Your correspondent has just spent a week in Madrid for relief after this cold harsh winter in Helsinki with Putin’s brutal war ruining any thoughts of a happier future after Covid’s ravages.
The trip to Madrid was ordered before the start of his war crimes against the brave folk of Ukraine. It was meant to be a recuperative week to catch the figurative breath after long months of rather intensive work. The idea was to vacuum up a change in scenery, to enjoy warmer weather, to see a different and more intense crowds of new and unfamiliar faces, grand buildings, to taste pintos, red wine and feel the long history of one of Europe’s oldest cities.
In one sense this was achieved, especially after a visit to the modern art museum called Museo Reina Sofía. Two spectacular groups of work stand out – one of course is Picasso’s “Guernica” – the massive canvas that takes up the whole side of a huge room, and the works of Käthe Kollwitz, the German artist who also concentrated many of her artistic efforts on fighting the criminal wrong-doing of the fight against the cruel nationalist armies.
In both cases their relevance for today was self-evident. Small groups of old men controlled huge professional and well-equipped armies that took aim with guns and bombs at the bodies of ordinary men, women, and children. These people just did not support the financial and political greed of this small clique of old grey-haired men in suits who lived in relative luxury far from the harder lives of ordinary honest citizens.
The above paragraph of the horrors of 1937 Madrid that Picasso and captured in their works are fitting descriptions of the war crimes also being committed by Putin & Co. Just think of their Super-Yachts, their private jets, their huge luxurious palaces, and their armies that shoot missiles, bombs, and bullets to brutally kill and main men, women, and children indiscriminately in ways that break every rule of war. Ordinary folk only want to live peaceful lives with wise leaders leading them to a better life.
Putin, like every dishonest despot, only wants to enrich himself at the expense of the general population. Human history is littered with such demented fools as we saw this week in Madrid. Now, 85 years later, Spain and Germany are happier places now, but the destruction and pain still remain for all to see in Picasso’s and Kollwitz’s work.
Right in front of his painting of “Guernica”, some 20 seven-year-olds were sitting on the floor with their teacher who was showing them videos of Putin’s war where apartment buildings were smoking with burnt dead bodies on the ground. The teacher was explaining what the war meant now, and what Picasso was also explaining about these senseless wars. Seeing these young children holding their breath and listening intensely to their teacher, your correspondent could not help crying.
Why are we seeing this terrible cruelty that Putin’s misguided military are doing to innocents in whole cities in February and March, 2022?
Why are we going to wait decades before this cruelty stops?
The above picture by Käthe Kollwitz is still not a reality – she died just 16 days before the end of the Second World War, and unfortunately we have seen so many more brutal wars since then in Europe. We must now do our best to keep on trying…
The above photo of “Guernica” is a derivative by Superpoor of the original from the Museum Reina Sofa