[FPSPACE] Review of new book on Wernher von Braun

Chuck Donaldson cwdonald at ix.netcom.com
Mon Oct 22 00:51:46 EDT 2007

We can always claim that Von Braun's life was "complex" attempting to hide
what is now fact. However, Von Braun may have been complacent in seeing
slave labor build his V-2, but in the long run Von Braun did his restitution
and did redeem himself to the world. He worked for the US, he got us to the
moon, and he became an American citizen, not a communist, and supported
American ideas to his dying day. I am always conflicted by Von Braun's past,
knowing full well who he mixed with and whose war effort in WWII he was
But, like many men with great ideas, when they should have fled to the US,
they stayed behind and supported a grotesque government in its long term
effort to enslave free men. Men such as Korolev, Andrei Tupolev, Mikoyan,
Kapitsa, and hundreds more who not only knew of the Gulag, but actually
worked in it and still didn't try to escape. 

-----Original Message-----
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org
[mailto:fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of LARRY KLAES
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:13 PM
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: [FPSPACE] Review of new book on Wernher von Braun

The October 22, 2007 issue of The New Yorker Magazine
has a review of the new book about Von Braun.

To quote:

Michael J. Neufeld, the author of Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of 
War (Knopf; $35), acknowledges that hardly anyone under age forty knows 
his subjects name, even though Americas moon shots owed a large measure of

their success to him. Wernher von Braun (1912-77) had a career that was 
itself a kind of two-stage rocket, his scientific dreams boosted toward 
their late American fulfillment by his youthful service to the military 
apparatus of Nazi Germany.

Disgusted and forbearing by turns, Neufeld, the chair of the Space History 
Division at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum, offers this 
patient new biography as a corrective to the scientific and moral shakiness 
of the more admiring writers who have come before him. Using archival 
information that they neglected, he has nonetheless faced the same 
inaccessibility of [von Brauns] widow, his children, and his American 
relatives, who seem to regard all biographical study of von Braun as a kind

of posthumous deportation hearing, one that always carries the possibility 
of his being ejected from the American Cold War pantheon and repatriated to 
the ruins of the Third Reich.

Full article here:


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