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The Moon Landing and the Nazis

The fact that Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon on July 19, 1969, was also the success of Wernher von Braun and a team of more than 100 NASA technicians and engineers from Germany.

But the success story is shrouded in dark shadows: Many of the Germans had a Nazi past and were part of the development of the infamous V2 rocket. Some 20,000 forced laborers lost their lives during the production under the inhumane working conditions at several Nazi underground weapons factories. In a secret operation to secure German rocket technology, the Americans brought the scientists to the USA in 1945. Only decades later were classified documents released, detailing the involvement of German NASA employees with the Third Reich.

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Spiegel TV for WDR in association with Arte
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