Friday, April 22, 2011

Profile: Moe Berg

Don't look now, but we have enough spies for their own category!

Berg was suggested by Paul from Yardley, PA, Jerry from Boston, Fred from Herkimer County, NY, Yosef from Eilat, Michael from Maryland, as well as multiple-time returning suggesters Joe from Scranton and Bruce from Cambridge, IL.


  1. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  2. I don't know where you got the idea he was a lousy spy? Lousy ballplayer, yah, though a very valued bench jockey (apparently managers loved his gift of gab and insight). As a spy, he accompanied an all-star team to Japan in the 30s, where he was reputed to have taken photos of Japanese installations. His most notable operation was mentored by Einstein, who taught Berg what he needed to know about theoretical physics, to determine whether foremost German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who was appearing for the first time at a conference outside of Germany, had cracked the fission puzzle so as to be able to enable the nazis to develop an atom bomb. If so, he was order to kill Heisenberg. There don't seem to have been too many alternate candidates (if any) capable of mastering in a short time the relative complexities of nuclear physics and be able to terminate an adversary if called upon by circumstances to do so. Berg concluded Heisenberg either hadn't solved the puzzle or wasn't prepared to share his knowledge with his odious government. In any case, Berg's assessment seems to have proven correct, so Werner survived the war.
    Anyway, while clearly an oddball of the highest order, Berg was also recognized as a genius of generous proportions.