Operation Paperclip | Declassified | Untold History #2

So what happened after the fall of the Nazi regime and the end of WW2? What happened to all the Nazi’s; were they punished for the crimes they committed, leaving aside the puny soldiers of the regime, the top scientists that developed the aircrafts and weapons systems were of great interest to the US. They foresaw the upcoming Cold War and wanted to gain an upper hand. Operation Paperclip was the codename under which the US intelligence and military services extricated scientists from Nazi Germany, during and after the final stages of World War II. The project was originally called Operation Overcast, and is sometimes also known as Project Paperclip.

Of particular interest were scientists specialising in aerodynamics and rocketry (such as those involved in the V-1 and V-2 projects), chemical weapons, chemical reaction technology and medicine. These scientists and their families were secretly brought to the United States, without State Department review and approval; their service for Hitler’s Third Reich, NSDAP and SS memberships as well as the classification of many as war criminals or security threats also disqualified them from officially obtaining visas. An aim of the operation was capturing equipment before the Soviets came in. The US Army destroyed some of the German equipment to prevent it from being captured by the advancing Soviet Army.

Wener von Braun
Image source: space.com

The majority of the scientists, numbering around 1400, were deployed at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, Fort Bliss, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama to work on guided missile and ballistic missile technology. This in turn led to the foundation of NASA and the US ICBM program. Werner von Braun, who is known as the father of the American Space Program, was a long term Nazi and good friends with Hitler. Now this man built the V-2 Rockets with Jewish slave labor, everyday they’d execute five slowest workers in front of other workers to incentivise them to work harder. After the war Americans got him into their country to Huntsville, Alabama where he built the Saturn 5 rocket, the “proudly American rocket” that got US to the moon. Some of these engineers and scientists were involved in the vaccine development for the German soldiers that’d protect them from biological weapons, they were involved in war crimes such as the concentration camps, but what happened, happened.

File written by Adobe Photoshop? 5.2

Dr. Walter Schreiber was one of the big fishes that the US took, he experimented on Auschwitz inmates by freezing them, and infected other prisoners with Gangrene. During the Second World War, he rose to the rank of major general in the Wehrmacht Medical Service. He was also a member of the Reich Research Council, in which capacity he conducted cruel and sadistic medical experiments upon prisoners. After the war, he testified in the Nuremberg Trials against Herman Goering, worked for the CIA and the US military, and was thus shielded from accountability for his medical atrocities. It wasn’t until the 90’s that the US stopped denying that Operation Paperclip happened and they used war criminals to lay the foundation of NASA and gave the Nazi’s immunity.

Dr. Walter Schreiber
Image source: historycollection.co

The book “Operation Paperclip” by Anne Jacobsen compiled extensive primary and secondary sources, duly annotated in over 100 pages of notes and bibliography. In it are many new sources, among them US government records (President Clinton’s “Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act”), German archival records, first-person accounts, memoirs, and letters. The book also contains a useful index and biographies of the principal players.

Many Nazi’s escaped through the method of “Ratlines”. “Ratlines” were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe in the aftermath of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in Latin America, particularly Argentina though also in Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Bolivia, as well as the United States, Spain and Switzerland. There were two primary routes: the first went from Germany to Spain, then Argentina; the second from Germany to Rome to Genoa, then South America. The two routes developed independently but eventually came together. The ratlines were supported by clergy of the Catholic Church, and historian Michael Phayer claims this was supported by the Vatican.

‘Ratlines’ escape route
Image source: dailymail

There are tons of documentaries (on YT) on the descendants of the Nazi’s living in South America, they speak German, they recognise their grandfathers (who are mostly SS members) as heroes etc. The Red Cross has previously acknowledged that its efforts to help refugees were used by Nazis because administrators were overwhelmed, but the research suggests the numbers were much higher than thought. Gerald Steinacher, a research fellow at Harvard University, was given access to thousands of internal documents in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The documents include Red Cross travel documents issued mistakenly to Nazis in the postwar chaos.

They throw light on how and why mass murderers such as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie and thousands of others evaded capture by the allies. By comparing lists of wanted war criminals to travel documents, Steinacher says Britain and Canada alone inadvertently took in around 8,000 former Waffen-SS members in 1947, many on the basis of valid documents issued mistakenly. The documents – which are discussed in Steinacher’s book Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s henchmen fled justice – offer a significant insight into Vatican thinking, particularly, because its own archives beyond 1939 are still closed. The Vatican has consistently refused to comment. Steinacher believes the Vatican’s help was based on a hoped-for revival of European Christianity and dread of the Soviet Union. But through the Vatican Refugee Commission, war criminals were knowingly provided with false identities.

They all lived peacefully in post-war world, there was served little to no justice for the crimes they committed and will now never be served. We are taught so less about history it’s mind boggling, the “classified” files should be recognized as the-hard-truth-must-be-not-shown files. There are hundereds if not thousands of classified files that not even the president and prime minsters of countries are allowed to see. This should make us realize that there is more digging required into history, more than what we’re taught in school, the world is way more skewed than we are made to see.


  • https://historycollection.co/10-nazi-war-criminals-who-escaped-justice-because-they-were-useful-to-the-us/
  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/25/nazis-escaped-on-red-cross-documents
  • http://www.operationpaperclip.info/wernher-von-braun.php
  • https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-58-no-3/operation-paperclip-the-secret-intelligence-program-to-bring-nazi-scientists-to-america.html
  • Operation Paperclip – Anne Jacobsen
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MZr5J5DOfk
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratlines_(World_War_II_aftermath)

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