8 Historical Figures Who Did Unspeakable Things

2. Arthur Rudolph

Arthur Louis Hugo Rudolph was a German rocket engineer who was a leader of the effort to develop the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany. He was brought to the US in 1947 as part of Operation Paperclip, which sought to make use of German scientists by scrubbing their Nazi status from their records.

Then Arthur Rudolph joined Wernher Von Braun at NASA as a top manager, and became known as the “Father of the Saturn Rocket” that actually sent American astronauts to the Moon. However, Rudolph was also a Nazi war criminal, who had supervised a slave labor facility in which more than 20,000 workers died of beatings, starvation, executions, and other mistreatment.

Rudolph was a war criminal according to Allied officials, who described him as an “ardent Nazi”, but that did not stop the US Army from bringing him to the US. It was only in 1979 that Rudolph’s past finally caught up with him, when Department of Justice investigators took a look at his Nazi past.

He did not help himself when he told a reporter: “I read Mein Kampf and agreed with lots of things in it…Hitler’s first six years, until the war started, were really marvelous“. He eventually cut a deal that spared him prosecution in exchange for surrendering his US citizenship and leaving the country.

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