Memory & Action
Published in

Memory & Action

Winning over Nazis to Win the War

Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun (left), a former Nazi, receives a federal civilian service award from President Dwight D. Eisenhower circa 1959.
Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun (left), a former Nazi, receives a federal civilian service award from President Dwight D. Eisenhower circa 1959.

After escaping the Nazis, Arno Mayer and other German Jewish refugees learned how to glean information from the enemy as part of a secret American military operation during World War II.

Mayer faced a moral dilemma when he was ordered to work with German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and other Nazis who immigrated to America after the war. Von Braun’s skills and know-how were considered so valuable that even President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had witnessed Nazi atrocities firsthand, embraced him. In this digital program, learn more about Jewish refugee soldiers and the 1,600 Nazis permitted to immigrate to America.

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