By Monique Laney
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Extra resources for German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era
What makes Stuhlinger’s account remarkable is that, in contrast to the alluring image he created in his talk, the circumstances that brought the German rocket team to the United States were not only quite unusual but highly controversial, and these Germans’ immigration followed anything but the common process. Stuhlinger and his colleagues were brought to the United States under military custody beginning in 1945 as part of a large military operation to exploit German and Austrian scientists, engineers, and technicians after World War II.
S. government departments concerned the evaluation of the investigation reports, also referred to as security reports. These had to include the results from surveillance of the specialists in the United States but also reports based on investigations by OMGUS in Europe. In addition, the specialists and their dependents had to submit a typewritten sworn statement explaining their membership in the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and afﬁliated organizations. 36 The specialists had to supply lists of the names and last known addresses of f r o m e n e m y a l i e n s t o v al ued cit izens 33 persons they had been well acquainted with, which the investigators of the European command utilized to learn about the specialists’ political, social, and professional activities during Hitler’s regime.