Operation Paperclip


In the fall of 1944, the United States and its allies launched a secret mission code-named Operation Paperclip. The aim was to find and preserve German weapons, including biological and chemical agents, but American scientific intelligence officers quickly realized the weapons themselves were not enough.

They decided the United States needed to bring the Nazi scientists themselves to the U.S. Thus began a mission to recruit top Nazi doctors, physicists and chemists — including Wernher von Braun, who went on to design the rockets that took man to the moon.

The U.S. government went to great lengths to hide the pasts of scientists they brought to America.


Annie Jacobsen is a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of AREA 51, OPERATION PAPERCLIP, THE PENTAGON’S BRAIN, PHENOMENA, SURPRISE, KILL, VANISH, and FIRST PLATOON.

In this recording from 26 February 2014, she presents her book, Operation Paperclip, at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.





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