American Mother Cries over Son Held Prisoner by Franco

July 27, 2016

Photo taken from a great article by Chris Brooks, which tells more of Freed’s fate:

La Prensa was a Spanish language daily that thoroughly covered the Spanish Civil War, including occasional stories, like the heartbreaking one translated here, about the Lincolns.

Spanish-language journalism in the US is a largely untapped source for the study of American involvement in the Spanish Civil War.

Tuesday, October 19, 1937


He was part of the Lincoln Battalion and was captured while fighting against the insurgents

Mrs. Mary Freed is suffering desperately because she has no news of her son.

The lack of news from Spain makes her frantic, and from the start of every day, at her home at 601 West 112th St, she anxiously awaits something from her son Edward, who was captured by the Rebels while he fought alongside the Abraham Lincoln Battalion.

“I just want to know if he is dead”, sobs this poor mother.  “I would feel better knowing something for sure, instead of being stuck in this uncertainty.”

While the mother, whose gray hear has turned white because of the suffering, sobs all day, her daughter Grace, 24 years old, still hopes to that Edward will be freed, if he is alive. She is encouraged by the insurgent General Franco’s weakness for photos of pretty girls.

Grace, who is blonde and beautiful, plans on sending her photo to Franco, beseeching Edward’s release.  The wife of US aviator Harold E. Dahl used this method to obtain the release of her husband, and Grace thinks she can do the same with a photo taken by her father, who is a photographer.

But the mother has little hope.

“Edward graduated from the University of Syracuse,” she said, “and he went to Paris last December to study art.

“I don’t understand what influences took hold of the boy.  The next thing I know was in February, and he was in a Spanish hospital.  I don’t know how he could have joined the Loyalist forces.  He had never shown any political inclinations.

“Then I didn’t hear anything about him until I got official word that he had been captured in Morato.”

Mrs. Freed appealed to the Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, asking for help in locating her son.  He responded saying that he was trying to get news from the American consuls in Spain.