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The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America
Read by Annie Jacobsen
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The “remarkable” story of America's secret post-WWII science programs (The Boston Globe), from the New York Times bestselling author of Area 51.In the chaos following World War II, the U.S. government faced many difficult decisions, including what to do with the Third Reich's scientific minds. These were the brains behind the Nazis' once-indomitable war machine. So began Operation Paperclip, a decades-long, covert project to bring Hitler's scientists and their families to the United States.
Many of these men were accused of war crimes, and others had stood trial at Nuremberg; one was convicted of mass murder and slavery. They were also directly responsible for major advances in rocketry, medical treatments, and the U.S. space program. Was Operation Paperclip a moral outrage, or did it help America win the Cold War?
Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including previously unseen papers made available by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and dossiers discovered in government archives and at Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into a startling, complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secret of the twentieth century.
In this definitive, controversial look at one of America's most strategic, and disturbing, government programs, Jacobsen shows just how dark government can get in the name of national security.
"Harrowing…How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail." —Kirkus Reviews
Table of Contents
Reading Group Guide
A Preview of The Pentagon’s Brain
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"Only the dead have seen the end of war."
The War and the Weapons
It was November 26, 1944, and Strasbourg, France, was still under attack. The cobblestone streets of this medieval city were in chaos. Three days before, the Second French Armored Division had chased the Germans out of town and officially liberated the city from the Nazis, but now the Allies were having a difficult time holding the enemy back. German mortar rounds bombarded the streets. Air battles raged overhead, and in the center of town, inside a fancy apartment on Quai Kléber, armed U.S. soldiers guarded the Dutch-American particle physicist Samuel Goudsmit as he sat in an armchair scouring files. The apartment belonged to a German virus expert named Dr. Eugen Haagen, believed to be a key developer in the covert Nazi biological weapons program. Haagen had apparently fled his apartment in a hurry just a few days prior, leaving behind a framed photograph of Hitler on the mantel and a cache of important documents in the cabinets.
Goudsmit and two colleagues, bacteriological warfare experts Bill Cromartie and Fred Wardenberg, had been reading over Dr. Haagen's documents for hours. Based on what was in front of them, they planned to be here all night. Most of Strasbourg was without electricity, so Goudsmit and his colleagues were reading by candlelight.
Samuel Goudsmit led a unit engaged in a different kind of battle than the one being fought by the combat soldiers and airmen outside. Goudsmit and his team were on the hunt for Nazi science—German weaponry more advanced than what the Allies possessed. Goudsmit was scientific director of this Top Secret mission, code-named Operation Alsos, an esoteric and dangerous endeavor that was an offshoot of the Manhattan Project. Goudsmit and his colleagues were far more accustomed to working inside a laboratory than on a battlefield, and yet here they were, in the thick of the fight. It was up to these men of science to determine just how close the Third Reich was to waging atomic, biological, or chemical warfare against Allied troops. This was called A-B-C warfare by Alsos. An untold number of lives depended on the success of the operation.
Samuel Goudsmit had qualities that made him the mission's ideal science director. Born in Holland, he spoke Dutch and German fluently. At age twenty-three he had become famous among fellow physicists for identifying the concept of electron spin. Two years later he earned his PhD at the University of Leiden and moved to America to teach. During the war, Goudsmit worked on weapons development through a government-sponsored lab at MIT. This gave him unique insight into the clandestine world of atomic, biological, and chemical warfare and had put him in this chair, reading quickly in the flickering candlelight. Just days before, Goudsmit's team had captured four of Hitler's top nuclear scientists and had learned from them that the Nazis' atomic bomb project had been a failure. This was an unexpected intelligence coup for Alsos—and a huge relief. The focus now turned to the Reich's biological weapons program, rumored to be well advanced.
Goudsmit and his team of Alsos agents knew that the University of Strasbourg had been doubling as a biological warfare research base for the Third Reich. Once a bastion of French academic prowess, this four-hundred-year-old university had been taken over by the Reich Research Council, Hermann Göring's science organization, in 1941. Since then, the university had been transformed into a model outpost of Nazi science. Most of the university's professors had been replaced with men who were members of the Nazi Party and of Heinrich Himmler's SS.
On this November night, Goudsmit made the decision to have his team set up camp in Professor Haagen's apartment and read all the documents in a straight shot. Alsos security team members set their guns aside, organized a meal of K-rations on the dining room table, and settled in to a long night of cards. Goudsmit and the biological weapons experts Cromartie and Wardenberg sat back in Professor Haagen's easy chairs and worked on getting through all the files. Night fell and it began to snow, adding confusion to the scene outside. Hours passed.
Then Goudsmit and Wardenberg "let out a yell at the same moment," remembered Goudsmit, "for we had both found papers that suddenly raised the curtain of secrecy for us." There in Professor Haagen's apartment, "in apparently harmless communication, lay hidden a wealth of secret information available to anyone who understood it." Goudsmit was not deciphering code. The papers were not stamped Top Secret. "They were just the usual gossip between colleagues… ordinary memos," Goudsmit recalled. But they were memos that were never meant to be found by American scientists. The plan was for the Third Reich to rule for a thousand years.
"Of the 100 prisoners you sent me," Haagen wrote to a colleague at the university, an anatomist named Dr. August Hirt, "18 died in transport. Only 12 are in a condition suitable for my experiments. I therefore request that you send me another 100 prisoners, between 20 and 40 years of age, who are healthy and in a physical condition comparable to soldiers. Heil Hitler, Prof. Dr. E. Haagen." The document was dated November 15, 1943.
For Samuel Goudsmit the moment was a stunning reveal. Here, casually tucked away in a group of Haagen's personal papers, he had discovered one of the most diabolical secrets of the Third Reich. Nazi doctors were conducting medical experiments on healthy humans. This was new information to the scientific community. But there was equally troubling information in the subtext of the letter as far as biological weapons were concerned. Haagen was a virus expert who specialized in creating vaccines. The fact that he was involved in human medical experiments made a kind of twisted sense to Goudsmit in a way that few others could interpret. In order to successfully unleash a biological weapon against an enemy force, the attacking army had to have already created its own vaccine against the deadly pathogen it intended to spread. This vaccine would act as the shield for its own soldiers and civilians; the biological weapon would act as the sword. The document Goudsmit was looking at was a little more than a year old. How much vaccine progress had the Nazis made since?
As Goudsmit stared at the documents in front of him, he was faced with a troubling reality. Once, Eugen Haagen had been a temperate man—a physician dedicated to helping people. In 1932 Dr. Haagen had been awarded a prestigious fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation, in New York City, where he had helped to develop the world's first yellow fever vaccine. In 1937 he had been a contender for the Nobel Prize. Haagen had been one of Germany's leading men of medicine. Now here he was testing deadly vaccines on once healthy prisoners from concentration camps supplied to him by Himmler's SS. If a leading doctor like Haagen had been able to conduct these kinds of research experiments with impunity, what else might be going on?
Goudsmit and his colleagues scoured Dr. Haagen's papers, paying particular attention to the names of the doctors with whom Haagen corresponded about his prisoner shipments, his vaccine tests, and his future laboratory plans. Goudsmit started putting together a list of Nazi scientists who were now top priorities for Alsos to locate, capture, and interview. Dr. Eugen Haagen would never become a Paperclip scientist. After the war he would flee to the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany and work for the Russians. But among the names discovered in his apartment were two physicians important to Operation Paperclip. They were Dr. Kurt Blome, deputy surgeon general of the Third Reich, and Surgeon General Walter Schreiber. Dr. Blome was in charge of the Reich's biological weapons programs; Dr. Schreiber was in charge of its vaccines. The sword and the shield.
Before Hitler rose to power, Blome and Schreiber had been internationally renowned physicians. Had Nazi science also made monsters of these men?
Almost two weeks after the Alsos mission's discovery at Strasbourg, three hundred miles to the north, in Germany, a party was under way. There, deep in the dark pine forests of Coesfeld, a magnificent moated eight-hundred-year-old stone castle called Varlar was being readied for a celebration. The castle was a medieval showpiece of the Münster region, resplendent with turrets, balustrades, and lookout towers. On this night, December 9, 1944, the banquet hall had been decorated in full Nazi Party regalia. Trellises of ivy graced the podium. Flags featuring Germany's national eagle-and-swastika emblem hung from walls, a motif repeated in each china place setting where the guests of the Third Reich celebrated and dined.
Outside, on Castle Varlar's grounds, the snow-covered fields were also being readied. For centuries the castle had been a monastery, its broad lawns used as sacred spaces for Benedictine monks to stroll about and consider God. Now, in the frigid December cold, army technicians made last-minute adjustments to the metal platforms of portable rocket-launch pads. On each sat a missile called the V-2.
The giant V-2 rocket was the most advanced flying weapon ever created. It was 46 feet long, carried a warhead filled with up to 2,000 pounds of explosives in its nose cone, and could travel a distance of 190 miles at speeds up to five times the speed of sound. Its earlier version, the V-1 flying bomb, had been raining terror down on cities across northern Europe since the first one hit London, on June 13, 1944. The V-2 rocket was faster and more fearsome. No Allied fighter aircraft could shoot down the V-2 from the sky, both because of the altitude at which it traveled and the speed of its descent. The specter of it crashing down into population centers, annihilating whoever or whatever happened to be there, was terrifying. "The reverberations from each [V-2] rocket explosion spread up to 20 miles," the Christian Science Monitor reported. The V-weapons bred fear. Since the start of the war, Hitler had boasted about fearsome "hitherto unknown, unique weapons" that would render his enemies defenseless. Over time, and with the aid of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, references to these mysterious weapons had been consolidated in a singular, terrifying catchphrase: Nazi wonder weapons, or Wunderwaffe. Now, throughout the summer and fall of 1944, the V-weapons made the threat a reality. That the Nazis had unfurled a wonder weapon of such power and potential this late in the war made many across Europe terrified about what else Hitler might have. Plans to evacuate one million civilians from London's city center were put in place as British intelligence officers predicted that a next generation of V-weapons might carry deadly chemical or biological weapons in the nose cone. England issued 4.3 million gas masks to its city dwellers and told people to pray.
Major General Walter Dornberger was the man in charge of the rocket programs for the German army's weapons department. Dornberger was small, bald on top, and when he appeared in photographs alongside Himmler he often wore a long, shin-length leather coat to match the Reichsführer-SS. He was a career soldier—this was his second world war. He was also a talented engineer. Dornberger held four patents in rocket development and a degree in engineering from the Institute of Technology in Berlin. He was one of four honored guests at the Castle Varlar party. Later, he recalled the scene. "Around the castle in the dark forest were the launching positions of V-2 troops in [our] operation against Antwerp." It had been Dornberger's idea to set up mobile launch pads, as opposed to firing V-2s from fortified bases in the Reich-controlled part of France—a wise idea, considering Allied forces had been pushing across the continent toward Germany since the Normandy landings in June.
Antwerp was Belgium's bustling, northernmost port city, located just 137 miles away from the V-2 launch pads at Castle Varlar. For a thousand years it had been a strategic city in Western Europe, conquered and liberated more than a dozen times. In this war Belgium had suffered terrible losses under four long years of brutal Nazi rule. Three months prior, on September 4, 1944, the Allies liberated Antwerp. There was joy in the streets when the British Eleventh Armored Division rolled into town. Since then, American and British forces had been relying heavily on the Port of Antwerp to bring in men and matériel to support fighting on the western front and also to prepare for the surge into Germany. Now, in the second week of December 1944, Hitler intended to reclaim Antwerp. The Führer and his inner circle were preparing to launch their last, still secret counteroffensive in the Ardennes Forest, and for this the German army needed Antwerp shut down. The job fell to the V-2. The party at Castle Varlar was to be a night of warfare and celebration, with one 42,000-pound liquid-fueled rocket being fired off at the enemy after the next, while the guests honored four of the men who had been instrumental in building the wonder weapon for the Reich.
The man at the scientific center of the V-2 rocket program was a thirty-two-year-old aristocrat and wunderkind-physicist named Wernher von Braun. Von Braun was at Castle Varlar to receive, alongside Dornberger, one of Hitler's highest and most coveted noncombat decorations, the Knight's Cross of the War Service Cross. Also receiving the honor were Walther Riedel, the top scientist in the rocket design bureau, and Heinz Kunze, a representative from the Reich's armaments ministry. These four medals were to be presented by Albert Speer, Hitler's minister of armaments and war production.
Armaments are the aggregate of a nation's military strength, and as minister of weapons, Speer was in charge of scientific armaments programs for the Third Reich. He joined the Nazi Party in 1931, at the age of twenty-six, and rose to power in the party as Hitler's architect. In that role he created buildings that symbolized the Reich and represented its ideas and quickly became a favorite, joining Hitler's inner circle. In February 1942 Hitler made Speer his minister of armaments and war production after the former minister, Fritz Todt, died in a plane crash. By the following month Speer had persuaded Hitler to make all other elements of the German economy second to armaments production, which Hitler did by decree. "Total productivity in armaments increased by 59.6 per cent," Speer claimed after the war. At the age of thirty-seven, Albert Speer was now responsible for all science and technology programs necessary for waging war. Of the hundreds of weapons projects he was involved in, it was the V-2 that he favored most.
Like von Braun, Speer was from a wealthy, well-respected German family, not quite a baron but someone who wished he was. Speer liked to exchange ideas with youthful, ambitious rocket scientists like Wernher von Braun. He admired "young men able to work unhampered by bureaucratic obstacles and pursue ideas which at times sounded thoroughly utopian."
As for General Dornberger, the Castle Varlar celebration was a crowning moment of his career. The pomp and power thrilled him, he later recalled. "It was a scene," Dornberger said after the war—the excitement of the evening, "[t]he blackness of the night.…" At one point during the meal, in between courses, the lights inside the castle were turned off and the grand banquet hall was plunged into darkness. After a moment of anticipatory silence, a tall curtain at the end of the long hall swung open, allowing guests to gaze out across the dark, wintry lawns. "The room suddenly lit [up] with the flickering light of the rocket's exhaust and [was] shaken by the reverberations of its engines," remembered Dornberger. Outside, perched atop a mobile rocket-launch pad, the spectacle began. An inferno of burning rocket fuel blasted out the bottom of the V-2, powering the massive rocket into flight, headed toward Belgium. For Dornberger, rocket launches instilled "unbelievable" feelings of pride. Once, during an earlier launch, the general wept with joy.
On this night the excitement focus alternated—from a rocket launch to award decoration, then back to a rocket launch again. After each launch, Speer decorated one of the medal recipients. The crowd clapped and cheered and sipped champagne until the banquet hall was again filled with darkness and the next rocket fired off the castle lawn.
This particular party would end, but the celebrations continued elsewhere. The team returned to Peenemünde, the isolated island facility on the Baltic Coast where the V-weapons had been conceived and originally produced, and on the night of December 16, 1944, a party in the Peenemünde's officer's club again honored the men. Von Braun and Dornberger, wearing crisp tuxedos, each with a Knight's Cross from Hitler dangling around his neck, read telegrams of congratulations to Nazi officials as the group toasted their success with flutes of champagne. In the eyes of the Reich, Hitler's rocketeers had good reason to celebrate. In Antwerp at 3:20 p.m., a V-2 rocket had smashed into the Rex Cinema, where almost 1,200 people were watching a Gary Cooper film. It was the highest death toll from a single rocket attack during the war—567 casualties.
The Allies were obsessed with the Nazis' V-weapons. If they had been ready earlier, the course of war would have been different, explained General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. "It seemed likely that, if the German had succeeded in perfecting and using these new weapons six months earlier than he did, our invasion of Europe would have proved exceedingly difficult, perhaps impossible," Eisenhower said. Instead, circumstance worked in the Allies' favor, and by the fall of 1944, Allied forces had a firm foothold on the European continent. But back in Washington, D.C., inside the Pentagon, a secret, U.S.-only rocket-related scientific intelligence mission was in the works. Colonel Gervais William Trichel was the first chief of the newly created Rocket Branch inside U.S. Army Ordnance. Now Trichel was putting together a group of army scientists to send to Europe as part of Special Mission V-2. The United States was twenty years behind Germany in rocket development, but Trichel saw an opportunity to close that gap and save the U.S. Army millions of dollars in research and development costs. Trichel's team would capture these rockets and everything related to them for shipment back to the United States. The mission would begin as soon as the U.S. Army arrived in the town of Nordhausen, Germany.
The British had the lead on intelligence regarding V-weapons. Their photo interpreters had determined exactly where the rockets were being assembled, at a factory in central Germany in the naturally fortified Harz Mountains. Trying to bomb this factory from the air was useless, because the facility had been built underground in an old gypsum mine. While the Americans made plans inside the Pentagon, and while von Braun and his colleagues drank champagne at Peenemünde, the men actually assembling the Reich's V-2 rockets endured an entirely different existence. Nazi science had brought back the institution of slavery all across the Reich, and concentration camp prisoners were being worked to death in the service of war. The workers building rockets included thousands of grotesquely malnourished prisoners who toiled away inside a sprawling underground tunnel complex known by its euphemism, Mittelwerk, the Middle Works. This place was also called Nordhausen, after the town, and Dora, the code name for its concentration camp.
To average Germans the Harz was a land of fairy tales, of dark forests and stormy mountains. To those who read Goethe, here was the place where the witches and the devil collided at Brocken Mountain. Even in America, in Disney's popular film Fantasia, these mountains had meaning. They were where forces of evil gathered to do their handiwork. But at the end of the Second World War, the Reich's secret, subterranean penal colony at Nordhausen was fact, not fiction. The Mittelwerk was a place where ordinary citizens—of France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Russia, Poland, and Germany—had been transformed into the Third Reich's slaves.
The underground factory at Nordhausen had been in operation since late August 1943, after a Royal Air Force attack on the Peenemünde facility up north forced armaments production to move elsewhere. The day after that attack, Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS, paid a visit to Hitler and proposed they move rocket production underground. Hitler agreed, and the SS was put in charge of supplying slaves and overseeing facilities construction. The individual in charge of expanding Nordhausen from a mine to a tunnel complex was Brigadier General Hans Kammler, a civil engineer and architect who, earlier in his career, built the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The first group of 107 slave laborers arrived at the Mittelwerk in late August 1943. They came from the Buchenwald concentration camp, located fifty miles to the southeast. The wrought-iron sign over the Buchenwald gate read Jedem das Seine, "Everyone gets what he deserves." Digging tunnels was hard labor, but the SS feared prisoners might revolt if they had mining tools, so the men dug with their bare hands. The old mine had been used by the German army as a fuel storage facility. There were two long tunnels running parallel into the mountain that needed to be widened now for railcars. There were also smaller cross-tunnels every few meters that needed to be lengthened to create more workspace. In September 1943 machinery and personnel arrived from Peenemünde. Notable among the staff, and important to Operation Paperclip, was the man in charge of production, a high school graduate named Arthur Rudolph.
Rudolph's specialty was rocket engine assembly. He had worked under von Braun in this capacity since 1934. Rudolph was a Nazi ideologue; he joined the party before there was any national pressure to do so, in 1931. What he lacked in academic pedigree he made up for as a slave driver. As the Mittelwerk operations director, Rudolph worked with the SS construction staff to build the underground factory. Then he oversaw production on the assembly lines for V-weapons scientific director Wernher von Braun.
The prisoners worked twelve-hour shifts, seven days a week, putting together V-weapons. By the end of the first two months there were eight thousand men living and working in this cramped underground space. There was no fresh air in the tunnels, no ventilation system, no water, and very little light. "Blasting went on day and night and the dust after every blast was so thick that it was impossible to see five steps ahead," read one report. Laborers slept inside the tunnels on wood bunk beds. There were no washing facilities and no sanitation. Latrines were barrels cut in half. The workers suffered and died from starvation, dysentery, pleurisy, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and phlegmasia from beatings. The men were walking skeletons, skin stretched over bones. Some perished from ammonia burns to the lungs. Others died by being crushed from the weight of the rocket parts they were forced to carry. The dead were replaceable. Humans and machine parts went into the tunnels. Rockets and corpses came out. Workers who were slow on the production lines were beaten to death. Insubordinates were garroted or hanged. After the war, war crimes investigators determined that approximately half of the sixty thousand men eventually brought to Nordhausen were worked to death.
The Mittelwerk wasn't the first slave labor camp created and run by the Third Reich. The SS recognized the value of slave labor in the mid-1930s. Humans could be selected from the ever-growing prisoner populations at concentration camps and put to work in quarries and factories. By 1939 the SS had masterminded a vast network of state-sponsored slavery across Nazi-occupied Europe through an innocuous-sounding division called the SS Business Administration Main Office. This office was overseen by Heinrich Himmler but required partnerships. These included many companies from the private sector, including IG Farben, Volkswagen, Heinkel, and Steyr-Daimler-Puch. The most significant partner was Albert Speer's Ministry of Armaments and War Production. When Speer took over as armaments minister in February 1942 his first challenge, he said, was to figure out how to galvanize war production and make it more efficient. Speer's solution was to get rid of bureaucracy and use more slave laborers. He himself had been connected to the slave labor programs with the SS for years, including when he was an architect. Speer's buildings required vast amounts of stone, which was quarried by concentration camp laborers from Mauthausen and Flossenbürg.
The SS Business Administration Main Office specialized in engineering dangerous and fast construction projects, as was the case with the V-2 facility at Nordhausen. "Pay no attention to the human victims," Brigadier General Hans Kammler told his staff overseeing construction in the tunnels. "The work must proceed and be finished in the shortest possible time." In the first six months of tunnel work, 2,882 laborers died. Albert Speer praised Kammler for what he considered to be a great achievement in engineering, setting things up so efficiently and so fast. "[Your work] far exceeds anything ever done in Europe and is unsurpassed even by American standards," wrote Speer.
There were other reasons why the use of slave labor was so important to wonder weapons production, namely, the secrecy it ensured. The V-2 was a classified weapons project; the less Allied intelligence knew about it, the better for the Reich. When Albert Speer and Heinrich Himmler met with Hitler in August of 1943 to brief him on the benefits of using slave labor, Himmler reminded the Führer that if the Reich's entire workforce were to be concentration camp prisoners, "all contact with the outside world would be eliminated. Prisoners don't even receive mail."
One of The Boston Globe's Best Books of 2014
One of iBooks' Top Ten Nonfiction Books of the Year
"Important, superbly written.... Jacobsen's book allows us to explore these questions with the ultimate tool: hard evidence. She confronts us with the full extent of Paperclip's deal with the devil, and it's difficult to look away."—Matt Damsker, USA Today (4 stars)
- "With Annie Jacobsen's OPERATION PAPERCLIP for the first time the enormity of the effort has been laid bare. The result is a book that is at once chilling and riveting, and one that raises substantial and difficult questions about national honor and security...This book is a remarkable achievement of investigative reporting and historical writing."—Boston Globe
- "As comprehensive as it is critical, this latest expose from Jacobsen is perhaps her most important work to date.... Jacobsen persuasively shows that it in fact happened and aptly frames the dilemma.... Rife with hypocrisy, lies, and deceit, Jacobsen's story explores a conveniently overlooked bit of history." -- Publishers Weekly (starred)
- "The most in depth account yet of the lives of Paperclip recruits and their American counterparts.... Jacobsen deftly untangles the myriad German and American agencies and personnel involved...more gripping and skillfully rendered are the stories of American and British officials who scoured defeated Germany for Nazi scientists and their research."—New York Times Book Review
- "Chilling, compelling, and comprehensive accounting.... Jacobsen's impressive book plumbs the dark depths of this postwar recruiting and shows the historical truths behind the space race and postwar US dominance. Highly recommended for readers in World War II history, espionage, government cover-ups, or the Cold War." -- Library Journal (starred)
- "Darkly picaresque.... Jacobsen persuasively argues that the mindset of the former Nazi scientists who ended up working for the American government may have exacerbated Cold War paranoia."—New Yorker
- "An engrossing and deeply disturbing exposé that poses ultimate questions of means versus ends." -- Booklist (starred)
- "Annie Jacobsen's Operation Paperclip is a superb investigation, showing how the U.S. government recruited the Nazis' best scientists to work for Uncle Sam on a stunning scale. Sobering and brilliantly researched." -- Alex Kershaw, author of The Liberator
- "Throughout, the author delivers harrowing passages of immorality, duplicity and deception, as well as some decency and lots of high drama. How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail." -- Kirkus Reviews
- "[A] gripping, always disquieting story of a nation forced to trade principle for power.... Jacobsen gives us many vivid moments.... OPERATION PAPERCLIPtakes its place in the annals of Cold War literature, one more proof that moral purity and great power can seldom coexist."—Chris Tucker, The Dallas Morning News
- "Jacobsen uses newly released documents, court transcripts, and family-held archives to give the fullest accounting yet of this endeavor." -- The New York Post
- "Doggedly researched." -- Parade
- "A compelling work with interesting historical and personal revelations."—Jay Watkins, CIA's Intelligence in Public Literature
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- Feb 11, 2014
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