No Pasaran! No Pasaran!
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, when Nationalists launched a military uprising across Spain. In February, 1936, a coalition of left-wing parties had been elected by a very narrow margin. The right-wing Nationalist Party, made up of the rich, the church, and the military, decided forcibly to take back power. General Francisco Franco amassed his army in Morocco, and he invaded Spain from the south.
Hitler and Mussolini supported Franco; Stalin supported the Republicans. Intellectuals, writers, and artists joined the fight against the Nationalists. George Orwell joined a workers' militia in Catalonia. Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos both covered the war as journalists, and both wrote novels about the war. Federico García Lorca tried to remain neutral at first, but he eventually became a supporter of the Republicans, and he was assassinated by the Nationalists. André Malraux recruited a squadron of airplanes and helped lead bombing raids against the fascists.
The chief propagandist for the Republicans was Dolores Ibarruri, known as La Pasionaria. It was she who on July 18, 1936, ended a radio speech denoucning the Nationalist uprising by saying, "The fascists shall not pass! No Pasaran". The phrase, "No Pasaran!" became the battle cry of the Republicans.
Franco was an accomplished general and a brutal leader. The Republicans, on the other hand, were split among their many ideological factions, and they had no central leadership. Franco eventually won the war by March of 1939.
The French writer Albert Camus said, "It was in Spain that men learned that one can be right and still be beaten, that force can vanquish spirit, that there are times when courage is not its own reward."
Credit for much of the above, The Writer's Alamanc.