Original title: Reparations ‑ Payback: The Theft of German Intellectual Property by Claus Nordbruch.
Translated by Dagmar Brenne
Time and time again one encounters the statement in regards to the German Third Reich, that the German Intellectual Elite had left Germany shortly after the establishment of the National Socialist Government in January 1933 and went into exile. But this appears questionable in the face of the undeniable fact that the Allies just before, and especially after the Capitulation of the German Wehrmacht (Army) in May 1945 abducted thousands of German scientists, skilled tradesmen and intellectuals. And tens of thousands of inventions, discoveries, trades symbols, patents, research findings and other intellectual property was stolen and in the light of this, one wonders if the above statement has any basis and reality of the true situation.
In 1945, immediately behind the Allied fighting troops the task force of Anglo/American units called CIOS followed hard at heel. These were under the command of the American officer Ted Beets and the British officer of supplies R.F. Sinsteed. These units had been given the task to view the intellectual property of the German Reich and to appropriate it if needed. Apart from this, the CIOS task force had orders to prevent the German Intellectuals from fleeing abroad. (1)
These CIOS task forces constituted 10,000 technicians and scientists, which were formed into 3,000 units and who forced their way into 33,000 German factories, laboratories, libraries and offices, confiscated documents, samples of materials, trade symbols, patent documentations and engines. They also interrogated top scientist and abducted the same (2).
In the Reich’s patent office alone 186,000 files were stolen (3).
Basically everything was confiscated, stolen and plundered in all areas and endeavours that Germans had researched, developed and worked on, by the Allies, on fundamental principle ‑ everywhere. The British “News Chronicles” gave the first review on 21 February 1946. Under the Title “Germany had to disclose its military riches” many of the German intellectual treasures looted by the British were listed here, whereby it is striking, that these riches were far less of a military nature than in the realm of medicine, technical developments and natural science.
Among these listed looted items were Eg. inventions and information for the production of synthetic fuel, synthetic rubber, synthetic lubrication oils, for synthetic fiber‑ and textile production, diesel motors, optical inventions, heavy printing presses, wind channels, in which speeds of up to 8.000 km/hr were achieved, infra red target instruments, cassette players, electric condensation machinery, durable fruit juices, machines for wrapping chocolates, sugar made from wood, synthetic sapphires for watches, synthetic glimmer, non‑running durable stockings for ladies, machines for the production of butter, which produced 1,500 pounds of butter per hour, quartz watches, cellulose products, a multitude of pharmaceutical products, insecticides, cyanides for rust protection and as a substitute for zinc chrome, artificial leather, plastics, colour photography, sewing needles, an innumerable profusion of precision instruments, protective remedies for frost and thousands of other inventions in the area of chemistry, physics, technology and electronics, in which the Germans were streaks ahead of others nations, that is, by five, ten or more years advanced in development.
It was an almost unbelievable, fascinating magical world, that opened up to the Allied task force in these interrogations and conversations with the German intellectuals. The Germans spoke of travel into space, about inter‑continental ballistic Rockets, artificial satellites, and other no less fantastical plans, such as the establishment of an “island in space”, which would be fitted out with a gigantic mirror to catch the sun rays and beam them back to earth in bundled rays. (4)
But especially in the sphere of weapons‑ and rocket technology, the German Reich was unbelievably advanced in comparison to their allied enemies. Remote control for rockets and torpedoes, Infrared rays, Ultra sound, all methods of Jet‑propulsion, Helicopters and rockets were known to them. The Germans had developed airplanes, March flying craft and the so‑called flying disks, which reached speeds that were generally thought impossible, top speeds of an unbelievable 8,000 km/ hour were reached. Even in the most unlikely fields, which nowadays not only draw enthusiasts from the sphere of homeopathy and esoteric knowledge, the Germany of National Socialism was far advanced in regards to that kind of research.
PICTURED: (from left) a U.S. soldier, Walter Dornberger, Herbert Axter, Wernher von Braun, Hans Lindenberg, and Bernhard Tessmann (partially cropped) after the scientists surrendered to the Allies on May 2, 1945.
In connection with this there are for instance examinations, done by the Kaiser‑Wilhelm Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt/Main: “These concerned the relationship that electronically charged air has on health. Positive charged air is seen as dangerous to human health, because it causes discomfort and depressions, as for example caused by falling air pressure. Some people, so was found, reacted to positive charged air with Asthma, Hayfever and nervousness. Blood pressure rose to the danger point. I caused all the symptoms of sicknesses known to mountain climbers: laboured and rapid breathing, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and the like.
Negative charged air achieved the opposite. It had a cheering effect, gave a sense of mental freedom and well being. Emotional depressions could be removed in this manner. In pathological cases it was calming the breathing, and achieved the extinguishing of Allergies and Asthma. The importance of negative charged air comes into play, wherever human beings live and work or seek to recover from illness. The creation of these air ambiances will represent one day our main occupation.” (5) The Germans achieved nothing other than to imbue the very air we breathe with added supplements, to manipulate in the person calmness, fear, irritation or cheerfulness, joy or depression according to requirement. (6)
In April 1945 soldiers of the 1st US Infantry division found in Volkenröde near Braunschweig at the air travel Research Institute Herman Göring, the most modern institute of its kind in the world . The Americans were dumb‑founded:
“Alone the amount and excellent quality of the instruments, tools and testing equipment was overwhelming. In the aero dynamic Section were wind channels for low speeds, for under sonic, supersonic and the trans sonic divisions. The division for jet propulsion was equipped with a camera, which was able to take a thousand pictures per second, to determine how a flame builds up. In the low pressure chamber it was possible to create conditions as exist at a height of 15 km. In the weapons division were two shooting tunnels, to test the effects on flying rockets if subjected to side winds of up to eight hundred km/ hour .”(7)
These and innumerable other overwhelming evidences of the superiority of German research were gathered up to be taken over by the Americans and who were thus in the position to save inestimable money and untold man hours in research. What the Americans left over was plundered by the English in 1946, dismantled and carted off to Britain. In this way the island was able to establish four ultra modern centres for aeronautic research in Farnborough, Bedford and Fort Halstead.
An inconspicuous witness was the American journalist C. Lester Walkers, who, half year after the sensational list published in Britain, wrote an exhaustive report for the American monthly magazine: “Harpers’s Bazaar” under the title “Secrets by the Thousands”, in which he listed further details. In his article he describes the manifold work and duties of a special American task force in search of German patents and manufacturing secrets. These commando units found and appropriated no less than 150,000 tones of secret files, which were transported to the USA to be evaluated. A new dictionary with 40,000 special scientific words had to be worked out. The greatest part of these files had nothing whatsoever to do weapons and war efforts. (All quotes in italics in the following article are from Walkers’ writing)
The production of Nylon stockings goes back to the synthesis of the Polyamid‑fibres of the US company DuPont in the year 1932. The production and machines for the manufacture of cheaper manufacture are an invention of the Germans.
The Germans, commonly labelled as “The Nazis”, had discovered one coloured artificial fibres with the characteristics of wool, artificial glimmer, high achieving butter churners and bread baking machines, artificial blood plasma and record turntables, to turn ten records automatically. The Infrared night vision equipment which was discovered with a sense of wonder, was immediately utilised against the Japanese, as well the method of cooling, which resuscitated those who were otherwise doomed to death.
They discovered rolls of plastic‑like materials (tape for megaphones), which had an emulsion of Iron‑oxide on one side, and on which could be filed the radio programs of an entire day – without gramophone needle and irritating external noises. At IG Farben they found 50,000 recipes for colours, which had been unattainable hitherto by the Americans. Another novelty was yeast, which could be produced in unlimited amounts and able to endure higher temperatures and which contained more protein and calories than beef.
There were revolutionary machines for the production of needles and of lady’s stockings which would not ladder. In the whole world existed no method as the German one to mass produce cheese. They discovered the smallest and virtually indestructible condensation apparatus, as well the method of pasteurising milk, which had been tried in vain by the Americans.
Here we need to mention too the sensational German invention of the Infra red equipment, with the help of which it was made possible to see at night. German cars were able to drive at any speed even in total darkness and could make out objects at about a distance of two hundred meters as clearly as in daytime.
Tanks with this equipment were able to see signs at a distance of two miles. A German rifleman was able to use the Infra red long distance target range to shoot an enemy in total darkness. (8) The Americans utilised this plundered secret for the first time in Okinawa (April‑ June 1945) with amazing success.
But as well in the sphere of medicine the Germans had entered into revolutionary realms. For instance had Germans found a way of producing synthetic blood plasma. This was called “Capain” and the end result was equal to natural plasma. An other discovery was “Periston”, a substitute for the thinning of blood. Another product of oxidisation of Adrenalin “adrenichtome” was produced by the Germans (called Nazis) in great quantities for combatting high blood pressure. “In the USA annually 700,000 die from this condition, so the population can be served with this discovery” as Walker proudly announced.
Of course at first there were rumours that “Nazi Scientists” had frozen trial persons to death, in order to resuscitate them afterwards. Finally, the American/Jewish Alpine Expert (Michael Bar‑Zonat) found four “Nazi physicians” in a laboratory of the institute of aeronautic medicine on the Estate Hirschau in Bavaria. An American Medicine‑Corps‑Major, Leo Alexander, interrogated these physicians in June 1945, to establish, if experiments were conducted with human victims.
The true circumstances remained unresolved, especially since all laboratory equipment for small animals was carefully preserved, yet all equipment for larger animals was destroyed. Reports and files in regards to human experiments were nowhere to be found. But just then the allied Radio brought a terrible announcement about the concentration camp Dachau, where examinations were conducted on prisoners who had been in these freezing experiments. The wireless named the SS physician Dr. Siegmund Rascher as there responsible officer. Alexander travelled to the 7th American Army, who was in charge of the area in question and who had the reputation of having confiscated an amount of secret documents from the offices of the German protection units (Schutzstaffel).
And indeed , Alexander found a complete final report personally addressed to the SS Reichs leader Heinrich Himmler. In this, there is reported of seven individuals, who were dipped naked into ice water, until they lost consciousness. In this time they were continually monitored and readings recorded. Eg, the reactions of the skin, the inner temperature of the stomach, the pulse, blood sugar readings, reactions of blood corpuscles, bone marrow viscosity etc. In about 53 to 106 minutes the trial persons had died. The allies saw it as an admission of murder on seven persons. Yet this is declaration is erroneous, since the German scientists succeeded to revive these clinically dead persons (total ceasing of heart function and breathing), by immediate dipping into hot water (122 degree Fahrenheit/ 50 degree Celsius). (In every one of the dread cases of this experiment the subjects were successfully revived, both temporarily and permanently, by immediate application of water.)
Even this, for the army important research resul,t was immediately transferred to the troops still fighting against Japan, to save fliers who could still be saved after lethal freezing experiences after being shot down. Exactly these cold exposure experiments saved Americans years of experimentation and research, according to a military surgeon of the American Army. The Germans technique for treatment after prolonged and usually fatal exposure to cold was regarded as revolutionary.
Nowadays this method of treatment after cold exposure has been adopted by all American air‑ and sea rescue services and is generally recognised by modern science branches. (9)
To add further to these explanations is only to say that it was no secret that there have been experiments done with humans. But in regards to these it is to necessary to stress that for these experiments were chosen volunteers. In the case of inmates of concentration camps these were informed of the risks involved before the examinations and experiments. They were lured with better prison conditions, shorter sentences or even immediate release from prison. The experiments with cold exposure have had trial runs with small animals before they were tried on humans. If is really came to cases of death has never been scientifically proved to date.
Also in the area of the textile branch had the search for German scientific and industrial secrets revealed hitherto unknown facts. For instance had the process of the German company of Rayon‑knitting machines been able to save space and yet increase the production by 150%. Their left‑by‑left method in woven products resulted in non‑laddering, durable Lady’s stockings. A new German‑ developed machine for the manufacture of needles, would, according to Walker, revolutionise business in the USA as well as in the UK. In this case the skin or fibre had to be manipulated, and with the addition of the enzyme aspergil paracitius not only resulted in better wool but also in a 10% higher yield.
In the branch of food production, medicine and military technology were the secrets thus discovered no less impressive. One of the secrets of the food and nutrition industry was the to sterilise fruit juices without the use of heat. The pasteurising process of milk by means of ultra violet rays always resulted in failure in other countries, yet the Germans found by way of extending the range of vision tubes considerably it was possible while at the same time enriching the milk with vitamin D. In a factory in Kiel British researchers of “the joint intelligence committee” found that cheeses, of the “Holländer” and “Tilsit” kind were being produced by a new method at an unbelievable speed.
The cheese industry worldwide was not capable of anything coming remotely close. A dairy near Hamburg produced butter of a kind and quality highly prized by Americans, by means of a un‑interrupted churning butter machine, the invention by the dairy machine factory in Stuttgart. This machine required less space than American machine and produced 1500 pounds of butter per hour. The machine was promptly shipped to the USA. Another novelty was, to produce yeast in un‑limited amounts, which besides that, was capable to be used at considerably higher temperatures and had double the amount of protein and several times higher than beef. Also the Germans had developed a method of preserving food buy certain freezing techniques or conserve bread by means of a covering emulsion to lengthen its life to about eight months.
Of greatest importance for the future were “the Nazi secrets” in the sphere of aeronautics and of the different types of remote‑control projectiles. The V2‑rocket, which bombarded London, as commented on by an army‑air force publication was a mere toy in comparison to what was envisaged by the Germans. When the war ended, the Americans knew that the Germans (the Nazis!) had 138 types of remote‑controlled projectiles and ‑ignitions using: “Radio waves, radar systems, continual waves, Infrared, ultra sound, light trees and magnetism, just to mention a few.”
For the propulsion were used all methods of jet drive, as also for lower, as well as supersonic speeds. Jet propulsion was even used for helicopters. The fuel used was lead to the fuel chambers in the points of the rotor blades and ignited, which caused them to rotate like the knives of a lawnmower. The German A4 Rocket, which was just then taken into production in great numbers, when th e war ended, was 64 feet long, weighed more than 24,000 pounds and flew up to 230 miles distance. It rose about 100 miles above the earth and had a top speed of 3735 miles per hour, which is three times as fast as the rotation of the Earth, as it rotates around its own axle at the Equator. The secret of its top speed was the rocket motor, that burnt a mixture of liquid oxygen and alcohol.
This rocket was either radio controlled or self‑guided by gyroscopic means to its target. Since the rocket was several times faster than sound, it could not be heard before it hit.
Another German rocket, which was still being developed, received the demarcation “A9”. This rocket was bigger still, 29,000 pounds, and had wide wingspans, which enabled it to fly a distance of 3000 miles. It was produced in the famous Penemünde army‑trial station and achieved the unbelievable speed of 5670 miles per hour (about 8000 km/hr).
One long distance bomber, which, as the documents proclaim, had not yet been able to be produced, because the war had finished too soon, would have been capable of reaching New York from Germany within 40 minutes. Guided by just one pilot in an high pressure cabin it reached a height of about 154 miles. It was catapulted at 500 miles per hour, in order to reach its height in just 4 minutes. From there it would be gliding through the outer atmosphere, using up its fuel and then push down its target. With a hundred bombers of this kind the Germans estimated to be able to destroy every city on Earth in military actions lasting only a few days.
The Germans had also put inventions in place, which concerned themselves with the pilots, who would have to leave the plane at super speeds. Normally the head would be severed and the parachute would be riddled with holes upon opening.
In order to prevent these unhappy events, an apparatus was invented, which would catapult the pilot instantly outside. The parachute was already full of holes, which was formed from bands, in criss‑cross fashion, which slowed his fall until the decreasing pressure automatically freed the normal parachute.
A Nazi variation to radio piloted projectiles was the underwater torpedo, which would unerringly pursue its target, attracted by the noise of the propeller of the ship under attack. It functioned at about 40 miles per hour and left no vapor trail. As soon as it was underneath the target the explosion followed.
In the light of these fabulous inventions of the German Reich and the production of such futuristic weapons, the oft repeated slogans to urge the people to continue their war efforts by the ministry of propaganda of the German Reich appeared therefore quite feasible and by no means only nonsensical talk. In fact, had the war lasted just a few months longer or had the invasion been postponed by only half a year the war could have been won by Berlin. Some of these weapons were only in the trial stages or in the beginning of production and could have been ready for use, given more time. Alone the effect of radio directed weapons with their great accuracy would have created some horror. But not only these remote controlled projectiles, but also the jet aircrafts would have destroyed the allied bombing units, because the radio controlled torpedoes would have eliminated the enemy troop transports and warships.
According to the American clergy man Ludwig A. Fritsch the Americans stole from the Germans, those “giants of science, who had discovered the Tuberculosis‑, Typhoid‑ and Diphtheria‑ Bacillus, as well as its antidotes, to free mankind from these plagues, who were able to split the atom and who found the x‑rays, who were able to make fat from coal and who constructed the finest instruments on Earth,” (10) Patents by the hundreds of tons, thefts whose value is not to be estimated, well into the billions in those days, which in our days would be worth well into the trillions of dollars, or, as the “Westfälische Nachrichten” newspaper so soberly exclaimed in January 1947 in these words: “With the removal of its patents and inventions, the German people have in fact paid reparations of such an extent, as no other nation in history has ever done before. These facts are being more or less conveniently overlooked abroad.” And to this may be added, by post‑war Germany as well!
The total quantity and value of patents stolen by the Allies can only be a rough estimated. The US‑American professor for history (California and Düsseldorf), John Gimel, draws our attention to examples, in which the intellectual labour of a single German scientist or technician alone brought profits of X‑million Dollars to the American companies(11). According to the disclosures of this historian the Allied forces stole German intellectual property and patents valued in the vivinity of 4,8 Billion to 12 Billion dollars.
According to the protocol of the Conference of representatives of companies and experts on 16. June 1948 in Königsstein the total value of the stolen drawings, patents and trademarks fluctuates between 12 to 30 Billion DM (Mark), of which the last figure seems most likely the more accurate. In the way of German intellectual property the “victors” confiscated about 346,000 German patents as war plunder, of which were 200,000 German patents, registered in foreign countries. Furthermore to be included in the count, there were 20,870 German trademarks and as many as 50,000 new colour shades, that had been developed in the IG Farben research centres. All in all the confiscations meant a loss for Germany of about 30 Billion DM according to Herbert Grabert. (As of 1952) (13).
For the necessary estimation of the value for the total quantity of the stolen patents alone, there exists, not surprisingly, no final and checkable number anywhere, not even in government departments where they could be expected to be held. So for instance, could the DIHT (Deutsche Industrie und Handelstag) only confess, that “unfortunately such knowledge is not available” (14)
And the DPMA (Deutsches Patent und Markenamt) found “it not possible to quantify the value of reparations incurred, due to the time‑honoured confiscation by way of protective rights of German patents” (15) , while the Austrian Patent Office declares, that “examinations in regards to the mentioned stolen patents are entirely unknown.” (16)
According to what guidelines could the losses and damages to the German Reich and the German nation be evaluated? The value of the stolen patents and products and the time spent and the costs necessary for the development of the products have to be added. The loss of profit for the German economy has to be worked out. Just in case such a cost‑evaluation is at all possible‑ for at the end of the Nineteen Forties and the beginning of the Fifties such an endeavour on part of the West German Industry and Handelskammer (chamber of commerce) failed, for reasons of un‑equal back‑wash of companies, who feared taxation consequences if they gave the true values of their losses (17), even if this approximate valuation would be an estimation of astronomical proportions.
For C. Lester Walker the unbelievable multitude of volume appears as follows: “In 1945, the greatest theft of intellectual material took place. The discovered and stolen scientific, industrial and military secrets of National Socialist Germany were, Walker quotes with view of Washington, the greatest of this kind of robbery in the world, the first common and total exploitation of the intellectual material of an entire nation”. In fact, it represents the greatest haul of intellectual property in human history.
2 Hans Dollinger (Hg) “Deutschland unter Besatzungsnächten 1945 1949, Seine Geschichte in Texten, Bildern und Dokumenten 1945‑1949. München 1967 P. 282.
3 Compare Thomas STAMM ”“Zwischen Staat und Selbstverwaltung. Die deutsche Forschung in Wiederaufbau 1945 ‑ 165″ , Cologne 1981. p. 45
4 Michael Bar‑Zohar, “Die Jagd auf die deutschen Wissenschaftler 1944 ‑ 1960″, Berlin 1966, page 48.
5 C.Lester Walker, “translated edition, from Hans Werner Woltersdorf, “Die größte Geistbeute der Weltgeschichte”, typed Manuscript o.O.u.o. J., S. 6
6 Michael Bar‑Zohar, aaO. /(add. 4) P 152
7 Tom Bower, “Verschwörung Paperclip, NS‑Wissenschaftler” München 1988, P 111f.
8 “German cars could drive at any speed in total blackout, seeing objects clear as day two hundred meters a head. Tanks with this device could spot targets two miles away. As sniper’s cockpit enabled German riflemen to pick off a man on total blackness”.
9 C. Lester Walker, “Secrets by the thousands”, in Harper’s Magazune, October 1946, p. 329ff., quoted http://www.histropgraphyproject.com/documents/19461000german_secrets.html
10 Ludwig A. Frisch, “Amerikas Verantwortung für die Verbrechung am deutschen Volk”, Grabert, Tübingen 1969, P. 63
11 ebeda P. 100 f
12 ebeda P 100 f industrial disarmament 1945 ‑ 1948″, New Brunswick, 1946 P. 142
12 Nicholas Balabkins, “Germany under direct control. Economic aspects of industrial disarmament 1945 ‑ 1948″, New Brunswick, 1946 S 142
13 Herbert Grabert, “Hochschullehrer klagen as. Vom der Demontage deutscher Wissenschaft”, Göttingen 1952, P. 25
14 From the letter by the German Industrie and Handelstag written to the Author on 20. July 2000.
15 Written to the author by the Deutschen Patenten‑ und Markenamtes, 31 August 2000.
16 Written to the author by the Österreichischen Patentamts von 3. August 2000.
17 Comp. John Gimbel, “Science Technology, and Reparations, Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany”, Stanford 1990, P. 158
Source: k0nsl-archives via Randulf Johan Hansen