Dolores Ibarruri


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(b. 9 Dec. 1895, d. 12 Nov. 1989).

Spanish Communist Born in Gallarta, she was raised in a poor mining family, and took work as a seamstress and cook. After marrying the socialist Julian Ruiz in 1915 she became active in the socialist movement. In 1919 she published an article in the mining journal El Minero Vizcaíno signed ‘La Pasionaria’, a name by which she became popularly known. In 1920, she co‐founded the Communist Party. As a member of the party's national executive, she was frequently in gaol under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. After the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931, she moved to Madrid. She campaigned tirelessly and effectively for the party, and organized its women's movement. In return, in 1933 she was elected the party's president. During the Civil War she became a legend in her lifetime, as she used her formidable rhetorical skills to exhort the Republican troops with courage and defiance. She organized thousands of women for the war effort. After Franco's victory she left for Moscow, where she lived as the figurehead leader of the outlawed Communist Party. She returned to Spain after Franco's death, and led the party's return to parliament in 1977. She remained the nominal leader of her party until her death.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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