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Brian Crim "From 'unrepentant Nazis' to 'our Germans' Project Paperclip and the Rise of the Military-Industrial Complex"

Book cover of "Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State

Project Paperclip brought hundreds of German scientists and engineers, including Wernher von Braun, to the United States in the first decade after World War II. The Germans who designed and built the V-2 rocket and other “wonder weapons” for the Third Reich proved invaluable to America’s emerging military-industrial complex. Many prominent scientists were enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi regime or even participants in war crimes, but US national security advocates rationalized their inclusion in the Paperclip program despite internal opposition and public condemnation. Whether they remained under military employment, transitioned to civilian agencies like NASA, or sought more lucrative careers with corporations flush with government contracts, German specialists recruited into the Paperclip program assumed enormously influential positions within the labyrinthine national security state.

Brian Crim is the John Mills Turner Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Lynchburg College in Virginia, where he teaches courses in modern European history, the Holocaust, military history, and film and history. He is the author of Antisemitism in the German Military Community and the Jewish Response, 1914-1938 (2014), Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State (1918), and is the editor of the memoir by Walter Jessel, Class of ’31: A German-Jewish Émigré’s Journey across Defeated Germany (2018). His current book project, On Planet Auschwitz: Holocaust Representation in Science Fiction and Horror Film and Television, is under contract with Rutgers University Press.