Eusko Etxea Basque Club of New York City will be hosting a tribute to
Jesus de Galindez, delegate of the Basque Government in exile who
seemingly was a martyr for freedom, with performances by the Gaztelubide
Basque choir and accordionist extraordinaire Kepa Junkera.
March 1956, Jesus de Galindez, the Spanish Republican exile and Basque
government delegate in New York, mysteriously disappeared from the
center of Manhattan and was never seen again. To remember this man
and his contributions, the "Eusko Etxea" Basque Club of New York (307
Eckford Street Brooklyn, NY) will be hosting a tribute with a collection
of conferences (including one at Columbia University where Mr. Galindez
taught International Law), concerts and other activities in his honor.
This celebration will include a delegation from the Basque Government of
Euskadi headed by Josu Legarreta, Director of Relations with the Basque
Diaspora Communities, and authors Inaki Bernardo and Inigo Camino of La
Tumba Abierta, a biography of this Basque politician. The
celebration will also be animated by a performance of the Gaztelubide
choir from the Basque Country and the accordionist extraordinaire Kepa
is one of the Basque country's most notable musicians.
From an early age Kepa showed an interest in the diatonic
accordion (trikitixa in Basque) and started playing it from an
early age. His dream came true when the great Basque group
OSKORRI took an interest in the young lad with the lightning
fingers on the 'triki' buttons, and invited him to play and
record with them - he is still there! His career soon blossomed
as he won numerous top level awards and as he traveled around
the world to delight audiences. FMI visit
Autonomous Government of Euskadi under the leadership of Juan Jose
Ibarretxe is actually the second incarnation of a Basque Government in
modern times; the first one was formed back in the midst of the Spanish
Civil War (1936-39) under the presidency of Jose Antonio Aguirre who
presided over the wartime multiparty Basque Government of the
unconquered parts of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. For a brief time it
issued its own passports and currency, and momentarily Euzkadi (later
the spelling was returned to the letter 's' version) existed. But
with the formal surrender of the Basque army (1937) the government went
During these tumoultous
Galindez had just finished earning his law degree and he was placed in
the Basque Government delegation in Madrid. In his book Los
Vascos en el Madrid Sitiado (Basque in Madrid under Siege) he
relates how in only four months 2,033 cases of prisoners or missing
people passed through the Basque delegation's hands, and that 553 were
released thanks to their efforts. His tenure there was short-lived
and like many others, Mr. Galindez suffered the pain of concentration
camps and exile when Francisco Franco's forces prevailed in the Spanish
Basque Autonomous Government of Euskadi is actually the second
incarnation; the first was back in the 1930's for a brief time.
That first government was headed Jose Antonio Aguirre until it
was forced into exile with the victory of Francisco Franco's
military forces in the Spanish Civil War.
In exile from
BasqueLand, Galindez became the Delegate of the Basque Government in the
Dominican Republic, that was under the dictatorship of General Trujillo.
His doctoral thesis research on Trujillo's regime (to put it lightly,
tyrants do not appreciate objective students of their regimes) soon
necessitated his departure from the Dominican Republic to New York where
in 1949 he was named Delegate to the Basque Government. While in
New York he taught International Law at Columbia University.
Galindez was a
proponent of an inclusive form of nationalism that sought to reconcile
two or more identifications. He wrote that he believed this
"because I'm Basque," a nation of people without a nation-state.
Because of this reality "and because we are Basque we can hold another
citizenship; we can love the country we live in; we can have compassion
for the problems of others even though some people think it strange that
I should the problems of Puerto Ricans in New York; that I should attack
the Latin American dictators; that I should take part in the
International League of Human Rights; that I should be moved when I hear
the patriotic hymn of a Mexican charro or the drumbeat of a black
Caribbean." Nevertheless, he never lost his affection for the land
of his birth: "my darling, my Euzkalherria [sic], for whom I swore my
love as a child."
was a proponent of an inclusive form of nationalism that sought
to reconcile two or more identifications. He wrote that he
believed this "because I'm Basque," a nation of people without a
nation-state. Because of this reality "and because we are
Basque we can hold another citizenship; we can love the country
we live in."
assiduously to promote the rights of Basques as a people and a nation.
He advocated the formation of an Argentinian-Basque federation to
safeguard the rights of the Basque people. Taking it even further,
he proposed the creation of an international federation of sorts that
would be recognized by the United Nations. But he did not live to
see his dreams of greater freedom realized. It seems he was a
martyr for freedom: seems because we might never really know what
happened to him.
There is text and then there is subtext. Text refers to what is
clear or on the surface, whereas subtext refers to that which is not
We have the text of Galindez from
what he himself left us by way of his writings, as well as commentary by
others around him. The subtext of Galindez, however, will probably
always revolve around his mysterious disappearance fifty years ago in
the middle of the day in the middle of Manhattan. This part of his
story has been dramatized in the recent film The Galindez File (2005)
starring Harvey Keitel. Doctoral student Muriel Colber
(Saffron Burrows) investigates the mysterious 1956 vanishing of Galindez
in Gerardo Herrero's political drama. Muriel begins in Spain, where she
learns of Galindez's opposition to certain Dominican Republic
politicians. New information leads her to Miami, and all the while, an
FBI agent (Harvey Keitel) tries to keep her from uncovering U.S.
involvement in Galindez's disappearance.
"THE GALINDEZ FILE" This
new film tells the story of doctoral student Muriel Colber
(Saffron Burrows) who is investigating the mysterious 1956
disappearance of Spanish dissident Jesus de Galindez in Gerardo
Herrero's political drama. This depiction goes on to
implicate the FBI in his abduction, while other theories point
moreso in other directions because Galindez was an FBI informer.
The (largely demonstrable) theory
goes that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI launched a costly enquiry
into who was responsible for removing their most valuable
political informant on Latin America, and that the Dominican
Republic's ruler Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, scared, set about
wiping out all those connected with the kidnapping, starting
with Galindez himself.
Then there are alternative explanations that do not implicate a U.S.
federal agency. Jonathan Holland wrote that "Galindez helped get anti-Francoists
out of jail in Spain... and he was also an FBI informer and a writer.
An article he wrote, critical of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, then dictator
of the Dominican Republic, may have provoked Trujillo (perhaps with
Franco's approval) to have him kidnapped." Holland argues that the
largely demonstrable theory to explain disappearance lays the blame with
Trujillo's regime. This theory "goes that J. Edgar Hoover and the
FBI launched a costly enquiry into who was responsible for removing
their most valuable political informant on Latin America, and that
Trujillo, scared, set about wiping out all those connected with the
kidnapping, starting with Galindez himself. The pilot who took Galindez
to Santo Domingo also was killed, the first of a tangled web of
assassinations in an episode in which few, apart from Galindez, emerge
with any credit."
Martin Luther King, Jr. in his last public speech wherein he stated that
he might not reach the promised land, Galindez might will have foreseen
his death. He wrote verses published in Mexico's Eusko Deya:
And I will return ... I will return; or they'll bring me back dead.
Hide me away in the earth, the earth of my grandparents;
Lay me down in Amurrio, as I am tired and cannot,
Stop along the way; I'll fall where I fall.
Take me, take me there, although I'm still walking; I'm dying
Take me to the steep hill, beneath the oak tree of my dreams.
Gaztelubide will be performing at the Euzko Etxea of NYC in a
tribute to Jesus de Galindez.
TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE OF DR. JESUS DE GALINDEZ
Delegate for the Basque Government in the exile
will enjoy the presence of Josu Legarreta, Benan Oregi and
Ioseba Agirretxea, three representatives of the Basque
Government, and authors of the book based in the life of Dr.
Jesus De Galindez, professor of Law at the University of
When: October 14, Saturday 2006
Where: 307 Eckford Street; Brooklyn,N.Y. 11222
4:30 pm The doors of EuskoEtxea will Open.
5:00 pm Presentation of Josu Legarreta
Representative for the Basque government of The Euskal
Etxeak in the diaspora.
Following, the presentation of the book TIERRA,EXILIO Y
FRUSTACION by one of its authors, Inaki Goiogana,and the
director of the Fundacion Sabino Arana, Irune Zuluaga.
6:00-7:00pm The Chorus GAZTELUBIDE from Donosti-San
Sebastian will sing folk popular basque songs.
7:30-8:30 pm concert with Kepa Junkera and his band.A 2004
Latin Grammy Award
winner for Best Folk Album for ”K” at the 5th Annual Latin
9:00 pm Dinner by basque chef Inaki Lete and crew.
Due to the expenses for the development of this grate
program we have seen the need to categorize the prize for the
event as follows:
Concert Only, members $15.00,non members $20.00
Dinner Only, members $50.00,non members $55.00.
RESERVE SOON Sits are limited!!
Whole Day, members $60.00,non members
For resevations call Itziar Albisu at 201-261-1691
Attendance for grownups only. Reserve ASAP sits are limited.
Jonathan Holland, at
Josu Legarreta, "Jesus de Galindez: Martyr for Freedom" in Euskal
Etxeak 72 (2006)
Joseba Etxarri in