US Government investigator of Nazi era crimes to speak Oct. 8

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US Government investigator of Nazi era crimes to speak Oct. 8

September 28, 2012

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Social Sciences Department and the Institute for Citizenship Studies are pleased to play host to Dr. Steven B. Rogers on Monday, Oct. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium as part of its Annual Cultural Heritage Lecture Series.

He will discuss his academic background and how it prepared him for a distinguished career in the U.S. federal government in his talk “Under the Glass Dome: Studying the Past to Understand the Future.”

Rogers originates from Chicago and has lived in the Washington, D.C., area since 1976. He holds degrees in German, German Literature and Germanic Studies from Florida Southern College (1974), the University of Arizona (1975) and the University of Maryland (1984). He also studied at the Pädigogische Hochschule and the Albert-Ludwig-Universität in Freiburg, Germany.

His teaching credentials include courses in German language, literature and culture at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University College of Maryland, and the Prince George’s Community College. For several years he was on the summer faculty at Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont and at the Human Rights and Holocaust Center of Maine at Bates College teaching Holocaust-related courses.

In 1978-1979, Rogers served as a research analyst for the Special Litigation Unit of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, a task force established to investigate allegations that individuals who assisted in Nazi-sponsored persecution had entered the United States illegally after World War II. In 1979, he was hired as the first historian for the newly created Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice which assumed full jurisdiction for the investigation and prosecution of Nazi persecutors residing in the United States.

During his tenure at OSI, he served as case historian on several proceedings involving Nazi atrocities in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He also served as acting director for research and case development, and later as senior historian for special projects. It was in this latter capacity that he monitored the various U.S. border lookout systems attempting to interdict Nazi persecutors attempting to enter the country.

He served on special task forces investigating the postwar fugitives Klaus Barbie and Josef Mengele, Nazi gold and other Holocaust-era assets (for which he received the Deputy Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Special Initiative), and finally he was OSI’s point man on the review of millions of pages of recently declassified records released by federal agencies to the National Archives and Records Administration. Rogers retired from the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2010 after almost 32 years of service. Today he works as a freelance historian and research consultant on a variety of projects.

Rogers has written and lectured extensively on the investigation of Nazi war crimes. His historical essays, literary criticism pieces, poems, translations and other publications have appeared in several books, journals and magazines.

He also is the editor of A Gradual Twilight: An Appreciation of John Haines, published by CavanKerry Press in 2003. He is currently working on a novel focused on the Great Halifax Explosion of 1917.

He and his wife Sally Ann divide their time between homes in historic Mount Rainier, Md., and New Gloucester, Maine.