Icelandic-Basque relations on the upswing

by on May 29, 2015 at 12:30 am in Current Affairs, History, Law | Permalink

A memorial dedicated to the 32 Basque whalers who were killed in the West Fjords in 1615 in what’s known as Iceland’s only mass murder was unveiled in Hólmavík, the West Fjords, on April 22, the last day of winter. At the occasion, West Fjords district commissioner Jónas Guðmundsson revoked the order that Basques could be killed on sight in the region.

“Of course it’s more for fun; there are laws in this country which prohibit the killing of Basques,” Jónas told mbl.is. When asked whether he’s noticed an increase of Basque tourists since the order was revoked, he responded, “at least it’s safe for them to come here now.”

President of Gipuzkoa Martin Garitano spoke at the ceremony, as did Icelandic Minister of Education and Culture Illugi Gunnarsson, strandabyggd.is reports. The speeches were followed by musical performances and a moment of prayer.

The program included Xabier Irujo, descendant of one of the murdered Basque whale hunters, and Magnús Rafnsson, descendant of one of the murderers, taking part in a symbolic reconciliation, as it says on etxepare.eus.

There is more here, via Peter Kobulnicky.

1 dearieme May 29, 2015 at 5:33 am

One hypothesis on the end of the Norse settlement on Greenland was that they were finally wiped out by Basque pirates.

2 So Much for Subtlety May 29, 2015 at 5:46 am

So a man who would have never heard of this massacre if activists and the media (but I repeat myself) hadn’t told him apologizes to a man who would have never heard about this massacre if activists and the media hadn’t told him?

Yeah. Have we reached peak self-loathing yet?

3 derek May 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

Nope. Kerry hasn’t taken credit yet.

4 Steve Sailer May 29, 2015 at 5:58 am

From Wikipedia:

“The Turkish Abductions (Icelandic: Tyrkjaránið) were a series of slave raids by Barbary pirates that took place in Iceland between June 20 – July 19, 1627. Pirates from Morocco and Algeria, under the command of Dutch pirate Murat Reis, raided the village of Grindavík on the southwestern coast, Berufjörður and Breiðdalur in the Eastern Region (the East Fjords), and Vestmannaeyjar (islands off the south coast); they captured an estimated 400-800 prisoners to sell into slavery.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Abductions

5 Steve Sailer May 29, 2015 at 6:00 am

Did Greenpeace protest?

6 Robb lutton May 29, 2015 at 7:01 am

Tyler,
I followed the links and clearly there is much fodder for comment:
1. v*mitgate
2. Prime minister eats cake ( or perhaps just half)
3. Pirates poised to seize state power

7 Kevin- May 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

The main link lead to this: http://icelandreview.com/news/2015/05/27/icelandic-naming-committee-approves-liam

So Icelanders aren’t free to name themselves and their children as they see fit?

8 JWatts May 29, 2015 at 11:24 am

“So Icelanders aren’t free to name themselves and their children as they see fit?”

There’s no Bill of Rights in Iceland.

9 prior_approval May 29, 2015 at 11:57 am

Neither are the Danes or the Swedes.

Nor the French. Nor the Germans, japanese, New Zealanders, Hungarians, Italians, Portuguese.

Nor Americans, depending on where they live – ‘Comparably, America has fewer naming laws than most countries. Traditionally, the right to name your child or yourself as you choose has been upheld by court rulings and is rooted in the Due Process Clause of the fourteenth Amendment and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, but a few restrictions do exist. Restrictions vary by state, but most are for the sake of practicality. For example, several states limit the number of characters you may use due to the limitations of the software used for official record keeping. For similar reasons, some states ban the use of numerals or pictograms. A few states ban the use of obscenity. There are also a few states, Kentucky for instance, that have no naming laws whatsoever.

One naming law that some find restrictive is California’s ban on diacritical marks, such as in the name José. The Office of Vital Records in California requires that names contain only the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language. There is no law restricting the use of diacritical marks informally and many parents get around the restrictions by doing so.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_law

(As a technical note – German naming law does not apply to non-Germans.)

10 JWatts May 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm

“Nor Americans, depending on where they live” …followed by a long complicated spiel that in no case comes remotely close to having an official governmental naming committee that approves names.

prior_approval is consistently tedious and disingenuous.

11 So Much for Subtlety May 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Yes, I agree with you about p_a, but there is that second set of books thing. Because in effect some parts of the US are highly intolerant of some names. You don’t want to call your child “Adolf Hitler Campbell” for instance. Or even “Joycelynn Aryan National Campbell”. Because then the State will come and take them into care on some spurious child endangerment charge.

12 asdf May 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm

They can pick from an approved list, or they can submit a name to a council for approval (which takes into account things like gender and history).

When I think of useless government departments, my first thought is always that Icelandic Name Council

13 dearieme May 29, 2015 at 7:29 pm

France used to suppress the use of Breton names. I suppose you could call itv a “melting pot” policy.

14 Cahokia May 29, 2015 at 7:19 am

How was this the only mass murder in Icelandic history? Do they mean the only mass murder since the Norse settled the island in the 9th centuy? Or in modern Icelandic history? Iceland wasn’t an independent country in 1615 anyway.

15 Adrian Ratnapala May 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Yes. I too find it difficult to beleive that a nation of vikings has only had one mass murder. Though of course most of the mass murdering done by Icelanders would have been off shore; there must have been infighting too.

16 T. Shaw May 29, 2015 at 9:07 am

1615 . . I remember it as if it were yesterday.

17 Dave Barnes May 29, 2015 at 9:15 am

Read
http://www.amazon.com/Cod-Biography-Fish-Changed-World/dp/0140275010
and you will understand why Basques and Icelanders were not on the best of terms.

18 Brian Donohue May 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm

“Of course it’s more for fun; there are laws in this country which prohibit the killing of Basques.”

Quote of the week right there.

19 carlolspln May 30, 2015 at 12:51 am

“Because then the State will come and take them into care on some spurious child endangerment charge”

Mirthful.

20 Nathan June 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm

I’ve visited Holmavik. It also has the distinction of being the location for the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft, and, yes, the necropants. https://www.galdrasyning.is/

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