Project Paperclip: Dark side of the Moon
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC News
Posted: November 11th, 2006
Sixty years ago the US hired Nazi scientists to lead pioneering projects, such as the race to conquer space. These men provided the US with cutting-edge technology which still leads the way today, but at a cost. Major-General Hugh Knerr, deputy commander of the US Air Force in Europe, wrote: "Occupation of German scientific and industrial establishments has revealed the fact that we have been alarmingly backward in many fields of research. "If we do not take the opportunity to seize the apparatus and the brains that developed it...we will remain several years behind." Thus began Project Paperclip, the US operation which saw von Braun and more than 700 others spirited out of Germany from under the noses of the US's allies. Its aim was simple: "To exploit German scientists for American research and to deny these intellectual resources to the Soviet Union." President Truman authorised Paperclip in August 1945 and, on 18 November, the first Germans reached America. All of these men were cleared to work for the US, their alleged crimes covered up and their backgrounds bleached by a military which saw winning the Cold War, and not upholding justice, as its first priority.