Louise's Reviews > Marita: The Spy Who Loved Castro

Marita by Marita Lorenz
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really liked it
bookshelves: cuba, germany, biography, women-s-issues, assassinations-and-attempts

Marita Lorenz dramatic's life began in 1939 in Germany as the child of an American mother and German father. I was riveted to her memoir which will left me exhausted in the end. As I read this book, I kept asking myself two questions: How much of this is true? How could she do this?

How much is true? She is very specific with names and places. I presume a lot of this can be backed up with documents and court records, but the book is not footnoted. Marita claims she gave the photo of herself with Lee Harvey Oswald and Frank Sturgis (at the, presumably, CIA training camp where she saw Jack Ruby) was given to Sen. Howard Baker and the photo of her son with Fidel Castro is held by Oliver Stone. Witnesses may be deceased, but could someone have told someone still living who can corroborate the rescue from the Amazon rain forest? The trip to Dallas? The way she was taken out of Spain? etc.

How could she do this? As a toddler she was separated from her parents, sent to Bergen-Belsen and rescued after 8 months; She was raped at age 7. She received concentration camp survivor’s benefits and she names the rapist who was brought to trial for this and other rapes. These events should be documentable, but again, no footnotes. Is her impulsive behavior result from PTSD? Are victims of child abuse prone to promiscuity? Was this the result of an adventurous spirit (similar to her mother before her) in a time of limited roles for women?

Her life and life-style shed light on what her mother would call a “kept woman” of this era. I lost track of the many men who kept her. The first was Fidel Castro with whom she fell in love with at age 19. He kept her in a hotel room and visited her from time to time. (By age 21, still in love, she joins a group dedicated to killing him.) With the deposed President of Venezuela Marcos Perez Jimemez one day she receives a $36,000 bracelet, not long after she is on food stamps. Her second child (or maybe it's her third) had four paternal claimants; 3 were “waiting” at the hospital, and the (believed to be) real father was in jail. As her two US kids grow, they are moved around a lot, often sent to live with others.

From time to time Marita has a job, but they do not last long. She does not have a high school diploma and has no training. While she mentions education for her two kids, it is a minimal factor in their lives.

If the parts about Sturgis, Oswald, Ruby and are true, it is amazing that she is still alive. This book: Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination covers all those who knew or could have known who killed Kennedy and how, and how they were disposed of.

The book adds to the record on the Kennedy Assassination, showing additional links for the CIA and the Mafia. It also shows the life of a mistress to the powerful and corrupt in this era.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 19, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 20, 2018 – Shelved
April 20, 2018 – Shelved as: cuba
April 20, 2018 – Shelved as: germany
April 20, 2018 – Shelved as: biography
April 20, 2018 – Shelved as: women-s-issues
April 20, 2018 – Shelved as: assassinations-and-attempts

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Donald (new)

Donald Powell Sounds fascinating.


message 2: by Louise (last edited Apr 21, 2018 10:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise There is something amazing on every page. It seems real because the author does not use embellishing language.

The Committee on Assassinations labeled her an "unreliable witness" - which is easy to make stick - which could be a cover for someone who does not want something out.

Basically, I think she is a "me too" woman to powerful men - but doesn't understand the dynamic.


message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Louise...thanks so much for bringing this book to may attention.
I'm ordering it today! Great review....as always :)


Louise I'll look for your review.
I read it in a day or so... she was exhausting!


message 5: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Louise wrote: "I'll look for your review.
I read it in a day or so... she was exhausting!"

Some books will just not let go! I read The Butchering Art in one day!


message 6: by Lilo (new)

Lilo This seems to me a bit like the memoir "The Liars' Club", which I consider a mixture of "Dichtung und Wahrheit" (fiction and truth).


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