Hey look at the origins of NASA...
14 October 2000 http://cndyorks.gn.apc.org/yspace/articles/nazis.htm
NASA and Nazis - Origins of the US Space Program
In 1994, Carl Sagan wrote in his book, "Pale Blue Dot":
Sending people to orbit the Earth or robots to orbit the Sun requires rockets--big, reliable, powerful rockets. Those same rockets can be used for nuclear war. The same technology that transports a man to the Moon can carry nuclear warheads halfway around the world. The same technology that puts an astromonmer and a telescope in Earth orbit can also put up a laser "battle station." Even back then (in the 1960's), there was fanciful talk in military circles, East and West, about space as the new "high ground," about the nation that "controlled" space "controlling" the Earth. . . . Apollo was not mainly about science. It was not even mainly about space. Apollo was about ideological confrontation and nuclear war--often described by such euphemisms as world "leadership" and national "prestige.". . . When President Kennedy formulated the Apollo program, the Defense Department had a slew of space projects under development--ways of carrying military personnel up into space, means of conveying them around the Earth, robot weapons on orbiting platforms intended to shoot down satellites and ballistic missiles of other nations. . .
Not much has changed, has it?
Understanding that these rockets directly evolved from Nazi scientists, using slave labor from concentration camps, brings the tale of nuclear weapons full circle.
And as David Krieger once pointed out, nuclear weapons are the equivalent of the Nazi crematoriums, patiently waiting to be delivered to countless millions of new victims.
The legacy of Hitler is alive and well.
ARTHUR RUDOLPH OF DORA AND NASA
By Linda Hunt
In 1969, Americans cheered as our astronauts took their first steps onto the moon. The giant rocket that blasted them into space was Arthur Rudolph's crowning achievement as NASA's project director for Saturn V.
Fifteen years later, Rudolph relinquished his U.S. citizenship and left the country rather than face Justice Department charges that he had committed war crimes while working in an underground factory that had used Dora concentration camp prisoners as slave labor. The charges stemmed from Rudolph's "complicity in the abuse and persecution of concentration camp inmates who were employed by the thousands as slave laborers under his direct supervision," according to former Justice prosecutor Eli Rosenbaum, who directed the Rudolph case.
Dora played a significant role not only in Hitler's efforts to win the war, but in the lives of Rudolph, Wernher von Braun, and other German rocket scientists who are now touted as American heroes in our history books. Ironically, except for two books by French survivors, Dora's history has been totally ignored by Holocaust historians. Rudolph's supporters, however, currently use every opportunity to claim there were no Jews at the factory, prisoners were "well fed," and reports of "alleged" deaths were nothing but KGB propaganda.
As a result, publicity surrounding Rudolph's case reeked with Holocaust revisionism, perpetuating what survivor Jean Michel describes in his book Dora as the "monstrous distortion of history" that "has given birth to false, foul, and suspect myths."
Dora's camp records, however, quickly dispel those myths. Sixty thousand prisoners passed through Dora in the brief year and a half the camp existed. United Nations and U.S. Army records reveal that at least 25,000 never got out alive. They were starved, beaten, hanged, and literally worked to death building Hitler's secret weapon, the V-2 rocket. "The method of extermination was not the gas chamber, but .of working them to death," said a U.S. Army prosecutor in 1947.
This account is based on records from U.S. Army v. Kurt Andrae, Albert Speer 's Inside the Third Reich, U.S. Army 104th Infantry reports, personal interviews, and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the National Archives, Army Intelligence and Justice Department Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
Dora's history began as a result of British air attacks in 1943 that blasted the Peenemunde rocket base into ruins. Peenemunde, located on the Baltic Sea, was a testing ground for Nazi "buzz bombs" and the V-2 rocket. With its building leveled and rocket engineers scattered into the hills, the Nazis sought a safer location to mass-produce V-2 rockets, a site guaranteeing both secrecy and protection against further air attacks.
In the Hartz mountains, located near the city of Nordhausen in central Germany, two enormous tunnels ran parallel through Kohnstein mountain, providing a perfect location for the new factory, called Mittelwerk (Central Works). WIFO, a government company, excavated the tunnels as a bomb-proof storage place for oil and gasoline. Two railroad lines ran the entire length of both tunnels, with enough space for trucks and huge, intricate machinery to line the walls.
Mittelwerk was a combined effort of the Armaments Ministry and the SS. The engineering staff was headed by technical director Albin Sawatzki, an engineer who produced the Tiger tank. Rudolph, who worked at Peenemunde on rocket development and production, was named operations director in charge of V-2 production. When Rudolph was told by Peenemunde's director, Army General Walter Dornberger, "You go with Sawatzki," he and his staff dismantled a pilot production plant and moved to Mittelwerk.
One underground tunnel was complete; the other, partially finished, opened out on the northern side of the mountain. SS General Hans Kammler, who headed the SS construction branch that build Auschwitz, Treblinka, and the gas chambers, was in charge of completing Mittelwerk's tunnels in order to make room for the factory.
Dora was founded as the out-camp of Buchenwald to supply the slave labor to reconstruct Mittelwerk's tunnels and work under SS and civilian engineer supervision building rockets. According to armaments minister Albert Speer, using concentration camp prisoners, who had no contact with the outside world, was SS chief Heinrick Himmler's way of guaranteeing that the plant would be kept secret. "Such prisoners did not even get mail," said Himmler.
Beginning on September 3, 1943, a steady stream of convoys into Dora unloaded 60,000 prisoners from 31 nations - Russians, Poles, Belgians, Italian prisoners of war, members of the French resistance, Jewish children, even a black American flier named Johnny Nicholas. According to Army records, Nicholas told other prisoners he was captured when his plane crashed in France. He worked as a doctor in Dora's hospital. "he was to everybody a mystery, someone unusual because we had never seen a black person in Europe," remembers Dora survivor Sam Taub.
Yves Beon was a member of the French resistance when he was arrested, sent to Buchenwald, and then to this secret place beneath the mountain where he worked as an SS slave. For months, Beon was one of as many of 4,000 prisoners at a time who lived in the freezing cold tunnels, amid lice and filth, digging and carrying huge boulders to clear area for a rocket factory. "We were in the center of the mountain with no air," Beon recalls. "We slept there, we ate there, we spent months there before going outside."
The prisoners - called haeftlingen, "men in arrest" - lived and slept in barracks in the tunnels, surrounded by choking dust and fumes. Hundreds were crushed by rocks, beaten to death, starved, or died from tuberculosis and other diseases. After a December 10, 1943, visit to Mittelwerk, even Speer described conditions as "barbarous" and said his men "were so affected that they had to be forcibly sent off on vacations to restore their nerves."
Bodies of the dead were taken to Buchenwald for burning until Dora's own crematory was built. Dora camp records describe Buchenwald prisoners as so horrified at seeing bodies crushed by boulders or mangled from beatings that they committed suicide upon learning they were to be sent to Dora.
On November 1, 1944, Dora became an independent camp located near the tunnel entrance, with 31 sub-camps scattered around the mountains. While the haeftlingen now lived outside the tunnels, living and working conditions grew worse. Prisoners were hanged, beaten, and terrorized by brutal SS guards from the moment they arrived. A transport of Hungarian Jews, arriving half-dead from Buchenwald, were forced to carry heavy boards to build their own barracks until many dropped dead from exhaustion. Children who arrived with the group were beaten to death in the camp yard because they were too young to work.
Eli Pollach, 16, who lost his family at Auschwitz, worked on the "Sawatzki commando" team in the tunnels loading rocket parts on wagons. Before working a 12-hour shift in the tunnels, Pollach and other prisoners were forced to stand for hours in the camp yard for roll call, then walk for miles under SS guard into the mountain. "We had to go in at six o'clock in the morning into the tunnel," said Pollach. "Some didn't come out, because they died in there."
Mittelwerk's management changed after the Dora camp was built. In the spring of 1944, prisoners and engineers assembled in the tunnels as Georg Rickhey, dressed in full Nazi uniform, announced that he was Mittelwerk's new general manager. Rudolph gained more influence when Sawatzki returned after a month of illness and was transferred to V-1 production. "I was free of his darn interfering," Rudolph told OSI.
Rudolph said he walked through the tunnels once or twice a day and even visited Dora's SS camp commandant Otto Foerschner for a glass of schnapps on a few occasions. Army records show he received daily reports containing information about prisoner's deaths. "I knew that people were dying," he told OSI.
One department subordinate to Rudolph was the Prisoner Labor Supply Office, which West German court records show was responsible for "the quantity of food" the prisoners received, which was "completely inadequate." The department also was in charge of requesting "the required prisoner labor supply" from Dora's SS labor allocation office headed by SS officer Wilhelm Simon. When asked by OSI if he had gone to the SS and requested that more prisoners be taken from Dora and brought down into that subterranean hellhole to be used as slaves, Rudolph replied, "Yes, I did."
Rudolph claimed that he and Simon tried to improve the prisoners' conditions. In 1947, Simon used that defense when he was tried for war crimes by the U.S. Army. It is significant to note that Army prosecutors rejected his defense, convicted him for being a "sadistic" killer, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
There is extensive evidence that civilian engineers subordinate to Rudolph beat prisoners and caused some to be hanged. Army records identify Rudolph's subordinates, including his deputy, Karl Seidenstucker, by name as abusers of prisoners. Georg Finkenzeller testified, "practically all civilians who were working in the Prisoners' Labor Allocation" either ordered the punishment of prisoners or "carried out beating on their own."
Abuses by civilians became so widespread that on June 22, 1944, Mittelwerk personnel, including Rudolph, were warned in writing by the SS and Rickhey that punishment of prisoners was supposed to be the SS's exclusive domain. Dora's camp doctor had complained that prisoners were being hospitalized for being "beaten or even stabbed with sharp instruments by civilian employees for any petty offense."
Peenemunde officials were well aware of Mittelwerk's deplorable conditions. Army documents show that Wernher von Braun, whose brother Magnus was in charge of gyroscope production at Mittelwerk, frequently visited the factory. "I saw Mittelwerk several times, once while these prisoners were blasting tunnels in there, and it was really a pretty hellish environment," said von Braun in a 1971 interview. "The conditions there were absolutely horrible."
Knowing about the conditions didn't stop von Braun from attending a meeting in Rickhey's office on May 6, 1944, to discuss slave labor, according to documents found by Eli Rosenbaum. Other Nazis on the list as attending the meeting, and who later lived in America, include Rudolph, Rickhey, General Walter Dornberger, Hans Friederich, Ernst Steinhoff, and Hans Lindenberg.
The group discussed bringing more innocent civilians from France to Mittelwerk as slaves and the requirement that Frenchmen wear striped prisoner uniforms. "it will be possible to utilize French workers in the Mittelwerk only if dressed in appropriate clothing," notes the menu, which does not indicate any objections to the proposal.
Despite vicious living and working conditions, Dora prisoners found subtle ways to fight back. When the V-2s produced at Mittelwerk were test-fired at a proving ground in Poland, many of the missiles disintegrated soon after launch. Dieter Grau, a Peenemunde engineer, was sent by Wernher von Braun to Mittelwerk to find out why the rockets failed to operate properly. During an inspection, Grau found that prisoners had sabotaged the rockets. "They knew where they could tighten or loosen a screw, and this way tried to interfere with the proper function of the missile," Grau said in a 1971 interview with another author.
The prisoners sabotaged rockets by urinating on wiring, removing vital parts, and loosening screws. "It was common practice," says Beon, who sabotaged the rockets he worked on as a welder by making his welding appear sound when, in fact, the rocket parts were not welded at all. Beon believes their sabotage saved Americans' lives - U.S. troops landing at Normandy would have been killed if the rockets had functioned. "It would have been terrible for the Allies and for the American Army," says Beon.
More than 200 prisoners suspected of sabotage were hanged at Dora or on overhead electric cranes in Mittelwerk's tunnels, in some instances as a direct result of civilians reporting them to the SS. Cecil Jay described to Army prosecutors how one prisoner was caught making a metal spoon, accused of sabotage, and hanged over his workbench. "The order was given from the civilians to the SS that the prisoners be punished for sabotage, and it was carried out," Jay said.
In one case, 12 prisoners were simultaneously hanged on an overhead crane near Rudolph's office. With their hands tied behind their backs and wooden sticks in their mouths to stifle screams, the electric crane slowly lifted them above a crowd of engineers and prisoners gathered in the tunnel. "Instead of letting them drop and killing them on the spot immediately, they let them hang very slowly with pain that's absolutely horrible," says Beon, who knew if he was caught sabotaging rockets he could be hanged next. "But as I knew I would never get out of Dora, what's the difference?"
When they died, prisoners were taken to Dora's crematory and burned. Bodies were emaciated to such an extent that the oven could take as many as four at a time. "They would pull out from the hospital hundreds of people," remembers Taub. "They were put into the crematory - it was going day and night, burning."
As the war progressed, frantic work speed-ups to mass produce more rockets caused prisoners to drop dead like flies. Those who became ill or too weak to work were sent to other camps and killed. Dora hospital records show from January 6 to March 26, 1944, 3,000 "sick and exhausted liquidation camp Lublin. Reports note that except for a few, there was "no chance" for prisoners, riding in cold freight cars in the middle of winter with no food, even to live out the trip.
Jean Michel had been a leader of the French resistance in Paris before his imprisonment at Dora. In late 1944, he organized a French underground movement among prisoners. "Everybody knew that the SS had decided to kill everybody at the end of the war," Michel said in an interview. "So, I decided to try to do something about it."
The group was caught, arrested by the SS, and jailed. Some of the group were beaten to death by the SS during interrogations in a small cell. "I would have been hanged if the end of the war didn't arrive as it happened," says Michel, who was awarded the French Legion of Honor and the American Medal of Freedom after the war.
In the beginning of April 1945, as American troops advanced rapidly into the area, Mittelwerk's civilian engineers fled into the mountains amid rumors that the SS would kill them rather than let their secrets fall into Allied hands.
For some, such as Arthur Rudolph, the end of the war was the beginning of a new adventure and life in America, where he would eventually work for the U.S. Army and NASA. For the haeftlingen, it was a massacre. The SS planned to force the prisoners into the tunnels, wall them in, and gas them. Instead, 2,000 were taken from Dora and its sub-camps under heavy SS guard on foot, by cart and train, westward to the town of Gardelegen. Less than half survived the trip after days of being starved, beaten, and shot.
On the afternoon of April 13, 100 SS. Luftwaffe, and labor front soldiers forced the 1,100 remaining prisoners inside a barn. SS troops spread gasoline on the straw-covered floor and locked the prisoners inside. For the rest of the night, the troops threw hand grenades, shot flares, and fired bullets into the barn, burning it to the ground. Two days later, American troops found charred remains and fewer than 20 prisoners left alive.
Meanwhile, the city of Nordhausen surrendered after American attacks on April 11, 1945. The battle-tired men of the 104th "Timberwolf" Infantry Division were combat wise - blood and all kinds of hell were daily routine - but what the Timberwolves found on the outskirts of Nordhausen made them howl with rage.
Colonel James L. Collins was leading an infantry unit when his liaison officer called over the radio. "Colonel," he said, "you'd better get up here and see what we've got. It's terrible." Collins moved ahead of the unit and went into the camp.
On the hill was the huge cavelike entrance to the factory; 6,000 bodies covered the ground as far as the eye could see. Rows upon rows of skin-covered skeletons were frozen solid in grotesque shapes, bearing bruises and wounds from beatings. "They had been starved to death," said Collins. "Their arms were just little sticks, their legs had practically no flesh on them at all."
Army medic David Malachowsky heard machine guns fire. When he went over the hill, he found the SS frantically trying to finish the job. "They had a bunch of prisoners lined up against the fence and were gunning them down," said Malachowsky.
As an infantryman, Hugh Carey saw Nazi cruelty when fighting SS divisions, but was unprepared for Dora. Survivors, barely alive, wandered around lost and dazed; others lay as they had fallen - starved, stacked like cordwood, discolored, and lying in indescribable filth. "We had never seen civilian human beings put into a mass torture shop in order to build weapons," said Carey.
Bombs from Allied air attacks had ripped large holes in the two-story structures used to pen the prisoners. The bombs had ground flesh and bones into the cement floor. As the soldiers moved through the choking stench of death, they found the still-smoldering furnaces of Dora's crematory. "The doors were open when we got there, where they had been shoveling people in and burning them up," said Collins.
As more American troops entered the area, Malachowsky and other medics fed and cared for those few prisoners who survived. Another unit stood guard as 100 Nordhausen townspeople and captured SS moved the dead and dug graves with their bare hands. In the tunnel, a special American unit called "T-Forces" loaded V-2 rockets on truckbeds, then searched the mountainside for Arthur Rudolph and other rocket scientists. Many of these scientists escaped prosecution for war crimes by being sent to the United States to work in its fledgling space program.
Exactly 40 years after the liberation of Dora, in April 1985, the Alabama Space and Rocket Museum paid tribute to 40 Germans who stood surrounded by the press, in front of old V-2s and the Saturn V rocket they helped build for the United States. Inside the museum, dozens of awards lay encased in glass as a memorial to Wernher von Braun.
There is no monument to Dora - Americans do not wish to be reminded of what Jean Michel said about the day that U.S. astronauts first walked on the moon: "I could not watch the Apollo mission without remembering that that triumphant walk was made possible by our initiation to inconceivable horror."
Linda Hunt is a Washington DC, based investigative reporter. She won the 1986 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her article "U.S. Cover-up of Nazi Scientists" in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (April 1985). She is former executive producer of Cable News Network's investigative unit. Her book "Secret Agenda" details this horrible story and "Operation Paperclip" that brought over 1,600 Nazi scientist to the U.S. to work for the Pentagon.
12 January 2000
NASA and Nazis - Origins of the US Space Program
ARMY LAUNCHED SPACE PROGRAM
by Sandy Riebeling
From the Redstone Army Arsenal website http://www.redstone.army.mil/
Most people, when they think about space, think NASA. While it's true that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is currently responsible for the remarkable exploration into space and beyond, the space race began under the direction of the Army right here at Redstone Arsenal.
While the Arsenal had been designated as the center for Ordnance research and development in the field of rockets in 1948, it would be another two years before the arrival of Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team, who launched the Army into the mission of space exploration.
During World War II, von Braun was technical director at the Peenemunde Rocket Center in Germany. There he and his growing team of specialists built the famous V-2 rocket that established the technological basis for postwar experimentation with even more powerful rockets.
When von Braun and his team recognized that the war was ending and Russian troops would soon occupy Peenemunde, they decided to evacuate the rocket development site. Traveling in caravans by any number of means, the scientists headed south, bluffing their way through German checkpoints, eventually deciding to surrender to American forces. A group of American scientists was dispatched to Europe in 1945 to collect information and equipment related to German rocket research. As a result, the components for approximately 100 V-2 ballistic missiles were recovered and shipped from Germany to White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. In late 1945, more than 100 members of the von Braun team agreed to come to the United States to work under Army supervision.
Assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, the Germans and Americans rebuilt, tested and flew the V-2 rockets previously shipped from Germany. As the 1940s closed, the Army expanded its rocket program and moved the von Braun team to Huntsville and to World War II facilities originally used to produce various chemical compounds and pyrotechnical devices. In Huntsville the Germans joined a growing cadre of U.S. rocketry specialists. Working under von Braun, the combined team built missiles to counter Soviet Cold War threats. The most famous was officially named "Redstone" in 1952, in recognition of its development at Redstone Arsenal.
In early 1958, world attention focused on the Huntsville rocket team. Earlier in the decade, von Braun had proposed using a Huntsville rocket to launch an American satellite to beat the Russians into space. Instead, Eisenhower favored a Navy program called Vanguard. Then in October 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first manmade object ever to orbit the earth. The U.S. countered on Dec. 6 with an effort to launch a Vanguard rocket. Misfortune struck, however, when the rocket exploded in flames on the launch pad. Von Braun got the go-ahead from Washington, and on Jan. 31, 1958, his Huntsville team launched a modified Jupiter-C rocket from the Florida launch site. It carried Explorer I, the nation's first earth-orbiting satellite, and marked the U.S. entry in the space race.
Following Explorer I, American leadership debated over whether the U.S. space program should be administered by a military or civilian agency. The debate resulted in the creation of NASA, a civilian organization, on Oct. 1, 1958. In turn, Eisenhower later signed an executive order indicating that personnel from the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville should transfer to NASA.
On Sept. 8, 1960, Eisenhower formally dedicated the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville as a new field installation of NASA. The Huntsville location was a logical choice because the facilities for building and testing rockets and components already existed at the site. The Center resulted from the transfer in Huntsville of 4,670 Army civil service employees and 1,840 acres of Redstone Arsenal property and facilities worth $100 million. Von Braun was the Center's first director.
The Army's successful satellite launch was but the first in a series of achievements that furthered the nation's space effort. In the 30 months between the successful satellite launch and the formal transfer of the space program to Marshall, the Army placed four earth satellites into orbit; launched the free world's first lunar probe and first solar satellite; launched three primates into space, two of which were recovered alive; initiated effort on a 1.5 million-pound thrust booster being designed for a lunar exploration vehicle; and began work on the launch vehicle which would carry the first men into space.
Response from author/researcher John Judge: Subject:Gen. Walter Dohrnberger
There is little mention in the above of Gen. Walter Dohrnberger in the post-war period, though he came to the United States and played a major role in the conception of space rockets and militarization. He had been the mentor to van Braun and the others, and had gotten them their supplies and labor, even when Hitler was not enthused. Their war crimes extend to the civilian deaths in Europe from the use of their V-rockets as well. von Braun would not cooperate with US authorities, in fact, unless Dohrnberger was spared from any charges and brought to the US as well.
Nearing the end of the war, Dohrnberger had been working on a rocket that would enter outer space with a payload and come down from orbit to avoid radar tracking, with plans to aim at New York City. This idea was the inception of the shuttle.
In 1960, Time magazine mentioned Dohrnberger in their "Where are they now?" column, saying he was living in Buffalo, NY and had been working to design a system of nuclear armed sattelites that would circle the earth and deter other nations. This is Star Wars, 1960!
He is the author of the militarization of space, and his NASA cronies continue their work to this day. I just recently heard one of the Space Command officials say that no civilians can be allowed into outer space. It is all classified territory now, including the Moon and other planets, which they hope to colonize and exploit as well.
Walter Dohrnberger went on to head up Bell Helicopter Division in Dallas/Ft. Worth, where he continued his ties to the Solidarist communities of Nazis and White Russian revanchists, and the military industrial complex.
John F. Kennedy planned a full withdrawal of U.S. military troops from Vietnam by the end of 1964, and ordered the Pentagon to begin in just before his assassination. Those orders were reversed into plans for a 10 year war, costing 57,000 American lives (yes, this was part of the projections), on Monday, November 25, 1963, following a cabinet meeting deciding the matter in Honolulu on the day following his death.
Bell Helicopter systems made millions of dollars in war profits from the Vietnam conflict. Walter Dohrnberger's right hand at Bell Helicopter was Navy intelligence veteran Michael Paine. Paine and his wife Ruth housed Marina Oswald in Irving, Texas and helped get Oswald the job at the Texas Book Depository. Oswald did not shoot President Kennedy, but he was positioned to take the blame.
Dohrnberger went on to train proto-fascist forces abroad, including the SAVAK units of the Shah of Iran, among others. He never paid for any of his many crimes against humanity. Keep up the good work, Bill. And be sure to visit the vonBraun civic center in Huntsville when you meet down there, and give your regards in print to these founders of military control of space.