"Operation Paperclip" was not a figment of someone's paranoid imagination. The Office of Strategic Services, at the end of World War II, saw great value in the abilities of German scientists who could help the United States. High among U.S. goals: secure the scientists who worked at the Reich's missile research center in Peenemunde.
There were a few problems with the attainment of this goal. One problem was not the scientists' desire to join the efforts of the United States ally that closed in from the East---the Soviet Union. German scientists moved West as quickly as they could. Instead, problems arose because of the immediate prior work experience those scientists, and others whom the United States wanted to work on various projects, would have listed on their resumes. Their employer would have been the same---Nazi Germany. There is a common misperception, amongst those in this country who know of the place, about the scientists at Peenemunde. Scientists were in one place and the people who were forced into slave labor were in another. Werhner von Braun and his co-workers knew little or nothing of the people who died in labor on the V-2 rockets, for example. Instead, the scientists knew people died as they labored on the rockets. President Truman had issued an order at the end of the War that restricted from allowing into this country anyone found "to have been a member of the Nazi Party and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active participant in Nazi militarism."
"Operation Paperclip" derived its name from the way in which former Nazis' identities would be paper-clipped to their new identities in the States. This country could allow former Nazis to work here if, officially, they were not former Nazis. Tom Lehrer's song, "I Was Not a Nazi Polka" carries some of the sentiments one might first think about.
Scientists were not the only recruits. Reinhard Gehlen, who worked in intelligence for the Wehrmacht. The United States military employed him to set up a ring of former SS, SD, and Wehrmacht officers to spy on the Soviet Union.
One questions whether the incorporation in the United States military and intelligence apparati was wise. The Nazi Party was not like the Elks, some sort of weekend gig where people shot golf and drank. Nazis shot people, burned people and bombed people in the name of the Third Reich.
Dr. Dennis Cuddy has written a book, "The Power Elite and the Secret Nazi Plan," about purported long-range plans by the Nazis to impose a socialist government on the World---two generations after the end of a war they saw they were going to lose. He will be our guest on "Civil Discourse Now" on Saturday, August 3, live-streamed from 11 am to 1 pm. Also Gary Welsh will be a guest panelist. Gary has a great deal of knowledge about the specific programs Dr. Cuddy will discuss. As of this writing, I believe we will live-stream from Papa Roux's at 8950 East 10th Street. I will try to confirm that this morning.