Irujo Researches Basque Exile in New Book

The Center for Basque Studies is proud to announce the publication of Professor Xabier Irujo’s Expelled from the Motherland: The Government of President Jose Antonio Agirre in Exile, 1937–1960. The fifth book in our Basque Politics Series, Expelled from the Motherland tells the story of the Basque exile in response to the conquest of the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War by Spanish fascists and the government-in-exile of President Lehendakari Jose Antonio Agirre. Forced by the terror of war and oppression to flee their homeland, countless Basques (including the fabled “Guernica Generation,” more than fifty thousand children who were sent abroad to keep them safe) fled first to France and other European countries and eventually, as Franco’s dictatorship solidified during World War II and the Cold War, to the Americas. This government-in-exile never gave up its struggle against Franco over the forty long years of its existence. Above all, Professor Irujo’s book serves as a testimony to the Basque exile’s determination to return to their homeland.

For more information on this book, click here.



Colony or school for Basque refugee children in exile in Donibane Garazi, in the Northern Basque Country, in 1937. The colony of Donibane Garazi was one of the largest and was home for nearly five hundred children. In the center, standing, Bingen Ametzaga, director of the school until 1938. Source: Irujo-Amertzaga Archive.



Expelled from the Motherland’s author, Xabier Irujo, and John Ander Escosura dressed in traditional Basque dance costume. Caracas, Venezuela, in 1972. Source: Irujo-Ametzaga Archive.



Lehendakari Jose Antonio Agirre during the celebration of a mass on Aberri Eguna day at the Basque Center in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1955. Source: Irujo-Ametzaga Archive.