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Customer Review

59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do we want science at any price? or: The shameful days of the American past, February 14, 2014
This review is from: Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (Hardcover)
Operation Paperclip is about the connection between Nazi scientists and American government secrets. Under this program, more than a thousand of Nazi scientists were brought to America immediately after the end of World War Two. Those scientists helped develop rockets, the NASA program, chemical and biological weapons, aviation and space medicine and many other weapons of mass destruction.They came to America at the behest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Some officials believed that by endorsing the Paperclip program they were accepting the lesser of two evils-that if America didn't recruit theses men, the Soviet Communists would.
The book comes in five parts and each part is about another chronoligical era . Most men that were brought to America were accused of war crimes. Most of them were found guilty of war crimes by the various post-war trials at Nuremberg. Yet the USA wanted them on American soil to work for the American people despite their horrible past.
Opposition to Operation Paperclip gained momentum with America's scientific elite and many scientists were outraged when the details of the secret project came out. Albert Einstein was the most esteemed figure to publicly denouce this operation and wrote directly to President Truman on behalf of his FAS colleagues:"We hold these individuals to be potentially dangerous...Their former eminence as Nazi Party members and supporters raises the issue of their fitness to become American citizens and hold key positions in American industrial, scientific and educational institutions".
Another famous scientists, Hans Bethe, who fled the Nazis, asked: "Do we want science at any price?"
Among the various and many scientists and their respective projects they were working on, Ms. Jacobsen mentions Dr. Walter Schreiber who was the surgeon general of the Third Reich and developed intravenous lethal phenol injections. He was finally exposed by an ex-concentration camp victim and as a result had to leave the USA. Another criminal, Kurt Blome, was Hitler's biological weapons maker, while Kurt Debus was a V-weapons engineer who oversaw mobile rocket launches at Peenemunde. An ardent Nazi, he wore the SS uniform to work and became the first director of NASA's JFK Space Center in Florida. Hubertus Strughold was in charge of the aviation research in the Reich Ministry and despite his war crimes was hired by the Americans only to become America's father of Space Medicine.
These and many more criminal scientists people the pages of this fascinating and fast-paced written book. In it, Ms. Jacobsen has incorporated a wealth of post-war interrogation reports, army intelligence security dossiers, Army intelligence armaments reports, declassified memos, diaries and journals. She also used-for the first time-materials supplied to her by the descendants of some Nazi scientists. She definitely shows to what extent the CIA agency had been involved with these monsters and the various ways those Nazis trained and supplied vital information to the CIA. The various and notorious interrogation techniques and other programs and projects had their beginnings in a camp near Franfurt called Camp King. It was there where Operation Bluebird experiments involving LSD and other drugs started.The army's herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War, in
which 11.4 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over more than 24 percent of South Vietnam was the brainchild of Fritz Hoffmann, another Nazi war criminal. On his deathbed, Hoffmann, according his daughter, was quiet and said nothing about it. Unfortunately, many details about additional projects initiated by the Nazi scientists who were flown into the USA are still classified.
For anyone interested in the history of the postwar period and for those who would like to know to what extent the USA became involved with the Nazi past, this long book is "a must".
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 18, 2014 7:38:07 PM PST
Good review Paul. You're reading history is very similar to mine. Unfortunately as a still employed person my reading list is rather limited, but I always enjoy your take on history.
Your friend,
Richard C. Geschke

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2014 1:20:52 AM PST
Paul Gelman says:
Hi Richard. Glad you liked my review. Keep in touch, Paul

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 3:05:28 PM PDT
Kathleen says:
"Most men that were brought to America . . . were found guilty of war crimes by the various post-war trials at Nuremberg."

That is hardly accurate.
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