Paperclip: America's Nazi Scientists

By Amazon Studios|L.A. Times Studios

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Description

It’s 1945. Hitler is defeated. America is looking to outsmart a new enemy, the Soviet Union. To advance in rocketry, aviation, and chemical weapons, America recruits scientists and engineers who fueled the war machine of another nation...Nazi Germany. Inspired by the true story behind the Emmy-eligible drama series "Hunters" from Amazon Studios, starring Al Pacino and Logan Lerman, PAPERCLIP explores how Operation Paperclip – the recruitment of Nazi Germany’s most brilliant and, in many cases, most villainous scientists to the United States after World War II – impacted some of America’s most vital, monumental, and controversial endeavors in military technology, medical research, and the space program. As our two hosts, history professor Monique Laney and actor-comedian Michael Ian Black, tackle Operation Paperclip from multiple angles – from its “pragmatic” Cold War motivations to its wide range of applications – listeners will come to understand this little-known and unbelievable moment in American history.

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times.

Produced with support from Treefort Media.


Episode Date
BONUS: Conversations with David Weil & Nikki Toscano | 6
00:28:25

On this special Bonus Episode of PAPERCLIP, host Michael Ian Black talks with David Weil and Nikki Toscano, the showrunners and executive producers of Amazon Studios’ Emmy©-eligible original drama series, HUNTERS. 

Set in 1977 New York City, HUNTERS follows a team of vigilantes on a mission to hunt down Nazi war criminals living in America. As it draws inspiration from real-life events (including Operation Paperclip), HUNTERS blends the gravity of World War II history with the gusto of an action-packed comic book -- all while tackling big questions about good and evil, justice and vengeance, and whether it’s possible to make peace with a haunted past.

In their conversations with Michael, David and Nikki reveal some of the deeply personal stories that informed this truly unique series, which is currently streaming on Prime Video.

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times.

Produced with support from Treefort Media.

Jun 24, 2020
Military & Industry | 5
00:41:48

Operation Paperclip began as a temporary program -- but before long, its German recruits were given a path to American citizenship, and men who worked for the Nazi regime suddenly became men who lived next door.

Previously on PAPERCLIP, comedian Michael Ian Black and historian Monique Laney examined Paperclippers who achieved public recognition. But what about the hundreds whose names didn’t make headlines? Where were they, and what did they do? As our hosts and historian Michael Neufeld explore Paperclip’s connection to the United States military and American industry, they reveal some surprising answers to these questions.

Finally, Michael and Monique reflect on everything they’ve talked about -- and discuss how confronting a painful past is essential to creating a brighter future. 

Attention PAPERCLIP subscribers! Next week, stay tuned for a special Bonus Episode featuring Michael Ian Black’s conversations with David Weil and Nikki Toscano, the showrunners and executive producers of Amazon Studios’ Emmy-eligible original drama series, HUNTERS.

This is a paid podcast funded by Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times. 

Produced with support from Treefort Media.

Jun 17, 2020
Doctors & Chemists | 4
00:39:02

For students of history and consumers of pop culture, the ‘Nazi doctor’ is a familiar figure -- the ultimate embodiment of pure evil. In fact, several of the Nazi villians in the Amazon original drama series HUNTERS are doctors.

But how did Nazi Germany’s doctors become symbols of Third Reich depravity? Why did they have such a central role in Hitler’s regime? And what atrocities did they commit in the name of “science?” 

Comedian Michael Ian Black and historian Monique Laney tackle these disturbing topics and difficult questions with help from author and historian Maura Phillips Mackowski.

Additionally, while examining another real-life truth woven into HUNTERS, Michael and Monique explore Operation Paperclip’s connection to Edgewood Arsenal, a military research facility where unethical human experimentation continued well after World War II...and on American soil.

This is a paid podcast funded by Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times. 

Produced with support from Treefort Media.

Jun 10, 2020
The Rocket Men, Part II: Arthur Rudolph | 3
00:36:49

Rocket engineer Arthur Rudolph accompanied Wernher von Braun to the United States through Operation Paperclip after World War II. In Nazi Germany, Rudolph was the production manager for the V-2 missile program; in America, he became NASA’s project manager for the Saturn V, the rocket that put men on the Moon. 

But Rudolph’s past under the Third Reich came back to haunt him when, in 1982, a special unit within the Department of Justice investigated his involvement with concentration camp labor. What happened next was an international firestorm -- but nowhere did the controversy hit harder than in the rocket team’s adopted “hometown” of Huntsville, Alabama.

In this episode of PAPERCLIP, comedian Michael Ian Black and historian Monique Laney -- together with attorney Neal Sher, who ran the Rudolph investigation -- discuss how exposing one Paperclipper’s dark past brought many harsh truths to light.

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times. 

Jun 03, 2020
The Rocket Men, Part I: Wernher von Braun | 2
00:36:51

Even if you’ve never heard of Operation Paperclip, chances are you’ve heard of Wernher von Braun -- the visionary rocketeer whose brilliance brought us, literally, to the Moon and back. 

With his telegenic charisma and stunning contributions to America’s civilian space program, Wernher von Braun is undeniably the most prominent figure to emerge from Operation Paperclip. But how do we reconcile von Braun’s status as a national hero -- and even, at one point, a household name -- with his past as an integral part of the Nazi war effort?

In this episode of PAPERCLIP, comedian Michael Ian Black and historian Monique Laney tackle this question -- among many others -- as they take us through the complexities of Wernher von Braun’s work, life, and legacy. 

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times. 


May 26, 2020
Operation Paperclip | 1
00:36:18

As it follows an eclectic group of vigilantes in their mission to rid America of Nazi war criminals, the Amazon original drama series Hunters references Operation Paperclip, a secretive government program that brought the Third Reich’s most brilliant -- and often villainous -- minds to the United States after World War II.

Hunters is a work of fiction. But Operation Paperclip was real. As the Cold War heated up, America rushed to recruit Hitler’s best scientists, specialists, and engineers before they could fall into Soviet hands. 

Operation Paperclip contributed to American advancements in rocketry, aviation, military technology, and chemical weapons. Still, difficult questions remain. Did the ends justify the means? Can science and technology be separated from politics? And, in the name of creating a better future, is it wise to ignore the past?

In PAPERCLIP, comedian Michael Ian Black joins historian Monique Laney to examine this little-known -- and truly shocking -- piece of American history, one episode at a time. 

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times. 

May 26, 2020
Introducing PAPERCLIP
00:01:04

It’s 1945. Hitler is defeated. America is looking to outsmart a new enemy, the Soviet Union. To advance in rocketry, aviation, and chemical weapons, America recruits scientists and engineers who fueled the war machine of another nation...Nazi Germany. Inspired by the true story behind the Emmy-eligible Amazon Studios series Hunters, PAPERCLIP explores how Operation Paperclip – the recruitment of Nazi Germany’s most brilliant and, in many cases, most villainous scientists to the United States after World War II – impacted some of America’s most vital, monumental, and controversial endeavors in military technology, medical research, and the space program. As our two hosts, history professor Monique Laney and actor-comedian Michael Ian Black, tackle Operation Paperclip from multiple angles – from its “pragmatic” Cold War motivations to its wide range of applications – listeners will come to understand this little-known, but very troubling, moment in American history.

This is a paid podcast funded Amazon Studios. The Los Angeles Times newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast. The views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily the views of Amazon Studios or the Los Angeles Times.


May 20, 2020