The Father of the U.S. Space Program Was a Nazi

At the closing of World War II, approximately 500 Nazi scientists, many labelled war criminals, were clandestinely granted immunity by the United States government. These individuals were given lucrative careers within U.S. developmental sectors, via a directive known as Operation Paperclip.

The aforementioned program was a post-WWII scramble to capture the most promising Nazi minds, before British and Soviet intelligence could do the same.

“How come we’ve never heard of this?” you question.

How many sonless mothers in middle America would be screaming for the president’s head, if they knew men responsible for their children’s deaths were being granted freedom?

 Wernher von Braun. Name ring a bell? It should if you were hangin’ around during the Space Race of the ’50s and ’60s. Ol’ Wern was one of those 500 Nazi scientists secretly snagged.

Recall how the U.S. scrambled to accomplish off-planet records, but the “Ruskies” kept beatin’ ’em to the punch? Sputnik in ’57; Sputnik 2 with doomed-to-die Laika the dog; Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1; the first woman in space; the first mission in which pressurized suits weren’t worn.

The Soviets always seemed one step ahead. That is, until Wernher and his crew hit the scene. Whilst working for the Third Reich, von Braun invented the V-2 rocket, the precursor to Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. And I thought my resume was impressive with the whole 42 words per minute thing. The V-2 was responsible for killing roughly 6,000 innocent civilians in World War II, as well as approximately 12,000 concentration camp prisoners used as slave labor in its mass production. While toiling for the United States, Wernher and his team also created the Saturn V rockets that carried U.S. Apollo astronauts to the Moon.

Von Braun’s nefarious origins, like those of all German scientists freed from execution, were kept secret by the U.S. government.

Although Wernher claimed to have been opposed to the cruel treatment of inmates at the rocket-making facilities, numerous war camp prisoners testified he had a direct hand in their torture.

French captive Guy Morand declared, “Without even listening to my explanations, {von Braun} ordered the Meister to have me given 25 strokes…Then, judging that the strokes weren’t sufficiently hard, he ordered I be flogged more vigorously…von Braun made me translate that I deserved much more, that in fact I deserved to be hanged…I would say his cruelty, of which I was personally a victim, is an eloquent testimony to his Nazi fanaticism.”

Prisoner Robert Cazzabone professed von Braun watched, without protest, as numerous captives were manacled and hanged from hoists about the V-2 factories. Many of these inmates wouldn’t live to see the end of the war.

 Wernher von Braun was technical director of the Peenemunde V-2 Production Plant. He also played an integral role at the Mittelwerk rocket-making factory beneath the city of Nordhausen. At both locations, concentration camp prisoners were forced into labor under horrific conditions. Upwards of 10 captives per day were hanged to death at Peenemunde for the most minor infractions. Since more individuals died as a result of the V-2’s construction, than during its deployment as a weapon, it’s difficult to believe von Braun had no knowledge of the suffering occurring in his own facilities.

Following the war, Wernher, a former SS officer, not only became a naturalized citizen of the United States, but Director of Nasa. Von Braun, a man with at least 18,000 deaths on his head, ended up acting in 1950’s educational films for Walt Disney. It’s a small world, after all.

Individuals doomed to war trials, and subsequent execution, were spared when Operation Paperclip rolled into Germany. Because many of these men were SS members, they were automatically disqualified from possessing international visas. This once insurmountable roadblock became a mere speed bump for a U.S. government hell-bent on using the greatest scientific minds to further its own military dominance.

Most of the men scooped up by Operation Paperclip were squirreled away at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama. These enemies, mere months prior, were now shaping the U.S. military infrastructure.

Although Operation Paperclip seems a huge slap in the face to those Allies who died in World War II, it wasn’t the only Top Secret program of its kind. The United States also deployed Operation Alsos, an attempt to wrangle Nazi scientists on the forefront of nuclear technology. TICOM, a clandestine American effort to secure Axis cryptography virtuosos, was also commenced.

When this type of illicit behavior is undertaken, it’s difficult to discern the good guys from the bad. How can a government justify allowing malefactors, responsible for killing millions, to simply go free? Moreover, how many folks realized, as they watched Apollo 11 reach the Moon, that a handful of Nazi war criminals was one of the reasons it got there?

Hugh Mungus

© 2010. Hugh Mungus

Reference Index:…

 Birnes, William J. (2004). The UFO Magazine UFO Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Single-Volume UFO Reference in Print. pp. 45-46. Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN: 0-7434-6674-8

 Piccard, George. (1999). Liquid Conspiracy (Mind Control and Conspiracy Series). pp. 53-62. Adventures Unlimited Press. ISBN 0-932813-57-7

Conspiracy?. Prod. Ken Ashe, Kreg Lauterbach. Perfs. Erik Thompson. DVD, 2009. ISBN: 1-4229-3096-3


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