during the Spanish Civil War, this painting holds connotations beyond the syllogism for which it is given credit. Picasso, unlike Romantic period artists, who are attributed to great political propaganda, is not suggesting an emotionally based judgment should be made about the contemporary event, but rather a focus on the contemplation of the forces of good and evil at work throughout timeless humanity. On the afternoon of April 26, 1937, German forces under the command of the Spanish fascist leader Francisco Franco embarked on the first aerial bombing of a civilian target, the small town of Guernica. The attack was due to the conflict in Spain, the Spanish Civil War: an issue of Democracy against Fascism. The war heightened the threat of Communism and Fascism in Western Europe to a new level. Franco's attack on the small town, a center of culture in Basque, made it clear that his forces were strong and unrelenting. His allegiance with German forces spawned one of the most tumultuous times in modern history. The aerial bombing of Guernica became a symbol of his unmerciful, cruel political power. Guernica was almost completely destroyed. News of the mounting death toll spread rapidly. However, universally, the impact of the Guernica bombing could have been minimal. While Spain would surely never have forgotten Franco's reign of terror and its zenith with the bombing of Guernica, Picasso contributed an everlasting reminder to the entire world of the threat of Fascism and the evil of unrelenting power. Having been invited to contribute a piece to the Spanish Pavilion for Paris" World's Fair in 1937, Picasso was inspired by the grief of Spain to present an image that would make the most powerful statement against Franco yet. His creation became not only the symbol of the Spanish crisis but of protest of Fascism for all time.

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