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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. I - Page 134« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Marguerite Oswald)

Mrs. Oswald.
Mr. Rankin.
Did you talk to Marina, and did she speak English to you?
Mrs. Oswald.
Yes, she spoke English, Mr. Rankin. Like she would say--and we used the dictionary when she didn't understand.
She would say--I would say, "Marina, you now nurse your baby."
"Yes, Mama. The time."
Or "No time."
With motions--"no time, Mama."
She spoke English.
Mr. Rankin.
What I would like to find out for the Commission, if we can, in regard to speaking English, did you think she was able to talk English fluently, or did you think she was in the process of learning it?
Mrs. Oswald.
She was in the process of learning. But she understood more than she could talk.
And I have a letter from Lee stating that Marina also speaks and understands French, that she had learned at grammar school.
Mr. Rankin.
Did you know French?
Mrs. Oswald.
No, sir.
Mr. Rankin.
So you could not tell?
Mrs. Oswald.
I could not tell. And I didn't think a thing of it.
And, of course, Marina and Lee spoke Russian all the time, even in front of me.
And you asked about this time it was a very happy time. They would sit at the table. They were playing a game, and I said to Lee, ''What is it you are doing?"
Because they were always talking in Russian.
"Mother, we are playing a game which is similar to American tic-tac-toe."
And they also taught each other. They had books. They are both children--very intelligent and studious. Lee was teaching Marina English, and Marina was teaching him some things that he wanted to know about Russia, in my home.
Mr. Rankin.
Now, you were saying that he got this job at the Leslie Manufacturing Co.
Mrs. Oswald.
Yes, sir.
And then his first pay--he kept his first pay. And then the second pay. he rented the home on Mercedes Street, which is the south side, and approximately 10 blocks from where I lived at the Rotary Apartment, and approximately 10 blocks from where he was to work.
Lee had no car, and Lee walked to and back from work, which helped to save money.
Now, you must understand that this couple had no money, and had nothing. I gave them some dishes, and some silverware, and just a few little things that I could help out with.
But Lee did have the first week's pay.
And then the second week's pay. And he rented this home which was $59.50 a month. It was a nice little one-bedroom furnished duplex, in a nice neighborhood, convenient to his work.
But then that leaves the boy broke.
I brought food into the house. I never like to talk about the other members of the family, because to me that is speculation. But I know that Robert brought food, also, in the house. And they were not in want. Marina nursed June.
Now, it has been stated in the paper that the Russian friends have gone into the home and they are talking about this home, and found that they were in desperate straits, that there was no food in the house, and no milk for the baby.
I say Marina nursed the baby.
They may have walked into this home, where maybe they didn't have at that particular time any milk in the box. Maybe Lee was going to bring groceries home. But I know they were not in destitute circumstances in that respect.
They had no money and didn't have anything. I brought groceries, and I brought a roll of scotch toweling. I had bought two packs and I gave them one.
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