Operation Paperclip: Nazis Transported to North America After WWII with Dr. Finn Ballard

Operation Paperclip: Nazis Transported to North America After WWII with Dr. Finn Ballard


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Chaos reigned supreme in Germany's summer of 1945. Following twelve years of the Nazi era, six of which had been spent at war, there began a scramble to find the surviving members of the Third Reich's upper echelon. Hitler, Goebbels, and Himmler were all dead; another ragtag bunch, including Goering, Hess, and Speer, would soon be dragged to Nuremberg to face trial. But the search for Nazi perpetrators was not motivated solely by the desire for justice or recrimination.

From war's end until the late 1950s, thousands of German engineers, technicians, as well as nuclear and rocket scientists would be transported to the United States as part of the not-so-secret Counterintelligence Corps operation nicknamed 'Paperclip.' The new arrivals were to assist with the American development of aeronautical technology and super-powered weapons – the Cold War started heating up at this juncture.

During our conversation, we will learn about Paperclip – but also about the thousands of other former Nazis who found their homes in the United States and Canada after WWII. To name but three: John Demjanjuk, a former guard at Sobibor extermination camp and subject of the Netflix show 'The Devil Next Door,' resident for many years in Ohio; Hermine Braunsteiner, the 'Stomping Mare' of Majdanek, an adoptive New Yorker extradited for trial in 1973; and Aleksander Laak, the commandant of a camp in occupied Estonia, found hanged at his home in Winnipeg in 1960 (an ostensible suicide which may well have been facilitated by the group of Holocaust survivors who called themselves the Nokmim 'Avengers').

Led by an expert on Third Reich history, Dr. Finn Ballard, this Conversation will illuminate the lesser-told story of the Third Reich perpetrators who made their way to the USA and Canada, many even obtaining new citizenship. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the curious relationship between North America and Nazi Germany.

While not required, we do suggest reading Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, by Annie Jacobsen at your convenience – before or after this conversation.

Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
86%
(6)
14%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Pleasant Hill, US)

Guest did not leave comment

N
Nancy Stout (New York, US)
What will the Americans think?

This young professor has taken on a very interesting subject. He is confronting a subject that nobody (or very few) talk about (bravo!) and presents it very dispassionately.

R
Rona Daniels (Steamboat Springs, US)
Operation Paperclip

Another outstanding seminar with Finn Ballard. Fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I have been a WW2 history buff for a long time, but I cannot impart sufficiently the depth of knowledge that Dr Ballard brings to these classes. It's mind-boggling. Any seminar with him is highly recommended.

K
Kris Shapar (Weinstadt-Endersbach, DE)
Necessary

Informative, comprehensive presentation on the decision of the American authorities to suspend punishment of Nazis who were deemed useful in the Cold War

S
Suzette Shelmire (Oxford, US)
Operation Paperclip

Every time I am a part of Finn Ballard's "conversation" I learn so much! Too many Nazis got away with murder!

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
86%
(6)
14%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Pleasant Hill, US)

Guest did not leave comment

N
Nancy Stout (New York, US)
What will the Americans think?

This young professor has taken on a very interesting subject. He is confronting a subject that nobody (or very few) talk about (bravo!) and presents it very dispassionately.

R
Rona Daniels (Steamboat Springs, US)
Operation Paperclip

Another outstanding seminar with Finn Ballard. Fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I have been a WW2 history buff for a long time, but I cannot impart sufficiently the depth of knowledge that Dr Ballard brings to these classes. It's mind-boggling. Any seminar with him is highly recommended.

K
Kris Shapar (Weinstadt-Endersbach, DE)
Necessary

Informative, comprehensive presentation on the decision of the American authorities to suspend punishment of Nazis who were deemed useful in the Cold War

S
Suzette Shelmire (Oxford, US)
Operation Paperclip

Every time I am a part of Finn Ballard's "conversation" I learn so much! Too many Nazis got away with murder!