NASA hides Nazi past of much-honored space center director

Kurt Debus was a ardent member of the SA and SS, and Hitler-appointee. But to NASA…

… Debus is just some engineer who came to the U.S. in 1945 after doing rocket research at someplace called Peenemunde and became the much-honored first director of Cape Canaveral.


Here’s NASA’s bio of Debus:

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 8.24.43 AM copy

But Debus was an ardent Nazi who was personally appointed by Hitler to develop the V-1 and V-2 terror weapons program. Here is more information about the first director of Cape Canaveral (later the JFK Space Center).

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 8.44.49 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 8.40.43 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 8.39.44 AM

I asked NASA to update its bio for Debus in 2014. Here is NASA’s reply:


For more on Debus and some of the other Nazis who got us to the Moon, read Annie Jacobsen’s Operation Paperclip.


4 thoughts on “NASA hides Nazi past of much-honored space center director”

  1. Eh, what can you do? We were in a race against the Communists, who were as bad as the Nazis. Worse, if you go by total body count. Better, just slightly, only if you give the benefit of the doubt to ruthless Communist leaders (and, why would you do that?) that they didn’t intend to kill all their victims.

    We needed his expertise and experience. Better to have a few evil guys working for you than to be taken over by a whole host of them. As long as he toed the line in the US, and did the job we required of him. Maybe he learned his lesson and truly repented. We’ll never know what he thought deep down in his later years, but we don’t know that about anyone really, and we haven’t yet criminalized thoughts.

    Best to just let sleeping dogs lie. It accomplishes no good bringing it up, and it might actually do harm, if it gives people disposed to think like his younger self a hero or martyr to look up to.

  2. An aerospace engineer once told me (about 1970) that the reason we beat the Russians to the moon was that our captured Nazi scientists were better than their captured Nazi scientists.

  3. Like a redneck who said earlier, “Hey ya’ll watch this!”, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.