Science, Technology, And Reparations: Exploitation And Plunder In Postwar Germany

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Science, Technology, And Reparations: Exploitation And Plunder In Postwar Germany

By John Gimbel
Stanford University Press, 1990
280 pp. $29.50
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A carefully researched study of American efforts during and after World War II to discover and, in various forms, to appropriate German scientific and technological know-how in military and civilian fields. "Operation Paperclip" was associated with but one aspect, the building of rockets. Gimbel, a seasoned historian of U.S. policies in postwar Germany, believes that the value of these kinds of "intellectual reparations" was quite high, coming close to Soviet allegations of $10 billion for Anglo-American appropriations. It is a tangled story of legitimate military concerns that turned into specific benefits for individual American companies. A serious subject, illustrated by many specific instances of American "inquiries" that in normal times-and to some Germans and Americans at that time-smacked of industrial espionage.

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