The German Newspaper Article (Part 1)

May 12, 2020

While Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) sat in a Dallas jail cell, General Walker was still at a party in Shreveport, Louisiana.  On Saturday, November 23, 1963 at 7 AM (as he testified) he was sleeping in his hotel room and awakened by a telephone call from Germany.  A reporter introduced himself as Hasso Thorsten for the weekly newspaper, Deutsche Nationalzeitung (DNZ) of Munich, Germany.  He allegedly asked Walker for an interview about the JFK Assassination, and Walker obliged. 

 

The newspaper editor, Dr. Gerhard Frey was formerly an editor of a Nazi journal.  In 1960 Frey became friends with General Walker, Commanding Officer of the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, Germany – on call to defend the Berlin Wall.  

 

On Sunday, November 24, 1963, Walker was again interviewed by Thorsten after LHO was murdered while in police custody.  In this second interview, General Walker told Thorsten that he knew LHO was his own April 10th shooter.  Frey published these two interviews of Walker in his next issue. 

 

The issue was printed to be released the following weekend (11/29/1963), but advance copies were distributed widely – including to the FBI.  This would later rivet the Warren Commission (WC) because of the early date of the interviews.  FBI headquarters had declared to the WC that it had no clue in 1963 that LHO had been Walker’s April shooter.  They first heard that fact from Marina Oswald on December 6th.  How, then, did General Walker know that LHO was his April shooter, two weeks earlier than the FBI?

 

Perhaps the editor of the DNZ was merely careless.  So, the FBI asked the German equivalent of the FBI (the BFV) to have a look.  The BFV contacted the editor, Dr. Frey, who explained that ‘Hasso Thorsten’ was an alias of Helmut Münch.  The BFV contacted the writer, Helmut Münch and questioned him thoroughly, and relayed his affidavit to the FBI.  Münch told the BFV that General Walker was the source of the claim that JFK’s assassin was the same shooter who shot at Walker seven months earlier. 

 

WC attorney Wesley Liebeler, holding this FBI report in his hands, would ask General Walker about that issue of Deutsche Nationalzeitung.  First, he asked if Walker knew the journalist Helmut Münch.  Walker said no, he did not.  Liebeler had to dig deeper.

 

Let’s dig deeper, too.  We can examine that FBI report for ourselves, finding it online at the Mary Farrell web site.  Look in the ADMIN FOLDER E11: HSCA ADMINISTRATIVE FOLDER, OUTGOING TO COMMISSION VOL IX, starting on page 330.  I will quote only a few of the first sentences here:

 

Honorable J. Lee Rankin (5/22/63)

 

German writer, Helmut Herbert Münch, when located and interviewed by the German BFV advised that General Walker had told him in one of the trans-Atlantic telephone calls that he, Walker, believed Oswald was the man who had made an attempt on his life…The November 29, 1963 edition of this newspaper carried on its front page an article entitled…

 

THE STRANGE CASE OF OSWALD 

'The murderer of Kennedy made an attempt on U.S. General Walker’s life in the summer when General Walker was sitting in his study'…”

 

Let’s just stop here and reflect.  This was the only sentence that was interesting to the WC.  WC attorney Wesley Liebeler asked Walker multiple questions about this one sentence.  Münch claimed that Walker told him that LHO had been his April shooter, so how does Walker respond?  In sworn testimony (with his lawyer at his side) Walker claimed that, he never said that, he never knew that, and he still doesn’t know that.

 

We are stalled for the moment.

 

So, let’s shed some historical light on Walker’s opinion of the WC – the Commission of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.  The Radical Right in America had lobbied since 1954 to impeach Earl Warren because of Warren’s 1954 Brown Decision to racially integrate all US Public Schools.  As a committed member of the US Radical Right, Walker had publicly expressed his contempt for Earl Warren for many years.  

 

I wouldn’t expect Walker to change his politics for Earl Warren’s Commission.  The US Radical Right publicly exclaimed: Chief Justice Earl Warren had deliberately ignored the Communist connection to the JFK Assassination!  Perhaps Earl Warren was a stooge of the Communists!  Walker tirelessly repeated that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist and that proves that there was a Communist plot!  Why wouldn’t Earl Warren listen?  Probably Joe McCarthy was correct, and the Communists had already taken over Washington DC!

 

All Earl Warren could do was roll his eyes.

 

So, why should General Walker tell the truth to the Warren Commission?  Was it not more patriotic (in the eyes of the US Radical Right) to undermine the WC whenever possible?  Perhaps even to commit perjury?

 

In any case, let’s look closer into the FBI report that WC attorney Wesley Liebeler held in his hands in the courtroom.  The FBI translated the full article into English and includes all of it in its file.  Here is a further snippet from the FBI file: 

 

A confidential source abroad advised that a source available to it had interviewed a journalist named Helmut Herbert Münch…At that time Münch said that after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he had telephonically interviewed General Walker and that the results of this interview had been published in the November 29, 1963 issue of the Deutsche Nationalzeitung…

 

About 24 hours following this first telephonic talk with Walker, Münch had again called Walker from Germany.  During that conversation Walker had expressed the opinion that Oswald had been the man who had made the attempt on Walker’s life…

 

Münch said that he furnished all of the information from his two conversations with Walker to Dr. Gerhard Frey, editor of the Deutsche Nationalzeitung.  Münch believes that Frey took the references that Walker had made to the attack on him and the expressed opinion of Walker that Oswald had been the attacker and includes these in the short article under the title, The Strange Case of Oswald, without making any reference to the fact that this information originated with the interviews of Walker… 

 

…Also, on the front page of the November 29, 1963 issue there appeared as the main article what purported to be a transcript of two telephonic interviews 24 hours apart with General Edwin A. Walker.  The text of this article was in question-and-answer form, and the newspaper reporter was referred to therein as Hasso Thorsten…[English translation follows]:

 

The Nationalzeitung is the first newspaper in the world to obtain a firsthand report of the JFK slaying from a key spokesman of U.S. conservative opposition, General Walker.  Reporter Hasso Thorsten woke up General Walker from his hotel room in Shreveport Louisiana at 7am to talk about the JFK assassination. 

 

“The buzz in Europe,” said Thorsten, “is that ultra-rightists were the assassins.” 

 

“Nonsense,” replied Walker, “the murderer is a Marxist, a well-known Communist.” 

 

Thorsten expressed his doubts that a leftist would ever kill a leftist… 

 

Walker was scheduled to appear on Meet the Press that evening, so he shared his prepared statement with Thorsten…

 

The JFK assassination came as no surprise.  His sympathies go out first to all those fallen in the battle against Communism... 

 

Walker: We have been talking about this Marxist assassin…this Oswald…Lee Oswald.  I have just learned that John Abt from New York has offered to defend him in court…

 

DNZ:  This cannot be true.  I have to make sure.  Is it John Abt?

 

Walker:  Right.  Mr. Abt is an American Jew who defends all big Communist cases…

 

DNZ:  How come you have one of them in your own “Promised Land?” 

 

Walker: (laughing) We’ll keep in close touch, Thorsten.  Give my regards to my German friends, especially Dr. Frey…

 

I want to make a personal observation here.  This doesn’t sound like a spontaneous interview – this sounds like a scripted interview.  If it was, then Walker was surely the scriptwriter.

 

Anyway, this document was in the hands of WC attorney Wesley Liebeler who had one burning question for Walker, namely, how could Walker possibly know that LHO was his April shooter two full weeks before the FBI at Washington DC headquarters?  Let’s look at some of Walker’s WC testimony here (on 23 July 1964, with Walker’s attorney, Clyde Watts, at his side):

 

Mr. LIEBELER.  …You have seen the November 29, 1963 copy of that newspaper which had on its front page a story entitled in German, The Strange Case of Oswald that told about how Oswald had allegedly attacked you. 

 

Gen. WALKER.  November 29, that is correct. 

 

Mr. LIEBELER.  Now, where did that newspaper get that information, do you know?

 

Gen. WALKER.  I do not.  There was an article in the paper that he probably got from me… 

 

Mr. LIEBELER.  Well, now, did you tell anybody from this newspaper that Oswald had shot at you and that this had been known prior to the time of the assassination of the President?

 

Gen. WALKER.  No; I did not.

 

Here we behold a contradiction between the word of Helmut Münch and the word of resigned General Edwin Walker.  Münch said Walker told him.  Walker said he did not.  We need a tie breaker. 

 

The tie breaker comes from Walker himself.  Let’s take another look at Walker’s letter to Senator Frank Church in 1975.  The full letter is at this URL, where we can see Walker's signature.

 

http://www.pet880.com/images/19750623_EAW_to_Frank_Church.pdf

 

In that single page, Walker opened by referring to his April 10th shooting, when somebody. At 9 PM, hiding in the alley behind his home, tried to shoot him with a rifle.  Here’s the full letter.

 

Senator Frank Church                                                                     June 23, 1975

US Senate Office Bld'g.

Washington D.C.

 

Dear Senator Church:

 

The Warren Commission found and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to assassinate the undersigned at his home, at 9 pm. on April 10, 1963.

 

The initial and immediate investigation at the time of the incident reported two men at my home, one with a gun, seen by an eye-witness – a neighbor.

 

Within days I was informed by a Lieutenant on the Dallas City Police Force that Oswald was in custody by 12 pm. that night for questioning.  He was released on higher authority than that in Dallas.

 

There were two men, not a "Lonely Loner".

 

Please inform me if the CIA was involved in this attempted assassination?

 

Yours Sincerely

Edwin A. Walker

 

For now, please focus only on the sentence in italics.  Walker gives us some new information – his source was a “Lieutenant on the Dallas City Police Force.”   However, Walker doesn’t give us the name of that Lieutenant.  Still, the claim is clear: somebody authoritative told Walker “within days” that LHO was his shooter.  It was no guess. 

 

Walker here admitted it personally – with his own signature. 

 

We must conclude based on the material evidence that Walker contradicted himself with this 1975 letter.  Yet his earlier statement was given under oath.  Therefore, if this 1975 letter tells the truth, then we justly conclude that Walker committed perjury in his WC testimony. 

 

This means that Walker actually was the source of that early claim that LHO was his shooter.  So, Helmut Münch told the truth back in 1964.

 

But why would Walker lie about it?  Why not simply take the 5th Amendment the way that Robert Alan Surrey had done two dozen times in his WC testimony.  Here’s my opinion:

 

  1. If Walker took the 5th Amendment, it would have stopped the presses.  He would have instantly become infamous worldwide. 

  2. Yet the truth about Walker knowing “within days” that LHO was his shooter would have unraveled the whole Dallas plot against JFK.

  3. It would have sought the name of that “Lieutenant on the Dallas City Police Force.”

  4. Since there was no such person, they would have eventually revealed James Hosty, who had been tracking LHO for Walker since 1962, because Walker hated the idea of a “defector” and his Russian wife in Dallas.

  5. The collusion of Dallas FBI agent James Hosty with General Walker and Robert Alan Surrey would explain how Walker knew “within days” that LHO was his April shooter.  

  6. It would explain how the Dallas FBI would know while the FBI in Washington DC did not – because Hosty had been keeping deep dark secrets from J. Edgar Hoover. 

  7. It would have likely exposed James Hosty’s crime -– colluding with suspects against J. Edgar Hoover himself.

 

Once this was revealed, all other accomplices would fall into place.  Of those we have reviewed so far in the past 17 months; Dallas Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels; Postal Inspector Harry Holmes; Sheriff Bill Decker; Police Chief Jesse Curry; Captain Will Fritz; Lieutenant J.C. Day; Sergeant Gerald Hill; Captain William Westbrook; Inspector Herbert Sawyer; Sergeant D.V. Harkness; Detective C.W. Brown; Detective Richard Sims; Detective Elmer Boyd; Detective C.N. Dhority; Officer Edgar Smith;  Officer Joe Smith;  Officer Welcome Barnett; Deputy Buddy Walthers; Deputy Roger Craig; Deputy Seymour Weitzman; Deputy Luke Mooney; Deputy Eugene Boone; and Printer Robert G. Klause.

 

I’m positive there were more (e.g. Roscoe White, Loran Hall, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis) but those 27 above are the ones who testified for the WC. These others did not. Only the actual WC witnesses gave us the conflicting testimony that we've unraveled to get to our current point.

 

There were questions that the WC attorneys overlooked (probably because they had been rushed to interview over 450 witnesses and correlate a conclusion as quickly as possible).  For example, General Walker was still in Louisiana on Sunday morning, November 24th , the morning when Ruby killed LHO – so how could Walker tell 'Thorsten' on Sunday morning that for much of Saturday, LHO had been attempting to hire an obscure attorney named John Abt?  

 

Clearly Walker was in close communication with somebody in Dallas – and my first suspect would be James Hosty – the man with the closest connection to Captain Fritz and Chief Curry, and who had more free time than most.  

 

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

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