Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Road, hosts its annual Landwirth Memorial Lecture today at 2 p.m.
Guest speaker Nicholas Dawidoff will share the story of Moe Berg, a son of Jewish immigrants, was a back-up catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Red Sox. Berg’s true claim to fame, however, came from a hidden part of his life: He was a spy for the American Government.
Moe Berg was a brilliant linguist who was fluent in 11 languages, including Japanese. Before leaving for Japan with an exhibition baseball team that included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Berg was asked by the U.S. military to secretly film the industrial section of Tokyo.
The footage he brought back would later prove to be invaluable in America’s war effort.
During the war, Moe Berg went on to perform a variety of espionage missions in Europe. One of his assignments involved a trip to Switzerland, where he was asked to attend a lecture given by prominent German physicist, Werner Heisenberg. Berg’s orders were to determine if Heisenberg’nuclear research indicted that the Germans were close to developing an atomic bomb.
If they were, Berg’s orders were to kill him. Moe Berg attended the lecture with a pistol and… the rest will be revealed by our guest speaker, Nicholas Dawidoff!
This year’s annual Landwirth Memorial Lecture at Congregation Or-Shalom will feature noted writer Nicholas Dawidoff, author of the best seller, The Catcher Was A Spy. Mr. Dawidoff also has authored a number of acclaimed books, one of which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. He is the author of many articles that have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times. A Branford Fellow at Yale University, Dawidoff resides in New Haven.