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Steven Hager: The Two Oswalds

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6 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:


"Classic Oswald"... a registered trademark? Ha! I like it.

Jim,

You make a good point, and I agree with you. The only reason I am assuming that Felde's story is a cover in my little analysis is because it allows me to consider the possibility that Oswald actually took secret Russian language classes  while in the Marines. If I were to accept Felde's story at face value, then I'd know that Oswald couldn't have taken secret classes and must have known the language prior to entering the Marine Corp. (Either that or he was some kind of language-learning genius.)

To be honest, I do believe Felde 's story is true. And because of that, I don't believe Oswald took secret Russian classes while in the Marines. And therefore Oswald must have known Russian before joining the Marines. In other words, I believe that Oswald was probably a Russian speaking immigrant. (And because of other evidence, I believe there was another Oswald who didn't speak Russian.)

That’s been pretty much my take on this for many years.  It may not be proof that Harvey Oswald was a Russian-speaking immigrant, but it strikes me as the most logical analysis of the evidence we’ve been given.  And it explains several anomalies beyond his comfort with the language even before the so-called “defection.”

For example, the white Russians in Dallas in 1962/63 were surprised by his fluency in their native tongue, although he had spent only two and a half years in the USSR, and had taken no known language courses.  Yet DeMohrenschildt pointed out that, despite the fact that he preferred to speak Russian over English, he made some grammatical mistakes in the Russian language.

Does that not seem entirely consistent with someone who learned Russian as a child and was then brought to America?  Marina said under oath that he was reading classic Russian novels in Russian when she met him.  I remember in high school that Dostoevski and Tolstoi were hard enough for me to read in English, and I had been formally studying English in an English-speaking environment for a decade and a half!  Marina and DeM were not the most reliable witnesses over the years, but how can we ignore their observations not directly related to Oswald’s guilt or innocence?

What has surprised me more than anything else about this, though, is the amount of vitriol that has been directed at this analysis, which strikes both of us as entirely possible and even probable.  Where does all that anger come from?  I’ve had an email address in little tiny letters up on the website for years, and you wouldn’t believe some of the hate mail I’ve received. 

Why?  

Edited by Jim Hargrove

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2 hours ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Marina said under oath that he was reading classic Russian novels in Russian when she met him.

Not sure why you keep presenting this as some sort of "proof" of his ability. Did she say to what extent he was reading them? No-he could have just been studying them for practice with only a marginal understanding.

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She said "he read a lot when he was in the Soviet Union," Tracy, and in Russian.

Mr. McDONALD. Did Lee read books often?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. Did he read a lot when he was in the Soviet
Union?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of books did he read there?
Mrs. PORTER. Novels mostly.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of novels?
Mrs. PORTER. What you call maybe as classical novels, some
Russian classic writers.
Mr. McDONALD. The novels or the books that he read in the
Soviet Union, were they in Russian?
Mrs. PORTER. They were in Russian ; yes.

There may be other reasons to distrust Marina's testimony, but not for any reason you're offering here.

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2 hours ago, Jim Hargrove said:

She said "he read a lot when he was in the Soviet Union," Tracy, and in Russian.

Mr. McDONALD. Did Lee read books often?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. Did he read a lot when he was in the Soviet
Union?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of books did he read there?
Mrs. PORTER. Novels mostly.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of novels?
Mrs. PORTER. What you call maybe as classical novels, some
Russian classic writers.
Mr. McDONALD. The novels or the books that he read in the
Soviet Union, were they in Russian?
Mrs. PORTER. They were in Russian ; yes.

There may be other reasons to distrust Marina's testimony, but not for any reason you're offering here.

I don't distrust her testimony at all. I am simply making the point that unless he the books aloud to her, she had no way to know his level of understanding of the material he was reading. 

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Really? ... once more, Tracy!

Mr. McDONALD. Did Lee read books often?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. Did he read a lot when he was in the Soviet
Union?
Mrs. PORTER. Yes.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of books did he read there?
Mrs. PORTER. Novels mostly.
Mr. McDONALD. What kind of novels?
Mrs. PORTER. What you call maybe as classical novels, some
Russian classic writers.
Mr. McDONALD. The novels or the books that he read in the
Soviet Union, were they in Russian?
Mrs. PORTER. They were in Russian ; yes.

Tracy--Do you think Marina was an idiot?

 

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