George de Mohrenschildt


George de Mohrenschildt : biography

April 17, 1911 – March 29, 1977

No credible evidence has been provided that establishes that de Mohrenschildt was in the employ of the CIA or that he managed Oswald under the agency’s direction.

Depictions in the popular media

De Mohrenschildt was played by Willem Oltmans in the 1991 film, JFK and by Bill Bolender in the 1993 TV movie, Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald. He is also mentioned at length in the Stephen King novel, 11/22/63, a time travel novel about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and his Haitian experience in Hans Christoph Buch’s novel Haïti Chérie (Suhrkamp, 1990). More recently, de Mohrenschildt was discussed at length in the Tru TV series, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. The episode states that George de Mohrenschildt was in fact a CIA handler for Lee Harvey Oswald.

Early life

George de Mohrenschildt was born in Mozyr in Tsarist Russia, presently in Belarus, (his birthdate was April 4 in the old style Russian Julian calendar).Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 168, . His wealthy father, Sergius Alexander von Mohrenschildt was arrested by the Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution for anti-Communist activities.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 171, . Sergius was sentenced to life in exile in Siberia, but managed to escape with his family to Poland during the 1920s.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 172, . George graduated from a Polish military academy in 1931,Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 175, . and received the equivalent of a doctor of science in international commerce from the University of Liège in Belgium in 1938.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, pp. 177-178, .

George de Mohrenschildt immigrated to the United States in May 1938. Upon his arrival, British intelligence reportedly told the U.S. government that they suspected he was working for German intelligence. By some accounts, he was under FBI surveillance for a time. De Mohrenschildt was hired by the Shumaker company in New York City, which also employed a man named Pierre Fraiss who had connections with French intelligence. According to de Mohrenschildt, he and Fraiss, among their other duties, gathered information about people involved in "pro-German" activities, such as those bidding for U.S. oil leases on behalf of Germany before the U.S. became involved in World War II.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 183, . De Mohrenschildt testified that the purpose of their data-collection was to help the French out-bid the Germans.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 184, .

De Mohrenschildt spent the summer of 1938 with his older brother Dimitri von Mohrenschildt on Long Island, New York. Dimitri was a staunch anti-CommunistWarren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 176, . and member of the OSS and one of the founders of the CIA’s Radio Free Europe and Amcomlib (a.k.a., Radio Liberty) stations.Baker, Russ. Family of Secrets (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009), p. 72. ISBN 978-1-59691-557-2 His contacts included top officials of the CIA. (Dimitri died at the age of 100 in 2002.)

While in New York, de Mohrenschildt became acquainted with the Bouvier family, including young Jackie, future wife of John F. Kennedy. Jackie grew up calling de Mohrenschildt "Uncle George" and would sit on his knee.Baker, Russ. Family of Secrets (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009), p. 128. ISBN 978-1-59691-557-2 He became a close friend of Jackie’s aunt Edith Bouvier Beale.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 179, .

De Mohrenschildt dabbled in the insurance business from 1939 to 1941, but failed to pass his broker’s examination.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, p. 180, . In 1941, he became associated with Film Facts in New York, a production company owned by his cousin Baron Maydell who was said to have pro-Nazi sympathies. (De Mohrenschildt denied any Nazi sympathies of his own, claiming he helped raise money for the Polish resistance.) De Mohrenschildt made a documentary film about resistance fighters in Poland.Warren Commission Hearings, volume 9, pp. 182-183, . However, when the United States entered World War II, his application to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was rejected. According to a memo by former CIA director Richard Helms, de Mohrenschildt "was alleged to be a Nazi espionage agent.""Oswald Friend Labeled CIA Informant in Memo", Dallas Times Herald, July 27, 1978.