Part 2 | Rockets for the Vanquisher

Author & Director:
Martin Huebner | Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editor:
Dr. Katja Wildermuth


astfilm productions | for MDR // ARD

"What should I do in Germany as an aerodynamics engineer after the war, maybe design aerodynamic toilets?" Vladimir Orlov can't forget the words of his colleague, a leading German engineer.

It's the same "dilemma" for most of the German scientists and engineers, specialized in aircraft and rockets. For years to come there would be obviously no need for such specialists in the ruins of Germany. Not too long ago they were the ones designing Hitler's "wonder weapons", more or less fanatically working for "Fuehrer, folk and fatherland". Now those ambitious men started to look around for alternative work for the Allied forces. And the vanquishers are very much interested in the worldwide leading know-how of German specialists - and the specialists as well. Already during the last weeks of the war specially assigned "recruiting units" are in search of the German "brains" and their Weapons.

The American "headhunters" as well as their soviet counterparts assigned are efficiently conducting their recruiting-missions. Some very generous offers were made, but in other cases even kidnapping was part of the recruiting procedures - no rules existed for the decisive moment, when all sides were trying to catch the prey. The spectacular climax: the Soviet coup on October 22nd 1946. In the middle of the night, thousands of German specialists are rounded up. From now on they will be working for the Soviet Union ... Part 2 of the documentary "Hitler's Secret Weapons" looks at the fate of those former leading German specialists, that put themselves after the war into the service of the particular vanquisher and then develop their weapon technology further. Soon they see their weapon used in the next great international conflict, the Korean War, deployed from both sides.