"They shall not pass" (French: "Ils ne passeront pas/On ne passe pas"; Spanish: "¡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 nationalist forces, Francisco Franco upon gaining Madrid, responded to this slogan with "Hemos pasado" ("We have passed").
"¡No pasarán!" (pronounced /nəw pazawr̩ aɳ/) 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.
The phrase was used again in December 2002 by Colonel Emmanuel Maurin, commanding a French Foreign Legion unit in the Ivory Coast; this did not have communist or radical 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 of the slogan being used in this era was the Bolton EDL rally.
In February 2011 "No pasarán!" was used by left demonstrators, which blockade a Nazi-march in Dresden.