Tag Archives: La Pasionara

Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria): Women at the Front

Dolores Ibárruri with Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8th), The Marxist-Leninist is posting a number of articles on women’s liberation. The following article is by Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria), a member of the Communist Party of Spain and a Republican leader during the Spanish Civil War. Her autobiography, They Shall Not Pass, is essential reading.

Women at the Front

She was a volunteer, a member of the civilian militia, wearing the blue blouse of a workman. She clasped her rifle with ardour, as though it were not a weapon of death but a much-desired plaything. Amidst the groups of merry militia men who were going smilingly to fight and perhaps to die, she marched in silence, serious and self- engrossed. A light burned in her eyes. They expressed hatred, inflexible determination and courage. I approached her and asked:

“Where are you from?”

“Toledo.”

“Why are you at the front?”

She was silent for a few moments, and then answered:

“To fight fascism, to crush the enemies of the working people and…to avenge the death of my brother.”

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La Pasionaria on Stalin and the Mass Line

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Dolores Ibárruri with Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh

The following article from 1940, “Stalin, Leader of Peoples, Man of the Masses” is by Dolores Ibárruri, also known as “La Pasionaria”, Communist militant and political leader of the Republican forces during the anti-fascist Spanish Civil War. The article is particularly interesting in its exploration of the method of leadership that the Chinese Communists would call “the mass line“.

Stalin, Leader of Peoples, Man of the Masses

To speak of the triumph of socialism on one-sixth of the earth; to write about the luxuriant development of agriculture in the Soviet Union, a development unequalled by any other country; to admire the astounding growth of socialist industry and the tempestuous advance of the workers; to marvel at the unprecedented achievements of the mighty Soviet air fleet, at the powerful reinforcements of the Soviet navy; to describe the glorious deeds of the Red Army, liberator of peoples; to study the wonderful mechanism of the gigantic socialist state with its manifold nationalities united by indissoluble bonds of fraternal friendship; to observe the progress of science, art, the culture of all Soviet peoples, the joyous life of their children, their women, the workers, the peasants and the intellectuals, the permanent security of all of them and their confidence in the future; to know the daily life of socialism and the heroic deeds of the Soviet people—means to see Stalin, to speak of Stalin, to experience Stalin.

For Stalin—means people, work, struggle; Stalin—means unswerving loyalty to the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism; Stalin—means unyielding hardness towards the opportunists, towards the betrayers and enemies of the toiling people; means tireless vigilance against all enemies of socialism.

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