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Alex Ziger


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Lee,

Thanks for that link. It sounds to me like Oswald is speaking with some kind of slight foreign accent. Which would fit with Armstrong's theory that Oswald (that is, the one who went to Russia and back) was a Russian-speaking eastern European immigrant.

Ron

_________________________________________

Lee and Ron,

IMHO, he's speaking (or at least trying to speak) with a "proper," upper-class, British accent.

Factoid: When I was living in the Czech Republic, I noticed that students of English in Central and Eastern Europe (and Western Europe, too, as far as I know) are taught British English (vocabulary, grammar, and dialect ), as are/were their teachers, as were THEIR teachers...... After all, it does make sense... England being so much closer to Central and Eastern Europe than Amerika...

I believe Armstrong's theory is that the Oswald who went to Russia and back was a Russian-speaking immigrant from Hungary. Perhaps that "Oswald" had been taught British English in school in Hungary before immigrating to the U.S. and/or had learned British English from his (Hungarian) parents?

FWIW, Thomas :ice

_________________________________________

Does anyone know offhand "when exactly" Alexander Ziger left Russia, after Lee Oswald returned to the United States with Marina?

When someone eventually becomes interested in the relationship between Lee Oswald and the Ziger family, undoubtedly they will discover, what some might call "the language thing."

Point being, on this side of the Atlantic the individuals very familiar with Lee Harvey Oswald will expound at length on his training in Russian,.......his ability to speak Russian quite well.....But, when Oswald is around the Ziger's all of a sudden it is the inverse, he does not speak Russian, or if he did, it's not on the record.

When John Armstrong wrote Harvey and Lee, he added a few passages on page 288 referencing the Ziger's and the issue of Oswald's language insofar as it pertained to KGB audio and personal surveilance, or bug's and acquaintances, if you will...... "Many researchers, including myself assumed that Oswald spoke near perfect Russian while in Russia. This assumption was based on statements by Oswald's widow Marina, who said that he spoke Russian with a Baltic accident when she met him at a dance in March, 1961 in Minsk....

Later, on the same page....."It is also clear that after he arrived in the Soviet Union, he dared not let anyone know that he spoke Russian, especially the people with whom he spent most of the time, the Zigers, who he probably assumed were reporting to the KGB"........

So, in 2007 the seekers of the truth, have Oswald' Ghost by Norman Mailer, documents which have been de-classified pertaining to LHO, Marina, the Ziger family, the various defector's, [particularly Robert Webster, whom met Marina back when she was still Marina Prusakova] as sources of information regarding Oswald in Russia, and activities concerning same. Hal Verb wrote a fine piece regarding this aspect of the Marina/Webster/Oswald triumvirate in the article Priscilla Johnson: Witness for the Prosecution.

In 1964, during the Warren Commission Hearings, Isaac Don Levine told Allen Dulles:

"I ascribe utmost importance to the whole matter of these Argentines. The two girls [the daughters of Alexander Ziger]. They were in Minsk, but Marina has address of relative in the United States. Marina and LEE OSWALD smuggled out a letter or a manuscript for the Argentine family with them when they came...It was not clear whether it was he or she who smuggled it. I was surprised and asked her how did LEE take out something like that? Well, the implication was rather nice -- that he was warm-hearted -- that he was kind. They [the Ziger's] were stuck and it had to do with a communication to one relative in the United States and others in Argentina. To try to get those two girls out and never had a word. The old folks had given up their Argentine citizenship, but the girls were born in Argentina and claimed that by right as their citizenship. Mr. Dulles, if their [emigration] could be arranged, it would be worthwhile. The Soviet Union is not going to hold two Argentine citizens even though they were friends of OSWALD'S. They are not quite that smart"

Allen Dulles replied it was a matter of finding the right contacts, possibly the Argentine Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and having him intervene. Isaac Don Levine wanted Allen Dulles to have the CIA contact the Argentines "to set the machinery in motion." Isaac Don Levine would later become a director of the CIA proprietary, Radio Liberty, in 1970.

But back to the post assassination period......

ISAAC DON LEVINE AND MARINA OSWALD

Isaac Don Levine contacted Marina Oswald regarding their collaborating on a book. The FBI reported: "James Hunt, CIA, furnished the following information to the Liaison Agent on March 27, 1964. Isaac Don Levine has been collecting material for a book concerning OSWALD. This book is scheduled to be published in April 1964. Levine allegedly has spent considerable time with the widow of the Subject. Hunt explained that the CIA's source for this information was Hede Massing, who is known to the Bureau. Massing has been in contact with Levine." [FBI 105-82555-2184]

Isaac Don Levine was also "in contact" with Ruth Paine as well.

An FBI memorandum by James P. Hosty and Bardwell Odum dated 04/01/64

stated the following.......

Mrs. Ruth Paine, 2515 W. 5th Street, Irving, Texas was contacted concerning four personal letters she had recieved from Marina Oswald while Marina Oswald was residing in New Orleans, and the two personal letters notes she had recieved from Marina Oswald while she was residing in Dallas, Texas. Mrs Paine again stated these letters and notes, which were written in the Russian language were mostly personal in nature, dealing with Marina Oswald's marriage problems and Mrs. Ruth Paine's marriage problems. They also dealt with the possibility that Marina Oswald would have to return to the Soviet Union.

Mrs. Paine advised she had previously refused to furnish these letters to the FBI because they were personal in nature and that previous information she had furnished to the FBI had been 'leaked' to the press.

Mrs. Paine stated that several weeks ago Isaac Don Levine contacted her at which time she let Levine look at these letters and notes. He did not take notes from these letters and notes, nor did he copy these letters and notes, merely reading them hurriedly and then returning them to Mrs. Paine........

It would be worth mentioning that IMO the same dynamic of revealing sources and methods, as an excuse to not explore proverbial 'smoking gun's was used with great success in not running down leads that would also have resolved the "unresolved questions" regarding the Kennedy Assassination. But IF there had been a conspiracy, which included members of the U.S. Government, those individuals would have known that from the beginning,

Would they not?

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The most interesting thing that Ana Ziger told Armstrong is that Oswald did not know the Russian language. Everything had to be translated for him. (Presumably an act on Oswald's part so the Russians wouldn't suspect him of being a language-trained spy.)

Guess he didn't know English too well either - this does not strike me as a NYC, New Orleans, or Dallas accent, either. Very odd.

http://www.russianbooks.org/oswald/tapes.htm

- lee

"Oswald," speaking on this tape, in my opinion, is not an American. That is not an American accent that I know. I agree with the person who said it sounded like a foreign accent with a British edge to it. Really odd. According to John Armstrong, Harvey was the Oswald in Russia. It just doesn't seem like that's Harvey, shot by Ruby, speaking on the tape.

In one of my writer's workshops (I'm a novelist) there is a Serbian man, very well-steeped in Hungarian. He's a tremendous writer and he has an accent. But it is not similar to the accent Oswald had on that tape. Think of Bela Lugosi speaking. He was Hungarian, who learned English in America. His accent is quite different to LHO's accent on this Russian tape.

As far as that short Oswald goes, maybe that's a picture taken before LHO reached puberty. I don't recall when someone said it was taken.

FWIW.

Kathy

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  • 6 months later...
Bill,

I can't remember off-hand where I read this but Ziger working for an American company may have been a translation misunderstanding. It might have meant 'American Committees' aka Office of Inter-American Affairs.

FWIW.

James

Edited to correct error of fact

James,

no translation was necessary. It comes from Oswald's diary in which he uses a lot of abbreviations. Here, the confusion is from LHO noting Ziger worked for Amer. Com. It is unlikely to mean Office of Inter-American Affairs (imo) as this came into being in 1940 and was abolished in '45 or '46. Ziger left Argentina in 1956. He had arrived in that country in '38.

As far as his job in Argentina goes, I'd be looking at what US companies operated there and did similar research and development as the Experimental Shop in Minsk.

Edited by Greg Parker
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The most interesting thing that Ana Ziger told Armstrong is that Oswald did not know the Russian language. Everything had to be translated for him. (Presumably an act on Oswald's part so the Russians wouldn't suspect him of being a language-trained spy.)
When someone eventually becomes interested in the relationship between Lee Oswald and the Ziger family, undoubtedly they will discover, what some might call "the language thing."

Point being, on this side of the Atlantic the individuals very familiar with Lee Harvey Oswald will expound at length on his training in Russian,.......his ability to speak Russian quite well.....But, when Oswald is around the Ziger's all of a sudden it is the inverse, he does not speak Russian, or if he did, it's not on the record.

....When John Armstrong wrote Harvey and Lee, he added a few passages on page 288 referencing the Ziger's and the issue of Oswald's language insofar as it pertained to KGB audio and personal surveillance, or bug's and acquaintances, if you will......

This passage from Harvey & Lee expands just a little on the comments of Ron and Robert:

In 1998, I travelled to Buenos Aires with my good friend, Eduardo Zuleta, to meet and interview Ana Evelina Ziger. In her apartment Ana Evelina freely discussed her memories of Oswald and showed us a few black and white photographs that she had managed to keep from Russia.

Ana explained that her hobby in Russia was photography, and that she had developed near all of the black and white film and photographs that Oswald took in Russia. Following the assassination many of these photographs were found among Oswald's possessions by the Dallas Police and are now located in the National Archives.

Note: Ana said that she developed and kept dozens of photographs of Oswald. After the assassination, she and her family, fearing possible reprisal from the KGB, destroyed most of the photographs.

Ana recalled, "Oswald was not an affectionate person, was not open, and did not express himself. One time he told us that he had no relatives - no mother, no father, no brothers, no sisters. Another time he said he had a brother and sister. Years later, after the assassination, we learned about his mother in Texas, but we never knew much about his (personal) life.

According to Ana, the main reason her family was never able to learn much about Oswald was
his unwillingness to learn or speak Russian.
After hearing Ana's comment I was confused, and asked her how well Oswald spoke Russian while she knew him in Minsk. Ana replied without hesitating,
"he didn't speak any Russian."

I wanted to be sure that I understood her answer and said, "Ana, you knew Oswald from the time he arrived in Minsk until the day he and Marina left for the United States. You and your parents accompanied them to the train station and took photographs (published in the Warren Volumes). During this time he never spoke any Russian, even up to the day he left Minsjk?" Ana, once again, replied, "No - not a word. My father always interpreted for him - he was the only one in our family that spoke English."

At first Ana's statement made no sense. A year earlier Harvey Oswald took a Russian language test and showed off his Russian speaking ability to fellow Marines and to Rosaleen Quinn, the Russian speaking airline stewardess with whom he had a date. Only six months prior to his arrival in Minsk, Oswald subscribed to Russian newspapers, listened to Russian records, and was nicknamed "Oswaldovich" by fellow Marinews at MACS 9 in California. Two months after being discharged from the Marines, Oswald was admitted to the Botkinskaya Hospital in Moscow (October 1959) after his attempted "suicide." The doctors who examined him noted, "The patient apparently understands the questions asked in Russian. Sometimes he answers correctly,
but immediately states that he does not understand what he was asked."

It is clear that Oswald understood and spoke Russian prior to his arrival in Moscow, although the extent of his proficiency remains unknown. It is also clear that after he arrived in the Soviet Union, he dared not let anyone know that he spoke Russian, especially the people with whom he spent the most time, the Zigers, who he probably assumed were reporting to the KGB.

A short time after meeting the Zigers, Oswald confided to them that he felt he was being spied on. He told Elenora that hidden microphones had been placed in his apartment and he thought his conversations were being tape recorded. Eleanora said, "When I visited his apartment for tea he showed me the hidden "bugs." We had lived in Russia for quite a while and were aware of those things. But Oswald thought it was very strange."

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Can someone please explain how communication was achieved if the Ziger sisters spoke no English and Oswald (when with them) spoke no Russian?

Did they communicate in German or Spanish?

Did the communicate in sign language?

Write notes ala Pic & Marina?

Always have an interpreter on hand (Old Man Ziger?)

just curious

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Guess he didn't know English too well either - this does not strike me as a NYC, New Orleans, or Dallas accent, either. Very odd.

http://www.russianbooks.org/oswald/tapes.htm

- lee

Lee, there's a longer version of this, easily found on the web, which has Oswald speaking in his normal American accent as well as his rather poor imitation of an upper class English accent on the same tape. The longer version makes it more obvlious, IMO, that Oswald is just fooling around. Its been suggested by some that this recording is really "Oswald" being taught how to speak English, if this was true I dont belive his KGB "teacher" would have handed the tapes over. Just my opinion. Denis.

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Bill,

I can't remember off-hand where I read this but Ziger working for an American company may have been a translation misunderstanding. It might have meant 'American Committees' aka Office of Inter-American Affairs.

FWIW.

James

Some good stuff on the Ziger's, some of it from Oswald's own diary. If Oswald meant "company" rather than "committee" wouldn't the abbreviation be comp ?

THE ZIGERS

"January 12, 1960 I vist Minsk Radio Factory where I shall work. There I meet Argentinian immigrant Alexander Zeger. Born a Polish Jew. immi to Argen. in 1933 and back to Polish homeland (now part of Belo.) in 1955. Speaks English with Amer. accent he worked for Amer. Com. in Argen. He is Head of a Dept. A quialified engenien. in late 40's, mild mannered, likable. He seems to want to tell me somet. I show him my tempor. docu. and say soon I shall have Russ. citiz."

In 1938 Alexander Ziger emigrated from Poland to Argentina where he worked for an American company. This is assuming that "Amer. Com. in Argen" stands for "American Company." (Another possible interpretation is "American Committee." The Office of Inter-American Affairs was known in South America as the "American Committees.") Alexander Ziger returned to Poland in 1956 "homesick for his native land and taken in by their propaganda." The CIA stated: "Available records show that the ship Salta, when leaving Buenos Aires, Argentina, for Odessa, USSR, on July 1, 1956, carried repatriates back to the Soviet Union. Among them were Alexander Ziger, Soviet, age 44, engineer. Ana Ziger, Soviet, age 46...A report of 1957 refers to Alejandro Ziger, a Pole, and radio-telephonic expert, 44 years old, married to Ana Dmitruk, a Pole, 47 years old." [Draft of 518-219] The Zigers native land was by then part of the USSR. The Zigers ended up living in Minsk. In 1957 Ziger applied for an exit visa at the Argentine Embassy, Moscow. He was refused. OSWALD wrote: "...In Minsk the capital of belorussia the ministry of Interia [inertia?] became responsible in 1960 for determining the eligibility of aplicants for hard to get exit visas too leave the USSR formaly the official progrative of Moscow alone but now that this state ministry in Moscow has "withered away" it becomes all the more difficule to get an exit visa since now one had to go to the area, city and republican state capital commites of beaurocrats and on top of all that a last finial O.K. has to come from increadibly the Moscow ministry of foreign affairs!!" [WCE 25 p10]

The CIA identified Alexander Ziger's friend Anatoliy as Anatol Kholodov, after the Warren Report was released. A check of unspecified Agency files on November 18, 1964, revealed "no identifiable information on Kholodov."

The Warren Commission believed the Zigers were susceptible to persecution because of their association with OSWALD. Like Rimma Sherakova, the name "Ziger" was changed when Life Magazine printed excerpts from OSWALD'S Historic Diary. Dr. Alfred Goldberg, who wrote much of the Warren Report, "indicated that some of OSWALD'S references to the Zigers had been toned down to protect them." In 1977, Alexander Ziger lived in Minsk. Alexander Ziger died in the early 1990's possibly in Israel. [slawson: Rankin with I.D. Levine-Transmittal 2-6.2.64, transcript pp. 14-16; WC Inventory & Evidence 3-6 Slawson; WC Rankin Memo 10.6.64; CIA 947-927; Conversation with telephone operator, Minsk, USSR]

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  • 1 year later...
Bill,

I can't remember off-hand where I read this but Ziger working for an American company may have been a translation misunderstanding. It might have meant 'American Committees' aka Office of Inter-American Affairs.

FWIW.

James

Some good stuff on the Ziger's, some of it from Oswald's own diary. If Oswald meant "company" rather than "committee" wouldn't the abbreviation be comp ?

THE ZIGERS

"January 12, 1960 I vist Minsk Radio Factory where I shall work. There I meet Argentinian immigrant Alexander Zeger. Born a Polish Jew. immi to Argen. in 1933 and back to Polish homeland (now part of Belo.) in 1955. Speaks English with Amer. accent he worked for Amer. Com. in Argen. He is Head of a Dept. A quialified engenien. in late 40's, mild mannered, likable. He seems to want to tell me somet. I show him my tempor. docu. and say soon I shall have Russ. citiz."

In 1938 Alexander Ziger emigrated from Poland to Argentina where he worked for an American company. This is assuming that "Amer. Com. in Argen" stands for "American Company." (Another possible interpretation is "American Committee." The Office of Inter-American Affairs was known in South America as the "American Committees.") Alexander Ziger returned to Poland in 1956 "homesick for his native land and taken in by their propaganda." The CIA stated: "Available records show that the ship Salta, when leaving Buenos Aires, Argentina, for Odessa, USSR, on July 1, 1956, carried repatriates back to the Soviet Union. Among them were Alexander Ziger, Soviet, age 44, engineer. Ana Ziger, Soviet, age 46...A report of 1957 refers to Alejandro Ziger, a Pole, and radio-telephonic expert, 44 years old, married to Ana Dmitruk, a Pole, 47 years old." [Draft of 518-219] The Zigers native land was by then part of the USSR. The Zigers ended up living in Minsk. In 1957 Ziger applied for an exit visa at the Argentine Embassy, Moscow. He was refused. OSWALD wrote: "...In Minsk the capital of belorussia the ministry of Interia [inertia?] became responsible in 1960 for determining the eligibility of aplicants for hard to get exit visas too leave the USSR formaly the official progrative of Moscow alone but now that this state ministry in Moscow has "withered away" it becomes all the more difficule to get an exit visa since now one had to go to the area, city and republican state capital commites of beaurocrats and on top of all that a last finial O.K. has to come from increadibly the Moscow ministry of foreign affairs!!" [WCE 25 p10]

The CIA identified Alexander Ziger's friend Anatoliy as Anatol Kholodov, after the Warren Report was released. A check of unspecified Agency files on November 18, 1964, revealed "no identifiable information on Kholodov."

The Warren Commission believed the Zigers were susceptible to persecution because of their association with OSWALD. Like Rimma Sherakova, the name "Ziger" was changed when Life Magazine printed excerpts from OSWALD'S Historic Diary. Dr. Alfred Goldberg, who wrote much of the Warren Report, "indicated that some of OSWALD'S references to the Zigers had been toned down to protect them." In 1977, Alexander Ziger lived in Minsk. Alexander Ziger died in the early 1990's possibly in Israel. [slawson: Rankin with I.D. Levine-Transmittal 2-6.2.64, transcript pp. 14-16; WC Inventory & Evidence 3-6 Slawson; WC Rankin Memo 10.6.64; CIA 947-927; Conversation with telephone operator, Minsk, USSR]

Then there is also this....

ZEGER, (FNU) (LT.)

Sources: CIA Box 12, Folder 53 (MMF 1409-1411)

Mary's

Comments: "Soviet Intel Service in Austria. ZEGER, fnu, Lt. CIC, Apr '50 CCG Aug '50. B. approx 1908; Russian. 5' 7" dark, partially grey hair, very quiet ardent Communist, well educated, especially in literature. Speaks some German with Jewish accent: hobby chess; permanent residence in the Caucasus. RIS agent. Last known location: Aug '50 Vienna. Soviet officer at Quadripartite Telephone Censorship Station. Recruited FRUENWIRTH, Otto, as an RIS informant."

Normally, I would never post this, for the obvious reason that Zeger and Zieger are two different names, but in this case, I would bet that the Zeger listing is quite possibly, or even probably a person of the same Zieger family that Oswald visited a great deal with while he was in Russia.....

Edited by Robert Howard
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Thanks for reviving this Robert.

Has anyone ever translated the Spanish language interivew with the Ziger daughter in South America?

John Armstrong apparently has a translantion but hasn't sharred the entire article.

I've sent a Spanish language version to a member of this forum who teaches Spanish-English but have yet to hear back about it.

Why is it so difficult to get an English translation of the Spanish article, is there something in there that is significant or is just a waste of time?

And I don't think Alex Ziger worked for an "American Committie," but an American Company in Argentina before immigrating to USSR, Minskk and would like to know what that American Company was.

BK

BK

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  • 2 years later...

I just posted a message about John's materials on the Zigers. It failed to appear on the thread. Why?

Jack

Well, this appeared. What the lost message said was that John's materials on the Zigers in his Baylor

collection is in Box 16, Notebook 1 ONLINE.

Edited by Jack White
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I just posted a message about John's materials on the Zigers. It failed to appear on the thread. Why?

Jack

Well, this appeared. What the lost message said was that John's materials on the Zigers in his Baylor

collection is in Box 16, Notebook 1 ONLINE.

thanks for the information, Jack, best b;)

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