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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. I - Page 140« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Marguerite Oswald)

Mr. Rankin.
Did you ask Marina how she got the black eye or anything about it?
Mrs. Oswald.
Yes, in the bedroom. I was shocked.
"Mama-Lee." Just like that. So I went in the living room and I said, "Lee, what do you mean by striking Marina?"
He said, "Mother, that is our affair."
And so that ended. I wasn't going to interfere any further.
Now, this has been publicly stated by the Russian friends, that he beat his wife. I don't know if he did beat his wife. I happened to see the black eye. I know that he hit her. and gave her a black eye. Marina said so, and my son has said so. But how many times does this happen, I don't know.
But I am trying to point out that I don't approve of it. But I am trying to point out that everything is not according to Hoyle, as we say in our American way of life.
Mr. Rankin.
Is there any other time that you recall that you saw that she had bruises or a black eye?
Mrs. Oswald.
No, sir; that is the only time.
And then the children moved to Dallas.
Now, this will end that part of the story.
I have accepted and I have the public papers, in 1959, when Lee went to Russia--I made a statement that as an individual I thought he had a right to make up his own mind in the decision to do what he wanted. I am of that nature, because, gentlemen,' today or tomorrow I may decide to go to Russia, I will go. We are taught that in America, that we have the right to do what we want as an individual. So I publicly stated in 1959 that Lee had a right, if he wanted to live in that country. And I think it was courage that he did so, instead of staying in America and talking about America, and living here and downing his country. It took courage to go and live where he wanted to live.
I was criticized highly for making that statement. And it is published in 1959--as far back as that.
So I will get back now to when the children left.
They did not tell me they had left.
So I accepted the fact that my son Lee did not want me to know that he was in Dallas.
Why I accepted the fact is because of Lee's so-called defection.
I have had it very hard, Mr. Rankin, and gentlemen--I have lost jobs, I was in a position, if I was in a home and television was on, and something political was on television, and the people commented, I felt it was necessary to keep quiet, because of it. Because of the defection I thought if I would express my views they might think I was a Communist like my son was supposed to be. And in many a home I have been in--after three or four days they would tell me my services were not needed.
I cannot say, sure it was because of Lee's defection. However, I feel sure that it is, because I am a respected person, and a very good nurse, as has been stated in the paper. And my jobs were gotten from word of mouth.
But you must understand that 1 deal with a lot of people. So naturally it is natural that some of them would feel resentful against me because of my son defecting to Russia and presumably being a Communist.
Mr. Rankin.
Did you ever find out where Marina was that day that you tried to locate her?
Mrs. Oswald.
No, sir, no sir, that ended that.
So I respected my son's wish, since he didn't want to tell me where he was in Dallas, that I would accept that fact.
Now, gentlemen, this may seem hard that I accept these things. But it is not. I am self-supporting. I have a life of my own. And if Lee decides that that is the way he wants it, I am not going to grieve and worry about it. I have to get my sleep in order to work. I have the ability of accepting things, the ability granted me by the grace of God, because of my difficulty in life. I have been a widow. I have had many, many obstacles, and I have had to face them. And my faith gets stronger. I do accept things.
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