The American scheme to detain top German scientists at the end of World War II
and relocate them to the United States. These scientists included Wernher von
Braun and more than 100 of his colleagues who had worked on the V-2
and other "V" weapons. Having been transferred
to their nore home at Fort Bliss, Texas, a large Army installation just north
of El Paso, they were given the job of training military, industrial, and university
personnel in the intricacies of rockets and guided missiles and helping refurbish,
assemble, and launch a number of V-2s that had been shipped from Germany to the
White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico.
President Harry Truman had given the go-ahead to Paperclip on condition that none
of the detainees could be shown to have been members of the Nazi party or active
supporters of the Hitler regime. However, it is now clear that many of the key
figures in the roundup, including von Braun himself, Arthur Rudolph,
and Hubertus Strughold, had been enthusiastic
Nazis and, in some cases, had been aware of, or even involved in, atrocities inflicted
on concentration camp detainees.