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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VIII - Page 325« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Martin Isaacs)

Mr. Isaacs.
the Welfare Center. If I recollect correctly, I think the Travelers Aid Society sent them here. I am not positive about this.
My worker, Mr. Lehrman, as I remember, was not available at the time to go in and see the family. I believe he was in the field at the time. He is a social investigator in the Department of Welfare. I went in to ascertain whether I could expedite getting the information that would be needed to help this family return to Texas.
Mr. Liebeler.
You had been informed at that time that they desired to return to Texas?
Mr. Isaacs.
Yes; the intake worker, I can't remember who it was at the moment--I am sorry, I don't remember the name of the worker who handled the family inside of our intake told us that this family was in the office, and I think we obtained sufficient information at the time to make a clearance to determine whether the family is actually a repatriated family.
In many instances people come to us and tell us that they were repatriated when in effect they weren't. They are, in other words, sent here incorrectly to our office. When we clear, we find out that they are not repatriates, and so they must be handled in a different manner.
Mr. Liebeler.
When you say "repatriates," what do you mean, sir?
Mr. Isaacs.
A repatriate is one who is a United States citizen, who was living abroad and finds himself, either because of economic circumstances or because of ill health unable to maintain himself there, and so they go---either they go directly to our Embassy in the country in which they reside or they are directed to go there or the Embassy learns about this from the government in which they live, and so they are helped to return to the United States. In some instances they ask to be returned. In other instances they are ordered to be returned. For example, if the person is mentally ill. In this case we did clear, and we ascertained that they were repatriates, and so the role that I played in this as I remember--using my memory here----
Mr. Liebeler.
Let me ask you this, if I may, Mr. Isaacs, before you go into that.
Mr. Isaacs.
Mr. Liebeler.
Do you remember how you determined that the Oswald family was a repatriated family?
Mr. Isaacs.
Yes. This is the way it was done: We get the information from the family. In this instance I think it was done by the intake worker. He got certain facts. I assume that Mr. Oswald gave them all these facts, that he went to Russia in a certain period of his life, and what happened there, and then when he returned and why he returned.
When we get all this data, we present that to our administrator, Mrs. Ruscoll, and she contacts the New York State Department of Social Welfare, who is the immediate representative, to determine these facts. The person that she would call is a Miss Elliott, Miss Lula Jean Elliott.
Mr. Liebeler.
She is with the New York State Department----
Mr. Isaacs.
The Department of Social Welfare. Then Miss Elliott called the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and, of course, we understand that this is the means they used to get the information, and they ca!l Washington, and when they have this information it is relayed back in the same way. And then the administrator tells us, yes, he is a repatriate. And in this instance, this is what actually happened, as I remember it. We were told that they were.
Now, we have a policy of calling whatever relatives are available to determine whether relatives could meet the cost of their return. In this instance he asked to be returned to Texas, and we did get enough information in our application blank to show that there was a brother--I believe it was Robert--who lived in Texas, and I made a telephone call to the brother. The brother was not in, and I spoke with his wife--I don't remember her first name--and I told her that Mr. Oswald was here with his wife and infant, and they wanted to return to Texas, and would they be able to raise sufficient funds to meet this cost. She was very happy, apparently, to learn that they had arrived already--evidently they had some advance notice and she immediately said she will call
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