Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Erasmus Kloman: Stories from a Former OSS Agent and World Traveler

Listen to his interview!

In learning about the life of Erasmus, better known as "Raz" Kloman, one is left pondering just when he had the time to sleep. Interwoven in service with the Officer's Candidate School, the OSS, the State Department, and other public bureaus, Raz managed to study at Princeton, Harvard, and Penn. Traveling around the world, Raz has written extensively about his experiences all throughout Europe. His life is one of unmatched service to one's country as well as a sincere appreciation for intellectual growth and worldly exploration.

In preparation for the Second World War, Raz began his training at the Officers Candidate School. Recruited by the Office of Strategic Services, Raz traveled to work in France, Italy, and many places around the Mediterranean. Working at the Russian desk during the Cold War, Raz was sent to study Russian at Harvard, and rose within the ranks of the agency during the conflict. Eventually, Raz would resign from the OSS and come to work for the State Department from 1949 to 1953. Focusing on recovery of the European allies after WWII, Raz was involved in substantial policy work with the Department, through which he handled important classified information. 

Moving through various public affairs agencies during the Korean War and the era of McCarthyism, Raz eventually moved to the private sector, working for the Philadelphia Ad Agency, as well as the Foreign Policy Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. In receiving his PhD. from UPenn in African Studies (in part due to his work with the FPRI), Raz would come to work with AMAX Global, a large metals corporation which highly valued Mr. Kloman's wealth of knowledge in global affairs and African studies. 

Rounding out his spectacularly long and diverse resume, Raz finally came to work for the National Academy of Public Administration, through which he worked extensively with NASA management. With NASA, he contributed to substantive work with the Lunar Orbiter Project as well as the Surveyor Program. 

In his interview, Raz recounts his amazing work with the OSS, recalling fascinating tales about working with resistance fighters in the European theater of the Second World War. His perspective on the courage and bravery of these forces puts into perspective the true reality behind the struggles of Axis control. In addition, Mr. Kloman highlights amazing stories regarding information gathering missions with the OSS, including one particular instance where he had to develop--on the spot--a plan to save himself just in case the mission went south. Clearly, his story is one of amazing risk and dedication to service for his country. If I could accomplish half of what Mr. Kloman has, I would consider my life a success. 

Raz currently resides in Maryland with his wife, Sue Kloman. In their worldly travels, Raz has written highly informative pieces  about his endeavors. To view and purchase his work, click here.

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