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The Great Patents Heist
One of the greatest ripoffs of all time was the theft of German patents after World War II
It is quite acceptable to American pride to acknowledge that immigrants have contributed to our prosperity and greatness. It's a little harder to swallow that a good deal of our scientific lead and prosperity - despite the ever-increasing burdens of non-skilled illegal immigrants and unproductive home-growns - has come from simply seizing German patents and inventions after World War I [the most prominent war booty which Woodrow Wilson seized in 1917 was the patent on aspirin, that "miracle drug"] and far more so after World War II.
And because Germany was so devastated after World War II, there has been a brain drain ever since of the top young German scientists - to Massachusetts and California for computers and genetics and to greater Los Angeles, Houston and Cape Canaveral for aerospace. As one German scientist remarked: "Since the war, we have not had the financing capabilities for basic research for the long-term future. That kind of serious money only the Americans have. In Germany, and in Japan, also, we do applied and clinical research for immediate applications. But to be on the cutting edge, the money and the positions are now in America and we have to go there. 
An astounding admission of the stripping of German inventiveness after the war came in an October 1946 article by C. Lester Walker in Harper's magazine. Entitled "Secrets by the Thousands," it presents some problems for the Bernt Engelmanns of this world who imply that German science in the 1932-45 period would have been "nothing without the Jews."
fact, the article suggests in deadly seriousness that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had been right, from his point of view, to prolong the war to the last gasp. According to the deputy commanding general of Army Air Forces Intelligence, Air Technical Service Command, in a speech to the American Society of Aeronautical Engineers:
The Germans were preparing rocket surprises for the whole world in general and England in particular which would have, it is believed, changed the course of the war if the invasion had been postponed for so short a time as half a year.
Even without its brilliant Jewish minority, the Germans' "V-2 rocket which bombed London was just a toy compared to what the Germans had up their sleeve." They had 138 types of guided missiles in various stages of production or development, using every kind of remote control device or fuse: radio, radar, wire-guided, continuous wave, acoustics, infrared, light beams and magnetism. And for power the Germans were years ahead in jet propulsion at both subsonic and supersonic speeds - even creating a "jet helicopter" wherein tiny jets spun the helicopter blade tips at blinding speeds.
Just as the war was ending, and President Franklin Roosevelt was ordering both Gens. George Patton and Dwight David Eisenhower to pull back and let "Uncle Joe" (Josef Stalin) have Berlin and Eastern Europe, the Germans had been readying their giant A-4 rocket for production. Forty-six feet in length, it weighed over 24,000 pounds and could travel 230 miles - rising 60 miles over the earth to a blistering top speed of 3,375 miles per hour. Its secret was a rocket motor running on liquid nitrogen and alcohol. It was either radar controlled or self-guided by a gyroscope. Since it flew faster than the speed of sound (by many times), it could not be heard before it struck.
Another rocket in the works was the A-9, still bigger at 29,000 pounds and equipped with wings. It had a range of 3,000 miles. Manufactured at Peenemünde, it arced into the sky at an incredible 5,870 miles per hour.
Fritz Todt (September 4, 1891 – February 8, 1942)
Todt first caught Hitler's attention in 1932 by emphasizing the importance of road building for national economic recovery. Following the appointment of Hitler as Reichskanzler on January 30, 1933, Todt became (in July) Generalinspektor für das deutsche Straßenwesen ("Inspector General for German Roadways") and was involved in the new construction company for the motorways (Reichsautobahnen). Every aspect of Autobahn construction -- its design, aesthetic ("to harmonize with the German landscape"), and model role in National Socialist labor relations -- was stamped with Todt's personality. He later became Leiter des Hauptamts für Technik in der Reichsleitung der NSDAP ("Director of the Head Office for Engineering in the Administration of the Reich of the NSDAP") and Generalbevollmächtigter für die Regelung der Bauwirtschaft ("General Commissioner for the Regulation of the Construction Industry"). As a special privilege, Todt was permitted to have considerable power and was not necessarily immediately answerable to any of the Reich ministries. He was also appointed to the rank of Generalmajor of the Luftwaffe after its official promulgation in March 1935.
In 1938, he founded the Organization Todt (OT), joining together government firms, private companies and the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service), for the construction of the "West Wall", later renamed the "Siegfried Line", for the defence of the Reich territory. With the outbreak of war, Todt's organization provided German troops an exemplary corps of engineers, filling out Germany's expanding imperium with new roads, bridges, aircraft fields, and fortifications.
On March 17, 1940, he was appointed Reichsminister für Bewaffnung und Munition ("Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions") and oversaw the work of Organisation Todt in the occupied west. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, he was appointed to manage the restoration of the infrastructure.
In 1941, he became increasingly distant from the commanders of the Wehrmacht and from Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe (Commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe) in particular. He did remain close to Hitler at this time, yet, after an inspection tour of the Eastern Front, he complained to him that, without better equipment and supplies for the armed forces, it would be better to end the war with the USSR. Inevitably, Hitler rejected such an assessment of the situation and carried on the offensive against the Soviets regardless.
On February 8, 1942, while flying away from the conclusion of a meeting with Hitler at the Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair") at Rastenburg, his aircraft exploded and crashed. He was succeeded as Reichsminister by Albert Speer, who had narrowly missed being on the same aircraft. He was buried in the Invalidenfriedhof, located in the Scharnhorst-Strasse in Berlin and became the first holder, albeit posthumously, of the Deutscher Orden ("German Order"). It was even suggested that Todt was the victim of an assassination plot, but this has never been confirmed.
Speer recounted that the power-hungry but lazy Hermann Göring raced to Hitler's headquarters upon word of Todt's death, hoping to claim the office of Reichsminister for Armaments. Hitler instead presented Göring with the fait accompli of Speer's appointment.
Speer tried to put the German economy on a war footing comparable to that of the Allied nations, but found himself incessantly hindered by party politics and lack of co-operation from the Nazi hierarchy. Nevertheless, by slowly centralizing almost all industry control and cutting through the dense bureaucracy, he succeeded in multiplying war production four times over the next two and a half years, and it reached its peak in 1944 during the height of the Allied strategic bombing campaign.
But most Americans know about German World War II rockets. A few even know that in addition to the car engine the Germans also invented the jet and perfected the superhighway or Autobahn (the three most important inventions binding this vast country. Virtually no one knows that in Wright-Patterson Field in Ohio, in the Library of Congress and in the Department of Commerce in Washington, a "mother lode" of 1,500 tons of German patents and research papers were being mined furiously after the war. One gloating Washington bureaucrat called it "the greatest single source of this type of material in the world, the first orderly exploitation of an entire country's brain power."