Passport

Lee Harvey Oswald’s request for Soviet citizenship

From Unredacted, the very cool blog of the National Security Archive, here is a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, asking for citizenship from the Soviet Union. He lived in the Soviet Union, mostly in Minsk, from 1959 to 1962; the Soviets rejected his request ...

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From Unredacted, the very cool blog of the National Security Archive, here is a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, asking for citizenship from the Soviet Union. He lived in the Soviet Union, mostly in Minsk, from 1959 to 1962; the Soviets rejected his request for citizenship. A PDF of the letter is here — a bit grainy, but readable. Here’s what it says:

I Lee Harvey Oswald, request that I be granted citizenship in the Soviet Union, my visa began on Oct. 15, and will expire on Oct. 21, I must be granted asylum before this date. [Unreadable] I wait for the citizenship decision.

At present I am a citizen of the United States of America.

I want citizenship because; I am a communist and a worker, I have lived in a decadent capitalist society where the workers  are slaves.

I am twenty years old, I have completed three years  in the United States Marine Corps, I served with the occupation forces in Japan, I have seen American military imperialism in all its forms,

I do not want to return to any country outside of the Soviet Union. 

I am writing to give up my American citizenship and assume the responsibilities of a Soviet citizen.

I had saved my money which I earned as a private in the American military for two years, in order to come to Russia for the express purpose of seeking citizenship here. I do not have enough money left to live indefintly [sic] here, or to return to any other country. I have no desire to return to any other country. I ask that my request be given quick consideration. 

Sincerly[sic],

Lee H. Oswald

From Unredacted, the very cool blog of the National Security Archive, here is a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, asking for citizenship from the Soviet Union. He lived in the Soviet Union, mostly in Minsk, from 1959 to 1962; the Soviets rejected his request for citizenship. A PDF of the letter is here — a bit grainy, but readable. Here’s what it says:

I Lee Harvey Oswald, request that I be granted citizenship in the Soviet Union, my visa began on Oct. 15, and will expire on Oct. 21, I must be granted asylum before this date. [Unreadable] I wait for the citizenship decision.

At present I am a citizen of the United States of America.

I want citizenship because; I am a communist and a worker, I have lived in a decadent capitalist society where the workers  are slaves.

I am twenty years old, I have completed three years  in the United States Marine Corps, I served with the occupation forces in Japan, I have seen American military imperialism in all its forms,

I do not want to return to any country outside of the Soviet Union. 

I am writing to give up my American citizenship and assume the responsibilities of a Soviet citizen.

I had saved my money which I earned as a private in the American military for two years, in order to come to Russia for the express purpose of seeking citizenship here. I do not have enough money left to live indefintly [sic] here, or to return to any other country. I have no desire to return to any other country. I ask that my request be given quick consideration. 

Sincerly[sic],

Lee H. Oswald

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

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