February 4

Ep. 0050: Accessory After the Fact: Operation Paperclip

After World War II, the US government acted as an accessory after the fact to some of the Nazis’ war crimes by getting war criminals (with valuable expertise, of course!) off the hook, bleaching their records, moving them to America, and giving them prestigious, well-paying jobs in the American military-industrial complex or intelligence agencies

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • The US government’s own definition of being an accessory to a crime after the fact, and how the government’s actions in saving guilty Nazis clearly fit that definition
  • A brief word on the so-called ‘doctors’ trials’ at Nuremberg, and how those prosecuted were just a tiny token number of guilty Nazi doctors
  • How Operation Paperclip came about, and how the orders to exclude so-called ‘ardent Nazis’ from inclusion in the program were largely ignored
  • The horrific conditions faced by the enslaved workers at Germany’s Mittelwerk rocket factory
  • How Nazis sometimes received better treatment from the US government than did Holocaust survivors
  • Some of the more prominent Nazis who were ‘paperclipped,’ including Wernher & Magnus Von Braun, Kurt Debus, Walter Dornberger, Arthur Rudolph, Hubertus Strughold, Reinhard Gehlen, and Otto Von Bolschwing
  • What this whole thing reveals about the moral ambivalence and situational ethics of American leaders, and about the ability and willingness of the political class to manipulate narratives of ‘good and evil’ in Orwellian fashion

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Posted February 4, 2015 by profcj in category "American History", "Modern World History", "Podcasts

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