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Must-read for historians and people who like to read about WW II
on 25 February 2014
`Operation Paperclip' written by Annie Jacobsen tells a story about a controversial subject - the secret intelligence program responsible for transfer, providing asylum and forgiveness to the German scientists after World War II to US.
Annie Jacobsen work is well-researched and offers story rich in details that explain how this operation was carefully planned, though hidden from the public and conducted after the war conflicts were ended.
The author went through German archive and Harvard University documents, but also acquired numerous documents due to the Freedom of Information Act; Jacobsen additionally conducted numerous interviews with family members of those involved in this top-secret operation, their friends and colleagues and people who interrogated captured Germans. The result is in-depth post-war life presentation of ten major German scientists who replaced their work for the Third Reich with the work for one of the two conflicting forces of the Cold War.
Annie Jacobsen split her book into five chapters, each of them dealing with a particular period of time while this operation was in progress, that make her book so far the best work on this subject previously known, but never so well treated - an amazing and complex story about one of the biggest and some would say most shameful secrets and post WW II time.
At the beginning of the book, the author asks the interest question - ...all of the men profiled in this book are now dead. Enterprising achievers as they were, just as the majority of them won top military and science awards when they served the Third Reich, so it went that many of them won top US military and civilian awards serving the United States. One had a US government building named after him, and, as of 2013, two continue to have prestigious national sciences prizes given annually in their names. One invented the ear thermometer. Others helped man get to the Moon. How did this happen, and what does this mean now?"
And in this sense Annie Jacobsen book attempts to provide answers, occasionally entering the slippery field of politics, but primarily writing about this subject from an independent perspective, using distinctive journalistic style.
Therefore `Operation Paperclip' is a must-read for historians and people who like to read about WW II, a well-made work that besides providing lot of unknown and interesting information based on extensive research Annie Jacobsen did, is also saying much about the people and the time in which these events occurred.