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Betty M. Burger papers

Identifier: IWA0792

Scope and Contents

Betty Burger's papers are primarily concerned with the case of Simas Kudirka, a Lithuanian sailor who attempted to defect to the United States in 1970 and was sent to a Siberian labor camp, gaining his release after four years due to the efforts of Burger, Illinois Senator Robert Hanrahan, and Lithuanian-American groups. The papers include notes of phone conversations concerning the case, as well as a 1973 book about the case by Algis Ruksenas.


  • 1973-2009


Biographical or Historical Information

Betty M. Burger grew up in Knoxville, Iowa and married John H. Burger in 1937, the year she graduated from high school; they were the parents of four children.  She worked as a legal secretary in Knoxville and in Fairfield, Iowa and was active in the Republican Party. From 1967 to 1972 she was on the staff of Congressman Fred Schwengel (R-Iowa), followed by two years on the staff of Congressman Robert Hanrahan (R-Illinois). She then joined Iowa Senator Charles Grassley's staff, serving as chief caseworker for thirty-two years.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials