Italian archives of the Civil War in the Basque Country

On August 24 of 1937 the Basque Government troops, which fundamentally were attached to the discipline policy of the Basque Nationalist Party, surrendered in Santoña (Santander) to the Italian troops of the Corps of Volunteer Troops.
Around 20,000 men surrendered without offering the slightest resistance, welcomed to the so-called Pact of Santoña.
Such surrender, against the version disclosed by the nationalist sources almost during sixty years, it was not an overcoming surrender.
The priest Onaindia, who was attached to the political service of José Antonio Aguirre Lecube, President of the Provisional Government. He starts to be active in the civil war by bringing the first proposal negotiation from the General Emilio Mola to the Basque Nationalist Party in September of 1936. He is also the person who, in October of the same year, went to the Vatican to represent the PNV to explain the position of the Basque nationalist party- confessional catholic party- in its alliance with the left forces. The left forces which are carrying out the most important religious persecution in the history of Europe.
During the last years of his life, Alberto Onaindia distanced himself from the direction of the Basque Nationalist Party. In 1983, he decided to break his silence by publishing a book "The Covenant of Santoña". In that book, he collect the events from his perspective by providing the necessary documentation to support his version.
These documents were deposited for consultation in the Historic Archive of Euskadi-Euskadiko Artxibo Historikoa.
On November 28 of 1936, the covenant between Franco and Mussolini is signed. From that covenant, the Corps of Volunteer Troops (CTV) will arrive. The Italians are going to take the decision to centralize all the information about Spain, military and diplomatic, in a single service, the "Ufficio Spagna" of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the same dates from the end of November, the Nationalists launched their attack against Vitoria, in Villareal of Alava the current Legutiano, failing completely. The leaders of the PNV were aware of their dark future, deciding to sent their first negotiation message to Mola and Franco. We will have information of these deals with the Basque nationalists through the Vatican, Goma and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since December 36.
These negotiations are going to be developed through various channels and partners, with the peculiarity that all the emissaries will be religious, mainly Jesuits. Probably because the talks were driven by the Vatican during all the time up to the end of the war in the North.
All this information will be promptly forwarded to the "Ufficio Spagna", the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The file on the "Ufficio Spagna" picks up substantially the documentation generated between the Christmas of 1936 and the fall of Bilbao at the hands of nationals in June 1937. In that period Cavalletti, Consul in San Sebastian, inform with detail about all negotiations. Taking advantage of the opportunity to create a climate of trust with the nationalist leaders.
With the support of his Government and through Onaindia. Cavalletti will be the one who will join together the acquiescence and collaboration of the President of Bizakai Buru Batzar of PNV. The Vizcaino, Juan de Ajurriaguerra, will accommodate the basis for the surrender of the nationalist troops to the Corps of Volunteer Troops.
During the night June 25 of 1937, Ajurriaguerra will meet with the head of the CTV Ettore Bastico (alias Doria) at the Palace of Horacio Echevarrieta in Punta Begoña (Getxo, Getxo). Shortly before the end of the offensive on Vizcaya. There and that night, the bases of the surrender of the troops of PNV would be agree.
Onaindia on behalf of his party and of the Basque Government using the credentials granted by the President of the Euzkadi Buru Batzar, Doroteo Ciaurriz, and of the Basque Government's interim president, José Antonio Aguirre. He will move to Rome in the first week of July to conclude with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ciano and Mussolini, the conditions of the rendition. On July 6, Mussolini communicates to Franco that the conditions are accepted.
From the acceptance of Franco, the military negotiations will be open to shape the submission. The negotiations would last during the month of July and August 37. The discussions will be collected by the Chief town of the Italian Military Research Service and second of the mission in Spain of the CTV, Mario Roatta (alias Mancini). Mario Roatta was the man who daily negotiated with the PNV for the capitulation of the nationalists, and sometimes almost hour by hour.
The documents, notes, and the reflections of Roatta will be collect in the folders F6, Carteggio O. M. S. (Oltremare Spagna), nº 280, “Trattative coi Baschi dal mese di aprile al setiembre 1937” and “Trattative con i baschi, maggio setiembre 1937” at the Italian Mayor State of the Historic Fields. We offer this documentation already translated
The Italian documentation will reflect the events hour by hour. The Italian documentation, will be added to the one exchanged between Franco and Mussolini on the implementation of the Covenant.

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