Josef Berger

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This article is part of the
Venona
series.

Secret apparatus
Democratic National Committee

Josef Berger, or Joseph Isadore Berger (May 12, 1903 - November 1971), was an American journalist and Democratic National Committee speechwriter. According to the Venona files, Berger also worked for the KGB, although he was never arrested or charged with a crime.[1] Berger was born in Denver, Colorado in 1903 and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1924. He worked as a reporter for the "Kansas City Star" for a time.

In 1934, he settled with his wife and daughter in Provincetown, Massachusetts where he tried to make it as a freelance writer. Berger had a hard time earning money and for about year lived in near poverty until he found a job with the New Deal government sponsored Federal Writer's Project.

Berger, who wrote under the pen name Jeremiah Digges, was an extraordinarily well-connected journalist employed by the United States Department of Justice in 1942 as a speech-writer for the Attorney-General, Francis Biddle, and later also secretary to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Robert E. Hannegan. He also served as a U.S. delegate on the Reparations Commission.

References

Sources

  • FBI Venona Files
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999)
  • Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, The Spy Who Seduced America: Lies and Betrayal in the Heat of the Cold War: The Judith Coplon Story, (Invisible Cities Press LLC, 2002) ISBN 1931229228
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