Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Revolutionary Of The Week

Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider/AKA "Tania" (1937-1967)

Tania was born in Argentina, Novemeber 19, 1937 to the parents of German communists. Her parents had fled to Argentina from Germany in the 1930's to escape the Nazi's.
In 1952, the family moved to East Germany. At the age of 18, Tania was accepted into the ranks of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
During the 1950's, she studied political science, after graduating she began to work for the East German Ministry of State Security, where she took several espionage missions.
Very committed to the Communist cause, she traveled through Europe & South America under several aliases, posing as a student.
In 1960, East Germany, she met Che Guevara. He was visiting with a Cuban trade delegation & Tania, then known as Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider, worked as an interpreter. Inspired by the Cuban Revolution, she came to Cuba in 1961 to join the guerrillas.
While in Cuba she participated in work brigades, the militia, & the literacy campaign, working in the Ministry of Education. She also traveled with Che throughout Latin America. It was then she took on the guerrilla name, "Tania".
In Novemeber 1964, she traveled to Bolivia as a secret agent for Che's last campaign. She gathered information about Bolivian high society while working as a teacher.
In 1966 she joined Che Guevara's group of Bolivian guerrillas, & on August 31st, 1967 at Vado del Yeso, Bolivian soldiers ambushed the group while they were crossing the Rio Grande. Tania was killed, along with 8 other guerrilla soldiers, Che was later captured & killed as well. Her body was swept away by the river, & Bolivian soldiers found it on September 6th, & she was buried the next day, close to her fellow comrades.
Her remains were tracked down, & transfered to Cuba, where she was reburied & lays to rest alonside her comrades, just like she wished.
Tania's dedication to the Cuban Revolution became an inspiration to others. She was very intelligent, & one of the most successful agents in Latin America. She was trusted enough to pave the way for Che Guevara & his guerrilla group to enter Bolivia. Once her cover was blown, she made the brave decision to join ranks with the group, fighting side by side with her male guerrillas, gun in hand, for what she believed in.
Tania was only 30 years old at the time of her death.