By Monique Laney

This thought-provoking learn by means of historian Monique Laney specializes in the U.S. government–assisted integration of German rocket experts and their households right into a small southern group quickly after global struggle II. In 1950, Wernher von Braun and his workforce of rocket specialists relocated to Huntsville, Alabama, a city that might have fun the crew, regardless of their crucial function within the fresh Nazi warfare attempt, for his or her contributions to the U.S. military missile application and later to NASA’s house software. in response to oral histories, supplied by means of participants of the African American and Jewish groups, and  by the rocketeers’ households, co-workers, buddies, and acquaintances, Laney’s e-book demonstrates how the histories of German Nazism and Jim Crow within the American South intertwine in narratives in regards to the prior. this can be a severe reassessment of a unique time that hyperlinks the chilly warfare, the gap Race, and the Civil Rights period whereas addressing very important problems with transnational technology and know-how, and asking americans to contemplate their country’s personal heritage of racism whilst reflecting at the Nazi past.

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Additional info for German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era

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Accordingly, when in doubt over a specialist’s level of involvement with the Nazi regime, the evaluator should assume less rather than more involvement. The chief evidently considered the specialists’ past less important than their current behavior. In many cases, information was simply not available because the specialist came from an area of Germany that was now occupied by Soviet forces. ”41 In January 1948, the secretary of state submitted a cable to all diplomatic and consular offices explaining in more detail how officials were supposed to evaluate aliens applying for visas who may have been members of the Nazi Party or affiliated organizations.

Space was written in the vein of a “human interest story” and is a great resource for understanding how captivating the man was for many who met him. 27 They, too, will unfortunately most likely be disappointed. I gave the interviewees the opportunity to review their transcripts and indicate if they wanted something altered or removed before the transcripts are archived for access by future scholars. Where I have permission to do so, I use the interviewees’ actual names. Some of the interviewees have asked, however, that I do not use their name.

With these prospects, the specialists’ dependents began to join them in the United States within one or two years. ”16 The 28 f ro m en e m y a l i e n s to v a l ue d c i ti z ens Intelligence Division of the War Department began creating security dossiers in August 1946 for each specialist, and later for all of their dependents who were over fifteen years of age. The dossiers, containing fingerprint cards, photographs, and biographical and professional sketches, were submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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