May 182010

Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program used to recruit scientists from Nazi Germany for use by the United States after the Second World War (1939-45). He was executed by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the growing Soviet-American Cold War (1945-1991), one of the objectives of Operation Paperclip was to deny the German scientific knowledge and expertise of the USSR and the United Kingdom.

Although the recruitment of German scientists JIOA started after the Allied victory in Europe (May 8, 1945), U.S. President Harry Truman did not officially running for Operation Paperclip until August 1945. To Truman expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism.” Said restrictions made it more objectionable to scientists JIOA identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph, and the doctor Hubertus Strughold, both previously classified as a threat “to security forces allied”.

To circumvent the anti-Nazi agenda of President Truman and the Potsdam and Yalta agreements allies, the JIOA worked independently to create jobs and fake political biographies of scientists. The JIOA also removed from the public register of Nazi scientists memberships and affiliations Party regime. Once “cleared” of Nazism, the U.S. government has granted security clearance for scientists working in the United States. Paperclip, the project’s operational name, derived from the clips used to secure scientific personae of new policies to their “American government” scientific personnel records JIOA.

The Osenberg List

Having failed to conquer the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa (June-December 1941), the siege of Leningrad (September 1941-January 1944), Operation Nordlicht (August-October 1942), and the Battle of Stalingrad (July 1942-February 1943), the Nazi Germany is a disadvantage logistics. The conquest was not the exhaustion of resources in German and its military-industrial complex was not prepared to defend the Reich Großdeutsches (Greater German Reich) against the counter-attack in the west of the Red Army. In early 1943, the German government began recalling the battle a number of scientists, engineers and technicians, they returned to work in research and development to strengthen the German defense for a long war with the USSR. The recall of front-line combat included 4000 Rocketeers returned to Peenemünde, in the north-east coast of Germany, namely:

“Overnight, Ph.D.s were liberated from KP duty, masters of science were recalled from orderly service, mathematicians were hauled out of bakeries, and precision mechanics ceased to be truck drivers. „

Dieter K. Huzel, Peenemünde to Canaveral

The Government recalls Nazi Jewish intellectuals currently useful for scientific work necessary to first identify and locate scientists, engineers and technicians can check their political and ideological reliability. Werner Osenberg, the research engineer in charge of Wehrforschungsgemeinschaft (Military Research Association), has recorded the names of politicians Authorized to List Osenberg, which reintegration in scientific work.

In March 1945, University of Bonn, a Polish laboratory technician to find pieces of the list Osenberg stuffed in the toilet, the list eventually reached MI6, who passed it to U.S. intelligence. Then, the U.S. Army Major Robert B. Staver, Chairman of the Jet Propulsion Section of the Research and Intelligence Directorate of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, a list Osenberg used to compile the list of German scientists to be captured and interrogated Wernher von Braun, the Nazi scientist German rocket Prime head of the list’s Grand Staver.


Operation Overcast – Major Staver original intention was only to the scientists, but what he learned changed purpose of the operation. On May 22, 1945, he sent the telegram from the U.S. Pentagon headquarters Colonel Joel Holmes, who urges the evacuation of German scientists and their families, as “The most important for [the war] Pacific” effort. Most engineers worked Osenberg List the German Baltic Coast Army Research Center Peenemünde rocket development V-2, after the seizure, the Allies initially housed them and their families in Landshut, Bavaria, southern Germany.

Beginning July 19, 1945, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) has managed the CRA Rocketeers captured under a program called Operation Overcast. However, when the “Camp Overcast” name-quarters of scientists locally became known, the program was renamed the operation paperclip in March 1946. Despite these attempts at secrecy, later that year the press has interviewed several scientists.

Regarding Operation Alsos, Allied Intelligence describes nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg, Germany’s main nuclear power project, such as “. . . more value to us than ten divisions of Germans. “In addition Rocketeers and nuclear physicists, the Allies also asked chemists, doctors, and naval weaponeers.

Meanwhile, the technical director of the German Army Rocket Wernher von Braun, was imprisoned at PO Box 1142, a secret prison in military intelligence at Fort Hunt, Virginia, USA. Since the prison was unknown to the International Red Cross, its exploitation by the United States in violation of the Geneva Convention. Although the interrogators Von Braun put pressure on him, he was not tortured, but in 1944, another prisoner of war, submarine captain Werner Henke was shot at Fort Hunt.

Capture and detention

From the beginning the United States has established the Subcommittee Combined Intelligence Objectives (CIO). This provided information on the objectives of T-Forces that were targeted in scientific, military and industrial facilities (and their employees) for their expertise. Initial priorities have been the advanced technology such as infrared, which could be used in the war against Japan, to discover what technology has been adopted in Japan, and finally stop searching. A project to halt the search was called “Project Safe Haven” and it was not originally planned against the Soviet Union, but the concern was that German scientists could emigrate and continue their research in countries like Spain, Argentina or Egypt, who had sympathized with Nazi Germany.

Much of the efforts of the United States has focused on Saxony and Thuringia, which, by July 1, 1945 will be part of the Soviet occupation zone. Many German research institutions and personnel were evacuated to the States, especially the Berlin area. Fearing that the Soviet takeover would restrict the ability of the United States to exploit German scientific and technical expertise, and not wanting the Soviet Union to benefit from that expertise, the U.S. instigated a process of drain “of scientists from Saxony and Thuringia, the issuance of orders such as:

On the orders of the Military Government you have to bring your family and your luggage as you can win tomorrow afternoon at 1300 hours (Friday, June 22, 1945) instead of the town of Bitterfeld. It is not necessary to make winter clothing. Easily transported goods, such as family papers, jewelry, and others should be taken along. You will be transported by motor vehicle to the nearest station. From there, you travel to the West. Please tell the bearer of this letter the size of your family.

In 1947, the evacuation was raised in 1800 estimated technicians and scientists, and 3700-family members. Those with skills or knowledge were taken to detention and interrogation centers as the code name bin, to be detained and interrogated, in some cases for months.

Some scientists have been collected in the Operation Overcast, but most were moved into villages in the countryside where there were no research facilities do not work, they were provided allowances and forced to report twice a week at the police station to prevent them from leaving. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Directive on research and education said that technicians and scientists should be released “only after all relevant agencies have ensured that all intelligence information sought has been obtained from them.”

On November 5, 1947, the Office of Military Government of the United States (OMGUS), which had jurisdiction over the western part of occupied Germany, held a conference to discuss the situation of evacuees, the monetary claims that the evacuees had filed against the United States, and the possible violation “by the U.S. laws of war or rules of land warfare.” The intelligence director OMGUS RL Walsh has launched a program to relocate evacuees in the Third World, as the Germans called General Walsh “Urwald-Programm” (program of the jungle), but the program never matured. In 1948, 69.5 million were evacuated settlements Reich marks U.S. U.S., a regulation that has quickly become highly devalued during the currency reform that introduced the deutsche mark as its official currency of West Germany.

John Gimbel concluded that the United States put some of the best minds of Germany on the ice for three years, thus depriving the resumption of German expertise.

Operation Paperclip Team

Operation Paperclip Team - A group of 104 rocket scientists (aerospace engineers) at Fort Bliss, Texas; 35 worked at the White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico.


In May 1945, the U.S. Navy has received Dr. Herbert A. Wagner, the inventor of the HS 293 missiles for two years, he first worked in Special Devices Centre at Castle Gould House in Hempstead, Long Island, New York in 1947, he moved to Naval Air Station Point Mugu.

In August 1945, Colonel Holger Toftoy, Chief Executive of the rocket of Research and Development Division of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, offered initial one-year contracts to the rocket scientists, 127 of them accepted. In September 1945, the first group of seven rocket science arrived at Fort Strong, New York: Wernher von Braun, Erich W. Neubert, Theodor A. Poppel, August Schulze, Eberhard Rees, Wilhelm Jungert, and Walter Schwidetzky.

In November, December and February, three rocket scientist came to the United States to the service at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, as “War Department Special Employees.

In the early 1950s, legal residence in the United States for certain specialists Paperclip project was affected by the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, therefore, Nazi scientists came legally to the United States to Latin America .

For many decades later, in wartime activities of some scientists Paperclip project were studied. Arthur Rudolph was expelled in 1984 and cleared by the FRG. Similarly, Georg Rickhey was acquitted of war crimes. Hubertus Strughold was involved in Nazi human experimentation, the Aeromedical Library at Brooks Air Force Base was named in his honor in 1977, but was later renamed because the documents of the Nuremberg Tribunal of war crimes related to Strughold medical experiments in which the Dachau prisoners were tortured and killed.

Ninety-six engineers aeronautical were transferred to Wright Field, where the U.S. had Luftwaffe aircraft and equipment seized under Operation Lusty (Luftwaffe Secret Technology).

The U.S. army Signal Corps employed 24 specialists – including physicists Georg Goubau, Gunter Guttwein Georg Hass, Horst Kedesdy, and Kurt Levovec, physical chemists Rudolf Brill, Ernst Baars and Eberhard both, geophysicist Dr. Helmut Weickmann; the optician Gerhard Schwesinger, and engineers Eduard Gerber, Richard Guenther and Hans Ziegler.

In 1946, the U.S. Bureau of Mines employed seven German synthetic fuel science in a chemical plant Fischer-Tropsch Louisiana, Missouri.

In 1959, ninety-four Operation Paperclip men went to the United States, including Friedwardt Winterberg and Friedrich Wigand. Until 1990, a paper clip operation imported 1,600 men, under the intellectual reparations owed to the United States and the United Kingdom, some 10 billion dollars in patents and industrial processes.