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Dolores Ibarruri
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    (December 9, 1895-November 12, 1989)
    Born in Gallarta, Spain
    Birth name was Isidora Dolores Ibarruri Gonzalez
    Republican leader during the Spanish Civil War
    Deputy for Asturias in the Cortes (1936-39,1977-78)
    General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) in exile (1942-60)
    Honorary President of the PCE (1960-89)
    Known as ‘La Pasionaria’ (‘the passion flower’)
    Known for the rallying cry ‘No pasaran’ (‘They shall not pass’)
    She described married life as ‘odious and unbearable.’
    She was widely suspected of ordering the death of monarchist leader Jose Calvo Sotelo, who was kidnapped and murdered shortly after Ibarruri responded to his criticism of the Republican government by exclaiming, ‘This is your last speech!’
    During a trial of followers of Leon Trotsky, she declared ‘It is better to convict a hundred innocent ones than to acquit a single guilty one.’
    She encouraged women to fight with kitchen knives and hot cooking oil.
    Like a lot of Communists in the 30s, she went from complaining that people weren’t doing enough to oppose Fascism to endorsing the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact.
    When Franco’s forces captured Madrid, they mocked her rallying cry with shouts of ‘Han pasaran!’ (‘We have passed.’)
    She grew up in poverty.
    She reportedly saved a group of nuns from mob violence in Madrid early in the Civil War.
    During the Civil War, she coordinated efforts to evacuate children from war zones to safe havens.
    Four of her daughters died very young.
    Her son Ruben died in the Battle of Stalingrad.
    She was a fiery orator.
    She said, ‘It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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