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Cryptonym: NEMOV-1

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Marvin Kantor, a Russian-speaking student who defected to Minsk, and left shortly before Oswald's arrival. Like Oswald, he was the only American in Minsk at the time.
Kantor was a Harvard professor in the late fifties, during the period of time that American consul Richard Snyder had been doing some "spotting" for the CIA of possible dangles. Marvin Kantor was wrongly identified by Yuri Nosenko/AEDONOR as "Melvin Kantor" with the wrong birth year. These errors persisted in the file for many years afterwards.


The approval work record shows Marvin Kantor's cryptonym as NEMOV-1, 201-279710, and other identifiers. His case officer was WE/1/D Richard Walsh.

1993.07.24.08:44:28:250310: SECURITY FILE ON MARVIN KANTON

While Kantor was studying Slovenic philology at the University of Copenhagen in 1959, William Dillingham, an American owner of Nema Company in Copenhagen, was involved in counterfeiting passports. This may have been one of the reasons Kantor/NEMOV-1 was recruited. Three pages earlier, Vladimir Ivanov is identified as Kantor's recruiter. The combination of the names Nema and Ivanov is undoubtedly how Kantor was given the cryptonym of Nemov. At p. 51, Office of Security's E. Mendoza mentions that Marvin Kantor was in Minsk 1958-59 and approached by Soviet intelligence. She also mentions that Nosenko/"Norman" referred to a Melvin Kantor and suggests that they may be the same person. Page 47 shows that Burt Turner reviewed case in 1969, and noted that the Soviets were trying to blackmail Kantor by photographing him with a known intelligence officer. Note: The title of "Marvin Kanton" appears to be a mere transcriber's error.


Marina Oswald arrived in Minsk shortly before Kantor left Minsk in Sept. 1959. Kantor described himself as the only American in Minsk. Oswald arrived in Minsk in January 1960. Back in the US during the 1964-1965 period, Kantor and Marina Oswald were enrolled at the University of Michigan at about the same time. He was studying Slavic languages, she was studying English.


After KANTOR refused to sign loyalty oath to Soviets at end of July 1959, he was told at beginning of Sept 1959 that he had to leave Minsk in three days. He returned to Copenhagen. Back at page 3 of this document see NORMAN - aka the Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko - reporting a "Melvin Kantor" born in 1937 with the cryptonym "KARP" (Marvin Kantor was born in 1934). May have been a simple mistake because NORMAN's source did not have first-hand knowledge of Kantor. 104-10120-10521: Another memo of 2/64 from Angleton refers to "SAMMY" - another FBI pseudonym for Nosenko and "CARP" - another cryptonym for Kantor.

104-10120-10515: KANTOR, MELVIN

5/20/64 memo from C/CI James Angleton to the Director, FBI: "Reference is made to your letters dated 23 April 1964 and 14 May 1964...subject Melvin Kantor, and (another memo) dated 28 February 1964, Subject, SAMMY. This Agency has no objection to the (FBI) providing to USIA the information received from SAMMY concerning captioned individual as possibly pertaining to the Marvin Kantor who is an applicant for employment with USIA...(Please repeat the) same source description used in (a previous document): 'The following information comes from a Soviet Intelligence defector whose bona fides have not been established.' Since USIA will presumably also request information on Marvin Kantor from this Agency, it is further requested that you provide us with a copy of your report to USIA so that we may refer to it in our answer to them."

1994.04.13.14:58:27:500005: Reel 44, Folder J - LEE HARVEY OSWALD SOFT FILE.

3/2/65: James Angleton letter (signed by John Mertz) to J. Edgar Hoover,, entitled: "MARVIN KANTOR: Possible Connection to Investigation of Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald." Angleton writes "it may be of interest to your office to note the following coincidences in the backgrounds of KANTOR and Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald...KANTOR claimed to have been something of an oddity in Minsk since he was the only American residing there at the time...(Kantor recalls) Igor (LNU) whose father was a Soviet army general. It is interesting that Oswald also reportedly considered himself to be an oddity as the only American residing in Minsk and attracted more or less the same young Soviets (note: loved "girls, cars...listening to jazz music on the Voice of America) as did Kantor...Oswald listed among his close friends in Minsk a young Soviet named Pavel Golovachev, whose father ostensibly was a Soviet army general. Both Kantor and Oswald had served as enlisted men and technicians in the United States Marine Corps..." Also, Kantor was teaching languages at the University of Michigan and Marina Oswald was studying languages at the University of Michigan.

Bill Simpich

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