NASA Still Honors A Nazi Who Used Slave Labor To Build His Rockets

Rethinking How And Who NASA Honors, earlier post

"At a time when everyone seems to be taking a hard look at commemorating past events with a light shone on racism and the denial of human rights, one would think that someone at NASA would reconsider having the heroic bust of a Nazi SS member who used slave labor to build his rockets as the way to greet people who arrive for work every day at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center. NASA openly admits that von Braun used slave labor. Yes he was the first center director at Marshall and led a large part of the Apollo effort that landed humans on the Moon. No one is suggesting that this be erased from the history books. But should NASA continue to honor him like this?" Keith's note: FYI a reader reminded me of this exhibit at the U.S. National Holocaust Museum (larger view). It is captioned "In summer 1944, noted German film and still photographer Walter Frentz was assigned to document the construction and launching of the V-1 and V-2 rockets. He took these rare color photographs of prisoners in the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp assembling these weapons. Ullstein Bild, Berlin."

And then there's this photo of the Nordhausen factory showing V-2 rockets being assembled by Dora Concentration Camp slave laborers.

This bust has been in a place of honor at Marshall since 1994. A quarter of a century later one would think that this prominent NASA tribute to someone who used massive amounts of slave labor - with inhumane, lethal consequences - should at least be put in a box somewhere.

It's time.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 6, 2020 5:38 PM.

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