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HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 03:43 PM
I just finished reading Wayne Biddle's book entitled "Dark Side of the Moon", all about SS weirdo Wernher von Braun. Anybody else see/read the book? Oh my God! makes me wish we never brought that no good loaf over here in the first place. Who wants to go to the moon with a boot jacked Nazi Psycho?

HenrikOlsen
2011-Jul-24, 05:00 PM
The title sounds quite a lot like the author started out with a quite strong idea about von Braun, then went wherever confirmation bias would take his research.

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 05:11 PM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it. It is obviously all true as the subject is simply avoided or omitted, but never denied or countered by NASA's official historians and others. Biddle won a Pulitzer prize for good reason. His books are well researched and the guy has a lot of talet with a pen. He is a very good, eloquent writer, I would say. 'Bout time someone with clout brought this up. Too bad it wasn't emphasized in the 50's and 60's. Really tarnishes the moon landing's legacy.

grapes
2011-Jul-24, 05:29 PM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it.So, of all the important criticisms of von Braun in the book, are there any that are not found at the wikipedia article on Werner von Braun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun)?

EigenState
2011-Jul-24, 05:46 PM
Greetings,

New York Times Sunday Book Review: Houston, We Have a Problem (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/books/review/Holloway-t.html) written by David Holloway, published 8 January 2010.

Best regards,
EigenState

grapes
2011-Jul-24, 05:51 PM
New York Times Sunday Book Review: Houston, We Have a Problem (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/books/review/Holloway-t.html) written by David Holloway, published 8 January 2010.
From that review, the last sentence:
Biddle points to these troubling questions but hardly addresses them.

tusenfem
2011-Jul-24, 06:02 PM
There is a great movie based on Pynchon's "gravities rainbow" and the history of Peenemunde and von Braun. I saw it in Braunschweig, but I lost the flyer so I don't remember the title of the movie. It made quite the case that von Braun did know about the slaves from the concentration camps that were used in building the V1/2s and the deaths that occurred under them, something von Braun kept on denying to know.
If anyone can tell me the title of the movie that would be great. Although I could ask my friend in Braunschweig ...

Daggerstab
2011-Jul-24, 06:03 PM
I just finished reading Wayne Biddle's book entitled "Dark Side of the Moon", all about SS weirdo Wernher von Braun. Anybody else see/read the book? Oh my God! makes me wish we never brought that no good loaf over here in the first place. Who wants to go to the moon with a boot jacked Nazi Psycho?

Sooo, where's the conspiracy?

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:09 PM
Biddle makes it clear at the outset of his book that he is NOT interested in adressing such questions. Take a look for yourself. The book is beautifully written. It is a book about von Braun's awareness, the breadth of that awareness, the depth of that awareness. It is a book about his participation. It is a book about his creation of something evil. It is a book about von Braun's horrific intentions. It is a book about the men at Mittlelbau-Dora, a book about their suffering. It is not a book about what all this implies with respect to the the US Space Program. Biddle makes that clear from the book's outset. It is an indictment of von Bruan in the same sense Christopher Hitchens' "Trial of Henry Kissenger" is an indictment of that man, and like Hicthen's book, Biddle's long essay adressing von Braun's culpability claims nothing other than to prove the charges so levied are valid and worthy of our attention. The intention of my thread is to raise just that very question left us by the person who reviewed the book for the NY Times. If this is true to some appreciable degree, if von Braun is culpable, what does this say about our space program?

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:14 PM
Call it whatever one likes, conspiracy, pretending, lying by ommission, aiding and abetting a Nazi thug. Assume that what Biddle writes to be true, and his presentation is most persuasive, then US officials in and out of the "space program, the US missle development program" were very much aware of this. Biddle's point is that this stuff was not missable. It was evident and as a matter of fact, a bunch of dead men at Mittlebrau-Dora were the evidence.

grapes
2011-Jul-24, 06:14 PM
It is not a book about what all this implies with respect to the the US Space Program.

The intention of my thread is to raise just that very question left us by the person who reviewed the book for the NY Times. If this is true to some appreciable degree, if von Braun is culpable, what does this say about our space program?Are you saying this thread is not about the book?

swampyankee
2011-Jul-24, 06:16 PM
Sooo, where's the conspiracy?

The conspiracy -- and there really was one here -- was to keep von Braun from even being charged with war crimes. For this, there may not have been enough evidence to convict him, but there was certainly enough to charge him. Of course, quite a few persons guilty of war crimes did sneak in, but these were low-level functionaries, like camp guards; von Braun was most certainly not a low-level lackey.

Garrison
2011-Jul-24, 06:20 PM
I just finished reading Wayne Biddle's book entitled "Dark Side of the Moon", all about SS weirdo Wernher von Braun. Anybody else see/read the book? Oh my God! makes me wish we never brought that no good loaf over here in the first place. Who wants to go to the moon with a boot jacked Nazi Psycho?

If you wanted to get anywhere in the Third Reich you had to be a party member, that was the reality of the time and place. As to the slave workers at best Von Braun chose not to know at worst he cared more about himself and his work than their fates. none of which makes him a 'weirdo' or a 'psycho', nor does it affect the credibility of the work he did in the US. Do you have any argument to offer to the contrary?

Garrison
2011-Jul-24, 06:22 PM
The conspiracy -- and there really was one here -- was to keep von Braun from even being charged with war crimes. For this, there may not have been enough evidence to convict him, but there was certainly enough to charge him. Of course, quite a few persons guilty of war crimes did sneak in, but these were low-level functionaries, like camp guards; von Braun was most certainly not a low-level lackey.

And of course its a conspiracy that long since went public.

Operation Paperclip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip)

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:26 PM
Good point swampy, and to push it further in a sense, there are higher courts to which we are all accountable. By this I do not mean standing before the almighty, though within the logic of some "world views" that would be a point raised. What I am saying is that simply because von Braun, could not be formally charged in a military court of law for whatever reason, it does not mean he was not guilty and should not be viewed as such. He knew what was going on at Dora. He was responsible whether or not a military court, or any court for that matter would have found him guilty in some formal sense.

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:30 PM
It is not public Garrison, because von Braun is not presented fairly today. The lying continues to this very day, whether it is lying overtly or a more subtle form of lying practiced by omission. von Braun is presented today, present tense, as a person he was not. He was to put it simply, not a genius rocket scientist, but rather, a very nasty man with the worst of intentions. This is not OK.

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:32 PM
You are wrong Garrison, you do not know the history. You yourself are slipping into the cover story. von Braun's Nazi participation, his SS participation was willful and responsible. He made the choice. He KNEW what he was doing.

HighGain
2011-Jul-24, 06:34 PM
If it is not a "conspiracy" if it is no big deal, why the present tense features of this? Why hasn't the record been set straight?

Kyrre
2011-Jul-24, 06:51 PM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it. ..and that was your argument against the book being influenced by confirmation bias?

mercatormac
2011-Jul-24, 08:22 PM
You are wrong Garrison, you do not know the history. You yourself are slipping into the cover story. von Braun's Nazi participation, his SS participation was willful and responsible. He made the choice. He KNEW what he was doing.

I have a question HighGain: What do you think about people who use sock accounts to circumvent a ban?

Daggerstab
2011-Jul-24, 08:33 PM
He was to put it simply, not a genius rocket scientist, but rather, a very nasty man with the worst of intentions. This is not OK.

Er, "genius rocket scientist" and "Nazi war criminal" are not mutually exclusive.

korjik
2011-Jul-24, 09:11 PM
Biddle makes it clear at the outset of his book that he is NOT interested in adressing such questions. Take a look for yourself. The book is beautifully written. It is a book about von Braun's awareness, the breadth of that awareness, the depth of that awareness. It is a book about his participation. It is a book about his creation of something evil. It is a book about von Braun's horrific intentions. It is a book about the men at Mittlelbau-Dora, a book about their suffering. It is not a book about what all this implies with respect to the the US Space Program. Biddle makes that clear from the book's outset. It is an indictment of von Bruan in the same sense Christopher Hitchens' "Trial of Henry Kissenger" is an indictment of that man, and like Hicthen's book, Biddle's long essay adressing von Braun's culpability claims nothing other than to prove the charges so levied are valid and worthy of our attention. The intention of my thread is to raise just that very question left us by the person who reviewed the book for the NY Times. If this is true to some appreciable degree, if von Braun is culpable, what does this say about our space program?

It says almost nothing. Last I checked, there are no NASA run death camps.

Von Braun was not a nice guy. He was a spectacular rocket scientist tho. Lucky for him, the rocket part allowed him to get in on a conspiracy that sanitized his reputation. Unfortunately for him, the he was still a nazi, and will go into history with a very mixed reputation.

Doing something bad does not mean doing something good isnt good. It just means that you did something bad.

Garrison
2011-Jul-24, 09:24 PM
It is not public Garrison, because von Braun is not presented fairly today. The lying continues to this very day, whether it is lying overtly or a more subtle form of lying practiced by omission. von Braun is presented today, present tense, as a person he was not. He was to put it simply, not a genius rocket scientist, but rather, a very nasty man with the worst of intentions. This is not OK.

You know more than one book has been written about this and it's even been brought up here by HB's, I'm not sure how much more public it could be. And I have to point out that being a genius and being a terrible human being are not mutually exclusive.


You are wrong Garrison, you do not know the history. You yourself are slipping into the cover story. von Braun's Nazi participation, his SS participation was willful and responsible. He made the choice. He KNEW what he was doing.

What cover story? That he was a member of the Nazi party, that slave labour was used to build weapons of his design that brought death and terror, and that his background was glossed over when he was spirited away, are a matter of public record.


If it is not a "conspiracy" if it is not big deal, why the present tense features of this. Why hasn't the record been set straight?

You've offered up nothing that hasn't been brought up in connection with Von Braun before, there is nothing to set straight.

Swift
2011-Jul-24, 09:29 PM
I have a question HighGain: What do you think about people who use sock accounts to circumvent a ban?
I don't care what HighGain's opinion is about that question. I do care about you making such serious accusations in public. Doing so is against our rules. If you have concerns about another member, you Report the post or PM a moderator, you do not confront them publicly. This will earn you an infraction.

Ronald Brak
2011-Jul-24, 10:21 PM
I suggest people watch the 1960 biographical film about Wernher Von Braun titled: I Aim at the Stars (and sometimes I hit London).

Graybeard6
2011-Jul-24, 11:25 PM
HighGain nothing you have asserted is new. What is true is we wouldn't have gone to the moon without him. I see no difference between von Braun and a president or prime minister who orders the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians to win a war. what would you do? Dig him up and hang him as they did in the Middle Ages?

kamaz
2011-Jul-24, 11:41 PM
US had no problems giving immunity to Shirō Ishii (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiro_Ishii) in exchange for his research results. That's the gentlemen who commanded the infamous Japanese bioweapons lab (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731). Ishii and associates are estimated to have killed over 10'000 people, employing experimental protocols which nobody today would allow on animal subjects.

Compared to these guys, von Braun was an icon of sainthood. So I suspect von Braun's involvement in war crimes was never a factor in deciding whether to bring him into the US or not. I also suspect that American intelligence was well aware of his activities in this regard.

danscope
2011-Jul-24, 11:43 PM
Von Braun was into the rockets . That was his purpose . And he served our rocket program very well .
That will remain his legacy .

pzkpfw
2011-Jul-25, 12:28 AM
To bring this more into the CT realm: if the moon landings were to be faked (and no, I do not think for a moment they were), would you choose a person with this past to be the figure-head designer?

That is, back when you decide to fake the whole thing... wouldn't you put "all-American-hero" Skip Novak in charge?

That they used Von Braun (and he wasn't alone) is to me more "evidence" for the veracity of the whole enterprise. The U.S. was in a race with the Soviets - who had their own batch of German scientists - and both sides used what and who they could.

(After all, some of the early U.S. and Soviet rockets were either V2's built from captured components, or further developments of the V2 design. Should they have started from scratch, out of principle, and pretended there was nothing technology-wise to learn from the V2?)

Selenite
2011-Jul-25, 12:51 AM
Who wants to go to the moon with a boot jacked Nazi Psycho?

Who wants to go for a drive in a car designed for the Third Reich? Millions apparently.

In June 1934, Austrian Doctor Ferdinand Porsche received a contract from Hitler to design a "people's car" (or Volkswagen), Mass production of the car, which later became known as the Beetle, commenced after the end of the war. Porsche also had a hand in helping design some of Nazi Germany's more famous (or infamous) battle tanks. In 1945, Porsche was briefly held as a war criminal by the French. None of which prevented the Beetle from being an extremely popular brand of automobile both in the US and abroad and is still an iconic vehicle. Likely, we are all surrounded by inventions and works of art who's creators weren't perfect upstanding citizens.

Ronald Brak
2011-Jul-25, 01:21 AM
I have no moral qualms about using tools made of iron, which is something developed by blood thirsty Anatolians, however, my own personal opinion is that people who do very naughty things should receive some form of disincentive administered through a legal system of some sort.

Middenrat
2011-Jul-25, 01:40 AM
I wasn't aware this was ever a history-rewrite, or even an issue. von Braun was always a famously Strangelove-like figure, in fact was the archetype for Strangelove. In perilous times, as illustrated by The Korean War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, You Name It, the subtext went 'He might be a Nazi, but he's our Nazi'.
My take is he was rocketry nuts and cared not a whit for the philosophy of National Socialism, but if it provided all this free labour, then 'let's go with the flow'.

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 01:53 AM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it. It is obviously all true as the subject is simply avoided or omitted, but never denied or countered by NASA's official historians and others. Biddle won a Pulitzer prize for good reason. His books are well researched and the guy has a lot of talet with a pen. He is a very good, eloquent writer, I would say. 'Bout time someone with clout brought this up. Too bad it wasn't emphasized in the 50's and 60's. Really tarnishes the moon landing's legacy.
My bold

Considering Tom Lehrer wrote a song about it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjDEsGZLbio) in the 1960s, I don't think it was much of a secret.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 02:12 AM
Grape, the thread is about, "Who wants to go to the moon with a SS member, a boot jacked Nazi?" I for one do not. Why didn't they let the loaf suck eggs and sit on his can for the rest of his life? OK, so he slipped through the threat of being tried for military crimes. We didn't need to take this a step futher and give him 2 jobs, one with Disney and one with NASA. Other people could have provided the requisite expertise. We did not need von Bruan for Apollo or anything else for that matter. Why not bring Himmler back and give him a job as minister of American prisons?

Kyrre, the guy's got eyeballs, von Braun. He could see. Biddle's book is an opinion piece, and gives a strong piece.
But it also presents the facts as others have. I have never seen facts to the contrary, only language psycho alaysis, and in some sense this is appropriate becuase the guy was psycho..

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 02:22 AM
Mercatormac. I think I struck a nerve there and you want to have me too banned to spare NASA what little embarrassment I might provide here. Why don't you come here to China where I am living right now, look me in the eye and tell me I am wrong about von Braun and tell me also that I am anyone other than who I claim to be. What a coward you are. Read the book, argue the issue, or jump in the lake. Don't bring me to BAUT court on your trumped up grade school charges. I presume getting back to the point, I may conclude you suport NASA's decision in supporting von Braun. I do not. We could have got another guy to build a Saturn V.

Gillianren
2011-Jul-25, 02:30 AM
I wasn't aware this was ever a history-rewrite, or even an issue. von Braun was always a famously Strangelove-like figure, in fact was the archetype for Strangelove.

Let's say he was on the list. There was no shortage of former Nazis to draw on.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 02:38 AM
Agreed Selenite. It does not mean we hide from the truth about people like von Braun.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 02:43 AM
How convenint Garrison, to "choose not to know". Next time I screw someone good, I'll think I will choose not to know I hurt this person so badly. That way I won't be held responsible for what I did in any sense. I'll go aid and abet in a murder or two. After I m done, I think I'll apply for a job as artistic director over at Disney. No big deal.

pzkpfw
2011-Jul-25, 02:47 AM
Mercatormac. I think I struck a nerve there and you want to have me too banned to spare NASA what little embarrassment I might provide here. Why don't you come here to China where I am living right now, look me in the eye and tell me I am wrong about von Braun and tell me also that I am anyone other than who I claim to be. What a coward you are. Read the book, argue the issue, or jump in the lake. Don't bring me to BAUT court on your trumped up grade school charges. I presume getting back to the point, I may conclude you suport NASA's decision in supporting von Braun. I do not. We could have got another guy to build a Saturn V.

Please watch the language, both the cursing (even if very mild) and the rudeness towards other members. Mercatormac's post has been dealt with by a moderator; there's no need for you to jump in too.

vonmazur
2011-Jul-25, 02:50 AM
Who wants to go for a drive in a car designed for the Third Reich? Millions apparently.

In June 1934, Austrian Doctor Ferdinand Porsche received a contract from Hitler to design a "people's car" (or Volkswagen), Mass production of the car, which later became known as the Beetle, commenced after the end of the war. Porsche also had a hand in helping design some of Nazi Germany's more famous (or infamous) battle tanks. In 1945, Porsche was briefly held as a war criminal by the French. None of which prevented the Beetle from being an extremely popular brand of automobile both in the US and abroad and is still an iconic vehicle. Likely, we are all surrounded by inventions and works of art who's creators weren't perfect upstanding citizens.

Yes, true, and the Wolfsburg crest on the horn button was designed by failed artist, A. Hitler too!!

Dale

slang
2011-Jul-25, 05:34 AM
HighGain,

From your writing I assume you are an American. Since you brought up being in China, may I ask why you are there, what kind of work you do?

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 05:44 AM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it.


..and that was your argument against the book being influenced by confirmation bias?

Heheheh. I was hoping to get to make that point.

Does that mean anything to you, HighGain?

chrlzs
2011-Jul-25, 08:25 AM
And can someone *please* enlighten me on the conspiracy theory that highgain is supporting? I'm just not getting it from the title....

Even as a nerdy child in the years leading up to Apollo (let alone after it), I was well aware of the controversy surrounding Von Braun's background. highgain, were you around back in those days? Is there something you wish to raise in regard to his accomplishments in space technology?

HenrikOlsen
2011-Jul-25, 08:50 AM
Grape, the thread is about, "Who wants to go to the moon with a SS member, a boot jacked Nazi?" I for one do not.
Do you have any understanding about the political climate in the time leading up to the moon landings?

BTW I think you meant jack booted.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 09:02 AM
And can someone *please* enlighten me on the conspiracy theory that highgain is supporting? I'm just not getting it from the title....

Even as a nerdy child in the years leading up to Apollo (let alone after it), I was well aware of the controversy surrounding Von Braun's background. highgain, were you around back in those days? Is there something you wish to raise in regard to his accomplishments in space technology?

I'm also at a loss as to the point. There's no new information about Von Braun here, the man has been dead for a long time, as have I imagine all of those who decided his skills were more important than his war time record so there is no one who could be punished for those actions. Highgain just what are you advocating here?

Tog
2011-Jul-25, 09:04 AM
For what it's worth, I don't think a conspiracy is being proposed at all here. Not in the classic sense of the forum, anyway.

My impression is that HighGain recently came across this information and is seeing as an act of betrayal by the history of the landings. He said he was fan of them in his introduction post (new member thread), and just learned of WvB's involvement.

We may never know how involved he was with the politics of the day in the early 40's, but his history as it pertains to the US space program is well documented, even if it's not well publicized. To those who dug into the history, his involvement and past is hardly news. To those who followed the program on the surface, I can see where it would be a shock.

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 09:13 AM
I guess it's fair to say you're not a fan of the man, HighGain, and you thought this was an opportunity to slag him off? It's just not the appropriate place for it. Maybe off-topic babbling, if anywhere.

pzkpfw
2011-Jul-25, 09:41 AM
Please let's all keep the meta-discussion out of the thread. Don't like the thread? ...don't post in it. Got a problem with a post? ...report it.

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 09:52 AM
Just trying to find out the purpose of it, pzkpfw. I don't know if I like it or not because I don't understand the reason for it being.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 12:48 PM
HighGain,

From your writing I assume you are an American. Since you brought up being in China, may I ask why you are there, what kind of work you do?

I write software for radar systems.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 12:54 PM
Spoons, my thread is more about NASA than von Braun in a sense. Why do we need to give people like this a job? What was done was done. So he was given a pass maybe. So maybe we should have pumped him for info on rockets. I would have. We learned from the Germans about subs/u-boats, OK, well enough, makes sense. But interogate the guy and be done with the bum.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 01:16 PM
Spoons, conspiracies are about presenting something as other than what that something really is. The Apollo mission was other than the "ra ra ain't we great" NASA version of landing on the moon".

How much support would congress/Kennedy himself have received for the Apollo program from the American constituency if this general public knew the details as to what went on at Dora and what the nature of von Braun's involvement was there? NONE. No support. Would people today gush as they do over Apollo if von Braun's past was given fair and appropriate treatment? No.

NASA lied and continues to lie by omission so this clown could work for them, and the truth is, we didn't need this yo-yo to land Armstrong on the moon.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 01:17 PM
Spoons, my thread is more about NASA than von Braun in a sense. Why do we need to give people like this a job? What was done was done. So he was given a pass maybe. So maybe we should have pumped him for info on rockets. I would have. We learned from the Germans about subs/u-boats, OK, well enough, makes sense. But interogate the guy and be done with the bum.

Inadequate to the purpose, it was a skill set that he possessed not simply his knowledge that was needed, and still not clear why this is in the CT section.

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 01:21 PM
My understanding is both the USSR and the US (and other Western countries) were interested in the German rocket scientists not so much because of the civilian space programs, but to develop ICBM technology. Don't forget, the Cold War during the late 40s, 50s, and 60s was extremely serious, and many in the US (particularly the military) felt that the development of such technology was critical for the continued existence of the US. And the fact is the Germans developed the best technology for this during WWII. Keeping these scientists from the Other Side was as important as getting them for Our Side.

I'm not excusing anything these scientists might have done during The War; I'm explaining the motivation. Frankly, there was a lot worse things the US did in the name of getting the "Commies" that I can't get into on BAUT.

Two books I would recommend for your studies - Gene Kranz's book "Failure is Not an Option" (http://www.amazon.com/Failure-Not-Option-Mission-Control/dp/0743200799), which gives his insights into the race to the moon. He seems to really down play the role of the Germans, at least for the day-to-day operations, and particularly after the Mercury program.

"Space Race" by Deborah Cadbury (http://www.amazon.com/Failure-Not-Option-Mission-Control/dp/0743200799), gives a lot of details about both the USSR's and the US's efforts to get the German rocket scientists. And it makes clear that the US had a pretty good idea what they were getting into, and the fact that these guys were just plucked out of German and stuck into a US lifestyle of luxury.

BetaDust
2011-Jul-25, 01:23 PM
Inadequate to the purpose, it was a skill set that he possessed not simply his knowledge that was needed, and still not clear why this is in the CT section.

^^
Agreed. Why is this in CT? What is the Conspiracy?

-- Dennis

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 01:25 PM
Spoons, conspiracies are about presenting something as other than what that something really is. The Apollo mission was other than the "ra ra ain't we great NASA version of landing on the moon".

How much support would congress/Kennedy himself have received for the Apollo program from the American constitency if this general public knew the details as to what went on at Dora and what the nature of von Braun's uninvolvement was there? NONE. No support.


Sorry but simply not the case. After Sputnik and Gagarin's flight the imperative was to beat the Soviets and 'win the space race'. Von Braun's background was known at the time, it simply was considered far less important than establishing US cultural and technological superiority over the Soviets(who had their own ex-nazi scientists by the way). And you really need to take onboard what has been said earlier, he may have been a terrible human being but he was a great rocket engineer and he made a genuine contribution to putting man on the moon, calling him a 'yo-yo' just sounds childish.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 01:27 PM
I understand the point about the ICBMs. It is a good one. We should have used and not glorified these people. I already made the point about the U-boats. It was the same deal there. The Germans were ahead of everybody.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 01:29 PM
Two books I would recommend for your studies - Gene Kranz's book "Failure is Not an Option" (http://www.amazon.com/Failure-Not-Option-Mission-Control/dp/0743200799), which gives his insights into the race to the moon. He seems to really down play the role of the Germans, at least for the day-to-day operations, and particularly after the Mercury program.

"Space Race" by Deborah Cadbury (http://www.amazon.com/Failure-Not-Option-Mission-Control/dp/0743200799), gives a lot of details about both the USSR's and the US's efforts to get the German rocket scientists. And it makes clear that the US had a pretty good idea what they were getting into, and the fact that these guys were just plucked out of German and stuck into a US lifestyle of luxury.

And that's the thing, there was no great secret about what Von Braun did in WWII, he and other German scientists were simply considered valuable enough for both sides in the Cold War to ignore it and exploit their skills.

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 01:32 PM
Spoons, conspiracies are about presenting something as other than what that something really is. The Apollo mission was other than the "ra ra ain't we great" NASA version of landing on the moon".

How much support would congress/Kennedy himself have received for the Apollo program from the American constituency if this general public knew the details as to what went on at Dora and what the nature of von Braun's uninvolvement was there? NONE. No support. Would people today gush as they do over Apollo if von Braun's past was given fair and appropriate treatment? No.

NASA lied and continues to lie by omission so this clown could work for them, and the truth is, we didn't need this yo-yo to land Armstrong on the moon.
OK, here is the decision:

Particularly based upon HighGain's latest post (quoted above - and thank you HighGain for the clarification), this thread will remain in the CT forum. HighGain's conspiracy theory is that NASA and the US Government hid the nature of von Braun's involvement and history and that the US space program would not been have adversely impacted had he not been involved.

I would ask that everyone drop the metadiscussion about where this thread should be. If you have any further thoughts about that issue, you should Report this post. Any further discussion in-thread will result in infractions.

HighGain - As the advocate of this Conspiracy Theory (CT), you have cerain obligations. If you have not done so, I strongly urge you to review Our Rules (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/32864-**-Rules-For-Posting-To-This-Board-**) (particularly Rule 13) and The Advice for CT Supporters (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/86593-Advice-for-Conspiracy-Theory-Supporters). In particular, you will be expected to defend your ideas and present evidence for them. And I will tell you now, if your evidence consists entirely of referencing a single book, particularly if you only respond with things like "read the book", there will be difficulties.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 01:37 PM
Fair enough, great rocket engineer, great rocket builder and unscruppulous jerk when it comes to looking after his help. He was both. I just wish the latter was emphasized and I would suggest that he was not needed as an active member of our own weapons building team.

Fritz Haber won a Nobel Prize. His approach to synthesizing amonia may be the most significant work ever in modern chemistry given the practical ramifications and its application in feeding the people of the planet. But Haber also designed gas artillary shells. Should scientists not be allowed to participate in the defense of their countries? I wish more would refuse to, but I understand why they might. Haber at least fessed up to what he did, copped to it. von Braun is a coward, a spineless chump.

grapes
2011-Jul-25, 01:51 PM
So, of all the important criticisms of von Braun in the book, are there any that are not found at the wikipedia article on Werner von Braun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun)?


Grape, the thread is about, "Who wants to go to the moon with a SS member, a boot jacked Nazi?" Now, it's about a conspiracy.

Biddle's book is an opinion piece, and gives a strong piece.
But it also presents the facts as others have. I have never seen facts to the contrary, only language psycho alaysis, and in some sense this is appropriate becuase the guy was psycho..Since most of us don't have access to the book, what evidence is in Biddle's book that is not presented, or discussed, in the wikipedia article?

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 01:55 PM
Well, the US were hardly going to emphasise the man's negatives while they were gaining from his positives, were they? I cannot see what there would've been to gain from that. And I don't see how it could be claimed that they hid his past - as said many times already his history is quite well known. Just because the US didn't put out press releases highlighting any failings he may have had as a person doesn't mean they were hiding anything.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 01:56 PM
Fair enough, great rocket engineer, great rocket builder and unscruppulous jerk when it comes to looking after his help. He was both. I just wish the latter was emphasized and I would suggest that he was not needed as an active member of our own weapons building team.

Fritz Haber won a Nobel Prize. His approach to synthesizing amonia may be the most significant work ever in modern chemistry given the practical ramifications and its application in feeding the people of the planet. But Haber also designed gas artillary shells. Should scientists not be allowed to participate in the defense of their countries? I wish more would refuse to, but I understand why they might. Haber at least fessed up to what he did, copped to it. von Braun is a coward, a spineless chump.

Haber never 'copped to it' he was proud of his work during WWI, and was decorated for it. It's arguable that his work in Ammonia synthesis had far more bearing on the course of that war than Von Braun ever did on WWII by ensuring that Germany could continue to produce munitions. You seem to be trying to single Von Braun out as somehow uniquely villainous when there were others just as bad or worse.

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 01:59 PM
Wait 'til the book on Haber comes out then. :D

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 02:00 PM
<snip>
von Braun is a coward, a spineless chump.
HighGain,

You've made your personal opinion of him clear enough. I would ask that you stop the name calling already, it is not adding to an intelligent discussion.

Heid the Ba'
2011-Jul-25, 02:00 PM
I'm sure if Haber had continued to work for the Nazis then von Braun would have given him a job at Nordhausen-Dora, he was after all fully qualified. ;)

Heid the Ba'
2011-Jul-25, 02:08 PM
Haber never 'copped to it' he was proud of his work during WWI, and was decorated for it. It's arguable that his work in Ammonia synthesis had far more bearing on the course of that war than Von Braun ever did on WWII by ensuring that Germany could continue to produce munitions. You seem to be trying to single Von Braun out as somehow uniquely villainous when there were others just as bad or worse.
"Our man isn't that bad he only killed thousands, others killed millions." Is that really your defence?

As for Haber, he didn't work in death camps or with slave labour; how long he prolonged the war for is irrelevant as he was acting openly in the same way scientists on all sides were. Surely if von Braun's work didn't lengthen the war then his war crimes were for nothing? There isn't even an end to justify the means.

grapes
2011-Jul-25, 02:13 PM
It is true that "war crimes" do not include "being on the wrong side". But I would like to hear more, if there is more.

swampyankee
2011-Jul-25, 02:31 PM
I'm fairly sure the nazi engineers and scientists picked up by the USSR had nice, comfy, albeit Soviet-style, lifestyles while they remained useful. I'm sure a lot of them also complained, rather ironically, about being treated as slaves.

Being on the losing side is not a war crime -- I do not believe any of the German U-boat commanders from WW1 were charged as war criminals, nor were the U-boat commanders from WW2, nor were vast majority German Army's soldiers and commanders who were involved in some of the toughest fighting in WW2, in places like North Africa, Italy, France, and Eastern Europe. Concentration camp guards, who pretty much existed to make sure prisoners died, and SS troops (and Army troops) who used mass-murder of civilians as a tactical tool were.

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 02:43 PM
Did not strike me that way. Everywhere I looked for confirmation of what Biddle wrote, I found it. It is obviously all true as the subject is simply avoided or omitted, but never denied or countered by NASA's official historians and others. Biddle won a Pulitzer prize for good reason. His books are well researched and the guy has a lot of talet with a pen. He is a very good, eloquent writer, I would say. 'Bout time someone with clout brought this up. Too bad it wasn't emphasized in the 50's and 60's. Really tarnishes the moon landing's legacy.
My bold

Considering Tom Lehrer wrote a song about it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjDEsGZLbio) in the 1960s, I don't think it was much of a secret.
HighGain,

Let me make this a formal question: part of your contention was that NASA and the US government kept von Braun's past a secret. If that is so, how do you explain the fact that there were satirical songs written about it? And having grown up in the 60s, I can tell you that I remember this song, and I remember people being well aware of von Braun (and even some controversy about it). How does that jive with what you are saying?

NEOWatcher
2011-Jul-25, 02:45 PM
Concentration camp guards, who pretty much existed to make sure prisoners died...
Even the camp guards weren't always charged. It was only the guards who were doing more than what was ordered (those that treated thier job with fervor).

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 02:47 PM
"Our man isn't that bad he only killed thousands, others killed millions." Is that really your defence?

As for Haber, he didn't work in death camps or with slave labour; how long he prolonged the war for is irrelevant as he was acting openly in the same way scientists on all sides were. Surely if von Braun's work didn't lengthen the war then his war crimes were for nothing? There isn't even an end to justify the means.

I'm not sure where this is coming from. Highgain brought up Haber as apparently more moral than Von Braun as 'he had copped to it' as regard the gas experiments. I was pointing out that was far from the truth

Heid the Ba'
2011-Jul-25, 02:49 PM
I do not believe any of the German U-boat commanders from WW1 were charged as war criminals, nor were the U-boat commanders from WW2,
One was shot for warcrimes, but that was for his actions, as a class they were not.

Heid the Ba'
2011-Jul-25, 02:55 PM
I'm not sure where this is coming from. Highgain brought up Haber as apparently more moral than Von Braun as 'he had copped to it' as regard the gas experiments. I was pointing out that was far from the truth

You stated "You seem to be trying to single Von Braun out as somehow uniquely villainous when there were others just as bad or worse." You seemed to be defending von Braun on the basis that others were as bad or worse.

As for copping to it (this may be usage) but I took that to mean that he freely talked about it, which he did. Which is far from the truth; that he didn't talk freely about it or that he was more moral than von Braun?

What did Haber do that Barnes Wallis didn't?

edit: spelling

Swift
2011-Jul-25, 02:59 PM
Folks,

Questions should be primarily aimed at Highgain, it is his CT to defend. Thanks,

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 03:11 PM
You stated "You seem to be trying to single Von Braun out as somehow uniquely villainous when there were others just as bad or worse." You seemed to be defending von Braun on the basis that others were as bad or worse.

As for copping to it (this may be usage) but I took that to mean that he freely talked about it, which he did. Which is far from the truth; that he didn't talk freely about it or that he was more moral than von Braun?

What did Haber do that Barnes Wallis didn't?

edit: spelling

I think this may be a language difficulty, being British I take 'copping to it' as meaning an admission of guilt.

Daffy
2011-Jul-25, 04:37 PM
Spoons, conspiracies are about presenting something as other than what that something really is. The Apollo mission was other than the "ra ra ain't we great" NASA version of landing on the moon".

How much support would congress/Kennedy himself have received for the Apollo program from the American constituency if this general public knew the details as to what went on at Dora and what the nature of von Braun's involvement was there? NONE. No support. Would people today gush as they do over Apollo if von Braun's past was given fair and appropriate treatment? No.

NASA lied and continues to lie by omission so this clown could work for them, and the truth is, we didn't need this yo-yo to land Armstrong on the moon.

I was around at the time and the general public most assuredly DID know about Von Braun's Nazi connections. My own parents used to discuss it often. As someone correctly pointed out, Tom Lehrer even wrote a best selling song about it in 1965. If someone was hiding his past, it was the worst hiding job in history.

Luckmeister
2011-Jul-25, 04:50 PM
There's an important aspect to the cold-war climate. This was the first that the population of the world realized there was enough military destructive capability, on both sides of what many feared an inevitable hot-war, to nearly eliminate the human race. That created a unique "can't win - only a draw is acceptable" mindset which led to making sure we could say, "Yeah but we can destroy you too, so don't start nothin'."

My point is that quickly building an ICBM delivery system was deemed a critical priority at a very critical point in world history. I was alive through all that period and am very glad the decision was made to do what was necessary to have Von Braun's rocket experience and expertise assisting a vitally important endeavour. That was a very different NASA back then, strongly linked to military needs of the time. Today, they are more scientific-research oriented, e.g., Mars Rovers, ISS and HST.

HighGain, it appears to me that your purpose here is to vilify today's NASA for priorities and decisions made in a very different time. What's the point??

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 06:07 PM
Fair enough, great rocket engineer, great rocket builder and unscruppulous jerk when it comes to looking after his help. He was both. I just wish the latter was emphasized...

Why? What purpose would it serve to denigrate the man most responsible (like it or not) for getting us to the Moon before the Soviets?

I mean, we get it...you hate Von Braun, and want to "somehow" hold NASA responsible for his war "record".

...but to me, this is just more of "so what".

Gillianren
2011-Jul-25, 06:16 PM
My understanding is that the astronauts were none too fond of him themselves. What little I've read about him indicates that he did not have what you might call "good people skills." I would almost think that his attitude toward slave labour was "at least they can't talk back to me."

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 06:17 PM
I think this may be a language difficulty, being British I take 'copping to it' as meaning an admission of guilt.

You are correct.

jfribrg
2011-Jul-25, 06:37 PM
I'm a little late to this thread, but I have a few comments. A few years ago a biography of von Braun (http://www.amazon.com/Von-Braun-Dreamer-Space-Engineer/dp/0307262928) was published. I feel that it gives a fair treatment of his wartime role. One theme that seemed to emerge was that von Braun was driven by the desire to go to the moon, and whatever organization (SS and later NASA) would allow him to further that goal was the driving factor in his career choices. He worked developing the V2 for Germany because that was the best way to do research into larger rockets. At the end of the war, he chose to surrender to American forces because he felt that would give him his best chance of continuing his research. I don't think that too much can be made of his SS membership because he rarely wore the uniform. He was arrested late in the war (he was apparently discussing plans on how to continue rocket resarch after the fall of the Reich, which amounted to treason). SS membership helped him continue his research, so he joined. Personally I think he must have known about the horrendous conditions at the factories and he surely knew about the death that his rockets were bringing to London (which is why he chose not to surrender to English forces), but there is no smoking gun to prove that he knew the full extent of the atrocities. He just seemed oblivious to the consequences of his work as long as it furthered the goal of rocket research and ultimately sending a rocket (preferably with him in it) to the moon. He was a very enigmatic, and seemingly amoral person, but all of this has been known for decades. During the cold war, somehow it was decided that beating the Soviets to the Moon was more important than discussing his alleged culpability in war crimes. Somewhere I read a good quote that he died before his past had time to catch up with him.

Regarding the book in the OP, the book title sounds like it is more a prosecutorial tool than an objective analysis of his complicity.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 09:15 PM
Swift did a nice job in #59 at clarification for me. Of course people knew who von Braun was with respect to the darker stuff. And of course NASA and the US government covered it up. Does this stuff appear anywhere in NASA/government publications intended for the general public? No it does not. Did any NASA or government spokesperson ever bring it up once in a public forum, press conference? I cannot say for sure, but I believe the answer is "No". Do public officials ever bring it up now? No they do not.

I wonder if the 400,000 people who worked on Apollo would still want von Braun to be a member of their team if they had the opportunity to work at Dora for just one day, under the same conditions as the prisoners there worked. Just one day, just for a taste of it all. How would they view von Braun then? Would they vote to keep von Braun on board? The answer would certainly be a big fat "NO".

The point I am trying to make is despite his widely viewed "vital role" in getting us to the moon, would we have gotten there without him? I say yes. When working on projects such as Apollo where the US national interest was at stake, was it a reasonable thing to do; hiring a book smart guy who's good with rockets and at the same time is a Nazi guy who actively participated in bringing about the deaths of the prisoners at Dora? I vote no on the hire. Let him work for Disney. It's a free country after all. He was a good fit there. If that voting no means we do not make it to the moon by 1969 do you still not hire him? I say still vote "No". Keep him in Amaheim, let him work on "Pirates of the Interplanetary Carribean".

I say someone else could have done what von Braun did. We would have had a rocket that did not look like a Saturn V but would have worked, maybe 1975, maybe 1979 instead of 1969. So what? We still have our integrity.

LaurelHS
2011-Jul-25, 09:31 PM
Swift did a nice job in #59 at clarification for me. Of course people knew who von Braun was with respect to the darker stuff. And of course NASA and the US government covered it up. Does this stuff appear anywhere in NASA/government publications intended for the general public? No it does not.
Yes, it does appear. Biographies on NASA's site are intended for the general public, I found them just by searching for "Von Braun" on NASA's site.

http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/braun.html
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/excerpts.html

Hal37214
2011-Jul-25, 09:37 PM
I say someone else could have done what von Braun did. We would have had a rocket that did not look like a Saturn V but would have worked, maybe 1975, maybe 1979 instead of 1969. So what? We still have our integrity.

The funny thing about integrity -- for most of us, it tends to be a fairly malleable commodity. I think that most of the NASA employees of the 50s-60s (excluding the vastly larger number of employees of private contractors), probably looked at their job as a way to 1) use their skills in support of projects about which they were genuinely enthusiastic, and 2) to put food on their tables. Ironically, Von Braun's motivations throughout his career were probably pretty much the same. Of course, he had to convince himself that it was OK to be complicit in an active program of slave labor. That's somewhat different, I'd say categorically different, from the choice of a young NASA engineer in 1955 working to send an American to the moon, despite the fact that one of the figures associated with the program was a creep.

I don't know, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some individuals did refuse to work for NASA on principle. Of course, I can also imagine some of these people finding work at private aerospace firms which did business with NASA.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 09:39 PM
Swift did a nice job in #59 at clarification for me. Of course people knew who von Braun was with respect to the darker stuff. And of course NASA and the US government covered it up. Does this stuff appear anywhere in NASA/government publications intended for the general public? No it does not. Did any NASA or government spokesperson ever bring it up once in a public forum, press conference? I cannot say for sure, but I believe the answer is "No". Do public officials ever bring it up now? No they do not.

It was a matter of public record, why exactly would they feel the need to then, or now? There's a big gap between simply not discussing a subject and a conspiracy to hide it, you have conspicuously failed to prove the latter.


I wonder if the 400,000 people who worked on Apollo would still want von Braun to be a member of their team if they had the opportunity to work at Dora for just one day, under the same conditions as the prisoners there worked. Just one day, just for a taste of it all. How would they view von Braun then? Would they vote to keep von Braun on board? The answer would certainly be a big fat "NO".

You keep suggesting that other didn't know about his background and that is untrue. They knew he created the V2, they knew slave labour was used in its construction and as others have pointed out no one who worked with Von Braun seem to have held any high opinion of him as a person, and yet they felt they needed his skills to beat the Russians so they simply ignored it and worked with him. Reprehensible perhaps but again no evidence of any conspiracy.


The point I am trying to make is despite his widely viewed "vital role" in getting us to the moon, would we have gotten there without him? I say yes. When working on projects such as Apollo where the US national interest is at stake is it a reasonable thing to do in hiring a book smart guy who's good with rockets and at the same time is a Nazi guy who actively participated in bringing about the deaths of the prisoners at Dora?

He was not a book smart guy, he was one of the few people in the world at the time with practical rocketry experience and without the experience that he and his fellow German scientists brought to the program it's possible that the US program might have progressed far more slowly, By the time of Gemini his influence had waned as the US program moved to new levels of sophistication but in that earlier phase his contribution was important.


I vote no on the hire. Let him work for Disney. It's a free country after all. He was a good fit there. If that voting no means we do not make it to the moon by 1969 do you still not hire him? I say still vote no. Keep him in Amaheim, let him work on "Pirates of the Interplanetary Carribean".


And this just too bizarre to respond to.


I say someone else could have done what von Braun did. We would have had a rocket that did not look like a Saturn V but would have worked, maybe 1975, maybe 1979 instead of 1969. So what? We still have our integrity.

Please tell us who could have fulfilled Von Braun's role. And if you think that in the climate of the time anyone in authority was going to have risked being beaten by the Russians in space for a third time then you really don't understand the nature of the Cold War.

grapes
2011-Jul-25, 09:42 PM
http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/braun.html
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/excerpts.htmlHighGain, does that second link address your concerns?

Paul Beardsley
2011-Jul-25, 09:46 PM
I say someone else could have done what von Braun did. We would have had a rocket that did not look like a Saturn V but would have worked, maybe 1975, maybe 1979 instead of 1969. So what? We still have our integrity.

And while this mystery person was at it, he could also have built a time machine and cured cancer.

In other words, I fail to see the value of this speculation. Perhaps you could provide a name?

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 09:47 PM
Yes, it does appear. Biographies on NASA's site are intended for the general public, I found them just by searching for "Von Braun" on NASA's site.

http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/braun.html
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/excerpts.html

Good links and this quote from ' Power to Explore' seems to confirm that this was all in the public domain long ago(my bold)


Responding to charges leveled by former inmates of the Dora-Ellrich concentration camps in the mid-1960s, von Braun gave his most detailed response. He admitted that he had indeed visited Mittelwerk on several occasions, summoned there in response to attempts by Mittelwerk management to hasten the V-2 into production.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Jul-25, 10:05 PM
Note that there was an actual conspiracy at the time he started working for the US.

The president had ordered that only German scientists who had not been members of the Nazi party could be recruited and as that would basically have excluded everyone except the janitor, US intelligence forged papers for them showing they hadn't been members so they could be scooped up and used in the US in direct defiance of the president's order.

This is now part of public record so though it was then technically a conspiracy by US intelligence to circumvent the president's orders it isn't really one anymore.

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 10:48 PM
The point I am trying to make is despite his widely viewed "vital role" in getting us to the moon, would we have gotten there without him? I say yes.

Since we can't go back and re-live "history", this is pointless speculation.

Would you like to present evidence that we wouldn't have gotten to the Moon without Von Braun?....no, I didn't think so...

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 10:49 PM
I am positive people knew about von Braun's background Garrison. I am most defintitely not suggesting otherwise. People knew who von Braun was, what he had done, what he was about. People knew, and knew the details. Don't hire him.

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 10:49 PM
When two parties' goals align it's not uncommon for them to ignore (at least temporarily) a few things for the good of the common interest.

That's all that happened here. At hey, it worked. Goal achieved.

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 10:52 PM
I say someone else could have done what von Braun did. We would have had a rocket that did not look like a Saturn V but would have worked, maybe 1975, maybe 1979 instead of 1969. So what? We still have our integrity.

What does "our Integrity" have to do with anything?? How does utilizing Vin Braun's "talent" make us lose "our integrity"???

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 10:53 PM
Your point is well taken RAF and mine would be, if then it means we do not get to the moon at all, if we have to have von Braun to go, then "we choose not to go the moon". Rocks, photos and major international bragging rights vs intergity, I will take the latter thank you very much, hands down, wouldn't have to think it over for more than a minute or two. In my mind the choice is easy based on values.

LaurelHS
2011-Jul-25, 10:54 PM
Would you be willing to admit that NASA does in fact include information about WVB's background in publications intended for the general public?

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 10:55 PM
Don't hire him.

Well, we don't get to "second guess" historical decisions, so neither you (nor I) can change those decisions...


In other words...learn to live with it...the rest of us have...

Strange
2011-Jul-25, 10:56 PM
Don't hire him.

OK. If he comes along looking for another job, we won't hire him. Happy now?

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 10:58 PM
That just seems ridiculous. He was the best man for the job. They were trying to get to the moon, not writing childrens books to implant morals in the next generation. He could've bathed in Bambi's blood and it wouldn't have mattered. He knew his stuff.

World experts are handy to have.

Thing with this world is that if you're picking at it that much, integrity be damned, it's all about results. And it's not like they allowed him to carry on with the bad behaviour under their guidance. Think of it as giving someone a second chance, hiring someone who got out of jail.

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 10:59 PM
RAF, integrity is everything. We are lost not only in outer space, but everywhere else without it. Or integrity grounds us as individuals and as a community. It grounds in the most fundamental and important sense of being grounded. What are we if we care not about how we treat one another? Why should space matter at all if we care not about things in this most fundamental sense?

HighGain
2011-Jul-25, 11:00 PM
I see your point spoons and reject it.

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 11:00 PM
I am positive people knew about von Braun's background Garrison. I am most defintitely not suggesting otherwise. People knew who von Braun was, what he had done, what he was about. People knew, and knew the details.


But that appears to contradict your earlier claims that there was some sort of conspiracy to hide his past. With that in mind, and considering the counter evidence presented by other posters, are you now accepting that isn't so?


Don't hire him.

Saying don't hire him ignores the political reality of the time and the perceived threat of the USSR. You simply fail to appreciate the sheer paranoia and fear of the period, which was hardly diminished by Sputnik and Vostok.

Spoons
2011-Jul-25, 11:04 PM
I see your point spoons and reject it.

I'm not saying that placing winning over integrity is the good thing to do, it's just an explanation of the reality of what happened. Remember, we're not calling the shots here, we're discussing history. We're not going to change it.

Is the only conclusion to this for everyone to say "Yes sir, you are correct. NASA - bad bad bad! You shouldna done that!"?

Garrison
2011-Jul-25, 11:08 PM
RAF, integrity is everything. We are lost not only in outer space, but everywhere else without it. Or integrity grounds us as individuals and as a community. It grounds in the most fundamental and important sense of being grounded. What are we if we care not about how we treat one another? Why should space matter at all if we care not about things in this most fundamental sense?

In the time frame they cared about survival, what price ethics if their children were to grow up up under the iron heel of Soviet oppression? A world where such concepts as liberty and justice had been expunged? That may seem a surreal notion now but it was that fear that drove the US to feel it had to beat the Soviets at every turn, including the 'space race'. The people at the time judged that to win they needed the likes of Von Braun and they weren't going to let past crimes get in the way of current survival.

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 11:22 PM
RAF, integrity is everything. We are lost not only in outer space, but everywhere else without it. Or integrity grounds us as individuals and as a community. It grounds in the most fundamental and important sense of being grounded. What are we if we care not about how we treat one another? Why should space matter at all if we care not about things in this most fundamental sense?

Like I already asked...how was our integrity "harmed" by our association with Von Braun?

Who in the world has said...boy, that US is really bad about using Von Braun 50 years ago, so lets (boycott?) them today?

I just don't see what you hope to accomplish with this thread...other than simple Von Braun bashing.

swampyankee
2011-Jul-25, 11:33 PM
Well, von Braun certainly deserves some level of "bashing," if that is what not covering up the truth about his past is being called. We do have the moral right to sit in judgement of von Braun and of the people who decided to ignore his alleged crimes. It's revisionism when we decide to ignore them or gloss over them.

R.A.F.
2011-Jul-25, 11:39 PM
Well, von Braun certainly deserves some level of "bashing,"...

It's already been done to death..what more is there to discuss??

HenrikOlsen
2011-Jul-25, 11:48 PM
Most of us are going "So what?" because most here knew enough history already that there's nothing surprising about it and most know enough about the political climate of those times to understand the people involved in drafting him to work in the US.

But it sounds like it came as a big revelation to HighGain and now that the ignorant hero image has been torn down he's hating the man with high fervor to distance himself from previous hero worship. Or something like that.

pzkpfw
2011-Jul-26, 12:30 AM
It seems the CT angle of this thread has been used-up, and it's now a discussion of "integrity"; which means it doesn't fit the purpose of the CT forum. (In any case, HighGain has got off his chest his feelings about Werner von Braun, members have replied; little more is to be gained.)