TESTIMONY OF MAX E. CLARK
The testimony of Max E. Clark was taken at 2 :10 p.m., on March 25, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. LIEBELER - If you will rise and raise your right hand, please, I will place you under oath.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. CLARK - I do.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Clark, my name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am a member of the legal staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Staff members have been authorized to take the testimony of witnesses by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to the Commission by Executive Order 11130 dated November 29, 1963, and Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137. I understand that Mr. Rankin sent you a letter last week telling you I would be in touch with you, with which he enclosed copies of those documents plus copies of the rules of procedure pertaining to the taking of testimony. I presume you did receive those documents with that letter, is that correct?
Mr. CLARK - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - I want to take your testimony in two basic areas; first, your knowledge of Lee Oswald gained as a result of somewhat limited contact with him, your knowledge of his relations with this so-called Russian community here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and, two, to some extent, I want to ask you about your knowledge of Mr. George De Mohrenschildt.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you state your full name, please?
Mr. CLARK - Max E. Clark.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are an attorney?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - A member of the Bar of Texas?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Any other State?
Mr. CLARK - No, I am licensed to practice in the Federal courts and American Bar Association.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you maintain your offices in Fort Worth, is that correct?
Mr. CLARK - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is your home address?
Mr. CLARK - 4312 Selkirk Drive West.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long have you been a member of the bar?
Mr. CLARK - Since 1939 - now I have to stop and think
Mr. LIEBELER - That's good enough; that's just fine, and you are a native-born American, Mr. Clark?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Born here in Texas?
Mr. CLARK - No, I was born in Indiana.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you move to Texas, approximately?
Mr. CLARK - in 1927.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you state for us briefly your educational background?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I attended public high schools in Fort Worth, graduated and went to T.C.U., University of Texas, 1 year in the University of Arizona and received my law degree at the University of Texas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your wife, I understand, was born in France and her parents were born in Russia, is that correct?
Mr. CLARK - My wife was born in France; her father is Russian and her mother is English and Russian. I know her father was born in Russia but I am not certain whether her mother was born in Russia or England because they alternated back and forth so I really don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Does your wife speak Russian?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did there come a time when you made the acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife, Marina Oswald?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us in your words the background leading up to that; how it happened, the circumstances leading up to when you met him, approximately when?
Mr. CLARK - We first became aware of Oswald when we noticed in the newspaper in Fort Worth that Lee Oswald, a defector, had returned to Fort Worth with this Russian wife and very shortly after, I noticed it in the paper, possibly the same week, my wife received a phone call from Oswald stating that he was there and he understood she spoke Russian and her name had been given to him as a person speaking Russian from someone from the Texas Employment Commission and she said well, that that was true, that she had spoke some Russian and I was at my office and we would either call - or we would call him that weekend so she discussed it with me when I came home and on a Sunday following that, why, I told her "Well, might as well call if the girl spoke Russian and hadn't been able to communicate" she might as well call her; and so she placed the call to Oswald's brother, I believe is where they were staying the newspaper said, and talked with Oswald and suggested if he wanted to, he and his wife could drive over to our house that afternoon and he stated to her that it was not convenient for him, so we felt, well, we made the offer so that's it; so we paid no further attention to him or did not make any further attempt
Mr. LIEBELER - This first attempt of Oswald's to contact your wife did he tell you what motivated him; was it purely a social matter?
Mr. CLARK - Purely social; his wife could not speak English and she would like to talk to some girl that spoke Russian so we made the offer. We were not about to go out to his house where he was living. If he wanted to see us he could come over there. We felt we had done enough. Shortly after that my wife's mother was having an operation in France so it had been planned that she would go over there during this operation, so my wife left in July, I believe, or first of August. I have forgotten, of 1962 and was gone 7 weeks or something like that. When she returned to Fort Worth in September or the latter part of September, the Russian group which she keeps rather close contact with - there is not such a large number between Dallas and Fort Worth that they communicate quite freely back and forth - stated that they had met this Marina Oswald and that she was having an extremely hard time and so several of them came over from Fort Worth, I mean from Dallas to Fort Worth and asked my wife to meet them at Oswald's house.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who is this?
Mr. CLARK - I think it was George Bouhe and Anna Meller and I've forgotten but I wasn't present, I don't know, but this is what my wife was telling my so, she arranged to meet them at this apartment that the Oswalds were living in one afternoon and she told me that she met this Marina and she looked like a little child and had this baby and she talked with her and Oswald was apparently working because she did not see him and then we had no further contact
with them or even knew about them until Oswald apparently quit his job or was fired and this Marina and the baby which was quite young at the time went to live with a friend of ours, Elena Hall who at that time was divorced and was living by herself and she volunteered or asked this Marina and the child to live with her awhile. Apparently, Oswald left the city and went to Dallas to look for a job or whether they were separated I don't know because we had heard stories that Oswald had beat her and that it was not going very well, their marriage, and so -
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately when was it that Marina moved in with Elena Hall; do you remember?
Mr. CLARK - Some time in October of 1962; the exact date I don't know. I know that she had been over there a few days when Elena Hall had an automobile wreck late one night. We received a phone call from the hospital to pick up this Marina and the baby and take them to the hospital because Elena was under the Impression that she had killed the baby or Marina in the car wreck She thought that they were involved.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were they in the car at all?
Mr. CLARK - No; they were not in the car but she was injured pretty badly, apparently, during this car wreck. So, we went by to this Elena Hall's house about 10 that night, picking up Marina and the baby and took her to the hospital and then, of course, she had been given sedatives and - Elena Hall - and I don't know whether she knew any more about it. I did not see her that night.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Marina see Elena Hall that night?
Mr. CLARK - I think so but I am not sure. I know we took them to the hospital and then we took Marina and the baby back to her home, to this Elena Hall's home, and, of course, during - from that period while Elena was in the hospital my wife had to take food or pick up this Marina and buy her groceries or milk for the baby and look after her because she could not speak English and had no transportation or any way to get food. So, usually every day my wife would go over and either take her to the grocery or take her food.
Mr. LIEBELER - I want to ask some detailed questions about that but before we get into that, so I don't forget, I want to go back. You said Oswald had told you he had gotten your name from somebody in the Texas Employment Commission -
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - is that your recollection or in fact, did Oswald tell you that be had gotten your name from a man by the name of Peter Gregory at the Fort Worth Public Library?
Mr. CLARK - Of course, I had no communication with Oswald at this time. When he talked with my wife over the phone he indicated to her that he had gotten my wife's name and Peter Gregory's name from the employment commission. Now, I could be mistaken but apparently Mr. Gregory and my wife's name were given to him as people that spoke Russian. Of course, we know Mr. Gregory and then after, immediately after this came about, why, my wife - we talked with the Gregorys. Which came first, I do not know. I don't know who saw Oswald first. I believe Mr. Gregory saw them before we did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know who it was in the Texas Employment Commission that gave Oswald the name of Peter Gregory and your wife?
Mr. CLARK - No. I don't but I can understand fairly well, why. My aunt had been employed by the Texas Employment Commission for 20, 25 years up until her death a few years ago and then my sister still works there. I know it wasn't my aunt because she was dead at the time but my sister, and I have talked with her since, and it was not her and she said it could have been any one of several. I was under the impression she said my wife said that he had said someone by the name of Smith at the employment commission but we don't know anybody by the name of Smith.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is the Texas Employment Commission office in Fort Worth, is that correct?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - is there just one office of the Texas Employment Commission in Fort Worth?
Mr. CLARK - There may be some branches but I don't think so. I think this came out of the main office. Whether he called us or he called the Gregorys first, I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - One of the things that the Commission is doing in an attempt to learn as much as we can about Oswald is we are trying to put together a schedule of income and outgo of funds throughout the entire time he lived in this country after he returned from Russia. I would like to have you if you could recollect as best you can the exact amount of food, groceries or money or other things that your wife provided to Marina Oswald while she lived at Elena Hall's house. Do you have knowledge of those things?
Mr. CLARK - Actually, it was probably very small because Elena was in the hospital, to my recollection not more than a week and during that time,,' apparently there was - she bought her some groceries and I do recall she said she bought her a carton of cigarettes. I doubt if it would exceed $10 or $15.
Mr. LIEBELER - As far as you know the only thing that your wife did provide to Marina were these things you described?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether she gave Marina any money?
Mr. CLARK - I am sure she did not give her any cash; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you go on with your story now, please?
Mr. CLARK - So, upon - when this Elena was in the hospital my wife wold see Marina about every day and I think that one evening during that week, I took her and the baby and my wife to a restaurant for dinner one night and then on the Sunday following this hospital treatment and while Elena was still the hospital, Marina asked my wife if we would come over on Sunday afternoon and have some Russian dinner that she would prepare for us and this Elena's ex-husband was coming into town from Odessa and if we would come over there, 3 or 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon, she would prepare this dinner, so we planned on going over there and we did and when we got there Oswald was there. That was the first time either my wife or myself had met Oswald; so we were there, oh, I would say approximately 2 hours. Some time after we arrived then John Hall, as I recall, came in from the hospital. He had been over seeing his wife and then we sat around and talked and we ate later on and then we left rather early in the evening. Well, probably, I don't recall the time but it must have been 7 or 8 o'clock.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether Oswald ever stayed at Elena Hall's home while Elena was in the hospital?
Mr. CLARK - I have no way of knowing. I did not think he did. It was under my impression he was in Dallas at the time. In fact, we were quite surprised to see him that Sunday afternoon because we had formed the impression Marina and he had separated. I don't know definitely because I couldn't talk with Marina. She only spoke Russian at the time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife have the impression that there had been marital difficulties between the Oswalds at that time?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us any specific reasons why your wife thought that?
Mr. CLARK - None other than the conversations and the fact that Marina seemed quite happy with him gone, more than the fact that she did not seem to miss him and the fact that he wasn't there.
Mr. LIEBELER - During this' time that you and John Hall and your wife and Marina and Oswald were present at Elena Hall's home, did you have a conversation with Oswald?
Mr. CLARK - Yes, I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he say and what did you say?
Mr. CLARK - Of course, I was extremely interested in, well, life in Russia to find out just exactly why he left in the first place and why he came back and he was in a very talkative mood and he talked at great length about his stay there and he seemed to want to make a point with everyone he met he wanted them to know he was Lee Oswald the defector. He seemed to be quite proud of that distinction. In his opinion he thought that made him stand out and he would always say, "You know who I am ?" when he would meet some-
one for the first time, so he was not trying to keep it a secret and in talking with him I asked him why he went to Russia. He said that he was in the Marines and he had read a lot of Karl Marx and he had studied considerably while he was in the Marines and be decided that he would get out of the Marines and he would go to Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that he studied Marxism when he was in the Marines?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate to you that he had studied the Russian language while in the Marines?
Mr. CLARK - He indicated he had because I asked him how he learned to speak Russian and he said he studied while in the Marines and learned a lot more when he went to Russia but apparently, he studied it quite awhile before he left.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you whether he took any formal courses or whether this was private effort?
Mr. CLARK - He did not indicate but it was my impression it was more or less self-study and he stated that when he got his discharge from the Marines that he went - I said, "How did you get a visa; how did you get to Russia ?" He said very simple; he just went down, made application to get a visa and what he had to do was to put up so much money for some kind of tour and at the same time when he put up this money for his passage, why, he got his visa stamped and he said he went to Russia, and the minute he got to Russia, he went to the American Embassy and told them he wanted to renounce his citizenship and he turned in his passport and he went to see about becoming a Soviet citizen and they told him they couldn't do it but they gave him a work permit.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you why the Russians would not accept him as a Russian citizen?
Mr. CLARK - No; he didn't say. He indicated he had to stay there a length of time before he could become a citizen and he already secured a work permit card and they assigned him an apartment and he said because he was a marine he got a better apartment. He got an apartment with a washstand and he was quite proud of the fact he got a little better apartment than the normal working person there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you where he was sent to work?
Mr. CLARK - He did and I think it was in Minsk or some place; I don't remember exactly. He told me the name of the town; it was wherever Marina came from. I have forgotten which one it was.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you any more details about his relations with the American Embassy and the Soviet authorities when he first came to the Soviet Union?
Mr. CLARK - Nothing except he turned in. his passport and tried to become a Soviet citizen and they refused to make him a citizen and they gave him this work permit and he was particularly unhappy about the fact they didn't make a fuss about him and put him to work as a common sheet metal worker.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; he told me.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he say?
Mr. CLARK - I asked him what it was like working there and he said the closest comparison he could give would be like the Marine Corps. He said If you got up so high in a job it was like being promoted to corporal, sergeant and so forth. He' said the higher you went in their jobs, the more privileges you got and he said in his job he felt if he stayed there 5 years he might get up maybe one rung in the ladder and he didn't think it was real communism is the way he put it and that he thought he was complete]y disgruntled about it. He said you could get a job any place and they always had about five people to do each job; said he didn't work hard but you couldn't progress unless you stayed in one place and made friends with the boss and he said he didn't like that; and he said if he wanted to go to a bigger city - I said why didn't you go to another factory if you did not like that. He said he could but then he couldn't get an apartment or place to live and they controlled the workers by limiting the places you could live and they assigned. you an apartment and it
might take 5 years to get another one and he was quite bitter about the fact that the managers had better houses and an automobile and the fact that they could go to, well, to the coast or to the beach in the summer on their vacations while he could not. I said, "Well, you were saying everyone got a month's vacation." He said, "That's true, but you had to pay your transportation," and it would take a year's salary to go from his place of employment down to the Black Sea.
Mr. LIEBELER - He told you that?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you he had done any traveling while in the Soviet Union?
Mr. CLARK - He said he was limited because he did not have the money.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you how much money he was paid at his job?
Mr. CLARK - As I recall, between 80 and 90 rubles and he was justifying that on this basis, he said actually it wasn't so bad except you had your housing taken care of and your medical expenses. That's the main things he seemed to count most important but he said that clothing, shoes was very expensive and traveling was extremely expensive.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that he received any income from any source other than his job?
Mr. CLARK - He said that's all he had and he had written to his mother to get money to come back to the States.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he mention receiving money from the Red Cross?
Mr. CLARK - No; he did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever mention to you that he had gone from Minsk to Moscow to talk to the officials at the American Embassy about returning to the United States?
Mr. CLARK - No; he did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever tell you that Marina went from Minsk to Kharkof for a 2- or 3-week vacation after they were married?
Mr. CLARK - No; he did not. He said that after they were married that she moved in this apartment with him and said they used to go out and walk around and do some hunting of some kind; I don't know. I didn't pay much attention to him. He said they went out for amusements for walks. I asked what he did and he said there wasn't too much to do, go to dances once in awhile. He indicated to me that Marina had to work up until a very short time before the birth of the child and that she was supposed to go back to work within a month after the birth of the child but by putting in his application to return to the United States somehow or other she delayed in reporting back to work and finally his permit and all to return had arrived and so that they left. She never returned to work after the birth of the child.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember specifically that he mentioned the high cost of transportation?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; the reason I remember that is I had read an article recently about all of the resort buildings and had seen some pictures in Life or Time magazine on the Black Sea, this resort area, and asked him if he had been down there as I heard it was similar to the Riviera in France. He said no, he wanted to go there. I said, "Why didn't you go there during your vacation if you had a month?" He said he couldn't afford it. It would take nearly a year's salary for him to pay for the transportation. I said, "isn't housing and food provided? He said, "Oh, yes; if I could have gotten there I could have a free house but only people high up or special favors are given permission to go down there He was quite unhappy about it.
Mr. LIEBELER - He mentioned to you that his apartment had a private bath while most of the other apartments had to share the bath?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; I was asking him what the apartments were like. He said. most of the apartment houses would have, for example, on one floor have two wings; on the right wing would be a group of six apartments, would be just one big room leading off the hall and at the end of the hall would be the bath and kitchen and these six apartments would share that one bath and one kitchen. And the other side of the wing would be a duplication and he said the only difference between his and those apartments was his had a wash basin and private
stove in there, small apartment stove so he could cook if he wanted to and he did not have to use the communal kitchen.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, you said that Marina did not go back to work after the baby was born?
Mr. CLARK - That's what he indicated to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate that that was an extraordinary situation?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; he said it was very unusual because all women were allowed so much leave; I think he said 6 weeks before the birth of a child and 4 weeks or something after the birth of the child in which they were not required to work but other than that they worked the whole time.
Mr. LIEBELER - What happened to the child when they went back to work?
Mr. CLARK - He said they take it to special places that elderly women - they receive their pay for taking care of the children; kind of a babysitting service or nursery and you would drop the children off at the nursery and at the end of the day, the mothers pick them up.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he express any opinion as to this procedure? Did he think this was a good thing or bad thing?
Mr. CLARK - Well, he didn't seem quite - he just took it as a matter of course. He thought that was all right. He didn't have much comment to make on that.
Mr. LIEBELER - I am looking at a report of an interview which you gave on about November 29, 1963, to two FBI agents, Mr. Haley and Mr. Madland. Do you remember that?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - This report indicates that you told them at that time that 3 months after Oswald's child was born that his wife did go back to work and that the government did take the child and place it in a government nursery.
Mr. CLARK - No; I think maybe Earl must have misunderstood because when the baby came over here it was my understanding she was less than 5 months old. I am not sure but the baby was very young and I think Earl might have misunderstood when I said after the mothers returned to work they were placed in a nursery.
Mr. LIEBELER - Seems like he might have confused the general proposition with the particular case of the Oswalds.
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, did Oswald tell you the circumstances under which he met and subsequently married his wife, Marina?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I have heard from him and then, of course, I think she told my wife who gave me her version of it that he stated while he was working as a sheet metal worker in this factory, why, there wasn't too much social activity and he with some of his fellow workers went one evening or was in the habit of going to a dance that they had in fact for everyone and he would go and this one night he went there and he met Marina and so he danced with her quite a bit and that they, after a short time, they got married.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate he had had any difficulty in securing permission to marry her?
Mr. CLARK - He didn't indicate any trouble at all getting permission to marry her and then what she told my wife was that she was quite a flirt. in other words, she said that she made a practice of going late to the dance so she would be fresh and then all the boys would rush to her because she would have fresh make-up and the others would be hot and tired. So, she went late this night, later in the evening, and arrived very fresh and she met Oswald and she thought it was unusual to be dancing and having a boyfriend that was an American, so she started going with him; so my wife asked her, she said "What did your friends think about you going with an American and marrying an American and coming to the United States?" Marina says "Well, they told me it couldn't be any worse."
Mr. LIEBELER - By that she meant the United States couldn't be any worse than the Soviet Union?
Mr. CLARK - Couldn't be worse, so she gave the impression she was quite happy to get out of there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife have the feeling that was one of the reasons why she married Oswald?
Mr. CLARK - My wife had the impression she thought it was something new and strange and it was something to look forward to so she was - seemed to be as much interested in leaving Russia as staying there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, did Oswald tell you what prompted him to leave the Soviet Union and return to the United States?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; he told me that he had finally made up his mind that he would never get any place in the Soviet Union and that he was disappointed because it was not like Karl Marx or was not true Communism, in his words, and that he thought it was just as bad as a democracy and he said he wanted to leave there because he just felt there was no hope for him there and he would never be able to get ahead or make his mark so he decided the best bet for both he and Marina was to leave so he made application to leave.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember him specifically using the words "make his mark" or is that just an expression of yours?
Mr. CLARK - That is my expression but my general impression was he wanted to become famous or infamous; that seemed to be his whole life ambition was to become somebody and he just seemed to have the idea that he was made for something else than what he was doing or what particular circumstances he was in.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned previously that he did not try to hide the fact that he was a defector and had gone to Russia and you gave the impression to me in your testimony that he called attention to this fact and you said, if I recall it, he would say "Well, you know who I am" when you met him. Would you think this would be an example of what you just spoke of?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; he didn't want to be among the common people; he wanted to stand out. He wanted everybody to know he was the defector.
Mr. LIEBELER - And he called attention to that fact to make himself stand out even though it might not have been a wise thing to call to peoples' attention?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; I thought it was very stupid of him but he seemed to think it made him somebody.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you think of any other examples of behavior on Oswald's part?
Mr. CLARK - Well, he stated while he was in Russia he didn't - he was completely disgruntled by the fact they only made him a common sheet metal worker; that he thought since he was a defector and former Marine Corpsman that he would be given special attention and the fact that he was quite proud of the fact that he did rate a better apartment than the average sheet metal worker. He was quite proud of the few accomplishments he had made and he wanted to impress upon me that he read very much and how much he had read.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he tell you about that?
Mr. CLARK - Oh, he said he read all the time and that he read everything could about communism, about Karl Marx and that he felt that it was much better than participating in sports. I tried to see if he was interested in sports and he wasn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you he was a member of any Communist or Marxist organizations?
Mr. CLARK - No; he didn't. We didn't get into any phase of organizations. He was more or less discussing his particular life in Russia and what it was like and I was interested in how he got back and why he decided to come back.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate that he had any difficulty in obtaining permission to return to the United States?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I was quite surprised as to the ease in which he and Marina and the baby had gotten permission to come back and I asked him "How did you work that ?" He said "Well, we just went down and I made application and she was my wife and the child and told them I wanted to go back to the United States. When I secured the passage" he said, "they okayed it.", Said "We left." He didn't seem to think it was unusual. He said that he just happened to ask at the right place is what he indicated to me; said "Maybe these other people hadn't hit at the right time or hadn't approached the right person."
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate the U.S. Government had given him or Marina any difficulty about them returning?
Mr. CLARK - None whatsoever; the reason they hadn't because he had not renounced his citizenship. I said "I thought you said you turned in your passport and wanted to become a Soviet citizen?" He said "I did turn in my passport but they didn't make me a Soviet citizen so I did not renounce my citizenship. So when I made application to come back", he said "They couldn't keep me out."
Mr. LIEBELER - He ascribed this failure for this part to the renouncing of his American citizenship to the refusal of the Russians to make him a citizen?
Mr. CLARK - That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER - He did not mention the U.S. Embassy or Moscow had refused to permit him to return?
Mr. CLARK - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate any hostility toward the State Department or Embassy or Moscow?
Mr. CLARK - He did not seem hostile with anyone in particular. He just thought everyone was out of step but him. He was rather an arrogant-talking person.
Mr. LIEBELER - He did not mention specifically any government official, President Kennedy, Governor Connally?
Mr. CLARK - No one.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you about his service in the Marine Corps?
Mr. CLARK - Nothing except he was very unhappy while in the Marine Corps. He didn't like any part of it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did that come up in connection with his comparison of life in the Soviet Union with life in the Marine Corps?
Mr. CLARK - I would ask him "How would you classify life in the Soviet Union; you say everyone has a job and everyone gets a salary whether they work or not "He said just that they have to work. There may be five people for each job and if you apply at a factory they got to put you on; and I said "What prevents everyone from migrating from one place to another if they have to take you if you make application?" He said "it's a fact they control the movement of employees by the lack of places to live and assignment of apartments."
Mr. LIEBELER - He did not mention to you he received an undesirable discharge from the Marine Corps?
Mr. CLARK - No, he did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know about it at that time?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who told you that?
Mr. CLARK - I think it was in the paper. I felt pretty sure anyone that be a defector they would probably give him a dishonorable discharge.
Mr. LIEBELER -. Did any of the other members or any of the members of the so called Russian Community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area ever raise with the question of whether they should associate with Oswald; whether he was a safe person for them to associate with him or have anything to do with
Mr. CLARK - I think everyone was discussing that as to whether or not they should especially when he first came back and all of them asked me and I said "in my opinion he is a defector and you know what he is"; I said "You should not hold that against this girl Marina. She's having a hard time. He's beating her up, everything is strange to her, she can't speak the language, I don't think you should ostracize her because of Oswald." Most of them had absolutely no use for Oswald and they discussed all the time they hated to let this girl get beat up and kicked around by this Oswald without at least trying to look after her. I told them I didn't see anything wrong in looking after this girl. I said "As far as Oswald coming back here you can be assured or bet that when he returned to the United States the FBI has got him tagged and is watching his movements or I would be very much surprised."
Mr. LIEBELER - If they didn't -
Mr. CLARK - If they didn't, I said "You know that they know exactly where
he is in town" and I said "I imagine they know who he is contacting because I know enough about the boys in the FBI; they would keep a record."
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever discuss Oswald with anybody in the FBI?
Mr. CLARK - Not before this happened.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you ever had any official connection with the FBI?
Mr. CLARK - No; but I worked with them quite a bit when I was in security industrial with General Dynamics; that's when I became acquainted with Earl Haley.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember specifically having a conversation of this sort with DeMohrenschildt?
Mr. CLARK - I talked with George DeMohrenschildt about Oswald. I don't think I talked with him very much, maybe once or twice. Well, I saw Oswald this one time and, of course, we would see George DeMohrenschildt off and on, periodically up until the time he left and I received a letter from George every once in awhile from Haiti so I know him quite well.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you received letters from Mr. DeMohrenschildt after the assassination?
Mr. CLARK - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Has he said anything in these letters about the assassination?
Mr. CLARK - Oh, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us generally what he said?
Mr. CLARK - Well, one letter he said he just couldn't believe Oswald did it and he said he was quite surprised and he said that he had written to Mrs. Kennedy's mother because apparently George knew Mrs. Auchincloss or whatever her name is and had known Mrs. Kennedy when she was much younger and said he had written to her expressing his sorrow about this and that he felt that Oswald was not the one that did it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he give you any reasons for his feeling that way?
Mr. CLARK - No; he did not and then I received another letter from him and he just said he still couldn't believe that this had happened - that Oswald had done it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you still have copies of those letters?
Mr. CLARK - I know I got at least one of them. I may have both of them. I know I got the last one.
Mr. LIEBELER - I would like you, if you would, you don't have them with you, of course?
Mr. CLARK - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - If you would look through your records when you go back to Fort Worth and if you do have any of those letters, I would appreciate if you would send them or copies to Mr. Sanders here and I will be back in Dallas next week and I would like to read the letters and may want to make them part of this record.
Mr. CLARK - Sure.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did DeMohrenschildt ever say to you in these letters anything to the effect he thought that the FBI was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy?
Mr. CLARK - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never gave you any specific reasons why he did not think Oswald was the man who did it?
Mr. CLARK - No; George would be the type person that he is, he would not believe that anyone he knew would do anything that was out of line. He is an extremely likeable person and he is quite an adventurer. He walked through Mexico; he is extremely athletic and he is, well, actually, he should have lived 300 or 400 years ago and been an explorer or pirate or something like that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know how close his association with Oswald was?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I understand one time he threatened to beat Oswald to a pulp if he didn't leave Marina alone, quit beating her up.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who told you that?
Mr. CLARK - I forgot; one of the Russian group and I think George told that.
Mr. LIEBELER - George DeMohrenschildt?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; and he indicated to me that he had really given Oswald a real lashing about it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any idea when that was?
Mr. CLARK - it's bound to have been in - sometime after the first of January, sometime in the spring of 1963.
Mr. LIEBELER - How do you fix that date in your mind?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I know that the only time that we saw Oswald and Marina was in October of 1962, before she left for Dallas and I don't think that George DeMohrenschildt had come in contact with Oswald and Marina much before that time. I know that when they moved to Dallas, the Oswalds, George DeMohrenschildt, we would hear, would take Oswald and Marina around or had them over to his apartment several times and I know that during the Christmas holidays of 1962 they had a big party, the Russian group had a party at the Ford's house around the 26th or 27th of December. We were invited but we were skiing and didn't go.
Mr. LIEBELER - Off the record.
(Off record discussion.)
Mr. CLARK - So, getting back to that party - so we didn't go to the party at the Fords. I have heard that George DeMohrenschildt is the one that took the Oswalds to the Ford party and that he saw them off and on after that and that during that period of time we would hear in Fort Worth that Oswald had beat Marina up and that she had to run off, and quite a bit of physical violence, and that George finally got hold of Oswald and threatened him - picked him up by his shirt and shook him like a dog and told him he would really work him over if he ever laid another hand on her.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think that was some time after the Ford party?
Mr. CLARK - I feel pretty sure it was. I have nothing to tie it to but I think it was.
Mr. LIEBELER - How often did you see DeMohrenschildt during the period January 1,1963, to the time he left for Haiti?
Mr. CLARK - I do not recall exactly when he left for Haiti.
Mr. LIEBELER - I think it was in May sometime.
Mr. CLARK - I know one time during that period I think George went to Pennsylvania or New York.
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; that's right, I believe.
Mr. CLARK - I would say we would see them at least once every 2 or 3 weeks maybe. He might drop over to the office in Fort Worth on the way through. I think he did that a couple times and we would either see him at his apartment or he would come to our house. We saw him once a month or maybe more.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember in April 1963, there was an attempt made on the life of General Walker?
Mr. CLARK - Oh, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you see DeMohrenschildt after that?
Mr. CLARK - I am sure I did. If he left in May I feel sure I saw him shortly before he left for Haiti.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you recall discussing the attempt on General Walker with DeMohrenschildt?
Mr. CLARK - No; there would be no reason. We seldom discussed or talked politics.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no recollection that he mentioned Oswald in connection with the Walker attempt at that time?
Mr. CLARK - At that time it was the furthest thing because I don't think that George DeMohrenschildt and I even mentioned Oswald in any of our conversation, parties or get-togethers at any time unless it was just someone made a comment about Marina getting beat up about the only comment we had.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any question about De Mohrenschildt's loyalty to the United States?
Mr. CLARK - None; I think he talks a lot and I think he is a character but don't think he is disloyal in any respect.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would it surprise you to hear that he was of the opinion that e FBI was responsible for the assassination and that Oswald was just a patsy" in the thing?
Mr. CLARK - Knowing George, he's liable to say anything whether he really believed it or not because he talks very loudly and sometimes without even thinking; meat of the time he does that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you form any opinion of Oswald during the time that you spoke to him and on the basis of things you heard about him as to whether he was mentally unstable or not?
Mr. CLARK - it didn't enter my mind he was mentally unstable. I just thought he was a person that he couldn't get along with anybody or anyone. He just seemed to be a person that believed everyone else in the world was out of step but himself.
Mr. LIEBELER - And this is about the only opinion you formed of him?
Mr. CLARK - Well, I just thought - I didn't think - well, I just felt that this is a guy that just was never going to be able to do anything because he couldn't get along with anybody and he just, he was - didn't seem to know what he wanted to do or what he wanted to have and he was a completely shiftless individual. -
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know Jack Ruby?
Mr. CLARK - Never heard of him until all this happened.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't know of any connection between Oswald and Ruby?
Mr. CLARK - I wouldn't have any reason of knowing whether he did or did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you don't know of any connection between the two?
Mr. CLARK - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Clark, Were you surprised when you - heard that Oswald had been arrested in connection with the assassination?
Mr. CLARK - I was very surprised because it never entered my mind in the - first place and the last we had heard, he was in New Orleans or some place like that. He had left Dallas. We didn't even know he returned to Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you think based on your knowledge of Oswald that he was - capable of committing an act such as he was charged to have committed?
Mr. CLARK - Definitely; I think he would have done this to President Kennedy - or anyone else if he felt that it would make him infamous.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have the feeling that his motivation was simply to call - attention to himself?
Mr. CLARK - I do. I think it was primarily to go down in history because he seemed to think he was destined to go down in history some way or other.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you now told us everything that you recall about Oswald and the conversations that you had with him? I don't have any more questions at the moment but if you can think of anything that you think the Commission should know or anything you want to add to what you said, go right ahead.
Mr. CLARK - it is extremely difficult to remember because there has been so much printed and so much said so it is hard with 1. or 2-hour conversations over 2 years ago to remember what was discussed and to separate it from what - you formed an opinion on since then. So, it is extremely difficult to say. I think I covered everything. At the time when I talked with him I was very - interested in learning what it was like in Russia and I asked many questions of Oswald primarily concerned with what life was like in Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember in any greater detail than you already testified about these hunting trips or any association with firearms?
Mr. CLARK - The question of firearms did not come up. He just indicated he and Marina would go out in the fields and walk around. I don't recall whether he said he went hunting. I am not a hunter; it doesn't interest me a bit. If he said he was hunting it probably would not have registered on me.
Mr. LIEBELER - He did not indicate any peculiar or strong interest in firearms to you at that time?
Mr. CLARK - Not at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never indicated that to you at any time?
Mr. CLARK - No; not at any time; no, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Clark, have you ever engaged in any conversations with any members of the Russian community or heard of any conversations amongst them concerning the question of whether or not Oswald might have been a Russian agent?
Mr. CLARK - Most of the Russian group were concerned about Oswald and Marina. it seemed that the older of the Russian group, that is, the ones that
had lived in the States the longest period of time and couldn't be considered as "DP's" were less concerned about it than these recent arrivals from Soviet blocs; the ones that were "DP's" just couldn't understand how the Oswalds got out of Russia so easily. The older group said well, they figure that they were of no value to the Russians and they felt it was good riddance and didn't seem to be concerned about it because they felt the American government was keeping the proper surveillance on them and knew of their background. They would not be put in a position where they could do damage so it did not concern the ones that had been here since the revolution as much as the ones that got out recently.
Mr. LIEBELER - Most of the opinions of the latter group were based primarily on the difficulties, I suppose, that they themselves had in getting out of Russia, is that correct?
Mr. CLARK - Yes; based on the reason the ones - because they had considerable difficulty in getting out of those countries and they felt probably Oswald and Marina got out too easily.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you think of any particular people, their names, as to this "DP" group that were suspicious or expressed suspicions because of Oswald's apparent ease with which he got out of Russia?
Mr. CLARK - Lydia Dymitruk and Alex Kleinlerer, the Mellers, Anna and Teofli Meller. I think you talked with them. I can't think. I know there's several others of the younger group that came over.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ray?
Mr. CLARK - Thomas Ray - her name is Anna Ray, yes; I met them.
Mr. LIRBELER. Do you know a Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ray?
Mr. CLARK - No; I don't; I am not sure of the first one; the one I know is the wife is of Russian origin; her name is Anna.
Mr. LIEBELER - That's Mrs. Frank Ray.
Mr. CLARK - That's the one I know.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't know Mr. or Mrs. Thomas Ray; they live in Blossom, Tex.
Mr. CLARK - No; I don't. I might if I were to see them but I don't recall their name.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you yourself have any reason to think that Oswald might be an agent of the Soviet Union?
Mr. CLARK - I didn't think he had the intelligence to be an agent.
Mr. LIEBELER - You did consider the question prior to the assassination?
Mr. CLARK - I considered it briefly when he first contacted us when he got back here and after talking with him, I felt I didn't think that they were that stupid to use someone that stupid as an agent.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald ever tell you that he had been contacted by the
Mr. CLARK - I did not discuss it with him.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never mentioned it?
Mr. CLARK - He never mentioned it. I did not inquire of him. I was keeping it ,strictly what life was in Russia. I was trying to stay off political issues or anything about the United States.
Mr. LIEBELER - I don't think I have any more questions. Thank you very much.