The “Spanische Allee” was named on June 6, 1939, on the occasion of the ceremonial return of German soldiers from the Spanish Civil War. The German army fought on the side of fascist Francisco Franco and was responsible, among other things, for the destruction of the city of Guernica.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939), about 20,000 German soldiers fought on the side of Francisco Franco (1892 – 1975) in Spain and committed numerous war crimes. The Nazi air force operation Legion Condor carried out covert operations in the form of air raids starting in 1936. One of these was the destruction of the town of Guernica in 1937, resulting in around 300 deaths. The attack is still considered a symbol of devastating air raids against civilians and caused horror worldwide. Although the German involvement in the Spanish Civil War was denied by officials of the German Reich and the Spanish putschists until 1939, the return of the soldiers in 1939 and the destruction they caused was solemnly commemorated and honored with the naming of the Spanische Allee.
Status of the Renaming
In the early 1990s, the SPD sought to rename the street. In 1998, the nearby intersection at the corner of Breisgauer Strasse was declared Guernica Square. However, there is not a single house at the intersection, so the place cannot be perceived as a square.
In 2010, the Left Party again submitted a motion to rename the street. The SPD was in favor of this initiative. However, the motion was rejected due to votes from the Greens, CDU and AfD.