A Basque Patriot in New York: Jose Luis de la Lombana y Foncea and the Euskadi Delegation in the United States


By Iñaki Anasagasti and Josu Erkoreka

A Basque Patriot in New York traces the incredible journey of a young jelkide (Basque Nationalist Party activist and patriot) from Vitoria-Gasteiz. Born to a nationalist family in the Araban capital, and a staunch nationalist from a very young age, the book follows Jose Luis de la Lombana through education in Madrid, resistance and incarceration in Vitoria-Gasteiz at the time of the military coup that turned into the Civil War of 1936, escape to France, activism in Barcelona—where he served as the editor of the Basque nationalist daily Euzkadi—in support of the Basque government-in-exile, and then exile. Among others, Lombana was chosen to attend the Second World Youth Congress, held in New York in 1938. During his time of activism in the United States, Lombana made many observations about US society and about Basque nationalism and its conflicts and struggles to reach and make inroads into US and US Basque and Basque-Catholic communities, which make his testimony and story an indispensable read for understanding of this extraordinarily complex and tumultuous period both in the United States and around the world. The book also focuses on efforts to support the Basque government in France and the United States and the subject of propaganda both in favor of Basque nationalism and pro-Franco, especially with regards to the US and world Catholic Communities. Altogether, through the story of this jelkide, a vivid portrait is painted of a time of great crisis, and of extraordinary deeds by many heretofore ordinary people. In the Appendix, the book presents Lombana’s own report on his time in the United States.

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