Odena, Lina (1911–1936)

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Odena, Lina (1911–1936)

Spanish Communist whose suicide when captured by the Nationalists made her a Spanish Republican martyr during the Civil War. Name variations: Catalina Odena. Born Catalina Odena in Barcelona, Spain, in 1911; died in 1936.

Born in Barcelona in 1911, Lina Odena joined the Communist Youth and became one of its leaders. She briefly visited the Soviet Union for training and indoctrination and then returned to Spain. Odena served as secretary-general of Catalonia's Communist Youth and later held a position on the national organization's secretariat.

When the Civil War broke out in July 1936, she joined government forces that put down an attempted military rising in Almería on July 20. In the following days, she worked as a reporter for the Mundo Obrero. Traveling through the province of Granada, Odena became lost and was seized by a detachment of Falangist troops. Before they completely understood the prize they had captured, Odena took out a pistol and shot herself in the head. Her suicide made Odena a Republican and Communist heroine. The government named a military unit and the center of the Unified Socialist Youths in Barcelona in her name.


Estivill, Angel. Lina Odena, la gran heroína de las juventudes revolucionarias de España. Barcelona: Maucci, 1936.

Kahn, Evelyn. Lina Odena: heroina del pueblo. Madrid: Ediciones Europa-América, 1936.

Kendall W. W. , Professor of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah