Barbara Anna Kistler was born on November 21, 1955 in Zurich. Her parents were workers. She became interested in politics when she was 16 and began to organize groups and people who were critical of the ruling system. At age 17, she expressed solidarity with political prisoners. She also worked in various women’s groups. Her goal was to change the feminist ideas of women through Marxism-Leninism. She also worked with various anti-fascist groups. Her most important contact was to the Group Against Isolation (KGI), which was seeking to build a Communist Party in Switzerland. She also investigated the situation of communist movements in other countries. She was especially interested in movements in developing countries.
In 1980, she learned from revolutionaries from Turkey who had fled to Switzerland to escape the military coup. In the mid-1980s, she came into contact with sympathizers of the TKP/ML [Turkish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist]. This led her to study the program of the TKP/ML more closely. She then became dissatisfied with life in Switzerland, so she decided to go to Turkey and join the class struggle under the leadership of the TKP/ML.
On May 19, 1991, she was arrested in Istanbul together with her comrades. In front of the court of the fascist Turkish state, she defended herself with these words: “You have no right to condemn proletarian internationalism!” With these words, she condemned Turkish fascism. She was released on September 16 and returned to Switzerland. But she only remained there for one month and she went back to Turkey.
She decided to go to the mountains to join the armed struggle of TIKKO [Workers and Peasants Liberation Army of Turkey], the armed wing of the TKP/ML. In the year 1993 came the report that she had fallen. Comrade Barbara gave her life in the leading struggle of the proletariat against fascism, imperialism, feudalism, capitalism, and all forms of reaction. Her struggle is our struggle, and she will live on in our struggle.
Barbara Kistler is immortal!
New Democratic Youth – Yeni Demokratik Genclik (YDG)