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On Ne Passe Pas 1918

On Ne Passe Pas!
Propaganda poster by Maurice Neumont

Médaille de Verdun du colonel Brébant (recto)

On Ne Passe Pas! on a French medal commemorating the battle of Verdun

¡No pasarán! Madrid

In Madrid. 1937

Pe aici nu se trece - mormântul eroului necunoscut - Mausoleul de la Marasesti

Tomb of the unknown soldier at the Mausoleum of Mărăşeşti with the inscription "Pe aici nu se trece" ("They Shall Not Pass")

"They shall not pass" (French language:'Ils ne passeront pas/On ne passe pas'; Spanish language:'¡No pasarán!' ) is a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy.

It was most famously used during the Battle of Verdun in World War I by French General Robert Nivelle. It appears on propaganda posters, such as that by Maurice Neumont after the Second Battle of the Marne, which was later adopted on uniform badges by units manning the Maginot Line. Later during the war, it also was used by Romanian soldiers during the Battle of Mărăşeşti.

It was also used during the Spanish Civil War, this time at the Siege of Madrid by Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, a member of the Communist Party of Spain, in her famous "No Pasarán" speech on 18 July 1936. The leader of the fascist forces, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, upon gaining Madrid, responded to this slogan with "Hemos pasado" ("We have passed").

"¡No pasarán!" was used by British anti-fascists during the October 1936 Battle of Cable Street, and is still used in this context in some political circles. It was often accompanied by the words pasaremos (we will pass) to indicate that communists rather than fascists will be the ones to seize state power.[1]

The phrase was used again in December 1943 by French-Canadian officer Paul Triquet of the Royal 22e Regiment at Casa Berardi, in an action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The phrase was again used in December 2002 by Colonel Emmanuel Maurin, commanding a French Foreign Legion unit in the Ivory Coast; without communist or far left connotations. In last quarter of 2009, it has been used in the political propaganda of Estonia by the Estonian Centre Party.

In March 2010, the phrase "No pasarán!" was again adopted by anti-fascist leftist forces who created Unite Against Fascism against the English Defence League; one of the first instances[citation needed] of the slogan being used in this era was the Bolton EDL rally.[2]

In February 2011, "No pasarán!" was used by leftist demonstrators blockading a street in Dresden to stop a neo-Nazi march.

In August 2012 during the trial of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot group member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova wore a t-shirt with the slogan "¡NO PASARÁN!" written across the front.[3]

Literary useEdit

As veteran of World War I, the French poet and founder of Surrealism, André Breton, used the slogan as part of a poem called "Rano Raraku", include in his collected Poèmes (1916-1948), published on 1948.[4]

Jan Drda in his Silent Barricade (1949), the last short story called as the same as the book, uses the term "NO PASSARAN" while three men are defending the last barricade in Prague during the uprising against the Wehrmacht in World War II.

In J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of The Lord of the Rings, the wizard Gandalf declares repeatedly, "You cannot pass!" when he blocks the pursuing demon called a Balrog. Tolkien was a World War I veteran.[5] In the 2001 film, Gandalf first says, "You cannot pass", and, a moment later, shouts, "You shall not pass!" while striking his staff upon the ground.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Black Knight instigates a sword fight with King Arthur by declaring "None shall pass."

Emil Renard in Max Brooks's World War Z uttered the last words over his radio "On ne passe pas!" while fighting zombies, as told by his brother Andre Renard to the narrator.

In Metro 2033 the communist brigade that saves Artyom in Tverskaya station quote this slogan when parting with him in Paveletskaya station.

In George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, the character Edmure Tully concludes a letter to his sister Catelyn with the phrase "They shall not cross" in reference to the Battle of the Fords.

In the Star Wars New Jedi Order book Traitor, Jedi Knight Ganner Rhysode uttered Monty Python's Black Knight variant of this phrase–"None shall pass"–as he defended a passage way against hordes of enemies, earning such regard for himself he is said to have become deified in the Yuuzhan Vong pantheon.[citation needed]

The earliest reference found is in an 1897 book called His Grace of Osmund by Francis Hodgson Burnett, [Charles Scribner's Sons], "I wait here like a brigand," he said to himself with a harsh laugh, "or a highwayman – but he shall not pass." (Chapter XXI)[citation needed] This can't be true as the book came out before the slogan was used famously.

As a result of their socialist, Irish Republican and anti-fascist affiliations, the slogan has been widely adopted by supporters of Glasgow Celtic Football Club.[citation needed] The leftist supporters group for the Turkish football team Fenerbahçe, Vamos Bien, also uses this slogan.


The phrase was also used by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and immortalised in the Carlos Godoy song ¡No Pasarán![citation needed]

See alsoEdit


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