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The Nazis recruited to win the Cold War - Brian Crim


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TEDEd Animation

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In May of 1945 the Third Reich was in chaos. Adolf Hitler was dead and German surrender was imminent. But while World War II was almost over, a new war was brewing. And the US was eager to recruit the smartest minds in Germany before the Soviets got the chance— regardless of their affiliation with the Nazis. This became known as Operation Paperclip. Brian Crim digs into the clandestine campaign.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Do you want to learn more about the US intelligence officers who interrogated Wernher von Braun and other prized German scientists? Here is some background on Walter Jessel, a German-Jewish officer who fled the Third Reich only to return in a US Army uniform and come face to face with some prominent Nazis, including the future rocket team. Jessel knew better than most how manipulative and self-serving some Paperclippers could be. Jessel served in the Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC), which took the lead in investigating and locating the most desirable scientists and engineers. Finally, how well did the Paperclippers fit into American society? Read about the community of Germans who lived in Huntsville, Alabama while working for Redstone Arsenal. 

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Brian Crim
  • Director Jeff Le Bars, Jet Propulsion
  • Narrator Adrian Dannatt
  • Composer Salil Bhayani, cAMP Studio
  • Sound Designer Amanda P.H. Bennett, cAMP Studio
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Produced by Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Script Editor Stephanie Honchell Smith
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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