The Ninth Batch
Released December 28, 1995
by Joseph Backes
On December 28, 1995 the Assassination Records Review Board released 5 FBI documents. A sixth document #124-10010-10011 was attached for reference.
Document # 124-10023-10234 Document # 124-10023-10235 Document # 124-10023-10236 Document # 124-10023-10237 Document # 124-10023-10238 Document # 124-10010-10011 (attached for reference.)
These documents were really what was supposed to be part of “The Second Batch” that was voted to be released on July 17 and 18 of 1995. The Review Board also attached the previously redacted version of the document with the newer version of the released document. These documents involved an FBI connection with the Federal Police of Switzerland. This persons name is not released. The name of the Swiss official has been withheld and any code or numerical identification of the person was withheld pursuant to a vote the Board took on December 13. These documents were released December 28, 1995 and sent to me by the Board on January 10, 1996.
The release of these documents completes “The Second Batch”. It took five months to get “The Second Batch” released! While I greatly admire the Board’s tenacity in getting these documents released I am appalled at how much of the Board’s time was chewed up in doing so. I worry about future appeals and if the Board will be around to see the issue resolved and the documents released. D.A. Connick is a similar issue.
And now the FBI is at it again with 13 documents that they appealed to President Clinton to keep secret. (Now being May of 1996.)
Chairman Tunheim believes that these pre-assassination FBI records on Lee Harvey Oswald are important. They are supposed to reveal what steps the U.S. government took to determine what Lee Harvey Oswald was doing after he left the United States in 1959 and if someone was impersonating him. He praised the Swiss government for allowing their release.
The Board gave out the previously redacted version and the new and improved version without as much black ink. In fact, Chairman Tunheim used one of these documents, # 124-10023-10235, the previously heavily redacted and the new and improved version, as a kind of show and tell at the American Historical Association annual conference in Atlanta.
This particular document details an effort to find the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland. It was located in Churwalden. I had previously thought Churwalden was in Finland. I regret the error.
Document # 124-10023-10234 is a one page document dated July 27, 1960. It is from the Legat in Paris. It refers to the Bulletin to State Department 6/3/60.
The text states, “This is to advise that pertinent information was furnished to the Swiss Federal Police on 6/16/60 and they were requested to conduct investigation in Switzerland in accordance with the Bureau’s request.
“This was discussed with [redacted] of the Swiss Federal Police on 7/21/60. He advised that this investigation is pending.
“This will be followed and the Bureau will be advised.”
Previously the first and second paragraphs were completely redacted solely to hide the name of the Swiss citizen.
Document # 124-10023-10235 is a one page document from the Legat in Paris to Director, FBI. It is dated 9/27/60. It refers to the Paris letter 7/27/60.
The text states, “This case was discussed with [redacted] of the Swiss Federal Police on 8/12/60 and 9/22/60. He advised that considerable investigation had been conducted to locate the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland, since this college was previously unknown, and their was no official record of its existence in the Federal Government records in Bern. He stated that they have now located the Albert Schweitzer college at Churwalden, Switzerland,and that investigation is currently being conducted in accordance with the Bureau’s request.
“This will be followed with the Swiss Federal Police, and the Bureau will be advised.”
Previously, the entire two paragraphs of text were redacted.
Document # 124-10023-10236 is a one page document from the legat in Paris to Director, FBI. It refers to Paris letter 9/27/60.
The text states, “The Swiss Federal Police furnished the following report on October 1, 1960.
“The investigation at the “Albert Schweitzer college” located at Churwalden, Switzerland, revealed that OSWALD actually had announced his planned attendance at this school for the course beginning in the fall of 1959. Inquiry at the college revealed that he has not arrived there up to the present time. He had originally written a letter from Moscow indicating his intention to attend there. A letter which was addressed to him at this address by his mother was returned to her since his whereabouts are unknown to the college. The Swiss Federal Police advised that it is unlikely that he would have attended the course under a different name. The Swiss Federal Police advised that courses for the fall of 1960 commence on October 2, 1960, and that it is possible that the school may now receive further correspondence from Oswald. At the present time, there is no record of a person possibly identical with the subject who is registered for the courses beginning October 2.
“The Swiss Federal Police advised that if further information comes to the attention of the Albert Schweitzer College, they will be advised and they in turn will advise us.”
Almost all of the document was previously redacted.
Document # 104-10023-10237 is a one page document dated 11/03/60. It is from the Legat in Paris to Director, FBI. It refers to the Paris letter of 10/12/60. The text states, “The Swiss Federal Police furnished the following additional information on 10/24/60.
“Subject enrolled for the 3rd (?) trimester (20 April – July 1960) by Letter dated 19 March 1959; his address was then indicated as: MCAF, MACS – 9, Santa Anna, California, USA. He exchanged further requested papers. His last letter to the college dates of 19 June 1959; it contained the deposit of $25 dollars towards the school fees and he expressed his satisfaction at being accepted at the college and anticipated joy at the coming sojourn at Churwalden. The college authorities have not heard from OSWALD since, and he has not turned up for the course.
“Through subject’s mother, Mrs. Marguerite OSWALD, 1410 Hurley, Fort Worth, Texas, who by letters dated 6 April and 6 June 1960 inquired about the whereabouts of her son, the college learned that OSWALD had gone to Moscow in November 1959 and lived there at the Hotel Metropole.
“If any news should be received by the Albert Schweitzer College in Churwalden about Lee Harvey OSWALD, you will be duly informed.” “Any further information received from the Swiss Federal Police will be furnished to the Bureau.”
Surprisingly, most of the document was not redacted previously, only the Document # 124-10010-10011, which was included for reference, is a document familiar to the assassination research community. It is dated June 3, 1960. It is to the Office of Security from John Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI. The text states, “Reference is made to Foreign Service Dispatch Number 234 dated November 2, 1959, concerning subject’s renunciation of his American citizenship at the United States Embassy, Moscow, Russia, on October 31, 1959.” Also mentioned is the Fain report dated May 12, 1960. That’s the one entitled “Funds transmitted to Residents of Russia”. Hoover notes that Marguerite C. Oswald received a letter back from the Albert Schweitzer College. She stated that subject had taken his birth certificate with him when he left home. The famous paragraph quoted from this document is, “Since there is a possibility that an impostor is using Oswald’s birth certificate any current information the Department of State may have concerning subject would be appreciated.”
That paragraph is certainly important but has been overshadowed by other questions.
How is the FBI able to obtain information about the contents of Oswald’s correspondence? Well, they opened his mail. What was the Director of Naval Intelligence’s opinion of this? He got a copy of this.
This release was a small one. I will have more on the latest releases soon.