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Along with Felix Likiniano, he tried to create some resistance to the Francoist regime after the Spanish Civil War. The thought of both authors, melding Basque nationalism and Anarchism gave birth to a minor political current known as Anarkoabertzalism (Anarcho-nationalism), which eventually merged within the hybrid of Marxism and Anarchism known as Autonomism.
He was born on 15 May 1921 in Getxo, the son of a bourgeois family of German origin. He taught himself the Basque language.
He joined the Basque-Language Academy in 1943, where he favoured the standardisation of Basque around the Labourdine dialect of the first printed books in Basque, and with an etymological orthography. However, the Academy preferred the Guipuscoan dialect as the basis of Standard Basque. Krutwig's Basque language standardisation proposal was not to be applied beyond the members of the Jakintza Baitha ("House of Knowledge") Hellenophile society.
In 1952, after rejecting Luis Villasante joining the Basque-Language Academy, and after his criticisms to the position of the Catholic Church in reference to the Basque language, he went into exile in France.
Once in Donibane-Lohitzune he contacted members of the movement Jagi-Jagi. In 1963 he edits the book Vasconia, where he questions part of the traditional Basque nationalism of Sabino Arana and proposes a new Basque nationalism.
He collaborates with ex-militants of EGI and theorizes about the use of violence for political purposes. In 1964 is expelled from France and moves to Brussels (Belgium). Here he starts to make contact with members of ETA. He elaborates some memoramdums for ETA's V at Guethary, and puts ETA in contact with the Czech weapon industry.
His main writings are:
- Vasconia (1963) published initially under the pseudonym of Fernando Sarrailh de Ihartza, where he describes an ideal Greater Basqueland comprising all the supposedly historical territories, from the Garonne to the Ebro rivers. It is inspired by the Algerian independentism and anti-colonialism and proposes armed combat against Spain and France, taking Basque nationalism beyond the traditional views of Sabino Arana. This book was clandestinely published with a limited circulation. The Francoist police believed that it was an inspiration for ETA, which was not the case, but police questioning stirred the interest of many members and sympathizers of the armed group, giving some fame to Krutwig. The intellectual and former ETA member Jon Juaristi narrates that, during reminiscences, fellow member Juan María Bandrés once commented "So you are the one who actually read it!".
- La Nueva Europa ("The New Europe", 1976). In this essay he extends his ideas on Greater Vasconia to Western Europe, claiming and hoping for an internal decolonization of the continent and proposing what could be grossly taken as the Europe of the Regions.
- Garaldea: Sobre el origen de los vascos y su relación con los guanches. ("Garaldea: On the origin of Basques and their relation to Guanches", 1978). In this, maybe his most scientific and serious essay, he studies the origins of the Basques and explores a hypothetical Garaldea (land of "we are" or land of the flame), extending at some time in the past through all Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin. In the annexes, he analyzes transcriptions of Guanche (native Canarian) and Pictish inscriptions, concluding that their two extinct languages are not just related to Basque but that they are the very same tongue. This daring claim has not been corroborated by anyone so far, and nearly all specialists in the subject consider it erroneous.
- La Nueva Vasconia ("The New Vasconia", 1979), a substantially enlarged re-edition of Vasconia, after the death of Franco.
He died in Bilbao in 1998.
- Apuntes sobre la vida de Federico Krutwig Sagredo by Maria Agirre
- Sudupe, Pako 2011: 50eko hamarkadako euskal literatura I. Hizkuntza eta ideologia eztabaidak, Donostia, Utriusque Vasconiae. ISBN 978-84-938329-4-0
- Sudupe, Pako 2011: 50eko hamarkadako euskal literatura II. Kazetaritza eta saiakera, Donostia, Utriusque Vasconiae. ISBN 978-84-938329-5-7
- Sudupe, Pako 2012: "Ideologia eztabaidak 50eko hamarkadan" in Alaitz Aizpuru (koord.), Euskal Herriko pentsamenduaren gida, Bilbo, UEU. ISBN 978-84-8438-435-9
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