Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri 

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

Taken and translated from :

International warriors

In those early years, Russia and Spain were much united. In 1936-1934, Soviet soldiers and officers took part in the war in Spain, from where fascism began its march through Europe. After the fighting, many Spanish children were left orphans and were sent to the Soviet Union, where they found a new homeland. When the Great Patriotic War began, the natives of Spain could not stand aside. Seeing from the experience of their own country, what disasters the fascist dictatorship could bring, they whole-heartedly strove to fight against the Nazi troops. Fiercely hated fascism and already having combat experience, the Spaniards were excellent fighters. They were part of the partisan detachments, organized acts of sabotage in the enemy's rear, fought on the front lines, were gunners, pilots, and sappers. Courage, bravery…

The most famous Spaniard participating in the Great Patriotic War was Ruben Ruiz Ibarruri, who was awarded the highest award of that time - the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for his military exploits. Ruben Ibarruri died during the Battle of Stalingrad and was buried in the very center of our city - in the Square of Fallen Fighters.

Soviet childhood

Ruben was the son of Dolores Ibarruri, an illustrious revolutionary, whose catch phrase "No pasaran!" - "They will not pass!" became the motto of the anti-fascist movement around the world. He was born in Muskitz, Navarra, Navarra, Spain. The boy was brought up in the spirit of the revolutionary struggle and from childhood he was used to not being afraid of anything. At thirteen years old, when Ruben and his mother arrived in Madrid, at the risk of being caught by the police, he distributed a party newspaper on the streets of the city, participated in anti-government demonstrations, and was connected between underground organizations.

The situation in Spain was heating up, and it was not safe for Dolores’s children to remain in the country. After another arrest of his mother in 1935, Ruben Ibarruri and his younger sister Amaya were forced to leave for the Soviet Union. About the childhood years spent in our country, both recalled with special warmth. For some time Ruben lived in Moscow in the family of the old Bolshevik revolutionaries Lepeshinsky, went to school and worked as a turner at the Likhachev automobile factory, but, realizing that in times of peace you need to prepare for the coming battles, he entered the Stalingrad Military Aviation School.

So steel was tempered

Hiding his name and age, he returned to Spain and joined the ranks of the republican army of General Modesto. In the bloody battles with the rebels and the interventionists, the seventeen-year-old warrior showed such courage and resourcefulness that he was soon promoted to corporal and then to sergeant. In the south of France, where the people's army was forced to retreat, Ibarruri was interned and sent to Argeles concentration camp. Ruben had to endure a lot of disasters and deprivations before he managed to escape and sneak into the Soviet Union, which has now become his second homeland.

On June 22, 1941, Germany treacherously attacked the Soviet Union. From the first days of the war, Ruben Ibarruri went to the front, where he was appointed commander of a machine-gun platoon. In early July in Belarus, near the town of Borisov, a young lieutenant with a small group of soldiers was assigned to cover the forced retreat of the regimental units. An unequal battle thundered for six hours in a row, and all six hours the brave machine-gunners held the bridge, preventing the enemy from crossing the Berezina River.

During this time, the Soviet troops managed to withdraw to the specified line and prepare to repel the main attack of the enemy. In a terrible battle, which Ruben had not yet seen, he was seriously wounded. For more than a day the bleeding Spaniard lay on the battlefield, exhausted from pain, until tankmen, who had come to the rescue, picked him up. For the feat accomplished under the protection of the bridge across the Berezina River, in September 1941, Lieutenant Ruben Ruiz Ibarruri was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

Wounds - not a reason to end the fight

A serious wound received near Borisov required long-term treatment. Every extra day spent in the hospital responded with incredible pain in the hot heart of the young Spaniard. Forced inaction tormented him much more than severe wounds.

“The most depressing thing about me is that I had to leave the front,   ” he wrote to his mother from the Ufa hospital, “because I have a mad desire to destroy these robbers ... I tell you again, mother, that I consider myself to be happy and proud to fight in the ranks of the great and invincible Red Army against Germany. I am sure that here he will break his teeth ... Saying goodbye to you, I say: "But pasaran!"

Ruben could no longer stay in the rear. With a still healing wound, he left for an appointment in Moscow. And again, the front, fierce battles, grueling trips on difficult roads ...

"But Pasaran!"

In August 1941, when the German forces, having superiority in manpower, equipment and weapons, were rapidly rushing towards the Volga, a company of Ruben Ibarruri as part of the 35th Guards Rifle Division was sent to Stalingrad.

The 35th Guards Division was ordered to stop and detain the enemy in the area of ​​Samofalovka-Kotluban. The regiments of the division were still on the way, and the forward detachment was put forward, which included a machine-gun company under the command of Ruben Ibarruri. Under the bombardments without loss, the guards crossed into Stalingrad in the area of ​​Krasnoarmeysk and walked the steppe all day long with the scorching rays of the sun.

A detachment approached Kotlubani only at night and directly from the march entered the deadly battle. Five times the fascists rose to the attack and rolled back five times. Even during the war in his native Spain, where the Republicans had little weapons and ammunition, Ruben found out the price of each rifle and each cartridge. Since then, he has taught his soldiers to take good care of weapons and use all of its capabilities. And now guardsmen Ibarrurovtsy powerful machine-gun fire inflicted irreparable losses on the enemy.

But the superior forces of the German army continued to advance. In one of the fierce attacks, the battalion commander was killed. There was no time to think, and the senior lieutenant Ruben Ibarruri assumed command of the detachment. Briefly, with firm determination in his voice, he said: “The Motherland has ordered — not one step back! The Fascists will not pass!” And the Nazis did not pass ... On that day, the actions of one detachment ensured the success of the entire division, the enemy was discarded.

When the main forces of the 35th Guards Rifle Division occupied the   battle   line won with such difficulty , the forward detachment learned a new task - to cover the right flank of the defense from the Vlasovka farm. Without rest, after an exhausting transition and a hard night battle, the warriors entered into a new battle with the enemy. At dawn on August 24, Hitler's troops rushed to the attack. The roar of artillery did not subside for a second, a sea of ​​fire blazed in Soviet positions and steel, shells and mines tore, German machine guns and machine guns crackled incessantly. After a powerful artillery raid of the enemy came  dead silence. It seemed that all life had been exterminated and littered with earth, but as soon as the fascists tried to approach, the guardsmen met them with crushing fire. Ruben Ibarruri fearlessly raised the battalion to the counterattack first rushed into a melee, inspiring the fighters with his courage and heroism. In a panic, the Nazis retreated, leaving on the battlefield cannons, mortars, machine guns, rifles and over a hundred soldiers and officers only killed.

Heroic immortality

In the heat of battle, the squad lost sight of its commander. By a decisive assault, having beaten off a fiery patch of land from the enemy, the men began to search for Ruben. He was found among the bodies of dead Guardsmen, mortally wounded and almost lifeless, and through the burning city he was taken to the hospital in Srednyaya Akhtuba. Doctors and surgeons fought for the life of a young Spaniard for a week and a half. But the injury was too serious. On September 3, 1942, the division flew around the sad news. "There is no longer our Ruben ...".

“ No passaran !”, Dolores urged her compatriots to fight fascism. "No pasaran! They will not pass," - dying, Ruben whispered, for him the whole world became homeland - from the Volga to the Mediterranean Sea, from the Stalingrad steppes to the mountains of Biscay, where his own village Samorrostro was spread. The heroic death of Ruben Ibarruri turned into an immortality for him in the memory of descendants.


After the war, the sister of Rubèn Amaya married his fellow soldier Artem Sergeev, the son of the legendary revolutionary Artem. They named their children Ruben and Dolores. Now Amaya lives in Spain, but he often comes to Russia to visit his son, Ruben Ibarruri-Sergeyev stayed forever in the country for which his uncle once gave his life.

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

Rubèn and his mother

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

Rubèn and Artem Sergeev (who married Ruben's sister Amaya)

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

Rubèn's sister Amaya and Ruben

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

The body of Rubén is buried in Mamayev Kurgan, a cemetery dedicated to the heroes of Stalingrad. Dolores Ibárruri gives the last goodbye to her son.

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri

Monumet for Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri 

Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri 

Book about Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri's life