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Moe Berg


The American recruits of the OSS included some well-known figures from the time. Morris “Moe” Berg was a professional baseball player with the Boston Red Sox, once described by fellow player Casey Stengl as “the strangest man ever to play baseball”. Berg quit the sport in August 1939 to help the war effort.

Moe BergTaken on by the OSS, his multilingualism - he reportedly spoke ten languages fluently - and knowledge of physics saw him dropped into Italy to gather intelligence on Axis efforts to develop nuclear weapons. 

In December 1944 he was sent to Zurich to infiltrate a conference attended by the famed German physicist Werner Heisenberg. Posing as a businessman, Berg was instructed to shoot Heisenberg, even in the hall if necessary, if he divulged any information that indicated he was working on an atomic bomb for Hitler. After making contact with Heisenberg, and dining with him later that week, Berg decided against shooting him, and returned to the US in April 1945.