Today is the anniversary of Comrade Ivana Hoffmann, internationalist hero and communist fighter who laid down her young life for the liberation of the Kurdish people in Rojava, the defeat of ISIS, and her Marxist-Leninist ideals.
Ivana’s martyrdom affected so many of us in so many ways. I remember first seeing her, with a mask round her face, in a video explaining why she had come to Kobanê in German, and seeing her dark hands and thinking how she was clearly different to the traditional German volunteers for Turkish revolutionary organisations.
Following her martyrdom, we learned just how different she was, from her mixed family background, to her LGBT identity, to her young age and deep dedication to the cause noted by her comrades and those who knew her.
Every nationally conscious Kurd I speak to knows her story by now. She is hailed as a hero by the Kurdish people, in spite of how very different she is. I have written a piece for English speakers on her significance which will emerge very soon. I can think of very little more to say that I didn’t say there, but I will say:
History is full of coincidences. It is an amazing coincidence that this brave young woman who inspired all of us would fall the day before International Working Women’s Day, fighting in the women’s battalions of the YPJ for a new February Revolution, when the original February Revolution was started by a women’s strike for International Working Women’s Day.
As we reach conditions close to a Third World War, we can only hope that new Februaries are close indeed. This is what Ivana Hoffmann fought for, and we must pick up her struggle.
Tomorrow, the fruit of a great deal of unity-struggle in Britain by followers of Ivana will be realised in the form of a new publication. Her struggle continues, and we must unite women, workers, and all the oppressed against the dark forces of fascism that cast a shadow from Syria to the United States.
Martyrs in this struggle don’t die, they live on in our every word.
Ivana Hoffmann lives on!