Sverre Bergh

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Sverre Bergh
Sverre Bergh with his father Erik Bergh in Norway 1958

Born (1920-11-01)1 November 1920
Asker, Norway
Died 30 April 2006(2006-04-30) (aged 85)
Nationality Norwegian

Sverre Bergh (1 November 1920 – 30 April 2006) was a Norwegian engineer who served as a spy in Nazi Germany during World War II.[1]


Sverre Bergh was born in Asker outside Oslo, Norway. He was the eldest of three sons born to Erik and Anna Bergh. He had spent time in New York City where his father worked as a municipal engineer. In 1940, he went to Dresden, Germany to study at Dresden Technische Hochschule. Before leaving, he was recruited by the Norwegian intelligence group XU. His role was to investigate information given to him by Paul Rosbaud and report this back to XU and the British Secret Intelligence Service, while living under the cover of being a student.[2]

As a student in Dresden, Bergh could travel relatively freely in Nazi Germany and gather intelligence material. Sverre Bergh was an important source of information on the German technological development. Among other things, he was the first to report on the V2 development in Peenemünde and smuggled out plans for Wasserfall ground-to-air missiles. Bergh studied in Dresden until the city was largely destroyed by allied forces. He continued his spy activities until Nazi capitulation in 1945. He reveals the development of V-2 rocket program and delivering reports about the German nuclear weapon project.[3]

After the war, Sverre Bergh moved to the United States where he enrolled at Northwestern University. He worked in several other countries and became an American citizen in 1951. In the interest of national security, the existence of XU was not revealed to the general public by the Norwegian Government until around 1988. At that time the Norwegian government decided to decorate some of the XU members. With help from Norwegian author Svein Sæter, Sverre Bergh told his story in the book Spion i Hitlers Rike which was published shortly after his death in 2006.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Irving, David (2007) Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden (Focal Point Publications) ISBN 978-1872197180
  • Kramish, Arnold (1986) The Griffin: The Greatest Untold Espionage Story of World War II (Houghton Mifflin) ISBN 0-395-36318-7
  • Neufeld, Michael J (1995) The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era (New York: The Free Press) ISBN 0-02-922895-6
  • Piszkiewicz, Dennis (1995) The Nazi Rocketeers: Dreams of Space and Crimes of War (Westport, Conn.: Praeger) ISBN 0-275-95217-7

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