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Martin Friedman

Biography

Friedman, Martin. (Lawrence, Martin; Lowery, Martin), b. November 24 (23), 1914, Trenton, New Jersey, New York National Guard, 258th Artillery Regiment, rank SGT, 1932-35, Single, Construction worker and Machinist, CP October 1936 and Spanish CP, received passport# 365438 on February 4, 1937 which listed his address as 2105 Daly Avenue, NYC and 41-15 50th Street, Woodside, Long Island, New York; and alternate from RA 7105 37th Avenue, Long Island, New York; Arrived in Spain on February 20, 1937, Served with the Artillery, 11th Regt., 2nd Group, 14th Battery (John Brown Battery), 155mm Guns, Returned to the US on February 9, 1939 aboard the Queen Mary, d. November 29, 1966. [RA lists several different dob]

Sources: SACB, Cadre, RA, ALBA 218 Martin (Marty) Friedman Papers, Ancestry.

 

 Biography

Martin Friedman was born into a working-class family in Trenton, New Jersey on November 24, 1914 to Morris and Rose Friedman. He came of age during the Depression in the Bronx, and was raised by his older sister Zelda after his mother's death. Following his graduation from a vocational high school in 1930, Friedman attended the Baron de Hirsch Trade School in New York, trained as a machinist, and found work in Pennsylvania and New York in machine shops and metal works. He became a member of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and from 1932 to 1935 was a volunteer in New York's 258th Field Artillery Unit of the United States National Guard. In February 1936, he joined the American League against War and Fascism and served as the Secretary of the Tremont Branch in the Bronx. Through his older sister Zelda and her husband Nat Baral, Friedman became active in the Communist Party and in November 1937 formally became a party member.

Motivated by anti-fascist sentiments, Friedman traveled to Spain to fight with the International Brigades to aid the Republican Army. He sailed for France in February 1937 and then made his way to Spain where he was initially assigned to an artillery unit in a French battalion, and by March was made sergeant of an American heavy artillery unit. He served in this capacity on the battlefront until the withdrawal of foreign volunteers from Spain in October 1938. Before departing Spain he spent time in Valencia and later Barcelona before returning to New York on the Queen Maryin February 1939.

Upon his return he resumed working as a machinist, and became active with the IAM as a labor organizer and shop steward. At a Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade dance in early 1941, Friedman met, and soon after married, Anne Naginsky. The couple had twin boys, Neil and Robert. Ineligible for military service during WWII (a blow to the head during a violent strike action left his vision impaired), Friedman worked at Todd Shipyards in New Jersey. In the years following the war Friedman organized Hispanic workers at Berger Industries and initiated a successful program of English language classes. Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, Friedman remained an active member of the Communist Party, working as an organizer and serving as an aide to chairman William Z. Foster; but in 1956, following the revelations of Stalinist atrocities, Friedman withdrew in disillusionment from the party.

Beginning in 1962, Friedman applied and was admitted to Queens College where he pursued studies in history and politics. Martin Friedman died in 1966 following a heart attack. He was 52 years old. - Biography courtesy of Tamiment Library. 

 

 

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Full Database Record

Last Name Friedman
First/Middle Name Martin
Ethnicity
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
Religion
POW
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
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DOB
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Education HS
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Prior Military Service
Passport #
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PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
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Vocation 1
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Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
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Arrival (in Spain) Date
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DOD
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Additional Notes ALT dob November 23, 1913, February 23, 1913. ALT Address 71-05 37th Avenue, Long Island, New York ------