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  • A10. Operation Paperclip: How German Scientists Were Brought to the US after World War II

A10. Operation Paperclip: How German Scientists Were Brought to the US after World War II

  • 09/14/2023
  • 10/12/2023
  • 5 sessions
  • 09/14/2023, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (EDT)
  • 09/21/2023, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (EDT)
  • 09/28/2023, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (EDT)
  • 10/05/2023, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (EDT)
  • 10/12/2023, 10:00 AM 11:30 AM (EDT)
  • Zoom only


Operation Paperclip was a secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from the former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959.  US agents would attach a paperclip to the folders of those German rocket experts whom they wished to employ in the United States. Many of these personnel were former members and some were former leaders of the Nazi Party.  The course will feature PowerPoint slides and video clips and will especially focus on the career of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.  We will discuss the legal, ethical and moral principles involved in the hiring of former Nazis.

Instructor: David Nevard

Optional reading: 

  1. Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990, by Linda Hunt. No longer in print. A pdf file of the book is available at
  2. Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, by Annie Jacobsen,ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316221031 - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316221030

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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