9 Nazi Scientists Who Helped Build The American Space Program

Directly after the hot war, a second phase began. The second phase encompassed the rush to the technology goldmine between Russia and the United States. From this article we see to what extent the United States has benefited, as corrupt as it may have been.

As World War Two drew to a close, the United States rushed to collect as many former Nazi scientists as possible through a secret mission called Operation Paperclip. As some had been branded war criminals at Nuremberg, the U.S. military whitewashed the backgrounds of many scientists in an attempt to justify hiring them.

Knowing that trouble was brewing already with the Soviet Union, these scientists were employed by the U.S. in a wide variety of roles — including, at times, experimenting with LSD.

Below are some of the most influential former Nazis who played unquestionably large roles in America’s emerging technological dominance during the Cold War.

Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun was a member of various German political organizations, including the SS. He was the chief developer of the V-2 rocket. This rocket was the first ballistic missile ever created.

After Operation Paperclip, Braun became the director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. While there, he developed the Jupiter-C rocket, which was used to launch America’s first satellite. He was also credited as being instrumental in leading the moon mission.

Hermann H. Kurzweg 

Kurzweg was a chief researcher and deputy director for the V-2 rocket program. He also helped design supersonic wind tunnels, as well as carrying out aerodynamic research on the anti-aircraft rocket, Wasserfall.

After Paperclip, Kurzweg became a technical director at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in Maryland, where he continued his aerodynamics and aeroballistics research. Later, he became a chief researcher at NASA, investigating aerodynamics and flight mechanics.

Walter Robert Dornberger

Dornberger was a Major-General in the army of the Third Reich. He was a Senior Artillery Commander and had personal contact with Hitler. His real passion and skill lay in engineering, and he was foundational in the development of rockets for the Nazis.

After the war, Dornberger continued his engineering research for the U.S. He spent time developing guided missile systems for the U.S. Military, before becoming the vice president of the Bell Aircraft Corporation. At Bell, he developed Bell’s Rascal, the first guided nuclear air-to-surface missile.

Hubertus Strughold

Strughold has been accused of participating in extensive human experimentation under the Third Reich, though it has never been proven. The experiments he allegedly oversaw included performing surgery without anesthetic and depriving people of oxygen in vacuum compartments, as well as human experiments related to hypothermia. These experiments were meant to determine the effects of high altitude and supersonic flights on human beings.

After the war, Strughold helped to pioneer the field of space medicine. He was vital in the investigation into the effects of weightlessness on people, as well as overseeing the building of space cabin simulators. At NASA, Strughold also played a central role in designing the pressure suit and the onboard life support systems used by Gemini and Apollo astronauts.

Full article: 9 Nazi Scientists Who Helped Build The American Space Program (Business Insider)

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