ANTI-FASCISTS and trade unionists came together in Glasgow on Saturday to commemorate the International Brigades with speeches and music before laying wreaths.
Vera Dehle Thaelmann, granddaughter of renowned German communist and anti-fascist leader Ernst Thaelmann, led the tribute at the La Pasionaria statue, saying the German-speaking brigade members had named their battalion after Thaelmann because of his “unwavering courage” in the face of nazi persecution and imprisonment during the Spanish civil war brought the brigaders close to him.
She said the nazis feared her grandfather due to his ability to “mobilise working-class communities against fascism.”
Even though the nazis kept him in solitary confinement for 11 years, she said they “couldn’t break him” and “he is in our hearts and in our actions” to struggle for a better world.
Ms Thaelmann said the struggle that the International Brigades led against fascism 80 years ago is just as relevant today, highlighting the anti-refugee policies of many EU states and warning that fascism and racism feed off desperation in times of austerity.
She called for unity against the far-right to honour the legacy of the International Brigades in their struggle against fascism.