Dolores Ibárruri
Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez (9 December 189512 November 1989), known more famously as "La Pasionaria" (passion flower
Passion flower
Passiflora, known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous. For information about the fruit of the passiflora...

) was a Spanish Republican leader of the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 and communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 politician of Basque
Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

 origin. She is perhaps best known for her defense of the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 with the famous slogan ¡No Pasarán! ("They Shall Not Pass"), during the Battle of Madrid.

Dolores Ibárruri was born to a local Basque miner and a Castillian
Castile is derived from a word meaning 'castle' and may refer to:-People:* Brooke Castile , American pairs figure skater* Javier Castilla , professional Colombian squash player* Simeon Castille , NFL cornerback...

 mother. She grew up in Gallarta, but upon her marriage to the revolutionary socialist miner Julián Ruiz Gabiña, Ibárruri moved to Somorrosto (Biscay
Biscay is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Biscay. Its capital city is Bilbao...

). It was here, during the 1920s, that the once Carlist
Carlism is a traditionalist and legitimist political movement in Spain seeking the establishment of a separate line of the Bourbon family on the Spanish throne. This line descended from Infante Carlos, Count of Molina , and was founded due to dispute over the succession laws and widespread...

 Catholic young woman became a revolutionary militant activist and one of the first members of the Spanish Communist Party
Spanish Communist Party
Spanish Communist Party , was the first communist party in Spain, formed out of the Federación de Juventudes Socialistas . The founders of the party, that had belonged to leftwing within FJS, included Ramón Merino Gracia, Manuel Ugarte, Pedro Illescasm Luis Portela, Tiburicio Pico and Rito Estaban...

 (PCE) when it was founded in 1921. In the 1930s, she became a writer for the PCE publication Mundo Obrero, and was elected to the Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 as a PCE deputy for Asturias
The Principality of Asturias is an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain, coextensive with the former Kingdom of Asturias in the Middle Ages...

 in February 1936 during the Second Republic. After the end of the Spanish Civil War and her exile from Spain, she was appointed General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain, a position she held from 1942 to 1960, when she was made honorary president of the PCE, a post she held for the rest of her life. Upon her return to Spain in 1977, she was reelected as a deputy to the Cortes for the same region she had once represented during the Second Republic. She is usually regarded as being one of the greatest public speakers of the twentieth century.


The main source of information about La Pasionaria before she became famous is her autobiography El Unico Camino (The Only Way).

She was born as the daughter of a poor Carlist miner's family in the Basque town of Gallarta, the eighth of eleven children. Gallarta was located next to a large siderite
Siderite is a mineral composed of iron carbonate FeCO3. It takes its name from the Greek word σίδηρος sideros, “iron”. It is a valuable iron mineral, since it is 48% iron and contains no sulfur or phosphorus...

 mine which became the second most important in Europe during the 1970s and which was shut down permanently in 1993.

Her autobiography recounts that she was sent to the municipal school as soon as she could talk. School was a dark, cold, dank old house not in the least bit attractive; the curriculum was basic and mainly religious; discipline was harsh. Outside she and the other children sang revolutionary ditties, played pranks and took part in rival gang fights. A self-willed child, she was taken at the age of ten by her mother to the Church of San Felicisimo in Deusto
Deusto or Deustu is a district of the city of Bilbao, in the Spanish Basque Country on the right bank of the Estuary of Bilbao. It includes the neighbourhoods of San Inazio, Zorrotzaurre, Ibarrekolanda, Elorrieta, Arangoiti and Deusto proper, with a total population of over 52,000. It used to be a...

 to be exorcized; the mother must have been pressed into taking this dramatic step by her daughter's pert theological arguments.

Sometimes my small brothers and I engaged my mother in enlightening dialogue. One of us would ask the mother:

"Is it true that we are all sons of God?"

"It's true."

"Are we all brothers?"


"Then if we are the brothers of so and so—mentioning the well-off people in town—why does Dad have to go to work everyday, even when it rains, while the slickers do not work and are better off than we are?"

Here the theological reach of my mother eluded her grasp and she would retort full of anger,

"Keep quiet! Children musn't ask such things!"

Ibárruri left school at the age of fifteen after spending two years preparing for teacher's college thanks to the encouragement and guidance of the new schoolmistress. However her parents could not afford the cost of further education so instead she went to work as a seamstress and later as a housemaid. Afterward she became a waitress in a cafeteria in the town of Arboleda (the most important urban nucleus in the region of Somorrostro) where she met Julián Ruiz Gabiña, union activist and founder of Socialist Youth of Somorrostro whom she married in late 1915, two years after the birth of their first child. The following year the young couple participated in the general strike of 1917 and Ruiz went to jail again. During this time Ibárruri started to read the works of Karl Marx and others found in the library of the Socialist Workers' Centre in Somorrostro; she studied at night.

Ibárruri wrote her first article in 1918 for the miners' newspaper, El Minero Vizcaíno. The article came out during Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

, it versed on religious hypocrisy at odds with the Passion of Christ, and because of the theme and because of the holiday she signed it with the alias "Pasionaria."

In 1920 Ibárruri and the Workers' Centre joined the budding Communist Party of Spain (PCE) and she was named member of the Provincial Committee of the Basque Communist Party. The next ten years were years of tough grassroots militancy, in recognition for which she was in 1930 appointed to the Central Committee of the PCE.

During this time Ibárruri had six children, five daughters and a son. Four girls died very early—"she (Ibárruri) used to relate how her husband made a small coffin out of a crate of fruit." The son Reuben (in Spanish, Rubén)
Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri
Rubén Ruíz Ibárruri was the son of Spanish communist leader Dolores Ibárruri and a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union.-Early life:...

 died when he was twenty-two years old in the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

. Only one of the triplets named Amaya outlived the mother and in 2008 was residing in the working-class neighbourhood of Ciudad Lineal
Ciudad Lineal
Ciudad Lineal is a district in Madrid .-Subdivision:The district is administratively divided into 9 wards :*Atalaya*Colina*Concepción*Pinar de Chamartín *Pueblo Nuevo*Quintana...

 in Madrid.

In Madrid (1931–36)

With the advent of the Second Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....

 in 1931 Ibárruri moved to Madrid where she eventually became the editor of the PCE newspaper Mundo Obrero
Mundo Obrero
Mundo Obrero is the periodical of the Communist Party of Spain . It is edited monthly and contains articles related to the Spanish and international political situations, the opinions of the different bodies of the party as well as relevant party members, and on the activities of the Party and the...

. She was arrested for the first time in September 1931 and jailed with common offenders; she persuaded them to go on hunger strike to obtain the freedom of political detainees. Following a second arrest (March 1932—January 1933; several prison transfers: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Oviedo) she led other inmates into singing the Internationale in the visits room and in the prison yard, incited them to turn down miserably paid menial labour and wrote two articles from jail, one article was published in November 1932 by the PCE periodical Frente Rojo and the other was published in December 1932 by Mundo Obrero.

On March 17, 1932, she was elected to the Central Committee of the PCE at the 4th Congress held in Seville.

In 1933 she founded the women's organization which welcomed all women opposed to Fascism and war. On April 18 Soviet astronomer Grigory Neujmin discovered asteroid 1933 HA and named it "Dolores
1277 Dolores
1277 Dolores is a main-belt asteroid discovered on April 18, 1933 by Neujmin, G. at Simeis.- External links :*...

" for Dolores Ibárruri. In November she travelled to Moscow as a delegate of the 13th Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International
Executive Committee of the Communist International
The Executive Committee of the Communist International, commonly known by its acronym, ECCI, was the governing authority of the Comintern between the World Congresses of that body...

 (ECCI), held November 28-December 12, which weighed the danger posed by Fascism and the threat of war. The sight of the Russian capital thrilled Ibárruri. "To me, who saw it through the eyes of the soul", she wrote in her autobiography, "it was the most wonderful city on earth. The construction of socialism was being managed from it. In it were taking shape the earthly dreams of freedom of generations of slaves, outcasts, serfs, proletarians. From it one could take in and perceive the march of humanity toward communism." She did not return to Spain until the new year.

In 1934 she attended the First Worldwide Meeting of Women against War and Fascism held August 4–7 in Paris. Although the large meeting was chaired by Gabrielle Duchêne, president of the French branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was established in the United States in January 1915 as the Woman's Peace Party...

, the separate Rassemblement was an organ of the short-lived French Popular Front; both Rassemblement and Front dissolved in 1939.

Toward the end of 1934, Ibárruri with two others spearheaded a risky rescue mission to the mining region of Asturias to bring back to foster homes in Madrid more than a hundred starving children whose parents had been jailed following the failed October Revolution suppressed by General Franco at the behest of the Republican government; she succeeded but was detained briefly in the prisons of Sama de Langreo and Oviedo. To spare her own children any more anguish because of her jail terms she sent them away to the Soviet Union in the spring of 1935.

In 1935 she crossed the Spanish border in secret and went to the 7th World Congress of the Communist International held July 25-August 21 in Moscow. At this Congress Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov
Georgi Dimitrov Mikhaylov , also known as Georgi Mikhaylovich Dimitrov , was a Bulgarian Communist politician...

 delivered a keynote speech entitled "The Unity of the Working Class against Fascism" in which he proposed the surrender of Marxist principle to the more immediate, expedient aim of fighting Fascism at all costs, even if this meant subordination to "progressive bourgeois" governments. Under this doctrine the Popular Front came to power in France in June 1936, suppressed the revolutionary fervour of the Communist masses and withheld aid from the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War (the Non-Intervention Pact, which sealed the fate of the Spanish Republic, was introduced by Léon Blum, president of the French Popular Front, and signed on August 2, 1936, by France, Britain, Russia, Germany, and Italy). However Ibárruri welcomed Dimitrov's speech as vindication of the PCE's long-standing position and returned home "full of enthusiasm, determined to do the impossible to achieve a consensus among the various workers' and democratic organizations of our country.". At the same venue she was elected deputy member of the ECCI and became the second Communist figure in Spain after José Díaz the secretary-general of the PCE.

In 1936 she was jailed for the fourth time (Madrid; January–February 6) after enduring gross abuse from the arresting officers. Upon release from prison she hurried to Asturias to campaign for the PCE in the general elections of February 16.

The general elections of February 16 gave the following result for the riding of Oviedo (17 seats). The number of ballots cast was 323,310. However this was not the number of votes because the principle of "one ballot, one vote" did not rule. Every voter could choose a maximum of 13 candidates simultaneously, i.e. a ballot contained from 1 to 13 votes. The PCE got 170,497 votes, good enough to elect one member of Parliament, Dolores Ibárruri.

The Popular Front's election platform included the release of political prisoners and La Pasionaria set out to free the detainees of Oviedo at once.

As soon as the victory of the Popular Front in the elections became known I, already an elect member of Parliament, showed up at the prison of Oviedo the next morning, went to the office of the Director, who had fled in a mad panic because he had behaved like a genuine criminal toward the Asturian prisoners interned after the revolution of October 1934, and there I found the Administrator to whom I said, "Give me the keys because the prisoners must be released this very day." He replied, "I have not received any orders", and I answered, "I am a member of the Republic's Parliament, and I demand that you hand over the keys immediately to set the prisoners free." He handed them over and I assure you that it was the most thrilling day of my activist life, opening the cells and shouting, "Comrades, everyone get out!" Truly thrilling. I did not wait for Parliament to sit or for the release order to be given. I reasoned, "We have run on the promise of freedom for the prisoners of the revolution of 1934—we won—today the prisoners go free."

In the few months left before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War she joined the strikers of Cadavio mine in Asturias and she stood beside poor tenants evicted roughly in a suburb of Madrid.

Just before the outbreak of the war Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads...

, La Pasionaria and friends were chatting and sharing a coffee in a Madrid cafeteria when Lorca, who had been studying Ibárruri's appearance all the while, spoke up and told her, "Dolores, you are a woman of grief, of sorrows...I'm going to write you a poem." The poet returned to Granada and there met his death at the hands of the Nationalists before he ever did write that poem.

The Civil War (1936–39)

The outbreak of the war goaded La Pasionaria into frenzied activity. She galvanized the men and women of the loyalist camp to the defense of the Republic by a passionate string of rousing speeches, some of them radio broadcasts from Madrid, "Danger! To arms!" (July 19), "Our fighters must lack for nothing!" (July 24), "Discipline, composure, vigilance!" (July 29), "Restrain the hand of the foreign meddlers!" (July 30), "Fascism shall not pass!" (August 24), "Better to die standing up than to live kneeling down!" (September 3), "A salute to our militiawomen on the front line" (September 4), "Our battle cry has been heard by the whole world" (September 15). The reader of her speeches can infer that the majority of the people of Madrid rallied to the side of the Republic, that uncontrolled elements roamed the capital and that many rounds of gunfire were wasted out of nerves (July 29), that Nationalist propaganda was more effective (July 30), that she understood early on that the war would be lost without foreign aid (August 24). The reader can also appreciate the degree to which she exerted herself (August 24) and the callous indifference displayed by the French government toward the plight of the Spanish Republic (September 3). On October 2 she wrote a revealing letter to her son in Russia. In it she apologizes for not having written earlier, "I just had a tremendous amount of work to do", and she describes the harrowing situation, "You cannot even imagine, my son, how savage is the struggle going on in Spain now...Fighting is going on daily and round the clock. And in this fighting some of our finest and bravest comrades have perished." She tells Reuben that she has spent many days beside the troops at the front, and her misgivings about the outcome of the war show once again, "It is my hope that in spite of all the difficulties, particularly the lack of weapons, we shall still win."

The war became particularly brutal in 1937. Just as the London Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 drove the Allies to bomb German cities mercilessly so the Nationalist bombardment of open cities spurred La Pasionaria on February 15, speaking as the fourth, newly named vice president of Congress, to demand an equal response from the "progressive bourgeois" government whose president Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña
Manuel Azaña Díaz was a Spanish politician. He was the first Prime Minister of the Second Spanish Republic , and later served again as Prime Minister , and then as the second and last President of the Republic . The Spanish Civil War broke out while he was President...

 was an intellectual and a writer unwilling to flout Constitutional or international laws and whose Prime Minister was a Socialist Francisco Largo Caballero
Francisco Largo Caballero
Francisco Largo Caballero was a Spanish politician and trade unionist. He was one of the historic leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and of the Workers' General Union...

 reluctant to cooperate with the PCE sincerely. The closing lines of that speech signalled her readiness to endorse radical violence,

Men and women of every country who love freedom and progress, we appeal to you for the final time. If our appeal remains a voice crying out in the wilderness, our protests are ignored, our humane conduct, if all these are taken for signs of weakness, then the enemy will have only himself to blame—for we shall give vent to our wrath and destroy him in his lair.

On February 24 Stalin forbade the sending of Soviet volunteers to fight in Spain; but he did not recall "Order of Lenin" awardee Alexander Orlov of the NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 (secret police).

Orlov and the NKVD orchestrated the war that between May 3–8 broke out in Barcelona
Barcelona May Days
Barcelona May Days were a period of civil violence in Catalonia, between May 3 and May 8, 1937, when factions on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War engaged each other in street battles in the city of Barcelona.Clashes began when units of the Assault Guard – under the...

 between the Popular Front and the Trotskyist POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification). The battle left some 1,000 fighters dead and 1,500 injured (estimates vary). With the annihilation of the POUM Stalin deprived the fugitive Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 of a possible Spanish haven. Orlov used the same methods of terror, duplicity and deception that were being employed in the Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...


As a result of the May 3–8 events in Barcelona the Trotskyists together with the Anarchists became in Ibárruri's mind the "Fascist enemy within,"

When we point out the need of opposing Trotskyism we discover a very strange phenomenon, that voices are raised in its defense in the ranks of certain organizations and among certain circles in certain parties. These voices belong to people who themselves are intoxicated with this counter-revolutionary ideology. The Trotskyists have long been transformed into the agents of Fascism, into the agents of the German Gestapo. We saw this on the ground during the May putsch in Catalonia; we saw this clearly in the disturbances that occurred in various other places. And everybody will realize this when the trial opens against the P.O.U.M. leaders who were caught spying. And we realize that the hand of Fascism is behind every attempt to demoralize our home front, to undermine the authority of the Republic. Therefore it is essential that we wipe out Trotskyism with a firm hand, for Trotskyism is no longer a political option for the working class but an instrument of the counter-revolution.

Trotskyism must be rooted out of the proletarian ranks of our Party as one roots out poisonous weeds. The Trotskyists must be rooted out and disposed of like wild beasts, for otherwise every time our men wish to go on the offensive we will not be able to do so due to lawlessness caused by the Trotskyists in the rear. An end must be put to these traitors once and for all so that our men on the front lines can fight without fear of being stabbed in the back.

Ibárruri, José Díaz and the rest of the PCE gave vent to their wrath and set out to destroy the internal enemy in his lair.

During the month of June 1937 the government of the Popular Front, now clearly under Communist sway, eradicates those segments of its own army under the control of the POUM and of the Anarchists, every one stationed in the Front of Aragon. On July 29 the 29th Division of the POUM is disarmed in the Front of Huesca and on August 4 the Anarchist-Sindicalista Council of Aragon is dissolved by decree.

In Barcelona the police unleashes the cruellest of persecutions against the POUM. The new police chief since May is Ricardo Burillo Stholle, a professional officer and a Mason, who was the commander of the Assault Guards that killed José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo was a Spanish politician prior to and during the Second Spanish Republic...

 and who has now joined the PCE. On cue from Alexander Orlov—liaison of the NKVD (Soviet secret police) with the Ministry of the Interior of the Second Spanish Republic and responsible on the Soviet side for the transfer of the gold of Moscow
Moscow gold
The term Moscow Gold , or alternatively, Gold of the Republic , refers to the operation by which 510 tonnes of gold, corresponding to 72.6% of the total gold reserves of the Bank of Spain, were transferred from their original location in Madrid to the Soviet Union a few months after the...

 from Spain to the Soviet Union—Burillo's officers arrest Andres Nin leader of the POUM. Taken first to Valencia and then to Madrid, Nin will be tortured, skinned, mutilated and finally murdered by Orlov's agents at Alcalá de Henares on June 20, 1937.

What was left of the POUM leadership was put on trial in Barcelona on October 11, 1938. Referring to the arraignments Ibárruri is often quoted to have said at a rally in Valencia, "It is better to convict a hundred innocent ones than to acquit a single guilty one." However that is a partial quote. The full sentence she spoke is: "If there is an adage which says that in normal times it is preferable to acquit a hundred guilty ones than to punish a single innocent one, when the life of a people is in danger it is better to convict a hundred innocent ones than to acquit a single guilty one."

Meantime on April 30, 1938, Stalin proposed a military alliance to France and Britain; in effect the Soviet Union forsook the Spanish Republic and the Popular Front was left without a friend, doomed.

The exile, part I (1939–1960)

The tale of Ibárruri's life in exile must rely partly upon her recollections.

Thus on March 6, 1939, she travelled to Monovar airfield, located 34 km from Alicante
Alicante or Alacant is a city in Spain, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is also a historic Mediterranean port. The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,418, estimated , ranking as the second-largest...

 and 153 km from Valencia, and flew out aboard an old "de Havilland Dragon
De Havilland Dragon
|-See also:-References:Bibliography ISBN 0-85177-813-5...

" airplane under enemy naval fire to the major Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

n port city of Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 then under French sovereignty
French Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

. Her arrival came as a complete surprise to the authorities who hurriedly put her aboard a liner bound for Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

. Apparently the ship's captain was a Nationalist sympathizer, but a clandestine Communist cell aboard made sure that he did not steer the ship toward Nationalist-held Barcelona. This made it the third time that Ibárruri had evaded capture by the Fascists.

On French soil she was helped by the Communists who sheltered her in Paris under the surveillance of the police (the Communist Party would be outlawed by the government of Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier was a French Radical politician and the Prime Minister of France at the start of the Second World War.-Career:Daladier was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse. Later, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined...

 on September 26). From Paris she travelled to Moscow and stayed there with José Díaz, generals Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster Forján was a Spanish communist politician and military officer.-Early life:...

 and Juan Modesto
Juan Modesto
Juan Modesto Guilloto León was a Republican army officer during the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:He originally worked at a sawmill before joining the Spanish Army...

 and others. Much to her joy she was reunited with her student daughter Amaya and with her son Reuben who managed to escape from a French internment camp at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 received the Spanish refugees warmly. Ibárruri was given an apartment in the same building where José Díaz lived, she was assigned a chauffeur to drive her around Moscow, she was invited to dine at the Dimitrovs'. She together with other Spaniards liked to attend the performances at the Bolshoi Theatre
Bolshoi Theatre
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, designed by architect Joseph Bové, which holds performances of ballet and opera. The Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera are amongst the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world...

 or at the Romen Theatre
Romen Theatre
Romen Theatre is the oldest and the most famous of Romani theatres in the world. The theatre is a key object of Romani culture in Russia, and from the moment of its foundation in 1931, it has been a centre of attraction for Romani artists in Russia....

. She was an avid reader at home. Outdoors she delighted in seeing the emancipation of the Russian woman. She helped other families adapt to their new country and overall she felt happy enough to sing on occasion.

Ibárruri worked in the Secretariat of the ECCI from her private office at the Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 Headquarters near the Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

. The work involved the continual evaluation, analysis and discussion of current events as they related to the progress of Communism outside the Soviet Union. This task was complemented by similar internal discussions in the central committee of the PCE which focused on the situation in Spain. There was no serious disagreement expressed between the PCE
Communist Party of Spain
The Communist Party of Spain is the third largest national political party in Spain. It is the largest member organization of the United Left electoral coalition and has influence in the largest trade union in Spain, Workers' Commissions ....

 and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 until 1968 when Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 forces invaded Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

. This implies the PCE's support for or excuse of Stalin's domestic and foreign policies including the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 on August 24, 1939.

In January 1940 La Pasionaria wrote the following praise of Joseph Stalin,

To speak about the triumph of socialism over one-sixth of the earth, to write about the lush development of agriculture in the Soviet Union, a development unequalled by any other country, to admire the astonishing growth of socialist industry and the impetuous gains of the workers, to marvel at the unprecedented accomplishments of the mighty Soviet air force, at the mighty beefing up of the Soviet navy, to describe the glorious exploits of the Red Army liberator of peoples, to study the wonderful framework of the huge socialist state with its multiple nationalities united by unbreakable bonds of fraternal friendship, to observe the progress of science, art and of the culture of all Soviet peoples, the joyous life of their children, women, workers, peasants and intellectuals, the abiding security of everyone and their faith in the future, to know the daily life of socialism and the heroic actions of the Soviet people means to see Stalin, to cite Stalin, to encounter Stalin.

Ibárruri was asked to manage a new short-wave radio station that broadcast news, analysis and opinion to the citizens of Fascist Spain. The station located in Moscow carried the official name of Radio España Independiente, but in Spain it was nicknamed "La Pirenaica" partly on the false belief that it was located on the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

, partly because the radio itself used the label occasionally. Radio España Independiente started to broadcast on July 22, 1941, one month after Germany had begun its invasion of the Soviet Union. The initial broadcasts of Radio España Independiente were made from candle-lit basements in a capital city subject to sporadic aerial bombardment. Ibárruri relates that every night seniors, women and children kept watch on the terraces of Moscow for the small sticks of incendiaries scattered by every incendiary device
Incendiary device
Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus....

 dropped by the Luftwaffe; the civilians would pick up the blazing sticks with a pair of tongs and dunk them in a pail of water.

Many Spanish refugees volunteered to fight alongside the Russians despite Stalin's initial disapproval. According to Ibárruri, more than 200 died in battle. On July 18, 1941, she greeted the Spanish 4th Special Unit assigned to the defence of the Kremlin. Elsewhere from Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 to Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 the Spanish Communist volunteers fought as guerrillas deployed behind enemy lines or in the Red Army or with the Soviet air force; some made it to Berlin and at least one scouted territory held by the Spanish Fascist Blue Division
Blue Division
The Blue Division officially designated as División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division in the German Army, was a unit of Spanish volunteers that served in the German Army on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.-Origins:Although Spanish leader Field...


On October 13, 1941
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, martial law was declared in Moscow as the German 3rd Panzer Army came within 140 km of the capital. On October 16 the ECCI was evacuated by train from Moscow to Ufa
-Demographics:Nationally, dominated by Russian , Bashkirs and Tatars . In addition, numerous are Ukrainians , Chuvash , Mari , Belarusians , Mordovians , Armenian , Germans , Jews , Azeris .-Government and administration:Local...

 the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The train ride covered 1,567 km and lasted nine days; Ibárruri was awed by the sheer size of the country. A gravely ill José Díaz did not travel with them; he went south to Tiflis the capital of the Republic of Georgia.

Radio España Independiente now broadcast from Ufa. In Ufa the temperature dipped to -40°C and the snow piled up as high as the first floor level of the houses; the sunsets and the deep blueness of the sky impressed Ibárruri. At work she used various aliases like Antonio de Guevara or Juan de Guernica presumably to make believe the station had an extensive network of commentators and newspapermen.

On March 19, 1942, unable any longer to bear the pain of his cancer of the stomach (or of the colon, Ibárruri seems to suggest), José Díaz committed suicide. La Pasionaria became secretary-general of the PCE after a brief period of consultations by Stalin.

On September 3 Ibárruri's son Reuben
Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri
Rubén Ruíz Ibárruri was the son of Spanish communist leader Dolores Ibárruri and a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union.-Early life:...

 lost his life fighting heroically at Stalingrad. Asteroid 2423 Ibarruri
2423 Ibarruri
2423 Ibarruri is a Mars-crossing asteroid discovered on July 14, 1972 by Zhuravleva, L. at Nauchnyj. It was named after Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri.- External links :*...

 is named after him.

By the first few months of 1943 it was evident that the bastion of capitalism would be the dominant power after the war. On March 1 Stalin created the Union of Polish Patriots
Union of Polish Patriots
Union of Polish Patriots was a political body created by Polish communists and Joseph Stalin in Soviet Union in 1943...

 and on May 15 the ECCI annulled the Third International and granted theoretical independence to every national Communist party. Ibárruri agreed with the decision.

On February 23, 1945, La Pasionaria left Moscow on a roundabout trip (Teheran, Bagdad
-Places:Australia* Bagdad, TasmaniaMexico* Bagdad, TamaulipasPoland* Bagdad, PolandUnited States* Bagdad, Arizona* Bagdad, California* Bagdad, Butte County, California* Bagdad, Florida* Bagdad, Kentucky* Bagdad, New York* Bagdad, Virginia...

, Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

) that would take her to liberated Paris and a meeting with Juan Negrín
Juan Negrín
Juan Negrín y López was a Spanish politician and physician.-Early years:Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Negrín came from a religious middle-class family...

 the last president of the Spanish Republic to work out a common political strategy against Franco. In Cairo she and her party booked passage on the first passenger ship to leave Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, understanding it was going to Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

. In fact the ship, part of a British convoy, headed to Boulogne-sur-Mer
-Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

 near the Belgian border; the voyage lasted three months and she arrived in Paris too late for the meeting.

On December 5–8 the PCE held a plenum of the central committee in Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 where Santiago Carrillo, the former leader of Unified Socialist Youth in pre-war Spain and who had arrived in liberated France in November 1944, "gained control of the PCE", according to fellow Communist Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster Forján was a Spanish communist politician and military officer.-Early life:...


In his book Así destruyó Carrillo el PCE Líster has these harsh words for the conduct of La Pasionaria between 1939–1945,

[An examination of the situation of the PCE between 1939-1945] Would have shown that the political and moral conduct and behaviour of the immense majority of the members of our party, whether in Europe, America, Africa and above all in Spain, had been commendable whereas the conduct and behaviour of a portion of the leaders in exile had left a lot to be desired [he elaborates elsewhere, "there were many dirty secrets, many acts of cowardice"]. Dolores Ibárruri, Carrillo, Mije, Anton, Delicado are good examples of what we say though not the only ones.

The persecution of dissidents inside the PCE increased with time,

Between 1947-1951 things get progressively worse. The persecution inside the party increases as do the arrests of comrades who come to Spain from France. But it wasn't just this, as we would find out later, assassination had become a tool of repression and management of the party...The decision to assassinate militants was taken in the Secretariat of the PCE. If the target of an assassination fled to Spain his presence was betrayed to the Spanish authorities through the broadcasts of Radio España Independiente.

Interrogations were cruel,

Carrillo and Anton inflicted true terror. Some comrades came to the brink of insanity during the rounds of interrogation and others were driven to suicide out of the despicable accusations made against them.

The book provides the name of some party members betrayed or murdered: Juanchu de Portugalete (1944), Gabriel León Trilla (1945; "the decision to eliminate Trilla belongs to Santiago Carrillo and Dolores Ibárruri"), Jesus Hernandez (1946), Lino (1950), Juan Comorera (1954), Monzon, Quiñones, Luis Montero, Jose el Valenciano. Even generals Modesto and Líster himself were at one point in the crosshairs of the PCE leadership only to be saved inadvertently by Stalin who praised them before Ibárruri, Carrillo and Anton.

There is more recent evidence in northwestern Spain of the persecution of Communists by the central committee of the PCE during those years. In 2008 Victor Garcia found the body of his father partially buried in a wooded area of O Deza
O Deza
O Deza is a comarca in the Galician Province of Pontevedra. The overall population of this local region is 45,328 .-Municipalities:Silleda, Vila de Cruces, Agolada, Rodeiro, Dozón and Lalín....

 (Pontevedra). He had been shot in the head once. Garcia's father had not fled Spain after the defeat of 1939; he stayed behind and helped to organize a guerrilla force of 947 fighters in Galicia. Around the year 1944 the central committee of the PCE then living in France and headed by La Pasionaria and Santiago Carrillo ordered his execution. After it was carried out in 1948 the regional PCE liaison wrote, "At last we have hunted him down. This riffraff withstood us like a leech. We managed to catch him in Lalin
Lalín is a municipality in Galicia, Spain in the north of the province of Pontevedra, is the capital of the region of the Deza....

 from where he directed certain adventurous, uncontrolled groups. He is a provocateur who has given us many troubles; though belatedly we have eliminated him."

The exile, part II (1960–1977)

At the 6th Congress of the PCE
Communist Party of Spain
The Communist Party of Spain is the third largest national political party in Spain. It is the largest member organization of the United Left electoral coalition and has influence in the largest trade union in Spain, Workers' Commissions ....

 held in Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 between January 28–31, 1960, 65-year-old Pasionaria ceded the post of secretary-general to Santiago Carrillo and accepted the newly created honorary position of president. As confirmation of her retirement from active politics La Pasionaria sat down to write the first of her memoirs in 1960. The book, entitled El Unico Camino (The Only Way) was published first in Paris in 1962. The following year it was printed in Moscow. The book was translated into English and published in New York in 1966 under a new title. On her second book of memoirs, Memorias de Pasionaria, 1939-1977, Ibárruri makes the surprised observation that the childhood reminiscences recorded in El Unico Camino came to her in sharp detail, fresher than other events more recent, as if the memories of childhood had taken place the day before. This memory warp is often associated with near-death experiences; perhaps La Pasionaria's mind sensed that her most active days were over.

On November 10, 1961, she was invested Doctor Honoris Causa in Historical Sciences by Moscow State University
Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University , previously known as Lomonosov University or MSU , is the largest university in Russia. Founded in 1755, it also claims to be one of the oldest university in Russia and to have the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy...

 for her contributions to the development of Marxist theory. In her acceptance speech she reaffirmed that class struggle is the motor of history. In 1962 she attended the 10th Congress of the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

 held December 2–8 in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 where she met Socialists
Socialist Party (Italy)
The Italian Socialist Party is a minor social-democratic political party in Italy.The party was founded in 2007–2008 by the merger of six minor social-democratic parties and groups: the Italian Democratic Socialists, Democracy and Socialism, The Italian Socialists, the Socialist Party–De Michelis,...

, Christian-Democrats
Christian Democratic Party (Italy)
The Christian Democratic Party is a minor Christian-democratic Italian political party.It was founded in 2000 by Flaminio Piccoli, Clelio Darida, Carlo Senaldi and Alfredo Vito as the electoral arm of the Rebirth of Christian Democracy...

 and some church representatives. To the clerics she remarked, "We are not as wicked as you think, and we are not as good as we probably think we are." During the first few months of 1963 La Pasionaria appealed earnestly over the airwaves of Radio España Independiente to the Spanish government to spare the life of captured member of the executive committee Julián Grimau
Julián Grimau
Julián Grimau García was a Spanish Communist member.-Political activities:Initially active in the Federal Republican Party and the Republican Left, he joined the Communist Party of Spain upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Grimau spent the war years in Barcelona, where his father had been...

. On April 20 Grimau was shot despite additional personal appeals to Franco from John Kennedy, Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 and many Spanish intellectuals. Before his execution Grimau wrote to Ibárruri saying, "My execution will be the last one." On the week of May 13 Ibárruri unveiled a plaque in his honour on Building 11, Block 1, of newly renamed Grimau Street in Moscow. On December 5 she arrived in Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

 to commemorate alongside Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 the 5th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution
Cuban Revolution
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro...

. The Cuban leader invited Ibárruri to move permanently to the island, but she declined.

On April 15, 1964, she was the last of seven speakers at the banquet celebrating Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

's 70th birthday. On April 30 she received the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples
Lenin Peace Prize
The International Lenin Peace Prize was the Soviet Union's equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize, named in honor of Vladimir Lenin. It was awarded by a panel appointed by the Soviet government, to notable individuals whom the panel indicated had "strengthened peace among peoples"...

, one of four recipients of the award that year. On February 22, 1965, Ibárruri wrote to the Spanish minister of External Affairs and to the minister in charge of the Spanish army asking permission to appear as a witness at the upcoming court martial of former Republican commander Justo Lopez de la Fuente in Madrid. De la Fuente had been arrested on April 1964 in a police raid and had been condemned in December by a National Security judge to twenty-three years in prison. Everyone expected that the Communist defendant would be sentenced to death at the court martial. Besides writing the two letters, La Pasionaria telephoned the military defense lawyer asking him to include her as a witness. Afterward she held a press conference in Moscow to publicize these actions. On February 27 the Captain General of the Madrid region annulled the proceedings. However, the first sentence stuck and Justo Lopez died of cancer in prison two years later.

Sometime during 1965 La Pasionaria flew from Paris to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...

 to apologize as president of the PCE to Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

. On May 17, 1948, the Cominform
Founded in 1947, Cominform is the common name for what was officially referred to as the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties...

, successor to the ECCI, had expelled Yugoslavia from the community of Socialist countries and Ibárruri had lent her voice and pen to the harsh censure of Tito. However, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union held February 14–26, 1956, declared false the charges levied against Yugoslavia. Now La Pasionaria came face to face with the man she had slandered. She started to apologize profusely, but Tito cut her short and said, "Do not vex yourself, Dolores, do not worry. I know very well how things worked in those days. I know it perfectly. Furthermore, believe me, I most likely would have done what you did had I been in your situation." Over dinner Ibárruri started to apologize all over again, but Tito interrupted her a second time. The friendship of Spanish Civil War days was restored and Ibárruri returned to visit Yugoslavia several times. In late December 1965 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR condecorated Ibárruri with an Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

 medal. A total of 431,418 condecorations were given out between 1930 and 1991, but only seventeen went to foreigners.

La Pasionaria was the chairwoman of the editorial commission that wrote the four volumes of Guerra y revolución en España, 1936-1939 (War and Revolution in Spain, 1936-1936) which present the PCE's view of the Spanish Civil War. The tomes were published between 1966 and 1971. Although they are a rare find today, Antiqbook (the Netherlands Antiquarian Booksellers' Network) carries all four volumes.
On April 19, 1969, former Republican general Juan Modesto died in Prague. Ibárruri pronounced a brief eulogy over his grave. On May 6, 1970, the Spanish right-wing newspaper ABC reported that the PCE and the Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 had reached a new pact whereby the Spanish party dropped its censure of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in exchange for the Kremlin's blessing on the party's wish to collaborate with non-Communist parties. The newspaper also reported that PCE president La Pasionaria's permanent residence was Moscow and the secretary-general's Italy.

On November 8, 1972, Ibárruri's estranged husband, 82-year-old Julin Ruiz Gabiña, returned from a workers' clinic in Moscow to Somorrostro, expressing a desire "to rest and to die in my land." On March 14, 1974, La Pasionaria condemned over Radio España Independiente the execution on March 2 of 26-year-old Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich
Salvador Puig Antich
Salvador Puig Antich was a Spanish anarchist, born in Barcelona, and active during the 1960s. A member of the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación , he was executed by the Francoist regime after being tried by a military tribunal and found guilty of the death of a Guardia Civil policeman...

. She also took note of the revolutionary political stance taken by Bishop Antonio Añoveros Ataún
Antonio Añoveros Ataún
Antonio Añoveros Ataún , was a Spanish prelate, Bishop of Cádiz and Ceuta , Diocese in which he had been Co-Adjuctor Bishop from 1954 to 1964, and finally Bishop of Bilbao ....

 of Bilbao who defended the Basque cultural identity publicly and who defied Franco's decision to remove him. On November 20, 1975, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 died. La Pasionaria commented on the news laconically, "May the earth rest light upon him." On the week of November 17 Ibárruri was invested with the Order of the October Revolution. On December 14 many representatives of Communist parties from around the world gathered in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to pay homage to 80-year-old Dolores Ibárruri. In the summer of the following year Ibárruri attended the 3rd Plenum of the Central Committee of the PCE held July 28–31, 1976, in Rome under the clarion call of "national reconciliation."

On January 19, 1977, recently returned Santiago Carrillo announced in an improvised press conference in Madrid that Ibárruri would arrive in the capital within a few weeks. Five days later, on the night of January 24
1977 Massacre of Atocha
The 1977 Massacre of Atocha was a neo-fascist attack during the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of Franco in 1975, killing five and injuring four...

, 1977, a commando of Spanish and Italian neo-Fascists shot dead three Communist labour-rights attorneys, a law student and a manager at their law office in downtown Madrid; four others were seriously injured. On February 16 La Pasionaria solicited her repatriation to the Spanish authorities in Moscow. In the application form she stated that she had travelled outside the USSR many times, that her profession was publicist and contributor to newspapers and magazines, that she was the president of the PCE and that she was soliciting the right to travel freely to her own country. On February 22 the still-illegal PCE made public its list of candidates for the upcoming general elections of June 15. Ibárruri appeared as a candidate in two circumscriptions to be assured of election, one Madrid and the other Asturias; secretary-general Santiago Carrillo appeared in three. Despite a climate of fear and insecurity the Spanish government legalized the PCE on April 9, but the authorities denied Ibárruri a visa. On April 27 Julian Ruiz said in an interview that he would not be at the airport to greet his estranged wife, "Nevertheless she is the mother of my children and I wish her health and a peaceful life.", Faced with continued stonewalling, the PCE scheduled to have Ibárruri land in Madrid with or without visa on May 13. However, on May 12 the authorities relented and provided it.

Back in Madrid (1977–1989)

At 2:00 PM Moscow time on May 13, 1977, La Pasionaria left Shremetyevo Airport
Sheremetyevo International Airport
Sheremetyevo International Airport , is an international airport located in the Moscow Oblast, Russia, north-west of central Moscow. It is a hub for the passenger operations of the Russian international airline Aeroflot, and one of the three major airports serving Moscow along with Domodedovo...

 aboard an Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 jet after a "very affectionate" sendoff by Boris Ponomarev
Boris Ponomarev
Boris Nikolayevich Ponomarev was a Soviet politician, ideologist and historian, and a member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union...

 and Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Suslov
Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1965, and as unofficial Chief Ideologue of the Party until his death in 1982. Suslov was responsible for party democracy and the separation of power...

, three other civilians and by Colonel Sergeyeva the husband of Ibárruri's daughter; on the tarmac a girl dressed in traditional costume offered the departing president of the PCE a bouquet of flowers. At 7:59 PM Madrid time the Aeroflot jetliner landed at Barajas Airport. The PCE lied about their expatriate president's date of arrival and it did not give her an official welcome, secretary-general Carrillo was away in Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

. However some five hundred party members and sympathizers who knew the truth showed up at the airport, some waving PCE flags and wearing red berets with Communist insignia; they went up on the observation deck and watched and cheered loudly as the Aeroflot jet landed. Several maintenance vans and a white car surrounded the motionless jet immediately and La Pasionaria was whisked away to her flat in Fuencarral District (north of Madrid) without going through the airport terminal. Shortly thereafter she went to the office of the Registrar General of Fuencarral and changed her name from Isidora to Dolores. Therefore her legal first name was Dolores only at the end of her life. The civil registry of Gallarta reflected the name change in 1978.

The first campaign rally for 82-year-old Ibárruri was held May 23 on the Exhibition fairgrounds of Bilbao
Bilbao ) is a Spanish municipality, capital of the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. With a population of 353,187 , it is the largest city of its autonomous community and the tenth largest in Spain...

. She spoke with a firm voice, tears in her eyes, before 30,000-50,000 people (estimates vary). In concluding she acknowledged feeling very tired, but volunteered to explain later to everyone the workings of Socialist countries "where the workers can live very well without capitalism"; however the emotion of the day indisposed her slightly and a press conference scheduled for the evening had to be cancelled. The next day she spoke in the Suarez Puerta Stadium of Aviles
Avilés is a city in Asturias, Spain. Avilés is with Oviedo and Gijón, one of the main towns in the Principality of Asturias.The town occupies the flattest land in the municipality, in a land that belonged to the sea, surrounded by small promontories, all of them having an altitude of less than...

 in front of "many thousands of workers." A 20-year-old eyewitness remembers, "The city wore red. 'The Internationale
The Internationale
The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular fame under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state's de facto central anthem...

' was heard everywhere... the atmosphere, the silence when Pasionaria spoke, the explosion of joy that day, they are unforgettable memories." On May 25 at the presentation of his book, Eurocommunism
Eurocommunism was a trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties to develop a theory and practice of social transformation that was more relevant in a Western European democracy and less aligned to the influence or control of the Communist Party of the Soviet...

 and the State, Santiago Carrillo told a reporter that Ibarruri reminded him of the Pablo Iglesias
Pablo Iglesias
Paulino Iglesias Posse , better known as Pablo Iglesias, was a Spanish socialist and labour leader...

 he knew as a child, "a sick elderly man who participated very little in the activities of the party and who often kept quiet during meetings." On May 28 La Pasionaria spoke in Sama de Langreo, the heart of coal-mining country, and the right-wing newspaper ABC admitted that she like other political heavyweights was drawing "multitudes." On May 30 she affirmed in La Felguera
La Felguera
La Felguera is the largest parish in the municipality of Langreo, Asturias, in the north of Spain, with 21.000 inhabitants. It is the fifth largest town in Asturias, after Gijón, Oviedo, Avilés and Mieres. It is an 18 minute drive by car to Oviedo, the capital of Asturias...

 that the same spirit which had moved her in 1936 lived on to fight for the PCE and for Asturias. On June 8 a full house (6,000 people according to ABC, 8,000 according to La Vanguardia) listened to Dolores Ibárruri in the arena Palacio de los Deportes of the Asturian capital Oviedo
Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain. It is also the name of the municipality that contains the city....

. The following day she intervened in the national rally of the party held in the neighbouring province of León. There were other rallies, Mieres, Gijón
Gijón , officially Gijón / Xixón, is a coastal industrial city and a municipality in the autonomous community of Asturias in Spain. Early mediaeval texts mention it as "Gigia". It was an important regional Roman city, although the area has been settled since earliest history...


The general elections of June 15 gave the following result for the electoral district of Oviedo
Asturias (Spanish Congress Electoral District)
Asturias is one of the 52 electoral districts used for the Spanish Congress of Deputies - the lower chamber of the Spanish Parliament, the Cortes Generales. The total electorate in April 2008 was 982,230 and the largest municipalities were Gijón with 232,000, Oviedo with 179,000 and Avilés with...

 (10 seats in contention). The number of votes cast was 584,061 (voter turnout rate: 74.6%). The PCE got 60,297 votes (10.5% of the ballot), good enough to elect one member of Parliament, Dolores Ibárruri. The party with the most votes was the Spanish Workers' Socialist Party (31.8%). In contrast, the dictatorship's party, Falange Española, garnered a minuscule 0.46%. On July 13 at 10:05 AM—she notes in her memoirs—La Pasionaria stepped inside the same chamber of Congress vacated forty-one years earlier. Moments later she occupied the inaugural session's vicepresidential chair to the right of the president of Congress (the equivalent of the speaker of Parliament). The very next day Radio España Independiente aired its last broadcast, number 108,300. On July 22 the king opened Parliament officially. La Pasionaria joined in the 1-minute general standing ovation—she remained seated—which followed the royal address. Earlier, as Ibárruri entered Congress, a 56-year-old man in Falangist uniform gave the Roman salute and heckled her, "Drop dead! If you had any shame you would not have returned to Spain."

On August 4, 87-year-old Ruiz died in a hospital residence of Barakaldo
Barakaldo , is a municipality in the Basque Country in Spain. It is located in the Biscay province, administratively included in the "Basque Autonomous Community", on the left bank of the Estuary of Bilbao.Barakaldo is part of Bilbao's metropolitan area , and its official population...

; Ibárruri went to the funeral. She travelled to Moscow in October to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Russian Revolution and did not return until November 21.

La Pasionaria worked from her parliamentary office in Congress and from her office at PCE headquarters, both in downtown Madrid. Her ailing health put her in hospital three times during the first nine months since arriving back in Spain. Her age and frail health prompted the regional branch of the PCE in Asturias to ask for her retirement and substitution as early as November 21, 1977. However, the central committee argued that La Pasionaria's symbolic presence was important, and she served out the full term. On October 31, 1978, she voted with a very loud "Yes" for the new Spanish Constitution
Spanish Constitution of 1978
-Structure of the State:The Constitution recognizes the existence of nationalities and regions . Preliminary Title As a result, Spain is now composed entirely of 17 Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy, to the extent that, even though the Constitution...

. On December 29, President Adolfo Suárez
Adolfo Suárez
Adolfo Suárez y González, 1st Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain, KOGF is a Spanish lawyer and politician. Suárez was Spain's first democratically elected prime minister after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and the key figure in the country's transition to democracy.-Parents:He is a son of...

 dissolved Congress and called new elections for March 1, 1979. The 84-year-old Ibárruri did not dispute them.

The life of La Pasionaria and of every Communist was put in danger on February 23, 1981, when Fascist elements of the Spanish armed forces and of the paramilitary police staged a coup. The recent spate of Falangist terrorist attacks in Spain is a mild reminder of how real the danger was.

Broadly speaking, though, the remaining years of Ibárruri's life were a tranquil sequence of feminist rallies, political rallies, congresses of the PSUC and PCE, of presiding over the meetings of the executive committee, and of, until 1985, spending her summer holidays in the Soviet Union. Ibárruri denounced Enver Hoxha's stance against Khrushchev during the Sino-Soviet Split, saying Hoxha was behaving "like a dog that bites the hand that feeds him". Survivors of the International Brigades
International Brigades
The International Brigades were military units made up of volunteers from different countries, who traveled to Spain to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939....

 came to celebrate her 90th birthday and the PCE threw a huge party in the arena Palacio de Deportes of Madrid for 15,000 to 20,000 well-wishers (estimates vary). She did not take part in a group portrait for the #1 bestseller photography book A day in the life of Spain where Spanish Civil War foes appeared together, including Falangist Pilar Primo de Rivera
Pilar Primo de Rivera
Doña María del Pilar Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Countess of the Castle of La Mota was the sister of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, a political movement of Spain, and the daughter of Spanish dictator General Miguel Primo de Rivera, 2nd Marquis of Estella.She was...

 and Communist general Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster Forján was a Spanish communist politician and military officer.-Early life:...


In October 1987 Ibárruri solicited financial assistance from Congress. She had not contributed to the national social security program and therefore did not draw an old age pension. Congress granted her a monthly perquisite of 150,000 Pesetas (approximately 1,715 of 1987 Canadian dollar
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

s). On September 13, 1989, she was taken to hospital gravely ill with pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

. She recovered and left the hospital on October 15, but she experienced a relapse on November 7 and she died in hospital at 7:15 PM on November 12 at the age of 93. On November 14, thousands of people filed past her lying in repose on a catafalque in the Meetings Room of PCE headquarters in downtown Madrid. Veterans of the civil war, war amps, the ambassadors of Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, East Germany, Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 were among the first to pay their respects as was the mayor of Madrid. On November 16, a short cortege carried her body from PCE headquarters to the Plaza of Columbus where Rafael Alberti
Rafael Alberti
Rafael Alberti Merello was a Spanish poet, a member of the Generation of '27....

 and secretary-general Julio Anguita
Julio Anguita
Julio Anguita González is a Spanish communist politician. He was Mayor of Córdoba, Spain from 1979 to 1986 and coordinator of United Left between 1989 and 1999 and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain from 1988 to 1998.-Biography:A member of a military family, he broke with familiar...

 delivered a brief eulogy. Afterward, she was driven to Almudena Cemetery
Cementerio de la Almudena
The Cementerio de Nuestra Señora de La Almudena is a cemetery in Madrid, Spain. It is the largest in Madrid and one of the largest in Western Europe...

 and interred near the grave of Pablo Iglesias
Pablo Iglesias
Paulino Iglesias Posse , better known as Pablo Iglesias, was a Spanish socialist and labour leader...

. Thousands attended her funeral and chanted the mythical slogan, "They shall not pass!" The mayors of some townships south of the capital declared four days of official mourning.
Pasionaria who believed that the Communist Party led by Lenin had demolished for ever the power of capitalism perhaps never realized that the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 had fallen as she lay dying on November 9 and was spared the sight on December 25, 1991
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, of the lowering of the Soviet flag over the Kremlin and its replacement with the new flag of the Russian Federation. The tempestuous flow of Spanish politics precludes measuring a historical figure's lasting esteem by the number of streets, plazas, parks and public buildings dedicated to it over a given stretch of time, the truer yardstick is the rare recognition proferred by another culture in a different language, and such a one Arthur Dooley
Arthur Dooley
Arthur Dooley was a British artist and sculptor. He was born in the city of Liverpool, Dooley commenced employment as a welder at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, he also worked at the Dunlop factory in Speke, before his ambition took him to work as a cleaner at St...

 wrought out of bronze in September 1974: a statue of Pasionaria which stands, arms outstretched to the heavens, on Custom House Quay off Clyde Street in the Scottish city of Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, the hometown of many brigadistas.

In her own words (Quotations)

June 16, 1936 (Madrid).

Excerpt of the reply given in Parliament to Gil-Robles
José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones
José María Gil-Robles y Quiñones was a prominent Spanish politician in the period leading up to the Spanish Civil War....

 and to José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo
José Calvo Sotelo, 1st Duke of Calvo Sotelo was a Spanish politician prior to and during the Second Spanish Republic...

. This rebuttal by Dolores Ibárruri in the parliamentary debate moved by the two foremost exponents of the Spanish Right is highly significant because it occurred less than one month before the assassination of Calvo Sotelo on July 13 and the start of the Spanish Civil War five days later.

Gentlemen of the Right! You come here outraged to rend your vestments and to dab ash on your foreheads even while, as colleague De Francisco has said, someone whom you know and whom we are not unacquainted with as well [probably José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera
José Antonio Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Duke of Primo de Rivera, 3rd Marquis of Estella , was a Spanish lawyer, nobleman, politician, and founder of the Falange Española...

], orders the making of Civil Guard
Civil Guard (Spain)
The Civil Guard is the Spanish gendarmerie. It has foreign peace-keeping missions and maintains military status and is the equivalent of a federal military-status police force. As a police force, the Guardia Civil is comparable today to the French Gendarmerie, the Italian Carabinieri and the...

 uniforms with intentions known to you and not unknown to us, and while in addition across the Navarre border—Mr. Calvo-Sotelo!—enter firearms and munitions wrapped in the Spanish flag with less noise, with less outrage than the provocation orchestrated by the miserable assassin Martinez Anido in Vera del Bidasoa [a township of the Basque country] with whom the Honourable Member collaborated; and to the shame of the Spanish Republic justice has not been meted out either to him or to the Honorable Member who colluded. As I say, the facts are more telling than the words. I shall mention not only those that have taken place since the sixteenth of February but also those from a little earlier because the gales of today are the consequence of the winds of yesterday.

What happened since the truly republican constituents and the Socialists relinquished power? What happened from the time when men who, varnished with a deceptive republicanism, under the pretext of wishing to broaden the popular base of the republic, joined you, anti-republicans, and the government of Spain? This is what happened: The expropriations in the countryside were carried out collectively, the city halls of the Basque country were persecuted, the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia provides Catalonia's basic institutional regulations. It defines the rights and obligations of the citizens of Catalonia , the political institutions of the Catalan nationality, their competences and relations with the rest of Spain, and the financing of the...

 was curtailed, all the democratic freedoms were assailed and crushed, all the labour codes were ignored, the Law of Municipal Boundaries was revoked [this law forbad an employer the hiring of workers living outside his circumscription]—as colleague De Francisco was saying—the workers were mistreated, and all this kept storing up an enormous amount of hatred which necessarily had to climax in something, and that something was the glorious October [1934], the October which makes us proud, all Spanish citizens who have political discernment, who have dignity, who have a sense of responsibility about Spain's destiny in the face of scheming Fascism.

And all these actions carried out in Spain during the period aptly dubbed "The Black Biennial" were executed—Mr. Gil Robles!—by resorting not only to the police, to the coercive apparatus of the state, but to the underworld, to those criminal elements that every capitalist society harbours, men without roots, the cross of the proletariat, who were hired, given arms and immunity to kill, and who murdered the workers who stood out in the struggle and also men of the Left: Canales, Socialist; Joaquin de Grado, Juanita Rico, Manuel Andres and so many others who fell victim to these gangs of gunmen organized—Mr. Calvo Sotelo!—by a lady [a reference to Pilar Primo de Rivera
Pilar Primo de Rivera
Doña María del Pilar Primo de Rivera y Sáenz de Heredia, 1st Countess of the Castle of La Mota was the sister of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, a political movement of Spain, and the daughter of Spanish dictator General Miguel Primo de Rivera, 2nd Marquis of Estella.She was...

 the sister of Falange's founder] whose name if cited stokes the hatred of Spanish workers for the shame and ruin it has brought to Spain and by pretentious dandies who dream of the victories and blood-soaked glories of Hitler or Mussolini.

July 19, 1936 (Madrid).

Excerpt of the rallying radio address from the Ministry of the Interior the day following the start of the Spanish Civil War.

Workers! Farmers! Antifascists! Patriotic Spaniards! Everyone rise to defend the Republic against the Fascist military uprising, to defend the common freedoms and the democratic triumphs of the people!

The country realizes the gravity of the current situation through the bulletins being issued by the government and the Popular Front. In Morocco and in the Canary Islands the workers are fighting beside the Armed Forces loyal to the Republic against the military rebels and Fascists.

To the cry of "Fascism shall not pass! The executioners of October shall not pass!" the workers and farmers of the various provinces of Spain are joining the fight against the enemies of the Republic declared in armed rebellion. Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Republican democrats, the soldiers and services loyal to the Republic have inflicted the first defeats on the insurgents, who drag through the quagmire of Treason the military honour they have boasted about so much.

The whole country roils with fury at those savages who want to plunge democratic and the people's Spain into a hell of terror and death.

But they shall not pass!

September 8, 1936 (Paris).

Conclusion of the speech delivered to a Convention of Solidarity organized in Paris as part of an official mission by the Popular Front to the French government asking for the lifting of the arms embargo against the Spanish Republic.

Our people exude heroism, but a heroic spirit is not enough. The armament of the rebels must be confronted with rifles, airplanes, field guns. We defend the cause of freedom and peace. We need planes and guns to fight, to defend ourselves, our freedom, to prevent the insurgents bombing our open cities, murdering our women and our children. We need arms to defend freedom and peace!

Don't you forget—and let noone forget—that if today it falls to us to resist Fascist aggression the struggle does not end with Spain. Today it is our turn, but if the Spanish people are allowed to succumb, it will be your turn—all of Europe will be compelled to face up to aggression and war.

Help us to forestall the defeat of democracy because the consequence of such a defeat would be a new World War, which we are all interested in avoiding but whose first battles are being fought in our country already. For our children and yours! For the sake of peace and to oppose war demand that the border be opened! Demand that the French government fulfill its obligations with the Spanish Republican government! Help us obtain the arms we need to defend ourselves with! Fascism shall not pass! It shall not pass! It shall not pass!

March 5, 1937 (Valencia).

Opening address at the plenum of the central committee of the PCE. Significantly her appeal discloses that by this time the Republican side had splintered into quarrelling factions.

Stand up, people of Spain!

Women! Defend the life of your children, defend the liberty of your men! [Endure] Every conceivable sacrifice rather than grant the victory of the forces which represent a past of oppression, a past of tyranny.

Everybody against the Reaction! Everyone against Fascism! One front only! One faction united shoulder to shoulder until the enemy is defeated!

Down with the rebel generals! Down with the counter-revolutionary elements! Long live the brave popular militias! Long live the loyal Forces that fight alongside the workers!

Long live the Republic. Long live democracy. Down with Fascism. Down with the Reaction.

November 1, 1938 (Barcelona).

Please listen to the transcript of Ibárruri's farewell address to the International Brigades read in English by Maxine Peake by clicking on the hyperlink provided with Note...

The International Brigades
International Brigades
The International Brigades were military units made up of volunteers from different countries, who traveled to Spain to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939....

 were honoured twice by the losing Republican side, first on October 25, 1938, at Les Masies (Tarragona) where General Chief of Staff Vicente Rojo Lluch
Vicente Rojo Lluch
Vicente Rojo Lluch was Chief of the General Staff of the Spanish Armed Forces during the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:...

 presided and the legendary Republican commanders Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster
Enrique Líster Forján was a Spanish communist politician and military officer.-Early life:...

 and Juan Modesto
Juan Modesto
Juan Modesto Guilloto León was a Republican army officer during the Spanish Civil War.-Early life:He originally worked at a sawmill before joining the Spanish Army...

 attended and seven days later in Barcelona where La Pasionaria bid them farewell as they paraded down April The Fourteenth Avenue to the cheers of more than 250,000 people.


Autobiography: El Unico Camino.

The 1905 Russian Revolution, which evoked the solidarity of the Spanish proletariat, also had its song amid the workers of our country and I learned it from the miners of my region when I was a little girl.
Do not cave in, Russian people,
Keep fighting steadfast.
For the International cleaves itself
To your revolution.
A reprisal we ask
For that autocratic rabble.
Let autocratic blood
Flow through the streets unceasingly.

On those days when the workers were allowed to place the red flags of their organizations on the windows of the Workers' Centre the district bustled with life. Even to those not affiliated with the Centre the red flag said something which escaped their conscious understanding yet shook them to the depths of their soul.

September 28, 1973.

About the repression in Pinochet's Chile. Radio España Independiente.

Two names that are quite a symbol go together in death in this tough and very cruel fight that the Chilean people are called upon to wage for their own life and for the freedom of their homeland: Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

 and Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda....

, Socialist one, Communist the other, who will live forever in the grateful memory of their people and of all peoples. The Reaction passes away, but the people endure. And after this bloodbath with which the Chilean Reaction at the service of the Imperialists has wanted to bury for all time the democratic regime headed by President Salvador Allende, who enters History immortalized by his life and by his death, Chilean democracy, enriched with the blood of so many heroes fallen in the beastly repression, will be reborn and the Chilean people will rebuild that democracy in whose defense fell the noble and heroic President Salvador Allende and so many other anonymous heroes of the Chilean people, victims of the criminal Fascist military aggression—of the vile agents of North American imperialism who as our comrade Luis Corbalán denounced in a speech given in March of this year were plotting against the Chilean democracy.

November 20, 1975.

Reaction over Radio España Independiente to General Franco's death.

Dawn is breaking over Spain, and that dawn, scattering the darkness of the past, is the dawning of a Spain where the people will be the leading actor, where once more the rights of men and of the peoples who make up our multi-national and multi-regional country will be respected.

And in these moments of great emotion my first concern is for our imprisoned, all the political prisoners, who must be set free immediately; and this must be the paramount concern of everyone who fights for and desires the re-establishment of democracy in Spain.

December 14, 1983 (Madrid).

Message to the 11th Congress of the PCE.

I have always defended a policy of unity around the principles of Marxism, of scientific socialism and of workmen's rights. Everything moves, everything changes; we must know how to adapt our theory, our politics and our struggle to the specific circumstances in which we live. As Lenin taught us, it is necessary to stride forward toward the future, getting rid of everything that divides us, everything that life has discarded, advancing toward our chosen goal, socialism and peace.


Biography by Andrés Sorel: Dolores Ibárruri, Pasionaria. Memoria humana.

I shall die on my feet here on this sixth floor of Santisima Trinidad Street [her private office at PCE headquarters], watching the stars. It will be night. Silence will break out for a few moments. That arresting silence of the universe. I know that the stars when I vanish will remain pegged way up there, fixed, immutable, gazing on the absurd hustle and bustle of men, small and ridiculous, striving with each other during the sole second of life allotted them to learn and to know about themselves, wasting it stupidly, killing one another, the ones fighting to avert exploitation by the others.

List of works

  • Dolores Ibárruri: Speeches & Articles 1936-1938, New York, 1938.
  • El único camino, Moscow, 1963.
  • Memorias de Dolores Ibarruri, Pasionaria: la lucha y la vida, Barcelona, 1985.
  • They Shall Not Pass: The Autobiography of La Pasionaria, New York, 1966.
  • Memorias de Pasionaria, 1939-1977: Me faltaba Espana, Barcelona, 1984.

External links

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