The marginalization and/or persecution of ethnic or social minorities in Spain is not limited to Jews and Moors. Those are the tip of the iceberg and, for very complex reasons to detail here, those that have focused historical attention. But there have been others that may not have been so numerous or so tragic: the…Continue readingAgotes, the mysterious cursed race of the Basque-Navarrese Pyrenees
In 2012, the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, an institution dedicated to ethnology and anthropology, organized an exhibition entitled Exhibitions. L’invention du sauvage, which, through photos, posters, films and postcards, and driven by French ex-footballer Lilian Thuram, reminded the public of the embarrassing existence until very shortly before unusual zoos that exhibited human beings…Continue readingThe embarrassing human zoos of the colonial era
When Adam Weishaupt founded the Association of Perfectibilists in 1776, he surely did not imagine that he was adding fuel to the feverish imagination of all those who, in desperation, were looking for an explanation for a world that ended up giving way to another and only found it in the old resource of the…Continue readingThe true story of the Illuminati
Year 1807, at the end of the bloody battle of Eylau: the French soldier Jean Baptiste de Marbot wakes up, after several hours unconscious, covered in blood and on a cart, surrounded by corpses. He is completely naked and only keeps his hat because all his clothes and belongings have been taken away because he…Continue readingHow the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars were cleaned up
Many readers will probably know who Martha Ellis Gellhorn was, but for those who don’t, they just need to know that she’s not one of those characters who sometimes force their way into war movies. She was the only woman, as far as is known, who landed in Normandy on D-Day covering World War II…Continue readingMartha Ellis Gellhorn, the only woman to land in Normandy on D-Day
When we call a taxi we are not only asking for a transport service; implicitly, we evoke the surname of an illustrious aristocratic family of German origin that received the privilege of exploiting in monopoly the postal services of the Holy Roman Empire at the end of 1489. At least that is what the popular…Continue readingThurn und Taxis, the family that controlled Europe’s postal mail until the 18th century
“Walker, go and tell Sparta that their children lie here for obeying their laws.” That splendid phrase of Simonides, which, in its multiple translations, constitutes the epigraph of the monument to Leonidas in the Thermopylae, is too juicy not to take advantage of it in other war memorials with the corresponding changes. It is what…Continue readingKohima, the fiery battle that prevented the Japanese from invading India.
In 1972 a Serbian hostess named Vesna Vulović became famous and is registered in the Guinness Book of Records for having survived the fall of her plane from over 32,000 feet in altitude. But this is not a unique case; several more are known, one of them just a year earlier, the German teenager Juliane…Continue readingThe World War II airmen who survived falls from thousands of feet high.
More than 100 years ago, on August 2, 1913, three men reached the summit of Mount Olympus in Greece. Perhaps others had tried it before, who would dare to prove by himself whether the gods really lived there? But the fact is that nothing in the classical sources makes us suspect of such a boldness.…Continue readingHow three men ascended Olympus for the first time
Although intelligence services were consecrated above all in the Cold War, they had already had more or less important roles throughout History. In that sense, it is possible to consider among the best agents that have ever existed, one that operated during the Second World War, providing a thousand and a half reports to the…Continue readingThe Japanese ambassador to Berlin who involuntarily made Normandy landings easier to the Allies