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Posted: 1/19/2015 7:54:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 7:58:14 PM EST by Dsparil]
any historian takes on this?
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 7:58:48 PM EST
My neighbor worked with von Braun for many years - thought the world of him. I'll defer to my neighbor's personal judgment.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:01:58 PM EST
I don't know if he did or did not and I understand the controversy around him. However, FWIW, my grandfather (who is the most honest, God-fearing man I have ever known) personally worked with him at NASA and told me Von Braun was a good, decent man that he (my grandfather) respected.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:03:41 PM EST
I don't thnk he cared given the times.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:05:36 PM EST
It didn't matter what he wanted. He had to do what the SS wanted him. He had already been in trouble for mouthing off once.

There isn't any evidence that von Braun was a Nazi. He wanted to make rockets and lived in Germany at the time. Working for the Nazi was the only game in town/

With out him we would not have made it to the moon when we did.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:06:11 PM EST
My grandfather used to work with him. Said he was a stand-up man.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:13:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 8:26:14 PM EST by C-4]
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Originally Posted By rlltd42:
I don't know if he did or did not and I understand the controversy around him. However, FWIW, my grandfather (who is the most honest, God-fearing man I have ever known) personally worked with him at NASA and told me Von Braun was a good, decent man that he (my grandfather) respected.
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Originally Posted By rlltd42:
I don't know if he did or did not and I understand the controversy around him. However, FWIW, my grandfather (who is the most honest, God-fearing man I have ever known) personally worked with him at NASA and told me Von Braun was a good, decent man that he (my grandfather) respected.


Cognitive dissonance:

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and they are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it.


Wernher Von Braun was important for the Cold War effort against the Soviets. For this reason, his Nazi past was psychologically whitewashed by people who worked with him, "the ends justify the means" if you will. It's a psychological defense mechanism. Many former SS/Nazis worked for the U.S. after the war. I'm not judging what the U.S. did, but let's not delude ourselves.

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Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:14:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:21:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 8:21:50 PM EST by rcav8r]
He began to become ostracized after the slave labor allegations started surfacing again in the mid to late 60's, by the general public, IIRC
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:22:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Mister44:
It didn't matter what he wanted. He had to do what the SS wanted him. He had already been in trouble for mouthing off once.

There isn't any evidence that von Braun was a Nazi. He wanted to make rockets and lived in Germany at the time. Working for the Nazi was the only game in town/

With out him we would not have made it to the moon when we did.
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False. He made a choice. He could have left Nazi Germany but chose to stay. Some Germans chose to fight Hitler head-on. I'm not condemning him for that as 99%+ of the population did not resist tyranny.



Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:23:37 PM EST
Well he personally wrote requests for slaves when he needed more to finish before deadlines, so whether he approved or not he helped propagate the system.

As the author of the Nazi officers wife wrote "there were no innocents"

No matter what he accomplished for NASA later. He would have gotten a long prison sentence but for his rocket knowledge.



Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:23:57 PM EST
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Originally Posted By L_JE:
My neighbor worked with von Braun for many years - thought the world of him. I'll defer to my neighbor's personal judgment.
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My old boss worked with him.

Ask the neighbor about Johann Tschinkel ... he was the combustion guy, and he's dead now.

Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:24:13 PM EST
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Originally Posted By retgarr:
http://youtu.be/QEJ9HrZq7Ro?t=16s
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Thank you!
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:27:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 8:28:56 PM EST by Dan_Cooper]
Von Braun wasn't in the chain of command to approve or disapprove of the use of slave labor. That was Speer and Karl-Otto Saur's role. He certainly knew that slave labor was being used in the assembly of V-1 and V-2 weapons however. And if he had any moral qualms about the use of slave labor in these programs they were insufficient to overcome his desire to have state support for his rocket development.






Link Posted: 1/19/2015 8:31:38 PM EST
He was a nice man.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 2:13:07 AM EST


Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown.
"Ha, Nazi Schmazi," says Wernher von Braun.

Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.

"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
But some think our attitude
Should be one of gratitude,
Like the widows and cripples in old London town
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.

You too may be a big hero,
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero.
"In German oder English I know how to count down,
Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun.


Link Posted: 1/20/2015 2:47:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2015 2:49:24 AM EST by JSmithXYY]
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Originally Posted By rlltd42:
I don't know if he did or did not and I understand the controversy around him. However, FWIW, my grandfather (who is the most honest, God-fearing man I have ever known) personally worked with him at NASA and told me Von Braun was a good, decent man that he (my grandfather) respected.
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lots of people who have been involved in genocide seem normal and decent.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 2:55:34 AM EST
What makes you think a top research man would have anything to do with the labor involved in building launch sites etc.?

It is likely he never witnessed any of that. Of course he would have known of the atrocities by the end of the war that shit had to be common knowledge among the intellectuals.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 2:58:49 AM EST
Apparently, every third Arfcommer has a second hand connection to the Rocket Natzie. Say what you will about him. The man got around.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 3:21:37 AM EST
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Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Apparently, every third Arfcommer has a second hand connection to the Rocket Natzie. Say what you will about him. The man got around.
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The dude did get a lot of trim in his early years.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:56:19 AM EST
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Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Apparently, every third Arfcommer has a second hand connection to the Rocket Natzie. Say what you will about him. The man got around.
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That's because there are really only 500 people in the whole world.

Haven't you ever heard that?

Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:58:52 AM EST
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Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Apparently, every third Arfcommer has a second hand connection to the Rocket Natzie. Say what you will about him. The man got around.
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I was just going to post this same observation
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 9:02:59 AM EST
Everything in Huntsville is named after him.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 9:14:49 AM EST


Simply put he went along to get along.

Joined the Nazi party in 1937 or 1939 depending on who is writing about him.

Member of the SS as a second lt at the urging of Himmler. Promoted to major by war's end. Seen in at least one photo with Hitler while wearing his SS uniform and was reported to wear the SS uniform on official occasions.

Worked around and knew about the conditions his slave labor worked under.

Under SD surveillance starting in 1943 due to a sometimes "defeatist" attitude.

Detained by the Gestapo in 1944 and held in a cell for two weeks. Speer talked Hitler into releasing him.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 9:20:37 AM EST
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Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Apparently, every third Arfcommer has a second hand connection to the Rocket Natzie. Say what you will about him. The man got around.
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you want some peanut butter to go with your jelly?


My dad cut Von Braun's grass as a kid. He never ever met Von Braun but said his wife always offered him something cold to drink while he was working in the yard.
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