Nazi scientists living and working in the US–all with the approval of top American military officials?
Those are some of the rather shocking revelations found in Annie Jacobsen’s new book, “Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America.”
“Under Operation Paperclip, which began in May of 1945, the scientists who helped the Third Reich wage war continued their weapons-related work for the US government, developing rockets, chemical and biological weapons, aviation and space medicine (for enhancing military pilot and astronaut performance), and many other armaments at a feverish and paranoid pace that came to define the Cold War,” Jacobsen writes in the book, according to Haaretz.
Pouring over documents, court transcripts and archives, Jacobsen details a secret plan that recruited and relocated hundreds of top Nazi scientists, bringing them and their families to the US after the end of World War II where they enjoyed a peaceful, well-compensated new life.
In return, these Third Reich researchers helped develop various military technologies and weapons, including the potential use of poisonous or mind-altering drugs such as Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), reports Ynet.
The program began to pick up steam as Cold War tensions ratcheted up at the end of the 1940s, as America began to fear that the Soviets were exploring mind control, reports the Daily Beast.
The CIA also formed a partnership with the Army, Air Force and Naval Intelligence, running what amounted to a “black site” facility inside the American zone of occupied Germany. Initially led by former Surgeon General of the Third Reich, Dr. Walter Schreiber, the researchers at Camp King developed enhanced interrogation techniques and tested them on captured Soviet spies.
Jacobsen said she hopes that her book will shine a light on this controversial and dark secret in American history.
“Operation Paperclip left behind a legacy of ballistic missiles, sarin gas cluster bombs, underground bunkers, space capsules, and weaponized bubonic plague,” Jacobsen writes, according to Haaretz. “How did this happen, and what does this mean now? Does accomplishment cancel out past crimes? These are among the central questions in this dark and complicated tale.”