Inside Operation Paperclip, America’s Secret Program That Employed 1,600 Nazi Scientists In Its Labs

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During Operation Paperclip, the records of premier German scientists were expunged so that they could secretly work in American labs to give the U.S. a leg up over the Soviets in the Cold War.​

In the immediate wake of World War II, the Allies were widely venerated for their role in ending the reign of the Third Reich. But the Allied powers also made controversial decisions in secret that were kept classified for decades. Perhaps their most contentious action was the creation of Operation Paperclip, a covert intelligence project that brought over 1,600 Nazi scientists to the United States for research.

At the end of the war, the Allies scrambled to collect German intelligence and technology that may otherwise fall into the hands of the Soviet Union. As an impending Cold War threatened to destroy the hard-won peace, the United States granted a slew of Nazi scientists immunity for their war crimes so that they could work in their labs instead of in Russian ones.

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