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Prominent Jews among wartime spies

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Several prominent Jews spied for the United States during World War II, newly released documents show.

Former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, philanthropist and businessman Laurence Tisch and baseball player Moe Berg were among the 35,000 men and women whose files from their service in the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services were released Thursday by the National Archives.

The files cover 35,000 Americans, both civilian and military, who worked in some capacity for the intelligence agency , the precursor to the CIA.

Goldberg’s file notes that as both a civilian and a member of the army, he supervised a section in the Secret Intelligence Branch of OSS to maintain contact with labor groups and organizations regarded as potential resistance elements in enemy-occupied and enemy countries. He organized anti-Nazi European transportation workers into an extensive intelligence network.

Steve Tilley, director of the textual archives services division of the National Archives, said Jewish Americans of that era might have been particularly attractive as recruits to the agency because of their education and their European background, particularly their knowledge of languagues.

TV chef Julia Child and Middle East negotiator Ralph Bunche were among the other names in the records.

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