Seattle Times, The (WA) - November 13, 1989 Deceased Name: DOLORES IBARRURI, 'LA PASIONARIA,' SPANISH CIVIL WAR RESISTANCE LEADER MADRID - Dolores Gomez Ibarruri, whose fiery oratory rallied thousands to the Republican cause during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, personified the fight against the 36-year dictatorship of Gen.
She died yesterday from pneumonia at age 93.
Known by her nom de guerre, ''La Pasionaria'' (Passion Flower), Ibarruri won fame for galvanizing resistance during the war and later as leader of the Communist Party (PCE) during 38 years of exile in the Soviet Union.
Her cry ''No pasaran!'' (They shall not pass) came to symbolize the Republicans' desperate struggle, and she is widely believed to have been the inspiration behind the character Pilar in Ernest Hemingway's novel about the Civil War, ''For Whom the Bell Tolls.''
Few moments in her life can have been as emotional as her farewell to the International Brigades in 1938.
''You can go proudly. You are history. You are legend,'' she told the foreign volunteers whose disbandment and departure in October 1938, sealed the overthrow of the Spanish Republic.
A few hundred of them returned to Spain as white-haired grandfathers almost 50 years later as guests of the PCE, and many wept when they again met La Pasionaria, by then an elderly woman who had to be helped to her feet.
Ibarruri was a pillar of the PCE during her exile in Moscow and she was welcomed as a heroine on her return to Spain in 1977 when, two years after Franco's death, the party was legalized.
Her influence gradually decreased as the PCE shifted away from her pro-Soviet stance toward more moderate Eurocommunism under fellow Civil War veteran Santiago Carrillo.
Illness and old age confined her to the honorary role of party president as the PCE declined amid internal strife. She stopped attending decision-making meetings, but her few public appearances at communist rallies aroused respectful enthusiasm among militants.
Ibarruri traced her political radicalization to poverty which thwarted her wish to become a schoolteacher. Born Dec. 9, 1895, to a devout Roman Catholic family in the Basque town of Gallerta, she was forced to sell sardines and leave school at 15 to work as a seamstress, then a cook.
At 20 she married Julian Ruiz, a communist miner, and began a lifelong commitment to political activism. Although ostracized by her family for her militancy, she toured Spain preaching communism to spellbound audiences.
''The more I learned about socialism, the more reconciled I was to life which I no longer saw as a swamp but as a battlefield,'' she once said.
The couple had six children, four of whom died in infancy. Their son Ruben volunteered for the Red Army and was killed in the 1943 battle of Stalingrad.
Like her husband, she was imprisoned several times for her beliefs and on one occasion watched Ruben, then a small boy, waiting outside the jail gates because he had nowhere to go.
A diminutive, austere figure always clad in black, her ringing civil war speeches inspired thousands to resist Franco's offensive. In July 1936 as the conflict was about to begin, she exhorted in a PCE broadcast: ''It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. No Pasaran!''
She was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1964 and received Russia's highest civilian honor, the Order of Lenin, in 1965. Copyright (c) 1989 The Seattle Times