Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

Recommended Reading  

The Paperclip Conspiracy

The Hunt for Nazi Scientists
by Tom Bower
1987, Little, Brown & Co.
ISBN 0316103993
309 pages.

From Publishers Weekly
Bower’s (Pledge Betrayed) book is an impressively documented exposure of the frantic rush at the close of World War II by U.S., Britain and Russia to “hunt down” for their own purposes the Germans who developed the V-2 rocket, the Panzer tank and other remarkable weapons that gave Hitler his early triumphs. There was competition between the U.S. and Britain on one hand, and between the two rivals teamed together against the Soviets: each nation wanted to seize the scientists for itselfand, as Bower makes clear, expectations that the scientists would supply advanced technology outweighed possibilities that they might have been (and in many cases were) war criminals. The material presented here of what, in effect, was a tacit conspiracy by State Department and military officials to bypass U.S. laws by virtually smuggling top German scientists into the countryWerner von Braun is only one of scores treated hereis riveting reading. The book’s title derives from a secret filing system that identified doctored dossiers of Nazis the military sought: ordinary paperclips were used instead of category names. Bower’s revelations are individually shocking and cumulatively devastating. That hundreds of Nazis were whitewashed and worked on U.S. bases will appall readers. Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Drawn from World War II British and U.S. documents, this book shows that Germany held a wide technological edge in many fields over the Allies. Exploitation of German scientific and technological experts after World War II was seen as the chief reparations the Allies were likely to get. The race for these men involved conflict among the Allies and with U.S. immigration laws. The argument balances the ethical/moral dilemma on using former Nazis against the national security advantages to be gained by that use. This is a good first look at the issue from the official files, but there is a loose end or so and some unnecessary digressions. For laypersons and specialists. —George H. Siehl, Library of Congress (Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Available from Powells.com.


2 comments for “The Paperclip Conspiracy”

  1. Nothing really new here – and we know it goes much deeper – but it’s refreshing to see essays like this to keep the topic in the public’s eye:


    Operation Nazification
    Posted on February 21, 2014 by DavidSwanson

    Annie Jacobsen’s new book is called Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America. It isn’t terribly secret anymore, of course, and it was never very intelligent. Jacobsen has added some details, and the U.S. government is still hiding many more. But the basic facts have been available; they’re just left out of most U.S. history books, movies, and television programs.

    After World War II, the U.S. military hired sixteen hundred former Nazi scientists and doctors, including some of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, including men responsible for murder, slavery, and human experimentation, including men convicted of war crimes, men acquitted of war crimes, and men who never stood trial. Some of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg had already been working for the U.S. in either Germany or the U.S. prior to the trials. Some were protected from their past by the U.S. government for years, as they lived and worked in Boston Harbor, Long Island, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere, or were flown by the U.S. government to Argentina to protect them from prosecution. Some trial transcripts were classified in their entirety to avoid exposing the pasts of important U.S. scientists. Some of the Nazis brought over were frauds who had passed themselves off as scientists, some of whom subsequently learned their fields while working for the U.S. military.

    The U.S. occupiers of Germany after World War II declared that all military research in Germany was to cease, as part of the process of denazification. Yet that research went on and expanded in secret, under U.S. authority, both in Germany and in the United States, as part of a process that it’s possible to view as nazification. Not only scientists were hired. Former Nazi spies, most of them former S.S., were hired by the U.S. in post-war Germany to spy on — and torture — Soviets.

    The U.S. military shifted in numerous ways when former Nazis were put into prominent positions. It was Nazi rocket scientists who proposed placing nuclear bombs on rockets and began developing the intercontinental ballistic missile. It was Nazi engineers who had designed Hitler’s bunker beneath Berlin, who now designed underground fortresses for the U.S. government in the Catoctin and Blue Ridge Mountains. Known Nazi liars were employed by the U.S. military to draft classified intelligence briefs falsely hyping the Soviet menace. Nazi scientists developed U.S. chemical and biological weapons programs, bringing over their knowledge of tabun and sarin, not to mention thalidomide — and their eagerness for human experimentation, which the U.S. military and the newly created CIA readily engaged in on a major scale. Every bizarre and gruesome notion of how a person might be assassinated or an army immobilized was of interest to their research. New weapons were developed, including VX and Agent Orange. A new drive to visit and weaponize outerspace was created, and former Nazis were put in charge of a new agency called NASA.

    Permanent war thinking, limitless war thinking, and creative war thinking in which science and technology overshadowed death and suffering, all went mainstream. When a former Nazi spoke to a women’s luncheon at the Rochester Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1953, the event’s headline was “Buzz Bomb Mastermind to Address Jaycees Today.” That doesn’t sound terribly odd to us, but might have shocked anyone living in the United States anytime prior to World War II. Watch this Walt Disney television program featuring a former Nazi who worked slaves to death in a cave building rockets. Before long, President Dwight Eisenhower would be lamenting that “the total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.” Eisenhower was not referring to Nazism but to the power of the military-industrial complex. Yet, when asked whom he had in mind in remarking in the same speech that “public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite,” Eisenhower named two scientists, one of them the former Nazi in the Disney video linked above.

    The decision to inject 1,600 of Hitler’s scientific-technological elite into the U.S. military was driven by fears of the USSR, both reasonable and the result of fraudulent fear mongering. The decision evolved over time and was the product of many misguided minds. But the buck stopped with President Harry S Truman. Henry Wallace, Truman’s predecessor as vice-president who we like to imagine would have guided the world in a better direction than Truman did as president, actually pushed Truman to hire the Nazis as a jobs program. It would be good for American industry, said our progressive hero. Truman’s subordinates debated, but Truman decided. As bits of Operation Paperclip became known, the American Federation of Scientists, Albert Einstein, and others urged Truman to end it. Nuclear physicist Hans Bethe and his colleague Henri Sack asked Truman:

    “Did the fact that the Germans might save the nation millions of dollars imply that permanent residence and citizenship could be bought? Could the United States count on [the German scientists] to work for peace when their indoctrinated hatred against the Russians might contribute to increase the divergence between the great powers? Had the war been fought to allow Nazi ideology to creep into our educational and scientific institutions by the back door? Do we want science at any price?”

    In 1947 Operation Paperclip, still rather small, was in danger of being terminated. Instead, Truman transformed the U.S. military with the National Security Act, and created the best ally that Operation Paperclip could want: the CIA. Now the program took off, intentionally and willfully, with the full knowledge and understanding of the same U.S. President who had declared as a senator that if the Russians were winning the U.S. should help the Germans, and vice versa, to ensure that the most people possible died, the same president who viciously and pointlessly dropped two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, the same president who brought us the war on Korea, the war without declaration, the secret wars, the permanent expanded empire of bases, the military secrecy in all matters, the imperial presidency, and the military-industrial complex. The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service took up the study of German chemical weapons at the end of the war as a means to continue in existence. George Merck both diagnosed biological weapons threats for the military and sold the military vaccines to handle them. War was business and business was going to be good for a long time to come.

    But how big a change did the United States go through after World War II, and how much of it can be credited to Operation Paperclip? Isn’t a government that would give immunity to both Nazi and Japanese war criminals in order to learn their criminal ways already in a bad place? As one of the defendants argued in trial at Nuremberg, the U.S. had already engaged in its own experiments on humans using almost identical justifications to those offered by the Nazis. If that defendant had been aware, he could have pointed out that the U.S. was in that very moment engaged in such experiments in Guatemala. The Nazis had learned some of their eugenics and other nasty inclinations from Americans. Some of the Paperclip scientists had worked in the U.S. before the war, as many Americans had worked in Germany. These were not isolated worlds.

    Looking beyond the secondary, scandalous, and sadistic crimes of war, what about the crime of war itself? We picture the United States as less guilty because it maneuvered the Japanese into the first attack, and because it did prosecute some of the war’s losers. But an impartial trial would have prosecuted Americans too. Bombs dropped on civilians killed and injured and destroyed more than any concentration camps — camps that in Germany had been modeled in part after U.S. camps for native Americans. Is it possible that Nazi scientists blended into the U.S. military so well because an institution that had already done what it had done to the Philippines was not in all that much need of nazification?

    Yet, somehow, we think of the firebombing of Japanese cities and the complete leveling of German cities as less offensive that the hiring of Nazi scientists. But what is it that offends us about Nazi scientists? I don’t think it should be that they engaged in mass-murder for the wrong side, an error balanced out in some minds but their later work for mass-murder by the right side. And I don’t think it should be entirely that they engaged in sick human experimentation and forced labor. I do think those actions should offend us. But so should the construction of rockets that take thousands of lives. And it should offend us whomever it’s done for.

    It’s curious to imagine a civilized society somewhere on earth some years from now. Would an immigrant with a past in the U.S. military be able to find a job? Would a review be needed? Had they tortured prisoners? Had they drone-struck children? Had they leveled houses or shot up civilians in any number of countries? Had they used cluster bombs? Depleted uranium? White phosphorous? Had they ever worked in the U.S. prison system? Immigrant detention system? Death row? How thorough a review would be needed? Would there be some level of just-following-orders behavior that would be deemed acceptable? Would it matter, not just what the person had done, but how they thought about the world?


    The Disney video the author refers to is of Von Braun describing space exploration

    Posted by Swamp | February 22, 2014, 9:55 am
  2. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/biggest-secret-nazi-weapons-factory-4886214

    ‘Biggest secret Nazi weapons factory of the Third Reich’ discovered underground near sleepy Austrian town

    Dec 28, 2014 21:07
    By Hayley Coyle

    A NUCLEAR BOMB is among the weapons of mass destruction believed to have been developed in the facility

    A gigantic secret Nazi weapons factory where a NUCLEAR BOMB may have been developed has been discovered in Austria.

    The 75-acre facility, located near the town of St Georgen an der Gusen, is believed to have been used to create and test weapons of mass destruction and was deemed so important to the Nazis that the head of the SS and Hitler’s right hand man Heinrich Himmler, even oversaw its development.

    The complex, which experts believe was the “biggest secret weapons production facility of the Third Reich”, was discovered by Andreas Sulzer, an Austrian documentary maker who found reference to the bunkers in the diaries of an old Austrian physicist.

    They were so well hidden though that bulldozing equipment was to needed to cut away massive granite plates the Nazis had used to hide the entrance shaft in 1945. Ground penetrating radar was also required to confirm reports of how large the facility was.

    The facility is believed to be linked to the nearby B8 Bergkristall underground factory that produced the Messerschmitt Me 262, the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter, that posed a brief threat to allied air forces in the war’s closing stages.

    Mr Sulzer told The Times: “This was a gigantic industrial complex.”

    And similar to the Bergkristall factory, it relied on slave labour from the nearby Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. Up to 320,000 inmates are said to have died because of the brutal conditions in the subterranean labyrinth.

    In order to fully discover the meaning behind the secret facility Mr Sulzer assembled a crack team of historians and found further evidence of scientists working on the secret project, which was managed by the feared SS General Hans Kammler.

    Kammler, known to be a ruthless leader, was in charge of Hitler’s missile programmes, including the V-2 rocket used against London in the latter stages of the war. He was also the man who signed off blueprints for the gas chambers that killed millions of Jews.

    Rainer Karlsch, a historian who worked with Mr Sulzer, said: “The SS leadership aspired to create a combination of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

    SS General Hans Kammler In charge: Hans Kammler was the manager of the facility. He was also the man who signed off blueprints for the gas chambers

    “They wanted to equip the A4 [a variant of the V-2] missile, or more advanced rockets, with poison gas, radioactive material or nuclear warheads.”

    Later the Russian army plundered Bergkristall removed all the technology and then destroyed and filled in the bunkers.

    The second part of the site, which Sulzer has discovered, seems to have remained unnoticed by both the Americans and the Russians.

    Sulzer’s excavation was stopped last Wednesday by local authorities, who demanded a permit for research on historic sites. But he is confident that digging can resume next month.

    “Prisoners from concentration camps across Europe were handpicked for their special skills — physicists, chemists or other experts — to work on this monstrous project and we owe it to the victims to finally open the site and reveal the truth,” said Sulzer.

    Posted by Vanfield | December 29, 2014, 11:00 am

Post a comment