Dolores Ibárruri, a seamstress and mother, joined the Communist Party (PCE) after reading the works of Karl Marx. Ibárruri wrote articles for the miners’ newspaper, El Minero Vizcaino, using the pseudonym Pasionaria (passion flower). Ibárruri soon became an important local political figure, and during the Spanish Civil War, she was the chief propagandist for the Republicans. On July 18, 1936, she ended a radio speech with the words: “The fascists shall not pass! No Pasaran.” “No Pasaran” became the motto for the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War. This was especially popular in Madrid, the site of the last major battle of the war before the Nationalist victory that put Franco in power. This writing was used on posters and leaflets and was sung throughout the city of Madrid. Even today, Madrid, the capital of Spain, shows signs of this final great battle of the Spanish Civil War.

Source: "¡NO PASARÁN! [THEY SHALL NOT PASS]" (motto, Spain), quoted in They Shall Not Pass, D. Ibarruri. New York: International Publishers, 1983.


Ahí van marchando los milicianos
Van para el frente con gran valor.
A dar sus vidas se van cantando
Antes que triunfe Franco el traidor.
En el espacio van los fascistas
Bombas aéreas destrozarán
La bella urbe capitalina
Pero a Madrid . . . ¡No PASARÁN!
Matan mujeres, niños, y ancianos
Que por las calles suelen andar.
Esta es la hazaña de los fascistas
Que allá en la historia se ha de grabar
Si sangre de héroes regó los campos
Bellas simientes resurgirán
El cañón ruje, tiembla la tierra
Pero a Madrid . . . ¡NO PASARÁN!

There march the militiamen
With great valor to the front.
They go singing to give their lives
Lest Franco, the traitor. triumph.
The fascists are in the skies
Their aerial bombs may destroy
Our beautiful capital city
But to Madrid . . . They Shall Not Pass!
They kill women, children, and the elderly
Who are out and about on the streets
This is the deed of the fascists
Which will be inscribed in history.
Where heroes’ blood watered the fields
Beautiful seedlings will flourish.
The cannon roars, the earth trembles
But to Madrid . . . They Shall Not Pass!