LEWISTON — Steven B. Rogers will present at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn Senior College’s “Food For Thought” luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9.

His talk is titled “Were There German Spies on Monhegan Island During World War I?”

The year was 1915. War had been raging in Europe for a year, and the U.S. was trying to remain neutral in that conflict. But Germany raised the stakes when it declared unrestricted submarine warfare against neutral shipping, and a German sub sunk the RMS Lusitania, claiming the lives of more than 100 American civilians. That summer, three mysterious German men appeared on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, and the rumors raged: were they German spies? why were they on Monhegan Island?

Rogers is an independent historian and research consultant based in Washington, D.C. He retired from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010 after 32 years of service investigating war crimes and human rights violations.

He’s originally from Chicago and holds a foreign diploma from the Pädagogische Hochschule-Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany; a BA in German and English from Florida Southern College; an MA in German literature from the University of Arizona in Tucson; and a PhD in Germanic studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.

His essays, articles, poems, reviews and translations have appeared in several books, journals, magazines, encyclopedias and anthologies. He’s currently working on a novel set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, during World War I, and several pieces of shorter fiction that take place in Maine.

Rogers and his wife SallyAnn now travel extensively and divide their time between their home in historic Mount Rainier, Maryland, and a lakeside cottage in New Gloucester.

The luncheon takes place in Function Room 170. The cost is $7 with advance reservations or $8 at the door. Those wishing to register in advance must call 207-753-6510 by noon Sept. 7. Calls received after this will be charged at-the-door pricing.

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