Marita Lorenz (born August 18, 1939 in Bremen) is a German woman who had an affair with Fidel Castro in 1959 and in January 1960 was involved in an assassination attempt by the CIA on Castro's life. She later had a child with the Venezuelan former dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez. In the 1970s she testified about the John F. Kennedy assassination, stating that she was involved with a group of anti-Cuban militants including Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the assassination. She currently lives in New York.
Early life, Bergen Belsen
She was born in Bremen as the daughter of a German captain and an American actress. Her mother was accused of helping forced laborers in Bremen escape, and Marita and her mother were incarcerated in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Freed after the war, she spent some time traveling with her father on his passenger liner.
In 1959, weeks after the Cuban Revolution, she arrived in Havana with her father on board of the MS Berlin. Fidel Castro and his men visited the ship and the Máximo Líder took a liking to the nineteen-year-old girl. She stayed in Havana, lived with Castro for several months and became pregnant. She underwent an abortion in the 6th month of pregnancy. She claims it was forced on her, while one of Castro's assistants claims that she wanted it.
She left the island and joined anti-Castro activists in Florida. Her later testimony named Francisco Fiorini as the CIA agent who recruited her to assassinate Castro, and that this was an alias for Frank Fiorini Sturgis. She received poison pills that she was to put in Castro's food. Back in Cuba in 1960, she did not deliver the pills but told Castro about the plot, claiming that she still loved him. She left the island and visited Castro one last time in 1981.
While continuing to work against Castro's Cuba, in 1961 she met the deposed Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez who lived in the US. She was to collect money from him to support the anti-Castro fight; the two had a daughter.
JFK conspiracy allegations
In 1977, Lorenz told the New York Daily News that she met Oswald in the fall of 1963 at an Operation 40 safe house in the Little Havana section of Miami. According to Lorenz, she met him again before the Kennedy assassination in 1963 in the house of Orlando Bosch, with Frank Sturgis, Pedro Luis Díaz Lanz, and two other Cubans present. She said the men studied Dallas street maps and that she suspected that they were planning on raiding an arsenal. Lorenz stated that she joined the men traveling to Dallas in two cars and carrying "rifles and scopes", but flew back to Miami the day after they arrived. In response to her allegations, Sturgis said he did not recall ever meeting Oswald and reiterated his previous denials of being involved in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. In an interview with Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post, he said that he believed communist agents had pressured Lorenz into making the accusations against him.
Lorenz testified about this supposed Kennedy assassination plot before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Her testimony was carefully investigated by the committee and found to be unreliable.
In February, 1985, she testified in a trial involving a suit by E. Howard Hunt against the Liberty Lobby, which had written that Hunt was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Attorney Mark Lane used her testimony in an attempt to prove that Hunt was a JFK assassination conspirator.
Work for the FBI
In 1970 she married the manager of an apartment building in New York. The two worked for the FBI spying on Eastern Bloc UN diplomats living in the building.
Books and films
In 1993 she wrote her first autobiography, Marita: One Woman's Extraordinary Tale of Love and Espionage from Castro to Kennedy (ISBN 1560250550), with Ted Schwarz. Her second autobiography Lieber Fidel – Mein Leben, meine Liebe, mein Verrat (ISBN 3471780793) appeared in 2001.
She is the subject of a 2000 German documentary film Lieber Fidel - Maritas Geschichte ("Dear Fidel - Marita's Story"). During the filming she traveled to Havana to meet Castro, but he didn't receive her.
- Lieber Fidel - Maritas Geschichte, documentary film by Wilfried Huismann, Germany 2000
- Meskil, Paul (September 20, 1977). "Ex-Spy Says She Drove To Dallas With Oswald & Kennedy 'Assassin Squad'". New York Daily News (New York). p. 5. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Dunleavy, Steve (November 3, 1977). "Sturgis' Exclusive Story; Marita Pressured By Reds". New York Post (New York). pp. 3, 14. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Gaeton Fonzi on Marita Lorenz
- Marita Lorenz at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website for film
- Gaeton Fonzi on Marita Lorenz