Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS April Meeting 2019
Volume 64, Number 3
Saturday–Tuesday, April 13–16, 2019; Denver, Colorado
Session D06: Secrecy and Espionage in Science
3:30 PM–5:18 PM,
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Sheraton Room: Governor's Square 15
Sponsoring Units: FHP FPS
Chair: Daniel Kennefick, University of Arkansas
Abstract: D06.00003 : Stealing Nazi Science: Allied Efforts to Acquire German Science and Technology during and after the Second World War
4:42 PM–5:18 PM
At the end of the Second World War, the US, UK, France, Soviet Union, and other Allied countries rushed to seize "intellectual reparations" from Nazi Germany in the form of science and technology. One aspect of this story is reasonably well known: that of the US military bringing German rocket scientists to the United States under the leadership of Wernher von Braun, and these scientists helping NASA reach the moon. However, Paperclip was only one small part of a much larger constellation of programs, both cooperative and competitive, aimed at taking German technology.
The nations undertaking these programs were in very different situations in 1945, resulting in very different strategies for their scientific intelligence and espionage programs. In this talk, I will describe these how these nations' programs to take German science were alike and how they diverged, and why that mattered for shaping the postwar worlds of science. I will focus in particular on industrial and academic (not directly military) science and technology, to underline how state support for science (and interest in acquiring it by any means) spread well beyond realms of nuclear physics and aerospace.
The American Physical Society (APS) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance the knowledge of physics.
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