TESTIMONY OF MRS. THOMAS M. RAY (NATALIE)
The testimony of Mrs. Thomas M. Ray (Natalie) was taken at 11 a.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. Robert T. Davis, assistant attorney general of Texas, was present.
Mr. LIEBELER. Come in Mr. and Mrs. Ray and sit down.
Mr. RAY. We didn't get your letter until Monday because you addressed it to Blossom, Tex. We are on mailing Route 3, Detroit, Tex., and we are on the Blossom, Tex., telephone exchange.
Mr. LIEBELER. Oh, I'm sorry. You are supposed to have 3 days' notice.
Mr. RAY. That's all right. We're here now.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mrs. Ray, I would like to take your testimony at this time. Would you rise and raise your right hand and I will swear you before we start. (Witness complying.)
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give here will be the truth, the whore truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mrs. RAY. I do.
Mr. LIEBELER. 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 believe Mr. Rankin sent you a letter last week?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; and I read it and have your name, too.
Mr. LIEBELER. He sent with that letter copies of the Executive order and the joint resolution as well as copies of the rules and procedure governing the taking of testimony of witnesses. Did you receive that letter and copies of such documents?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Ray previously mentioned that the letter was routed to the wrong post office box and you did not get it until Sunday.
Mrs. RAY. Monday.
Mr. LIEBELER. Under the rules of the Commission each witness is entitled to 3 days' notice before he has to testify and I suppose technically since you did not get the letter until Monday you do not have to testify today or you can waive that notice, and I presume you are willing to go ahead with the questioning at this time; is that correct?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. We want to inquire of you today, Mrs. Ray, concerning the events at a party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Declan P. Ford which was held in Dallas in December 1962, as the events at that party related to or involved Lee Harvey Oswald. We also want to question you about meetings and/or parties that you went to at other places in Dallas during the period shortly after December 28, 1962. Before we get into that, would you state your full name for the record?
Mrs. RAY. Me?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes; what is your full name?
Mrs. RAY. Natalie.
Mr. LIEBELER. And you last name is----
Mrs. RAY. Ray.
Mr. LIEBELER. R-a-y [spelling]?
Mrs. RAY. R-a-y [spelling].
Mr. LIEBELER. What is your residence?
Mrs. RAY. Route 3, Detroit, Tex.--here, you mean?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. Where were you born?
Mrs. RAY. Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where in Russia?
Mrs. RAY. Stalingrad.
Mr. LIEBELER. Approximately when were you born?
Mrs. RAY. In 1922, May 1922
Mr. LIEBELER. When did you leave Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Let me see, in 1943, in time war; Germans come and taken over Stalingrad and pick me up and send to Germany.
Mr. LIEBELER. When 'the German troops reached Stalingrad they picked you up and other Russian people?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah; lots of Russians and they send us to Germany in camp, in concentration camp, labor camp, I guess, more.
Mr. LIEBELER. How long were you in Germany?
Mrs. RAY. I been there until I come to America, 1946.
Mr. LIEBELER. How did it come about that you came to the United States; what were the circumstances of your coming here?
Mrs. RAY. Well, I met' my husband was town of Wiesbaden being liberated by Americans and that's the first time we ever saw American people and then they taken us out and tell us to wait until they able to send us to Russia.
At this time we been working for Americans, soldiers. something in kitchen or different something, just for food until we be able to go back to Russia and I met my husband and when I met him, well, I lost all contact with home and been told there's nobody at home, no place to go and my husband tell me that I can marry American man and I said, "No, I cannot marry American man because Russia will not permit me to marry" and we did have lots of difficulty to get marry and my husband went to Paris, France, to have permission that they let us marry but they not let him see nobody, just asking where I am. I have to hide at this time because Russia pickling up and sending all back to Russia, and my husband find me room in Germany where I have to stay until we get married. Well, they-- Russians don't give me permission for me to get marry and later on I have to go up and became as a displaced person and in 1945, there, U.S. Government said could marry to displaced person and I marry my husband in May 1945. Yeah, I guess 1945 or 1946--let me see, yeah, in 1945 because or 1946, I guess, I'm sorry.
Mr. LIEBELER. You were both in Germany at the time?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; my husband and I used to travel when war still going on, you know, they move and I move with him; that will be something come. We go to Frankfurt; I went with him to Frankfurt. If he have to move I go with him. Three Russian girls, us, together, and I did in 1946, I guess, I marry. I forget now when, I am very sorry.
Mr. LIEBELER. That's all right; that's not important.
Mrs. RAY. War ended in 1945 and year later I married; that's in 1946, I'm sorry.
Mr. LIEBELER. And then you came to the United States with your husband, is that correct?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; well, we stay year in Germany after we marry.
Mr. LIEBELER. Then when he left Germany you came back to the United States?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I go with him.
Mr. LIEBELER. Are you an American citizen now?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I am.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever meet Lee Oswald or Marina Oswald?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I met them at this party.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us about that in your own words; just tell us how you came to the party and how you met Oswald and to tile best of your recollection just how it happened.
Mrs. RAY. Well, I wrote short stories for magazine and Mrs. Harris, Zena Harris, Ed Harris from Georgetown read that story and find my address and found me Russian. Until this time I never been have any--nobody there from Russian and I don't have not nobody.
Mr. LIEBELER. You had no contact with Russian speaking people?
Mrs. RAY. No; except some friend in New York what we used to live in Germany together and we write each other Mrs. Harris called me on phone and said that--"I know you are Russian and I like to talk to you." I said, "Well, I am glad to know somebody Russian, just about forget how to talk to Russian." She said she like to come over and see me. I tell her she welcome to it. They did come visit us and she told me that they always get together in Dallas, lots of Russian girls and Russian men have a party and she like for me to come to this party. I said, "Well, I like to know, you know, more people Russian" because I never have contact with nobody. Well, she calling on phone from my house to Mr. Ford, Declan Ford and talk to his wife and tell her, said, "I found one Russian" and said "I like for her to coming to this party." They already planned this party. She asked her time when it's going to be. She said on Friday--Friday, I kind of think 29 before New Year and she said she welcome to it and said we going to have one Russian girl what just come back from Russia. She said she just coming with man in United States.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mrs. Ford told you this, is that right?
Mrs. RAY. Mrs. Ford, yeah, she said she had girl what going to be at this party that just come back from Russia. Well, it's home and you like to hear what is going on, any change, still same or, you know----
Mr. LIEBELER. Sure.
Mrs. RAY. Just glad to meet somebody. Well, we promised that we will come and Friday we go to this party and Mr. and Mrs. Harris and we went to Mr. Ford house. When we coming there, there's lots of people.
Mr. LIEBELER. How many people were there, approximately, would you say?
Mrs. RAY. Between 25, 30 people; I cannot tell exactly but it's lots of people been there, and, surely, you know, you kind of like to know what's going on in Russia. First things I like to know this girl and this man. Well, they introduced everybody and then they tell that this Marina, she's come back from Russia. Well, I started talk to her and asking how she like it here. She said she liked very well. I said, "Did you have any difficulty to come to America?" She said, "No, she don't have any at all." Very much surprise me because I not been able to do much with my home. I not be able to send them packages or--I said, "Oh, that's very good; I guess now it's change and get better," I said.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have relatives in Russia now that you know of?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I have a niece what I been--she write my mother passed away and I lost my brothers and sisters in war and then mother, when Germans take me from home, my mother and two children, my sisters, stay and I together and then they take me away. My mother and these two children stay. Then this child, one got killed; still war going on and one niece, my sister's girl and that's one is on the road out to my mother.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was she living in Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. No; at this time, no; they moved. At this time she lived in Tchewchankowskiy, Rudnek. That's pretty close to----
Mr. LIEBELER. Kharkov?
Mrs. RAY. That's lots salt mines there and that's close Kharkov. That's not too far from Kharkov.
Mr. LIEBELER. I interrupted your story about your conversation with Marina. Would you go on with that?
Mrs. RAY. Yes. After she told that she don't have any difficulty to come here, You know, I, well, everybody interested. I told her, I said, "I am glad; I guess get better because if they let you so easy to get out Russia then that's get little bit better now and I guess they better friends." I said, "Maybe later on"-I let be get contact now with niece. I been trying call her on telephone. I never can get her on phone. I said, "Maybe I can calling her and talk to her now" and I never planned to go back but, you know, just for somebody there you want to get contact with and then another things I found out that her husband is--she introduced me to her husband like she done everybody and he speak just perfect Russian.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he speak to you in Russian?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; just perfect; really surprised me and I said "How come you speak so good Russian. How long you been in Russia?" He said well, he don't been there too long. He said he been just 3 year. I said "You just been three----
Mr. DAVIS. Excuse me, how long?
Mrs. RAY. Three year. I said "You speak good Russian." I asked him, I said "Do you like" no; I asked "How you like Russia?" He said "Oh, it's all right." But he don't have much to say, you know, but he always staying close to Marina and every time you asking something he seems to be one to answer it. If someone say where you from, he tell you. Maybe he just plain wanted let you know he speak Russian or something. I don't know reason but seems to me that he all time interfere.
Mr. LIEBELER. When you would ask Marina a question Oswald himself would want to tell you the answer?
Mrs. RAY. Yes, always; he be very close.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ask him if he had gone to school anywhere to learn Russian?
Mrs. RAY. No; I don't but I give him credit for speak so well Russian. I said "I been here so long and still don't speak very well English"; I said "You speak fast Russian." He said in Russia he learn to speak Russian. He just came back.
Mr. LIEBELER. You thought he spoke Russian better than you would expect a person to be able to speak Russian after only living there only 3 years?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I really did. I don't know, maybe Russian easy. I know American is very difficult language but I been taught here. Really, it's just too good speaking Russian for be such a short time. you know.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he tell you anything about how he learned to speak Russian or did he just say it was from being in Russia?
Mrs. RAY. No; I never asked. Only things, I give him credit he speak so well Russian and I don't ask and then I want to introduce him to my husband, you know. He is an American and my husband did not remember him very well how he look and my husband, I guess, have few drinks and he is talk much. This Oswald don't say much and you introduce and that's as far as go but he always constantly staying very close to his wife, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us the rest of your conversation with Marina or with Oswald as best you can recall it.
Mrs. RAY. Well, after she told that she don't have any difficulty and we decided that everything is getting better and we started asking her about Russian songs and they start to sing in Russian, songs, and asking her sing. if she know any latest Russian song, and she start sing and we sing with her together and then I notice that's all been say as much conversation.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ask her where she lived when she was in Russia?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I ask her where she come from. She said she come from Minsk but said later she coming from Moscow. She been in Moscow with her husband. He has a paper fix and she said as soon as he got his paper fix to go to America, said she did not have difficulty. He told them he ready to go and he going to take her with him and said she got paper and they left. Don't take too long; said he have to wait for little while. I believe she said a year, have to wait before he got his paper.
Mr. LIEBELER. Before he got his paper from the Americans or from the Russians; did she say?
Mrs. RAY. No; from Americans to go back to America; so he decided to go back to America.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did she tell you how long they stayed in Moscow?
Mrs. RAY. She stayed 1 year.
Mr. LIEBELER. She said they were in Moscow 1 year?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; see, from Minsk he have to go in Moscow to American Embassy to talking he wanted to go back and they staying year in Moscow before he got this paper and as soon as he got paper, he let Russian Embassy know he got paper, they ready to leave and said they give her paper and they left.
Mr. LIEBELER. The Russians gave her the papers?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Marina mention she had lived in Leningrad at one time?
Mrs. RAY. No; not that I remember.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know or did she tell you she had relatives in Kharkov?
Mrs. RAY. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you learn what kind of job Oswald had while he was in Russia?
Mrs. RAY. Well, not exactly; all I know she said he working on factory, some factory and we don't get any details.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did they tell you where this factory was located?
Mrs. RAY. Located what?
Mr. LIEBELER. Where was the factory that Oswald worked in?
Mrs. RAY. In Minsk.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald work while they stayed in Moscow a year? Do you know about that?
Mrs. RAY. No; I cannot help in this. I do not know. I know that they coming and stay in Moscow.
Mr. LIEBELER. Are you sure that she told you they stayed in Moscow for a whole year or did they just go to Moscow to see about the papers and then come back to Minsk and wait in Minsk for the year to go by?
Mrs. RAY. Well, really, when Mrs. Ford call us, she on telephone told us that
she come from Moscow, you know. That is girl, Russian girl, she says she come back from Moscow.
Mr. LIEBELER. From Moscow?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah, and then later on Marina said that she, you know--let me see how she say--that she come from Moscow. She fly--not fly--I do not know how they come but she say from Moscow she come to America but she been in Moscow 1 year. Said that's year or little better but she been in Moscow with him; that's what she tell.
Mr. LIEBELER.. For a year?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah.
Mr. LIEBELER. But they did not tell you what they were doing there for a job?
Mrs. RAY. No; well, she tell he have to wait on paper this long and that's as far as I know.
Mr. LIEBELER. Now, did Marina know how to speak English as far as you could tell?
Mrs. RAY. No; she don't understand word. She speak Russian but she don't understand English.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald or Marina tell you what kind of an apartment they had to live in when they lived in Minsk?
Mrs. RAY. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did they tell you where they lived when they were in Moscow?
Mrs. RAY. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. Can you remember anything else that they may have told you about the time that they were in Russia together?
Mrs. RAY. Well, I don't think anything else. I can recall main things. I never been concerned about where they lived or what they been doing. All I wanted to know how easy she get out, you know; how come she so easy to go when such a difficulty to have anything to do. That's why my impression been that everything is get better, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did they tell you how much money Oswald was paid at his job?
Mrs. RAY. Where, there?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mrs. RAY. No, uh-uh.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did they tell you why Oswald went to Russia in the first place?
Mrs. RAY. No; but I read in the paper and then, you know, before he went, I remember in Fort Worth paper, I read it about boy went to Russia that he said that's government he preferred and that's place he want to go to live and--but that's as far as--then Mrs. Harris is one that told me she know about him, that he went to Russia and want to stay there and then he change his mind and want to come back to America.
Mr. LIEBELER. You knew that about Oswald when you met him at Ford's party, is that right?
Mrs. RAY. Yes--no, no; I don't know it because we suppose to know it and Zena--that's Mrs. Harris--don't know either who they are but when we go Mrs. Harris found out who is here and then she told me. That's in conversation, you know, he went to Russia and don't like it and he come back but marry this Russian girl and brought her with.
Mr. LIEBELER. So, you learned that at the Ford party because Mrs. Harris told you that, is that right?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah.
Mr. LIEBELER. After the Oswalds left the party was there any discussion about Oswald amongst the people there?
Mrs. RAY. Well, not that moment when they start leaving, well, we go to Marina and I personally ask why they are leaving so early--I don't recall the time she said well, they coming with some couples, they don't have any car, they came with somebody and said they ready to go and "We better go; we have baby at home and we better go back." Well, we tell them "Bye" and that's as far as went but after they left at ,this time there has been no discussion whatsoever, you know, just they gone and everything is forgot.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did there come a time later after the Ford party that there was a discussion about the Oswalds?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah, next day.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where was that?
Mrs. RAY. Let me see, I have a dates what happened next Saturday. We went back to Ford's house. They ask us coming over and Saturday we staying at Ford house and there's not much been discussion about but she only know, she tell us that she been keeping Marina with her 2 weeks, Marina and her baby.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mrs. Ford told you this?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; and she said "Well, he cannot find job"--said she just want to help out and that's as far as been discussed and forgot and then we went Sunday we going back to Mrs. Meller, let me see, Anna Meller.
Mr. LIEBELER. That's Meller. Did you say the next Saturday? In other words a week after?
Mrs. RAY. No, no; that's same, that following Saturday. We been Friday, that Saturday and Sunday; we 3 days been here in Dallas. Sunday, we ask by George Bouhe or how you say?
Mr. LIEBELER. Bouhe.
Mrs. RAY. Bouhe, yes, to come and visit another Russian family what being at Ford's house; that's Anna Meller and we went over there and that's one main things taken place when we discussed Oswald and his wife.
Mr. LIEBELER. Who was there at that time? Mr. and Mrs. Meller were both there, is that right?
Mr. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Bouhe?
Mrs. RAY. Yes, sir; he.
Mr. LIEBELER. Yourself and your husband?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; and Harris.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. and Mrs. Harris?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; Mr. and Mrs. Harris and then another couple I cannot recall name and they gave me address but I lost it. They live on farm; I don't remember their name; they, couple, and some girl there been from Houston. She visit with Mrs. Meller.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would that be Miss Biggers--Tatiana Biggers?
Mrs. RAY. Tatiana Biggers, yeah, she from Houston.
Mr. LIEBELER. Anybody else there that you remember?
Mrs. RAY. Another girl here from Dallas; she not married. I don't remember what her name----
Mr. LIEBELER. Lydia Dymitruk?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us to the best of your recollection what was said at this party or get-together?
Mrs. RAY. Well, when we got together, George Bouhe, one I told him, well, when things we started discuss it and we just wonder how come America take him back; said he choose this Russia, why they brought him back. Why don't they just let him alone over there, and said "You don't know Russia as we do. They have such funny tricks; never can tell what they can," but in the same time thinking if he choosing go to Russia and said "That's my country", why America want to bring him back, what for? We wonder why they take him back. Well, there's George Bouhe said "Oh, he gives so much trouble" and he start telling first things he cannot get job, said he kind of smart-aleck, he calling him. Said every place he go looking for the job, when they ask him where he last time work and he said Minsk, Russia, said "Well, who in heaven going to give job?" He don't explain. He seems to be proud he working in Russia and said nobody give him job and they been have very much difficulty to making living and said they so sorry for this girl. Said he brought her here and she don't know any language. Said she such have difficulty. They don't wonder she have wrong impression about America. Said we been trying help them. Said sometimes she call them and said she don't have nothing to eat for her kid if they cannot help. Said we go and get her and said Mrs. Ford keep her; Mrs. Meller keep her; Mrs. Ray keep her, not me, Ray, that's other Ray. Said we try to help and then George tell me he decided help him try find job maybe he can make living.
Mr. LIEBELER. George Bouhe?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; George Bouhe, he said he go talk to somebody and they give him job. Said you know how long he stay. Said he staying 3 days and quit and I said "Well, I guess he expect since he been in Russia when he come back in America that they going to put red carpet for him and take him." Said well, tell us about America what is wrong, there in Russia they don't accept him and when he come back home they don't need him either here, don't put red carpet and he just disappoint and kind of, you know, just disgusted with everything and he said "Well, I don't know but I give up with them; I am through, we just cannot---he don't going to find job. He don't going to keep job." He thinking he can have some kind of special job; said "I am just through with him."
Mr. LIEBELER. This is what Bouhe said?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; he said "as much as her, we want to help her because she is strange in country and we don't want her be mistreated but said him, we cannot help him any more" and that's as much as being said.
Mr. LIEBELER. What else was said at this time?
Mrs. RAY. Well, I don't know; I cannot recall right now.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was there any discussion on the question of whether or not Oswald might have been an agent of the Russian government?
Mrs. RAY. Well, as an agent we not---but we did discuss. Said Russia, you know, so funny; said never can tell they may send him with some kind of purpose here in America but it isn't saying exactly as an agent but we did discuss it that he may, you know, just send it by Russia because so easy way to coming to America.
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us now as best as you can recall just what was said about this question of Oswald possibly being sent back by the Russians? What did you say and what did Bouhe say; just tell us as best you can recall the substance of that conversation.
Mrs. RAY. I mostly talk to George Bouhe because he seems to be man what try to bring this Russians together just have fun, not any purpose but said kind of once in a year if we get together that's kind of help we don't forget to speak Russian. I don't know, I guess I am one who told him, I said "George", I said, "You know how Russia is funny", I said, "You know I just afraid maybe they just send him with some kind of, you know, just send him here knowing Russian." I go in college in Russia and if you live there and study you know what really going on. They going to do such a trick that you surprise.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where did you go to college in Russia?
Mrs. RAY. In Leningrad.
Mr. LIEBELER. In Leningrad?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. And this was while you were living in Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Well, my home in Stalingrad; I going in college in Leningrad and then I went home.
Mr. LIEBELER. Back to Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. What did you study in Leningrad?
Mrs. RAY. Economist Statistics.
Mr. DAVIS. Economies Statistics?
Mr. LIEBELER. Economies Statistics.
Mrs. RAY. Economics Statistics.
Mr. LIEBELER. How long did you study?
Mrs. RAY. Three and a half year.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where did you study in Leningrad, what college?
Mrs. RAY. Soljanoy Calach---that's salt. I suppose to after I finish they will send me work to the salt mines and been sent to Siberia, Irkutsk, Siberia. That's only on practice but I was work after I finish in Irkutsk, Siberia.
Mr. DAVIS. This was a Leningrad college?
Mrs. RAY. No, no; that's Stalingrad.
Mr. DAVIS. I mean college.
Mrs. RAY. Yes; Leningrad---street Maxim Gorky Street. That's on Maxim Gorky Street; that's college.
Mr. LIEBELER. When were you there in Leningrad studying, what year, what years?
Mrs. RAY. You mean when?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mrs. RAY. See, what happen I study and then I have a permission, not permission. I have to go and work in Siberia, Irkutsk and before I go this far--- that is very far from my home, I have 2--months vacation and I went home. From first I go to Irkutsk; then from there I coming home in summertime, in June. My brother supposed to come home from flying school to get married and I have 2 months after finish college. You have 2-months vacation; government paying you go back home.
Mr. LIEBELER. To Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; take me 13 day to go home. When I coming home I staying there just few day and my brother coming and war started and after war started, I wrote letter to this government place where you have to write that you like to stay at home not to go back Since war started that I like to staying at home with my mother, not to go back in Siberia, and that's where I stay. That's how come.
Mr. LIEBELER. You were there when the Germans arrived in Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; when Germans come there.
Mr. LIEBELER. So, you would have been studying at college in Leningrad from about 1937, is that right, to 1941?
Mrs. RAY. In 1941 when I coming home and just about 4 years.
Mr. LIEBELER. So, it would have been about 1937 or 1938 that you started at the university in Leningrad?
Mrs. RAY. Well, wait minute, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941; see, 3 1/2 year and they constantly, every second year they send you some place, you know, practice.
Mr. LIEBELER. So, the time you were in Siberia was part of a practice program in connection with your college?
Mrs. RAY. No; at this time that's my job. That's where I have to go.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you actually go from Leningrad to Siberia to start work?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I went; I been once before on practice job then I come back and then they assign me to Siberia.
Mr. LIEBELER. And, you actually went to Siberia before you came to Stalingrad?
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. How long did you stay in Siberia before you came back to Leningrad?
Mrs. RAY. This time I did not stay long. I had this plant they have on ground.
Mr. LIEBELER. Salt processing?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; I have 2-months vacation and I told them that I did like to go back home. You know they let you do these things; you have to admit it and then go back and have us vacation and that's how come I coming home.
Mr. LIEBELER. So, you were not in Siberia very long at all when you went there the first time?
Mrs. RAY. No; but I been to Siberia before on practice.
Mr. LIEBELER.. Let's go back to the conversation that you were having with Mr. Bouhe about possibility that Oswald might have been sent here by the Russians for some purpose, that the Russians had devised for him or asked him to do it.
Mrs. RAY. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us as best you can recall what the conversation was?
Mrs. RAY. Well, seems to be everybody that hasn't just--first I talk with George but then everybody just starting wondering, you know, said why they taken him back; said that's funny, they should not taken him back, never can tell what is going happen. George---one said he don't have any guts to do anything, not any kind--he is just man that is silly. We just decided on this party that he just isn't crazy but--I don't know how to explain.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mental case?
Mrs. RAY. Really not this way but we decided that he just not any count. He isn't any good. He said he try to be smart; he don't have enough sense. Said---they said they going to be through with him. They don't want have anything to do with him any more.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was this conversation carried on in Russian or in English?
Mrs. RAY. In Russian.
Mrs. LIEBELER. Was your husband there at the time?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah; sometimes we tell him what is going on and he ask me sometimes. He remember this discussion, too.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you tell him about the discussion in English or did Mr. Bouhe?
Mrs. RAY. Well, we half way talk in Russian and then we get in on English, you know, and part what when he interested in something we tell him and he mostly, he know what we talking about.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you have any other reason for thinking that Oswald might be a Russian agent other than the fact that he had gotten married to Marina and left Russia with such ease? Was there any other reason that led you to suspect he might be an agent?
Mrs. RAY. I don't know; I cannot recall it but I cannot--I don't know how to tell, that is just my opinion but seems to be he very easy can quit job and go in Moscow. In Russia that isn't so easy quit job. They send me in Siberia; I have to stay there. I cannot quit. I cannot go home and stay there and Work. I have to get permission and stay there and working. I imagine he have permission to go to Moscow, but he seems--from Minsk going to Moscow; I don't know what he been doing but not as far as this; other, I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER. So you thought that in addition to his apparent--in addition to the apparent ease with which he left Russia and the fact he was able to get married and bring Marina out and also because he was able to move from Minsk to Moscow, those are three reasons you thought he might be an agent. Did you have any other reason that led you to believe that?
Mrs. RAY. Well, main things--I don't thought those things be made him agent. I thought that's in Russia get better if they let people quit job and travel and let Marina come back here so easy. I don't thought--that's main things he can be as agent but how come this man coming to my mind, Russia have such a tricks that we thought never can tell what they----
Mr. LIEBELER. Would do?
Mrs. RAY. Will do with him, really; see, I study in college and they don't need Communists coming to Russia. They need Communists going to other country and working.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever receive any training or did you know people who received training in college when you were in Russia to go outside Russia and be agents for Russia?
Mrs. RAY. No; I never received but I do know that we have it in Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER. How do you know; do you have schools like that?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; we have school like this and see, my brother been in military school; he is flyer; he got killed and they do, you know. We study in college, too, that we have to send people out to work with the people and have organized Communist party right there. They don't need, you know in Russia them; they need in other country. They don't want a war; that's as far as they said. We do not want a war.
Mr. LIEBELER. The Russians do not want a war?
Mrs. RAY. Yes; they said we do not want to have a war but we let them have war inside and have revolution and let them destroy themselves, but as far as fight, we don't want it and we have lots of pictures where they showing agents sent from other countries in Russia; other countries send it to Russia and they catch it and they said we have to always be alert and we have to send trained people over and that's as much as I know, but I don't know if they send it or they don't send it. I don't know any people I meet here because I really be cut off. That's first time I meet these people.
Mr. DAVIS. Where would that school be; do you know?
Mrs. RAY. Which kind?
Mr. DAVIS. School where they would teach people this.
Mr. RAY. That is really secret. They don't let you know. In Russia?
Mr. DAVIS. Yes.
Mrs. RAY. I don't know if they do train agents.
Mr. LIEBELER. You were told this when you were going to school in Leningrad, is that correct?
Mrs. RAY. Yeah.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you finally come to a conclusion in this discussion as to whether Oswald was probably a Russian agent or probably was not a Russian agent?
Mrs. RAY. No; we just decided he just plain not any count; just decided he just crazy, not really in mind crazy but he try to be smart but we don't have any conclusion that he is Russian agent but we just been wondering, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER. In fact, didn't you sort of generally conclude and agree that because he did not seem to be a responsible person, that he did not seem to have money that you probably thought he was not a Russian agent?
Mrs. RAY. Well, yes; we said if Russia send some agent here, they do give him all connection here. He be not without money; he be not without job. As far as Oswald, he cannot get job. He have such difficulty and usually if Russia really send it he be don't have any such difficulty. That's what been discussed and we decided he not Russian agent.
Mr. LIEBELER. Can you remember any of the other details of these conversations that you had or have you told us everything that you can recall?
Mrs. RAY. No; that all I recall fight now.
Mr. LIEBELER. Other than this one evening that you saw Oswald and his wife at the Ford party you never saw them at any other time; is that correct?
Mrs. RAY. No, sir; I never see.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know anything else about Oswald that you think the Commission should know that you have not already told us?
Mrs. RAY. No; I don't know nothing else.
Mr. LIEBELER. Is there anything else you would like to add to your testimony you think we should know or do you think we covered it fairly well?
Mrs. RAY. I think you cover it. One thing I want to tell you. When I saw on television what happened, you know, I recognized him right away and when my husband come back from work I told him I said, "Honey, do you know who done it?" It shocked me to know you just met this man; made you kind of disgusted you even know him and never thought there here a man what we thought no count can do something like this and when my husband looking on television, he not remember him. I said, "Well, you remember when I introduced and tell he has been in Russia" and he said, "I not even know what he look like him" and that's much----
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you and your husband discuss the possibility after you saw that Oswald had been arrested in connection with the assassination, did you discuss the possibility then that Oswald might have been a Russian agent or didn't you think about that again?
Mrs. RAY. No; we not. See, my husband called George Bouhe.
Mr. LIEBELER. After the assassination?
Mrs. RAY. After this happen, yeah; and talking to him on telephone and said, "George, is that true that's Oswald really done it?" He said, "Well, we try---just hear it and everything is still--," he said, "We just try to figure out; there we thought he is just don't have any enough guts and then he done things like this." We just can't figure out that he have anything to do with these things, but he said they don't hear from him. He had been left from Dallas. Said last time we been there they quit with him. He give them so much trouble they just want to forget him. Said, "We don't hear from him" but said that's one Oswald what, said, you know this party; my husband did not remember and he thinking I am telling--am mixed up. I said, "Well, that's Marina, and this man is----
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any other questions, Mr. Attorney General.
Mr. DAVIS. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. I think that's all we have at this time. We want to thank you very much for coming in.