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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 266« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Richard Edward Snyder)

Mr. Coleman.
to be an interview which the Ambassador in Tokyo had with you immediately after the assassination in which you attempted to recall what happened on October 31, 1959, when Mr. Oswald appeared at the Embassy.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 909 for identification.)
Mr. Coleman.
I ask you if you can identify that telegram?
Mr. Snyder.
Might I just inject something? I notice in my reports, on my first interview with Oswald, that I mention the Petrulli case. You might at this time or later on wish to refer to the Petrulli case.
Mr. Dulles.
Mr. Chairman, this cable is very short and quite significant. I wonder if it could not be read into the record at this point, just for the continuity of the record.
Mr. Snyder.
There is a slight problem of classification on these, Mr. Dulles. I don’t know how public the records are.
Mr. Dulles.
Maybe you could paraphrase it, then. You mean it is a question of codes?
Mr. Snyder.
It is a question of code security; yes, sir.
The Chairman.
If this is in the record, it will be published.
Mr. Coleman.
Off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
The Chairman.
Back on the record.
Mr. Coleman.
Would you be kind enough to read Commission Exhibit No. 910 into the record?
Mr. Snyder.
In paraphrase?
The Chairman.
Paraphrase, yes; in your own way.
Representative Ford.
Of course keeping the intent of what was said precisely as it was sent.
Mr. Snyder.
Yes, sir.
A person appeared at the Embassy today, October 31, identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald, and stated that he had come to renounce his American citizenship. He was the bearer of U.S. passport No. 1733242, date of issuance September 10, 1959, which showed him to be unmarried and gave his age as 20, or which showed him to be 20--it gives his date of birth. Mr. Oswald stated that he had applied for Soviet citizenship in Moscow. He stated that he had entered the Soviet Union from Helsinki, Finland, on October 15. He said that he had contemplated this action for the previous 2 years. The main reason given was that “I am a Marxist.” he has a mother living at 4936 Collinwood Street, Fort Worth, Tex., which was also his last address.
His attitude was arrogant and aggressive. He stated that he had recently been discharged from the Marine Corps. He also volunteered the information that he had offered to the Soviet authorities any information which he had acquired as an enlisted radar operator in the Marines.
In view of the Petrulli case, the Embassy proposes to delay completing the renunciation procedure until the action of the Soviet authorities on his request for Soviet citizenship is known or the Department advises.
A dispatch follows.
The press has been informed.
The Chairman.
Would the Commissioners like to see the document itself?
Mr. Coleman.
Mr. Snyder, could you tell the Commission what the Petrulli case was?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes. The Petrulli case I remember quite well.
Mr. Petrulli was an American citizen who came into the Embassy some weeks before, I believe, asking to renounce his American citizenship. Mr. Petrulli hung around Moscow for quite some time, again a number of weeks, and perhaps as long as 3 weeks or a month. He had entered the Soviet Union as a tourist, I believe.
It is not clear what intent he had when he arrived.
But, at any rate, he did apply for Soviet citizenship while in Moscow, and he did come into the Embassy, and was interviewed by me to renounce his American citizenship. I did not, in accordance with the thinking which I outlined to you earlier--I did not accept his renunciation the first time he came in, but did
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