Office of Special Investigations
OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS
The United States Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations (osi) was established in 1979 for the purpose of investigating and bringing suit to denaturalize and deport persons who took part in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution, and to exclude from entry into the United States any person listed on osi's "watch list" of suspected Nazi and Axis persecutors. Since its inception through 2004, osi has denaturalized 98 individuals and brought action against an additional 34 suspected persecutors; it has also assembled a list of nearly 70,000 foreign individuals whose names it added to the United States Government's "watchlist" to be denied entry into the country. The targets of osi's activities are largely Americans who entered the United States under false pretenses by hiding their Nazi past when applying for residency or citizenship; many have been deported. Since 2004, osi's mandate has been expanded, and the agency is now also responsible for investigating and taking legal action to denaturalize American citizens who took part in war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, or torture outside of the United States.
osi has handled several high-profile cases, including placing former Austrian President and United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on the "watch list," based on Waldheim's service in the Wehrmacht while in the Balkans and Greece as Jews were being deported and murdered there. osi also successfully prosecuted Arthur Rudolph, the former project director of nasa's Saturn v moon rocket program, who left the country in 1984 when osi proved he served from 1943 to 1945 as director of the Mittelwerk slave labor v-2 rocket factory. In 1981, Karl Linnas was stripped of his citizenship when osi shed light on his notorious past as commander of the Tartu, Estonia, concentration camp and his personal involvement in the killing of thousands of Jews.
One case in which osi found itself enmeshed in controversy was that of John Demjanjuk, a retired Cleveland, Ohio, auto worker. In news that attracted international headlines, the Justice Department accused Demjanjuk of being "Ivan the Terrible," an infamous and brutal Ukrainian guard at Treblinka. In 1982, Demjanjuk was stripped of American citizenship and deported by osi to Israel, where he was convicted of murder, though his conviction was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993 for lack of evidence. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit subsequently ruled that osi had "acted with a reckless disregard for the truth" in the case. Nonetheless, in a separate legal case brought by osi, Demjanjuk was eventually stripped of his citizenship for his activities in the Sobibor death camp and several concentration camps.
The directors of the osi have included Walter Rockler (1979–80), a former Nuremberg prosecutor, Allan A. Ryan, Jr. (1980–83), Neal M. Sher (1983–94), and Eli M. Rosenbaum (1994– ).
[Ralph Grunewald (2nd ed.)]
"Office of Special Investigations." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/office-special-investigations
"Office of Special Investigations." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 22, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/office-special-investigations
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.