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Thousands Pay Respects to ‘La Pasionaria’

November 14, 1989

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ The Soviet and Chinese ambassadors joined thousands who paid last respects Tuesday to Dolores Ibarruri, the legendary ″La Pasionaria″ who embodied the spirit of republican Madrid in the civil war.

″La Pasionaria,″ the woman in black who stood in the streets of Madrid and shouted ″No pasaran 3/8″ (″They shall not pass 3/8″), became the symbol of resistance to the army of Gen. Francisco Franco. She died Sunday in a Madrid hospital at age 93.

She was the dau hter and granddaughter of coal miners, joined the Communist Party and became the anti-fascist heroine of millions during the Spanish civil war of 1936-39.

Mrs. Ibarruri began her career as a labor organizer and strike leader, and wrote articles signed ″La Pasionaria.″ She chose the name in 1916 when her first article appeared during Holy Week, the time of the Christ’s passion.

Juan Berga, spokesman for the Spanish Communist Party, said Tuesday that people began gathering outside party headquarters at 8 a.m. to file by the open casket containing the body of the party’s honorary president.

About 10,000 people did so during the two hours allowed, party officials said.

Dignitaries included the Ambassadors of China, the Soviet Union, Poland, Cuba and Yugoslavia; Agustin Rodriguez Sahagun, the centrist mayor of Madrid, and Culture Minister Jorge Semprun of the Socialist government, Berga said.

″It is very symbolic that Dolores died at this time, as the universe for which she fought and in which she believed is crumbling,″ said Semprun, referring to political changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

She fled to the Soviet Union after Franco’s nationalists won the war, lived there for 38 years and returned to Madrid in 1977, two years after Franco’s death.

The body is to lie in state until Thursday, when a march and rally are to be held in downtown Madrid followed by burial in a municipal cemetery beside the tomb of Pablo Iglesias, founder of the Spanish Socialist Party.

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