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Frieda Maria Truhar was born on August 4th 1911 in Pittsburgh to a Croatian immigrant couple of Catholic background who had become firm socialists, her father being a steel worker.
She and her brother attended a socialist Sunday school, control over which later went to the control of the Communist Party when the
Her parents were not in favour of the First World War and found themselves in trouble with the US authorities when Frieda was overheard reciting a poem as she walked home from school that was entitled "I did not raise my boy to be a soldier". He father was questioned under the recently passed Espionage Act. Despite this, Frieda recalls going out with her father in the dark to push English language anti-war leaflets through letter boxes.
Her mother was from peasant stock and the arrival of the Russian revolution held for her real joy. In old age, Frieda told a story about this normally reserved woman: “she was near tears as she lifted me high and then sat me on her lap to explain how `ordinary people like me and Papa have taken things into their own hands’. Six years old then, I did not understand, but I felt happy because she was so happy. The incident remains vividly in my memory.” Naturally, her parents joined the largely foreign immigrant Communist Party of
Frieda arrived in Britain with her husband Pat Devine, Senior, (see separate entry) in 1932 when he was deported from US. They went to Fife to carry out Party work, then
They went to
She also worked a courier, going mainly on clandestine trips to
On her return she worked at Party headquarters at
Sources: National archives, KV 2/1545; “A Personal View of the Early Left in