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Warren Commission Report: Page 390« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VII - Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives)

I think he wanted both if he could have them. If he didn't, he wanted to die with the knowledge that, or with the idea that he was somebody." 165


Oswald's interest in Marxism led some people to avoid him, even though as his wife suggested, that interest may have been motivated by a desire to gain attention.166 He used his Marxist. and associated activities as excuses for his difficulties in getting along in the world, which were usually caused by entirely different factors. His use of those excuses to present himself to the world as a person who was being unfairly treated is shown most clearly by his employment relations after his return from the Soviet Union. Of course, he made his real problems worse to the extent that his use of those excuses prevented him from discovering the real reasons for and attempting to overcome his difficulties. Of greater importance, Oswald's commitment to Marxism contributed to the decisions which led him to defect to the Soviet Union in 1959, and later to engage in activities on behalf of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the summer of 1963, and to attempt to go to Cuba late in September of that year.

Defection to the Soviet Union

the conclusive thing that made him decide that Marxism was the answer was his service in Japan. He said living conditions over there convinced him something was wrong with the system, and that possibly Marxism was the answer. He said it was in Japan that he made up his mind to go to Russia and see for himself how a revolutionary society operates, a Marxist society.167


On the other hand, at least one person who knew Oswald after his return thought that his defection had a more personal and psychological basis.168 The validity of the latter observation is borne out by some of the things Oswald wrote in connection with his defection indicating that his motivation was at least in part a personal one. On November 26, 1959, shortly after he arrived in the Soviet Union, and probably before Soviet authorities had given him permission to stay indefinitely, he wrote to his brother Robert that the Soviet Union

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