Iron curtain

While we were touring Maramureș and Bukovina, from where our reporting was suspended due to a computer error – but we will make up for this soon –, Arkadiusz Bernaś, the former director of the Polish Institute in Budapest and the present one of the same Institute in Stockholm, to whom we thank for our travel to Drohobycz, hurried with a good material to the help of Río Wang:

“I have seen an Imogen Cunningham photo exhibition here in Stockholm:

The photographer’s passport was also exhibited, I took a quick photo of it. How long may they have stamped this into American passports?”

The internet only knows about three passports into which a stamp with this text was sealed.

One of them is presented by Gail Ingram in the travel blog Equator. The photo represents her and her twin sister in 1958. She attributes the stamp to the suppression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.

The other, issued on May 18, 1959, belonged to Ella Fitzgerald.

The third one belonged to nobody else but President Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. This was issued on September 10, 1959.

However, according to the article of an amateur researcher of the Kennedy assassionation, this kind of stamp was not at all common in the era, despite the fact that American-Hungarian relations really sunk to their deepest point after 1956. In 1998, the author officially asked about the reason at the American State Department, who after so long time could not give any information any more.

And you, dear readers, can you?

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