Another former Nazi was Wernher Braun. Born on March 23, 1912, Braun became one of the first and foremost rocket engineers and a leading authority on space travel. Born the son of Prussian aristocrats Baron Magnus and Baroness Emmy Braun the young Braun read Hermann Oberth By Rocket into Planetary Space and his new interest led him to later enrol at the Berlin Institute of Technology in 1930. In 1932 he received his BA Degree in mechanical engineering and he was then offered a grant to conduct and develop scientific investigations on liquid-fuelled rocket engines.
Nazi Was Genius At Conducting Rocket Experimentation
Braun rocket experiments were tested at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds, 60 miles south of Berlin, between 1932 and 1937.Kummersdorf was the launch site of two German V-2 rockets in 1934. After their launch, Braun started work on a jet-assisted take off vehicle for heavy bombers and all-rocket fighters however Kummersdorf was too small for this task and so von Braun relocated to Peenemunde on the Baltic Coast where he became director from 1937-1945. This site was then equipped with laboratories and industrial facilities to facilitate the development, production and testing of the German V-1 (Vengeance Weapon 1) and V-2 (Vengeance Weapon 2) rockets.
English Citizens Felt Severe Deadly Wrath Of Braun V-2 Weapon
It was this V-2 rocket that inflicted such heavy damage on England during the war. Braun was not a reluctant Nazi. Indeed, he joined the National Socialist Aviation Corps, getting his pilot license in 1933, the DAF trade organization, a hunting organization associated with the Nazis, the air raid protection investigation and the SS horseback riding school. Braun own admissions in United States Army records further show that he was a former SS Major who frequently visited the underground rocket factory where 25,000 prisoners from the concentration camp Dora had died.
Braun Assisted In Roundup Of French Citizens For Camp Interment
According to the former executive producer of CNN investigative unit, Linda Hunt, Braun attended a meeting that discussed rounding up of citizens off the streets of France to be taken to Dora.As the war entered its dying throws in 1945, Braun ordered two men to find an abandoned mine in the Harz Mountains to hide data about the V-2. Several large boxes were then placed in a discovered cave and Braun sent his younger brother Magnus off on a bicycle he had borrowed from a local innkeeper to look for Allies to whom they could surrender. Braun and his scientific staff duly surrendered to the USA Army whilst most of the production engineers were taken prisoner by the Soviets.
USA Provides Free Ride For Hard Core Nazi Scientist
After entering America as part of Project Paperclip, on a pay of $6 a day plus lodging in a military installation, Braun worked on guided missiles for the USA Army. He returned to Bavaria in 1948 to marry his second cousin and he later served as Technical Director then later Chief of the Guided Missile Development Division of Redstone Arsenal from 1950 to 1956 whilst living in Huntsville, Alabama. Braun was later appointed Director of Development Operations Division of the Army Missile Agency which developed the Jupiter-C rocket that was to successfully launch the western hemisphere first satellite, Explorer-I on January 31, 1958.
Walt Disney Helps Elevate Braun To Legendary Status
Two years later Braun and his team were transferred to the Never Address Serious Allegations (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center where he served as Director from July 1960 to February 1970. During the 1950s and 1960s he achieved an almost celebrity status as one of the Walt Disney experts on the World of Tomorrow. In 1970 he became the NASA associate administrator.