La Pasionaria (Dolores Ibarruri, Member of the Spanish
Farewell to the International Brigades in Barcelona, Spain
It is hard to say a few words in farewell to the heroes of the International
Brigades, both because of what they are and what they represent.
A feeling of sorrow, an infinite grief catches our throats ... sorrow
for those who are going away, for the soldiers of the highest ideal of human
redemption, exiles from their countries, persecuted by the tyrants of all
peoples... grief for those who will stay here forever, mingling with the
Spanish soil or in the very depths of our hearts, bathed in the light of
You came to us from all peoples, from all races. You came like brothers
of ours, like sons of undying Spain; and in the hardest days of the war,
when the capital of the Spanish Republic was threatened, it was you, gallant
comrades of the International Brigades, who helped to save the city with
your fighting enthusiasm, your heroism and your spirit of sacrifice.
For the first time in the history of the peoples’ struggles, there have
been the spectacle, breath-taking in its grandeur, of the formation of International
Brigades to help save a threatened country’s freedom and independence, the
freedom and independence of our Spanish land.
They gave us everything: their youth and their maturity; their science
or their experience; their blood and their lives; their hopes and aspirations
— and they asked us for nothing at all. That is to say, they did want a
post in the struggle, they did aspire to the honor of dying for us.
Mothers! Women! When the years pass by and the wounds of the war are
being stanched; when the cloudy memory of the sorrowful, bloody days return
in a present of freedom, peace and well-being; when the feelings of rancor
are dying away and when pride in a free country is felt equally by all Spaniards,
then speak to your children. Tell them of these men of the International
Tell them how, coming over seas and mountains, crossing frontiers bristling
with bayonets, watched for by raving dogs thirsting to tear at their flesh,
these men reached our country as crusaders for freedom, to fight and die
for Spain’s liberty and independence which were threatened by German and
Today they are going away. Many of them, thousands of them, are staying
here with the Spanish earth for their shroud, and all Spaniards remember
them with the deepest feeling.
Comrades of the International Brigades: political reasons, reasons of
state, the welfare of that same cause for which you offered your blood with
boundless generosity, are sending you back, some of you to your own countries
and others to forced exile. You can go proudly. You are history. You are
legend. You are the heroic example of democracy’s solidarity and universality.
We shall not forget you, and when the olive tree of peace puts forth
its leaves again, entwined with the laurels of the Spanish Republic’s victory
-- come back!
Come back to us. With us those of you have no country will find one,
those of you who have to live deprived of friendship will find friends, and
all of you will find the love and gratitude of the whole Spanish people who,
now and in the future, will cry out with all their hearts:
“Long live the heroes of the International Brigades!”