The Nazis are coming . . . well, not really, but they did 70 years ago, and on Wednesday, there will be a of that fateful night in 1942.
The Committee is putting on an informal, short version of what happened in the early morning hours of June 13, during World War II, when four Nazisaboteurs were dropped off by a German U-boat that ran aground on a sandbar just off the beach at the end of in Amagansett. Its intended destination had been East Hampton.
On Wednesday evening, starting at 7, people interested in reliving the scary scene can gather at the station (about two-thirds of the way down the hill from Bluff Road on the right side of Atlantic Avenue). Kent Miller, the committee chairman, and East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione will give introductory remarks.
Peter Garnham, the president of the Amagansett Historical Association and a committee member, will lead the crowd down to the beach, just as John Cullen, the 21-year-old guardsman who was patrolling the beach 70 years ago. He discovered the Nazi spies — three men, who according to a Newsday, first said they were fishermen whose boat had run aground, and then threatened to kill him. They ultimately tried to bribe him $300 as a bribe to forget about them. He ran back to the station and sounded the alarm.
The spies fled, but the FBI announced their arrest on June 27, along with four others who had arrived in Florida. The FBI also found plans to destroy war plants, railways, waterworks and bridges.
According to Miller, "The audience will meet Stranger #1 (George Dasch), an evil, conniving, and dangerous character played by Mr. Stanzione. Seaman Cullen will be played by Mr. Miller. Robert Strada, the director of LTV and a member of the committee, has a small supporting role. Hugh King, another member of the committee, wrote the detailed script."
Miller doesn't believe that an event like this has been done before. "It is particularly poignant this year because of the recent death of John Cullen, the coast guardsman on September 1,2011," he said. The committee hopes to make this an annual celebration.