Tamara “Tania” Bunke (circled, and in inset, above) was a many-faceted, multi-talented young woman. Fluent in at least three languages, she worked as a translator/interpreter in pre-unification East Germany, Cuba, and Argentina. She was also an intelligence agent and a dedicated Communist…and in the end, a guerrilla who died fighting the CIA-backed Barrientos dictatorship in Bolivia. Her remains were initially buried in Vallegrande, Bolivia, but were later repatriated to Cuba, where they lie in the same Santa Clara mausoleum as those of her famous comrade, Che Guevara, also in the picture. Her memory, however, remains very much alive everywhere she went, both in Cuba and in present-day Germany:
Hans Modrow, honorary president of the German party, Die Linke (The Left), presented the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) yesterday with several belongings of Tamara Bunke Bider (a.k.a. Tania the Guerrilla), who fought alongside Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Bolivia.
Among the possessions are a uniform shirt and pants, a note pad, a school notebook, photographs and letters. Modrow made the presentation in representation of Cubasí, a German organization in solidarity with the island, which kept the objects until now.
Nadia Bunke, Tania’s mother, treasured the belongings until her death. Later, they were given to Cubasí.
“We will work to keep Tania’s memory alive,” said Modrow. He added that she left her mark in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), through her work in various leftist organizations.
Carolina Aguilar, an Argentine member of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), recounted moments from Tania’s life, from her birth in Argentina on November 19, 1937, until her murder in Bolivia on August 31, 1967, emphasizing her time in Cuba when both women were members of the Institute of Argentine-Cuban Friendship, which offered aid to the nascent revolution directed by Fidel Castro.
Aguilar said that Tania became a heroine and an example to young Latin American and Caribbean women.
Kenia Serrano, president of ICAP, announced the creation of the Tamara Bunke Bider Club of Voluntary Translators, in honor of this woman who worked as an interpreter of languages such as Russian, German and Spanish at various world events.
Later, Serrano presented Modrow with a portrait of Tamara by the Cuban painters Dausel Valdés Piñeiro and Abel Morejón Gala.
Honor and dignity to the memory of Tania the Guerrilla!