THE BASQUE GENOCIDE

Gilen Mejuto

2020-04-10, ZUZEU.

Abstract:

The original Language of the Basque Country, Euskera, is currently in a minority situation due to the genocide to which France and Spain have subjected the Basque People for centuries, according to the author of this article.

The systematic application of the linguistic genocide begins in the 18th century, after the French Revolution. Since then, France and Spain, through laws, regulations, judges and punishments, have persecuted the vernacular of the Basques.

Just 150 years ago, Basque was the hegemonic language in Euskal Herria. In 1867, 81% of the population of (the province of) Bizkaia and 96% of that of Gipuzkoa was Basque-speaking, mostly monolingual. The situation is quite different today.

Although the current status of the Basque language is different, and it is co-official in one part of the country, according to the author elements that hinder its social normalization persist: knowledge of Basque, for example it is not compulsory anywhere, only optional, while knowledge of French and Spanish is required by law.

The Basque People have not abandoned their language in the last 200 years of their own free will. The current situation of the Basque language is the consequence of a programmed linguistic genocide.