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

(Testimony of Mrs. Helen P. Cunningham)

Mrs. Cunningham.
schools of the city and I went from there to the St. Louis metropolitan office in the spring of 1940, I think.
Mr. Jenner.
Was that the OPA?
Mrs. Cunningham.
No; that was the War Manpower Commission--really during the war period. You know, we moved from State to Federal and then back to State---it was much easier going in than coming out--with the stroke of a pen--we were in.
I moved with that agency, I guess, from interviewer to labor market analyst for that metropolitan area and then I taught awhile. There may have been a period where I was not employed, because Mr. Cunningham and I have had heavy family responsibilities on the other end of life from 1940 to the death of his mother this past Christmas at 89, the same as Churchill, and in 1951, we came down here.
I have basically worked for A. Harris as an accounting clerk. In 1957 I had qualified under the Texas law and had taken the examinations, and in August 1957--I was employed by the Texas Employment Commission as an interviewer of some variety.
Mr. Jenner.
And you have been at it ever since?
Mrs. Cunningham.
Mr. Jenner.
Mrs. Cunningham, does anything occur to you that you think might be helpful to the Commission in these areas about which I have inquired of you which, due to my lack of knowledge of the facts or for any other reason I have not brought out, that you would like to volunteer and which you regard as pertinent to our investigation?
Mrs. Cunningham.
I've never really been into the investigation--of course, have never been into any kind which was of such gave importance as this, sir. I couldn't really make a judgment of what would be important to you.
Mr. Jenner.
Well, I don't want you to try to make a judgment as to what would be important--all I said, is there anything you think is pertinent?
Mrs. Cunningham.
Yes. I would like to say this: As I said to the gentlemen from the FBI who called me.
I have not been close to the Mellers recently. You see, this acquaintance came through our both working for A. Harris.
Mr. Jenner.
For whom?
Mrs. Cunningham.
A. Harris & Co.
Mr. Jenner.
What business is A. Harris?
Mrs. Cunningham.
A retail trade it is now Sanger-Harris, one of the major department stores here, but I have no reason to believe otherwise that the Mellers were good citizens and very grateful for American democracy.
I rather suspect that the records show that I was a sponsor of Mr. Meller for his citizenship, and I think, having been one made me value my own greater, because I came down and sat in the courtroom and saw what it meant to in-coming people.
I also recounted to him that one time when we were playing tennis--Mr. Meller came to the court, and he said, "I have a letter I want to show you," in a state of excitement, and I said, "You have?" And he got it out and it was from the U.S. Department of State, saying "You registered as an alien" at such and such address. "We have a request from Australia of a sister or a woman who purports to be your sister, and she is asking for your address. Do we have your permission to give it to her?
And then Teofil said, "Nowhere else in the world would any Government be this considerate of me. I am only an alien."
Now, I haven't seen him because our paths haven't crossed very much in the recent years, but I think that that incident sticks with me because, again, I'm a stick in the mud--I have been in Missouri and I have been to Texas, and I just have to get some experience by reading and by studying and by talking with people, and other experiences, but when I worked at A. Harris, I talked with. some-of the displaced people who had been through World War II and through the horrors of that period and it was a broadening of my own experience. There was some gaining of some firsthand knowledge of the Jewish people and their history. I read some in the area. I helped them a bit with their use of
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