Germany stripped a late fighter pilot's name from two military institutions Friday because his squadron participated in the devastating bombing of the Basque city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. A spokesman said Defense Minister Peter Struck decided to remove
the name of Werner Mölders from the sites after a television news program revealed last year that the pilot had belonged to Nazi Germany's infamous Condor Legion, which served with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco's forces in the raid. Barracks in the northern town of Visselhoevede and the fighter squadron 74 in the southern town of Neuburg an der Donau will now bear new names, which have not yet been chosen. The lower house of parliament voted in 1998 to no longer allow military sites to carry the names of Condor Legion soldiers. The defense ministry spokesman said Struck had spoken with officials from the German air force and a relative of Mölder before making the decision. The pilot, who was not personallyinvolved in the Guernica raid, died in a crash in 1941 in Poland at the age of 28. The 1937 bombardment, which Pablo Picasso captured in a celebrated painting, killed hundreds of civilians. Franco's forces took the city two days after the atrocity.
The move comes after an expert UN panel said the Wikileaks founder had been arbitrarily detained. Sweden's chief prosecutor said she would file a new request to interview Assange after Ecuador rejected a previous one.
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