Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to the US

Operation Paperclip

Annie Jacobsen (2014)

Film Review

This video is a lecture by Annie Jacobsen about her 2014 book Operation Paper Clip. In her talk, she mentions two classified Pentagon programs “Operation Alsace” and “Operation Paperclip.” Alsace, under the command of Colonel Boris Pash, was sent to the German front in the final days of the war. There it undertook a detailed investigation of Germany’s Atomic, Biological, and Chemical weapons programs. Renamed operation Paperclip following Germany’s surrender, the program arranged for 1600 Nazi scientists to be secretly repatriated to the US to work for the Pentagon and various weapons industries.

As all were documented war criminals, they were secretly smuggled out of Germany to avoid being tried for war crimes at Nuremberg. In some cases, their crimes consisted of inhumane treatment of the Jewish slaves who staffed their weapons programs, in others for their medical experiments on concentration camp inmates with lethal biological and chemical agents.

Some of the key war criminals Jacobsen mentions include

  • Otto Niemeyer – worked directly under Goehring in the Luftwaffe and created the Stealth Bomber for the US Air Force.
  • Celebrated rocket scientist Werner von Braun – (along with 100 of von Braun’s V2 rockets)  to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
  • Walter Dornberger – after working directly under Himler, he came to the US to found Bell Aircraft.
  • Otto Ambros (Hitler’s favorite chemist) – co-inventor of Sarin gas and synthetic rubber, who later ran slave labor complex at Auschwitz. In the US, served as an advisor to Dow Chemical and the US Army Chemical Corp.