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cyberdad
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16 Mar 2024, 5:26 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Come to think of it ...he was the opposite of heroes of recent movies like Alan Turing and (to some extent) Oppenheimer, who served their respective countries, and then got f****d over BY their countries for their efforts!

He was an enemy genius who...got pampered and ass-kissed by us! :lol:


Yes even Einstein and Steven Hawking got a movie. So did mathematician Srinivas Ramunajan. Watson and Crick turned out to be not so great so no movie for them either.



QuantumChemist
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16 Mar 2024, 12:12 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Come to think of it ...he was the opposite of heroes of recent movies like Alan Turing and (to some extent) Oppenheimer, who served their respective countries, and then got f****d over BY their countries for their efforts!

He was an enemy genius who...got pampered and ass-kissed by us! :lol:


Yes, Von Braun was a true-blooded Nazi, but he hid it while in North America. He only turned to the US side when the war was basically lost on his side. It is sad that he became famous for his work later on and escaped punishment for his crimes. The US tends to favor those that are bad.

Others like him that were captured by Russia did not get that fate. Hermann Oberth comes to mind. He taught Von Braun rocketry and was initially stuck working under him in Germany. Almost no one knows his name now, yet he contributed greatly to the ability for us to travel to space. Russia decided that he was not worthy of working for them, so he struggled to survive post-war Europe. They did not outright kill him, but they also did not help him. He did not get the life that Von Braun did until much later on.

Both were guilty of supporting the Nazi cause and their crimes against humanity (V1/V2 projects). They deserved the gallows, except the Cold War gave them a reprieve.



cyberdad
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16 Mar 2024, 5:30 pm

QuantumChemist wrote:
Both were guilty of supporting the Nazi cause and their crimes against humanity (V1/V2 projects). They deserved the gallows, except the Cold War gave them a reprieve.


I don't know about Oberth, but Von Braun did literally work his slave labour (POWs and jews) to death. He may have also used live test subjects to see the damage his weapons created but I don't think there is direct evidence. There are second hand reports he happily saw how prisoners were being treated so he had no compunction to intervene as it served his interests.

A journalist who covered his life described him this way - He certainly exploited horrifying means to pursue his goals, but was unquestionably one of the most influential rocket engineers and spaceflight visionaries of the 20th century.
His best propaganda was his family and children. His kids have been interviewed my nearly every major news outlet at the time and one of his daughters followed in his footsteps and basked in his "sanitised" legacy.