Von Braun A Nazi?

Many people claim that the famous rocket scientist, Wernher Von Braun was a Nazi supporter. They say that this is clear evidence of the moon landing hoax. How this logic works, is a total mystery. But was he really a Nazi supporter?

1930; Von Braun joined a group of amateur rocketeers in Berlin headed by Hermann Oberth. They developed rockets around 4ft to 15ft high and flew to altitudes of a few hundred feet. By 1932, they worked for the army under a research & development contract for rockets in the hope they could find a use for a satellite. Von Braun wrote a letter to Hitler in 1933 expressing the possibility of launching the world's first satellite. Nothing was taken seriously. A new rocket called the A-2 was built and reached a height of around 7000ft using solid fuel. He knew the way forward was with liquid fuel. At about the same time, achievements were being made in New Mexico, USA, and confirmed that liquid fuel was the only option for spaceflight. 

  
 Were the officers using him, or was Von Braun using them? Von Braun surrendered

1936; the Olympic Games in Germany, gave Von Braun a way of approaching Hitler again regarding a satellite. He knew Hitler loved publicity and prestige and appreciated that only the military had the money for such projects. So he wrote to Hitler and this time was listened to. The agreement was to join the Nazi Party, construct a rocket based weapon, then he may have his satellite. Von Braun reluctantly agreed, but put off joining the party as long as he could in the hope they would overlook it. But on 15th May 1937, he was ordered to pay 2 marks and filled out the form. By joining any political party, does that mean the person supports its political views? Anybody can join a political party; even for cheaper drinks at the social club (including the author of this website).

1942; the A-3 was flown to a height of 50 miles, Von Braun said to his team "We have just invented the spaceship!" The A-4 rocket was developed and reached 67 miles, the edge of space. Dr Goebbels renamed it the V2; the Vengence Weapon. Von Braun wanted to add on an extra stage to get it into orbit, Hitler said no and said the target was going to be London.         

1944; the war was going badly for Hitler and knew an invasion from England was immanent. In 1944 he was denounced by a dentist who reported him for making remarks that sounded defeatist about the war effort, and Von Braun spent two weeks in a Gestapo prison. He was only released when military leaders convinced Hitler that he was crucial; the Nazi dictator responded, "I will guarantee you that he will be exempt from persecution as long as he is indispensable for you, in spite of the difficult general consequences this will have."

Hitler ordered Von Braun to stop research on rockets and help build the V3; a Supergun. This would fire shells across the English Channel and destroy the harbours and even hit London. He refused and ran into the countryside. The plan was to retreat to the Harz Mountains and await the American advance.  He lived by stealing from farms and sheltering in barns etc. He and a co-driver acquired a car. They only drove at night with headlights off. His driver one night fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. Von Braun broke his arm and had a bad cut to his face, a scar that remained for the rest of his life. The driver was killed instantly.

The gun was built at La Coupole without him, but was easily destroyed by a special bomb built by Britain's best war scientist - Barnes Wallis.  The Normandy Landings took place, Von Braun headed for the American lines and surrendered. He later convinced 120 other rocket scientists to surrender to the Americans under Operation Paperclip.

Von Braun hardly ever wore a military uniform. He never trained as a soldier, just wanted to launch rockets into space and perhaps one day land himself on the moon. Hardly any pictures exist of him in uniform; just suits as in the images above or a technician's boiler suit.

Was Von Braun a Nazi Supporter?     Make up your own mind.

                    I do feel that a movie should be made of Von Braun's life...

A clip that includes Huntsville, Alabama. A place with special meaning to me for various reasons...