The book published in memory of Barbara Anna Kistler was shared digitally

We publish this unofficial translation of an article of Yeni Demokrasi.

The book “Internationalism from the Alps to the Munzur”, published in memory of Barbara Anna Kistler, one of the exemplary warriors of the International proletariat who became immortal together with her five comrades, on Dersim Yel Mountain between January 21 and February 10, 1993, and the pamphlet “Proletarian Internationalist Barbara Anna Kistler was martyred in Dersim” were published.

You can access the book and the pamphlet at the Partizan Archive website.

Internationalism from the Alps to the Munzur

Proletarian internationalist Barbara Anna Kistler was martyred in Dersim


Barbara Anna Kistler was born in 1955 in Zürich, Switzerland. After her short school life, she started working. She became interested in politics from the age of 16. The conditions she lived in brought Barbara closer to the working class and the oppressed. Barbara made an effort to see the underlying realities of her country as well as its visible face, realized exploitation, alienation, and the commodification of everything, opposed the system, took part in organizations in line with her thoughts, and was at the forefront of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist struggle in Switzerland. She sympathized with Reboolie Bunker, an autonomous organization, and participated in secret and open campaign organizations against State oppression in her country. She was detained for 3 weeks at the age of 17 during the attack on the commune she formed with her friends. In the same years, she supported the Viet Cong and expressed solidarity with those imprisoned from leftist radical groups.

Among the Swiss groups, its most important relationship is with the KGI (Committee Against Isolation). She saw KGI as ML among existing groups. KGI emerged as the nucleus in the struggle to create the Communist party, but could not achieve the desired structure in the process and limited itself to certain academic problems. She also has a close relationship with the Marley Group. Their most important work here is to replace and transform the feminist thoughts and movements within this movement with ML ideas, and to carry out the women’s movement with its class-based understanding. As a matter of fact, today this movement takes on the problem within the integrity of the proletarian revolutionary movement.

She met Turkish revolutionaries in Europe in the 1980s and took part in the Prisoner Solidarity Committee, which opposed the attacks on revolutionaries in Turkish prisons. While operating in solidarity with anti-imperialist groups, she went to Peru as a journalist. After the Sandinistas came to power in Nicaragua, she took part in organizing volunteers from Europe. She establishes relations with the Party of the Proletariat in 1989. After meeting the Party of the Proletariat, she decided to directly participate in the revolutionary struggle of Turkey, displaying one of the highest examples of internationalism with her MLM understanding. She actively participated in the process of practically retaking the Metris fugitives in the struggle for socialism. Then she settled in Istanbul. On May 19, 1991, the house where she was staying with İsmail Oral was raided and she was taken into custody. During 15 days of torture, she proved his loyalty to her comrades and principles by continuing the tradition of the leading comrade İbrahim Kaypakkaya, “not giving away secrets”. During the prison period, she experiences more concretely the class solidarity between the Turkish State and the Swiss State regarding their cooperation and hostility towards the people. She manages to use the prison as the school of the revolution and the court as the platform of the revolution. She challenged the fascist Turkish courts by saying “the international proletariat will judge me, not you, but the international proletariat” in the bourgeois court. Prison life led her to struggle in more advanced positions. The following words she said at the releasing ceremony were an indication of her determination: “We will prepare a position for all of you to fight in the mountains. We are waiting for you.”

After 8 months of captivity, Barbara (Kinem) joined the People’s Army. Thus, she becomes the most concrete and vivid example of internationalism. She quickly gets used to unfamiliar conditions. She also wins the love of the poor and oppressed Dersim villagers.

The Temporary Winter Camp near Pülümür, where the 2nd District Unit of the People’s Army was withdrawn, was exposed by the soldiers and surrounded on January 21, 1993. When the guerrilla units learn that the camp is under siege, they place their vanguard units on all the mountain tops around the camp. The enemy starts intense bombardment with 3 bomber planes and 3 Cobra helicopters taken from Erzurum. However, the enemy cannot approach the guerrilla units, nor can they inflict losses. Since all the villages in the region where the guerrilla units stay are under military occupation, the units cannot visit any villages. After a long walk under harsh winter conditions, 3 people’s warriors became immortal. In keeping with the true meaning of the comradely relationships that Barbara admired so much, which caused her to sympathize with the Party of the Proletariat, she experienced the best examples of sacrifice, solidarity and friendship during this march. After reaching the targeted village, 3 more people’s warriors became immortal. Among these martyrs, Barbara Anna Kistler, one of the unforgettable names of the international proletariat, succumbed not to the enemy but to the brutal winter conditions.

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