Arthur Rudolph
Arthur Louis Hugo Rudolph (November 9, 1906  – January 1, 1996 Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

) was a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 rocket engineer and member of the Nazi party who played a key role in the development of the V-2 rocket
V-2 rocket
The V-2 rocket , technical name Aggregat-4 , was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp. The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known...

. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 he was brought to the United States, subsequently becoming a pioneer of the United States space program. He worked for the U.S. Army and NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 where he managed the development of several important systems including the Pershing missile
Pershing missile
Pershing was a family of solid-fueled two-stage medium-range ballistic missiles designed and built by Martin Marietta to replace the PGM-11 Redstone missile as the United States Army's primary nuclear-capable theater-level weapon. The Pershing systems lasted over 30 years from the first test...

 and the Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 Moon rocket. In 1984 he was investigated for possible war crimes, and he agreed to leave the United States and renounce his US citizenship.

Early life

Rudolph was born in Stepfershausen, Meiningen
Meiningen is a town in Germany - located in the southern part of the state of Thuringia and is the district seat of Schmalkalden-Meiningen. It is situated on the river Werra....

, Germany in 1906. His family were farmers, with a long tradition in the area. His father Gustav, died in 1915 while serving during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Arthur and his younger brother Walter were raised by their mother, Ida. When Ida noticed young Arthur had a mechanical gift, she decided he should attend technical training. Walter inherited the family farm. From 1921 on, Rudolph attended the technical school in Schmalkalden
- Notable people :*Christoph Cellarius, scholar, born 22 November 1638, died 4 June 1707 in Halle*Christian Karl August Ludwig von Massenbach, colonel, born 16 April 1758, died 21 November 1827 at Białokosz...

 for three years. In 1924 he found employment at a silver goods factory in Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...


Initial work on rocket engines

In August 1927 Rudolph accepted a job at Stock & Co. in Berlin. After a few months, he became a toolmaker at Fritz Werner. In 1928 he attended the Technical College of Berlin— now the Berlin Institute of Technology —graduating in 1930 with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 degree in mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

. On May 1, 1930, Rudolph began working for the Heylandt Works in Berlin where he met rocketry pioneer Max Valier
Max Valier
Max Valier was an Austrian rocketry pioneer. He helped found the German Verein für Raumschiffahrt that would bring together many of the minds that would later make spaceflight a reality in the 20th century.-Biography:Valier was born in Bozen , South Tyrol and in 1913 enrolled to study Physics at...

. Valier had use of the factory grounds for his experiments in rocketry and Rudolph became interested, working with Valier in his spare time along with Walter Riedel
Walter Riedel
Walter J H "Papa" Riedel was a German engineer who was the head of the Design Office of the Army Research Centre Peenemünde and the Chief Designer of the A4 ballistic rocket...

. Rudolph already had some interest in rocketry, having read Wege zur Raumschiffahrt (Ways to Spaceflight) by Hermann Oberth
Hermann Oberth
Hermann Julius Oberth was an Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer. He is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics.- Early life :...

 and having seen the film Woman in the Moon.

On May 27, an experimental engine exploded and killed Valier. Dr. Paulus Heylandt forbade further rocket research, but Rudolph continued secretly with Riedel and Alfons Pietsch. Rudolph then developed an improved and safer version of Valier's engine while Pietsch designed a rocket car. Dr. Heylandt conceded to back the project, and the "Heylandt Rocket Car" was born and was exhibited at Tempelhof Aerodrome. While it was a technical success, the fuel costs were greater than the admissions received and performances were discontinued. Rudolph joined the Nazi Party in 1931, then later the SA
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...


Rudolph first met Wernher von Braun
Wernher von Braun
Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.A former member of the Nazi party,...

 when he visited a meeting of the Verein für Raumschiffahrt
Verein für Raumschiffahrt
The Verein für Raumschiffahrt was a German amateur rocket association prior to World War II that included members outside of Germany...

(VfR, the "Spaceflight Society"). In May 1932 Rudolph was laid off and looking for work when he encountered Pietsch. After forming a partnership Rudolph began design on a new engine, while Pietsch looked for a backer. Pietsch met with Walter Dornberger
Walter Dornberger
Major-General Dr Walter Robert Dornberger was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World Wars I and II. He was a leader of Germany's V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center....

, who had been tasked by the German Ordnance Department to develop a rocket weapons system and had become interested in the VfR.

After demonstrating the new engine to Dornberger, Rudolph moved to the proving grounds at Kummersdorf
Kummersdorf is the name of an estate near Luckenwalde at , around 25km south of Berlin, in the Brandenburg region of Germany. Until 1945 Kummersdorf hosted the weapon office of the German Army which ran a development centre for future weapons as well as an artillery range.In 1929 the Army Weapons...

 along with Riedel, and began working under von Braun. Rudolph's engine was used in the Aggregate
Aggregate (rocket family)
The Aggregate series was a set of rocket designs developed in 1933–1945 by a research program of Nazi Germany's army. Its greatest success was the A4, more commonly known as the V-2. The German word refers to a group of machines working together.-A1:...

 series of rockets. In December 1934, the von Braun team successfully launched two A-2 rockets from the island of Borkum
Borkum is an island and a municipality in the Leer District in Lower Saxony, northwestern Germany.-Geography:Borkum is bordered to the west by the Westerems strait , to the east by the Osterems strait, to the north by the North Sea, and to the south by the Wadden Sea...

. Static testing on the A-3 engines began in Kummersdorf in late 1936 and were observed by General Werner von Fritsch
Werner von Fritsch
Werner Thomas Ludwig Freiherr von Fritsch was a prominent Wehrmacht officer, member of the German High Command, and the second German general to be killed during World War II.-Early life:...

, the commander-in chief of the German Army High Command
Oberkommando des Heeres
The Oberkommando des Heeres was Nazi Germany's High Command of the Army from 1936 to 1945. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht commanded OKH only in theory...


The Kummersdorf facilities were inadequate for continued operations, so the von Braun team was moved to Peenemünde
The Peenemünde Army Research Center was founded in 1937 as one of five military proving grounds under the Army Weapons Office ....

 in May 1937 where Rudolph was tasked with the building of the A-3 test stand. The Rudolphs lived in nearby Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz is a spa town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on the northern German island of Usedom on the Baltic Sea. The town has rail connections to Wolgast and Ahlbeck.-History:...

, where their daughter, Marianne Erika, was born on November 26, 1937. The A-3 series was plagued with guidance problems and never proved successful. In early 1938, Dornberger put Rudolph in charge of the design for the new production plant to be built at Peenemünde for the A-4 series, later renamed the V-2
V-2 rocket
The V-2 rocket , technical name Aggregat-4 , was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp. The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known...

V-weapons also, known in the original German as Vergeltungswaffen , were a particular set of long range artillery weapons designed for strategic bombing during World War II, particularly terror bombing and/or aerial bombing of cities. They comprised the V-1 flying bomb, the V-2 rocket and the V-3...

-Reprisal Weapon-2).

World War Two

In August 1943 — as Rudolph was ready to begin production of the V-2, the British bombed Peenemünde
Bombing of Peenemünde in World War II
Operation Hydra was a Royal Air Force attack on the Peenemünde Army Research Center on the night of 17/18 August 1943. It began the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany's V-weapon programme...

. The V-2 production facility was moved to the Mittelwerk
Central Works was a World War II factory that used Mittelbau-Dora forced labor in 2 main tunnels in the Kohnstein. The underground facility produced V-2 rockets, V-1 flying bombs, and other Nazi weapons.-Mittelwerk GmbH:...

 facility near Nordhausen
Nordhausen is a town at the southern edge of the Harz Mountains, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Nordhausen...

. Mittelwerk was originally a gypsum mine that was being used as a storage facility and was being excavated for production facilities. The labor force consisted of prisoners who were eventually housed at the Mittelbau-Dora
Mittelbau-Dora was a Nazi Germany labour camp that provided workers for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein, situated near Nordhausen, Germany....

 concentration camp
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

. Rudolph was in charge of moving the equipment from Peenemünde to Mittelwerk, working under Albin Sawatzki. After the plant was in place, Rudolph was operations director for V-2 missile production. Sawatzki decreed that fifty were to be produced in December. Given the labor and parts issues, Rudolph was barely able to produce four rockets that were later returned from Peenemünde as defective.

In 1944, Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 convinced Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 to put the V-2 project directly under SS
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 control, and in August replaced Dornberger with SS General Hans Kammler
Hans Kammler
General Dr Ing. Hans Friedrich Karl Franz Kammler was a civil engineer and high-ranking officer of the SS. He oversaw SS construction projects, and towards the end of World War II was put in charge of the V-2 missile programme.He is most commonly referred to as Heinz Kammler or Hans...

 as its director.

In January 1945 the SS ordered all of the civilians and prisoners, including Rudolph and his team, to attend a public hanging of several prisoners accused of sabotage
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...

. By March 1945, production had stopped due to a lack of parts and Rudolph and his staff were moved to Oberammergau
Oberammergau is a municipality in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, Germany. The town is famous for its production of a Passion Play, its woodcarvers, and the NATO School.-Passion Play:...

 where they met von Braun and others from Peenemünde. They finally surrendered to the U.S. Army and were transported to Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a mountain resort town in Bavaria, southern Germany. It is the administrative centre of the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the Oberbayern region, and the district is on the border with Austria...


Recruitment into services of Allied powers and move to USA

From July to October 1945, Rudolph was transferred to the British to participate in Operation Backfire
Operation Backfire (WWII)
Operation Backfire was a military scientific operation during and after World War II, which was performed mainly by British staff. It was part of the Allies' scramble to loot as much German technology as they could....

. He was then transferred back to the Americans. The U.S. Army picked up Martha and Marianne Rudolph from Stepfershausen before it was occupied by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 and the Rudolphs were reunited at Camp Overcast near Landshut
Landshut is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the...

. In November 1945, Operation Overcast brought Rudolph, von Braun and the rest of the V-2 team temporarily to the US for six months. Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II...

 in March 1946 and formally approved by President Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 in August 1946; most of the group stayed permanently.

After a brief interrogation at Fort Strong
Fort Strong
Fort Strong is located on Long Island in Boston Harbor.It was originally named Long Island Military Reservation until 1899.Camp Wightman, a Civil War training camp, was located on the island in 1861....

, the team was sent to White Sands Proving Grounds
White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range is a rocket range of almost in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR includes the and the WSMR Otera Mesa bombing range...

 to work on further V-2 engineering in January 1946. In January 1947 Rudolph was moved to the Ordnance Research and Development Division
Army Ballistic Missile Agency
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency was the agency formed to develop the US Army's first intermediate range ballistic missile. It was established at Redstone Arsenal on February 1, 1956 and commanded by Major General John B...

 at Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

, El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

, where his family finally joined him in April. Since he had been brought into the US without a visa, he and others were sent to Juárez
Ciudad Juárez
Ciudad Juárez , officially known today as Heroica Ciudad Juárez, but abbreviated Juárez and formerly known as El Paso del Norte, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande...

, Mexico where he obtained a visa and officially immigrated to the U.S. on April 14, 1949. During his time at Fort Bliss, he acted as a liaison to the Solar Aircraft Company, and spent much of 1947 and 1949 in San Diego, California.

During a 1949 inquiry by the FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, Rudolph made the following statement on his participation in the Nazi party:
Until 1930 I sympathized with the social democratic party, voted for it and was a member of a socialdemocratic union (Bund Techn. Agst. u. Beamt.) After 1930 the economical situation became so serious that it appeared to me to be headed for catastrophe. (I really became unemployed in 1932.) The great amount of unemployment caused expansion of nationalsoc. and communistic parties. Frightened that the latter one would become the government I Joined the NSDAP (a legally reg. entity) to help, I believed in the preservation of the western culture.

On June 25, 1950 Rudolph was transferred to Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal
Redstone Arsenal is a United States Army base and a census-designated place adjacent to Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama, United States and is part of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area...

, Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the central part of the far northern region of the U.S. state of Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 Census....

, and his group was re-designated as the Ordnance Guided Missile Center
Army Ballistic Missile Agency
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency was the agency formed to develop the US Army's first intermediate range ballistic missile. It was established at Redstone Arsenal on February 1, 1956 and commanded by Major General John B...

. He was naturalized as an American citizen on November 11, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

. In 1950 Rudolph was appointed as the technical director for the Redstone missile project. Rudolph was assigned as the project manager for the Pershing missile
Pershing missile
Pershing was a family of solid-fueled two-stage medium-range ballistic missiles designed and built by Martin Marietta to replace the PGM-11 Redstone missile as the United States Army's primary nuclear-capable theater-level weapon. The Pershing systems lasted over 30 years from the first test...

 project in 1956. He specifically selected The Martin Company
Glenn L. Martin Company
The Glenn L. Martin Company was an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company that was founded by the aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin. The Martin Company produced many important aircraft for the defense of the United States and its allies, especially during World War II and the Cold War...

 as the prime contractor for the program. He also chose the Eclipse-Pioneer
Pioneer Instrument Company
The Pioneer Instrument Company was started by Morris Titterington and Brice Herbert Goldsborough in Brooklyn, New York in 1919. Charles H. Colvin was the president. They specialized in aeronautical instruments including a bubble sextant and the Earth Inductor Compass...

 division of Bendix
Bendix Corporation
The Bendix Corporation was an American manufacturing and engineering company which during various times in its 60 year existence made brake systems, aeronautical hydraulics, avionics, aircraft and automobile fuel control systems, radios, televisions and computers, and which licensed its name for...

 to develop the guidance system after he personally inspected the plant in Teterboro, New Jersey
Teterboro, New Jersey
Teterboro is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 67, making it the fourth smallest municipality, by population, in New Jersey....


Rudolph received an honorary doctorate of science degree from Rollins College
Rollins College
Rollins College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Winter Park, Florida , along the shores of Lake Virginia....

 in Winter Park, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Winter Park is a suburban city in Orange County, Florida, United States. The population was 24,090 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 estimates, the city had a population of 28,083. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 on February 23, 1959. He received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service
Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service
The Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service is the highest award that may be bestowed by or on behalf of the Secretary of the Army to Army civilian employees. The medal was approved by the War Department 29 December 1945. This award consists of a gold medal, lapel button...

, the highest Army award for civilians, for his work on Pershing.


Although von Braun and his team had been transferred to NASA in 1960, Rudolph stayed with ABMA to continue critical work on Pershing. In 1961 he finally moved to NASA, once again working for von Braun. He became the assistant director of systems engineering, serving as liaison between vehicle development at Marshall Space Flight Center
Marshall Space Flight Center
The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center is the U.S. government's civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion research center. The largest center of NASA, MSFC's first mission was developing the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo moon program...

 and the Manned Spacecraft Center
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas, USA...

 in Houston. He later became the project director of the Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 rocket program in August 1963. He developed the requirements for the rocket system and the mission plan for the Apollo program. The first Saturn V launch lifted off from Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 and performed flawlessly on November 9, 1967, Rudolph's birthday. He was then assigned as the special assistant to the director of MSFC in May 1968 and then retired from NASA on January 1, 1969. During his tenure he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal
NASA Exceptional Service Medal
The NASA Exceptional Service Medal is an award granted to U.S. government employees for significant sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creative ability that clearly demonstrates substantial improvement in engineering, aeronautics, space flight, administration, support, or...

 and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is the highest award which may be bestowed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States...

. On July 16, 1969, the Saturn V launched Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

, putting man on the Moon.

Denaturalization and departure to West Germany

In 1979, Eli Rosenbaum
Eli Rosenbaum
Eli M. Rosenbaum was the director of the U.S. DOJ Office of Special Investigations , which was primarily responsible for identifying and deporting Nazi war criminals, from 1995 to 2010, when OSI was merged into the new Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section...

 of OSI, by chance read about Rudolph in a book about moving rocket parts, using forced labor. Eli Rosenbaum had conducted research at the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

, about the Dora war crimes trial, appearing to connect him with the use of forced labor at Mittelwerk
Central Works was a World War II factory that used Mittelbau-Dora forced labor in 2 main tunnels in the Kohnstein. The underground facility produced V-2 rockets, V-1 flying bombs, and other Nazi weapons.-Mittelwerk GmbH:...

In September 1982, Rudolph received a letter requesting an interview by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
Rudolph believed this was one of the series of interrogations he had gone through since his arrival in the U.S. The first of three interviews, it centered on his attitudes on racial superiority, his early participation in the Nazi Party and a possible role in the treatment of prisoners at Mittelwerk.

On November 28, 1983, Rudolph, purportedly under duress and fearful for the welfare of his wife and daughter, signed an agreement with the OSI stating that he would leave the United States and renounce his United States citizenship. Under the agreement, Rudolph would not be prosecuted, the citizenship of his wife and daughter was not in danger of revocation and Rudolph's retirement and Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 benefits were left intact. In March 1984 Arthur and Martha Rudolph departed for Germany where Rudolph renounced his citizenship as agreed. Germany protested to the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, as Rudolph now had no citizenship in any country. In July, Germany requested documentation from the OSI to determine if Rudolph should be prosecuted or granted citizenship. The World Jewish Congress
World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 1936 as an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations...

 placed articles in newspapers in January 1985 on behalf of the Department of Justice, searching for survivors of the Mittelwerk.

After receiving documentation in April 1985, the case was investigated by Harald Duhn, the Attorney General of Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. In March 1987, the investigation concluded after questioning a number of witnesses and determining no basis for prosecution, since the only crime not past the statute of limitations was murder. Rudolph was then granted German citizenship.

Meanwhile, a great deal of controversy occurred back in the U.S. Rudolph had not told his friends of the investigation, but the OSI made a news release after his departure. Several groups and individuals were calling for an investigation into the OSI's activities regarding Rudolph. These included retired Major General John Medaris
John Bruce Medaris
John Bruce Medaris was a U.S Army officer who was commander of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency during the 1950s. During this period, the agency developed the Redstone, Jupiter-C, and Saturn I....

 (former commander of ABMA), officials of the city of Huntsville, the American Legion
American Legion
The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

 and former associates at NASA. Thomas Franklin interviewed Rudolph and wrote a series of articles in the Huntsville News that questioned the OSI investigation– these were later used as the basis for An American in Exile: The Story of Arthur Rudolph.

In 1985, Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Bill Green
S. William Green
Sedgwick William "Bill" Green was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New York....

 of New York introduced a bill to strip Rudolph of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) and re-introduced it in 1987. Rudolph applied for a visa in 1989 to attend a 20th anniversary celebration of the first Moon landing, but was denied by the State Department. In May 1990, Representative James Traficant
James Traficant
James Anthony Traficant, Jr. is a former Democratic Representative in the United States Congress from Ohio . He represented the 17th Congressional District, which centered on his hometown of Youngstown and included parts of three counties in northeast Ohio's Mahoning Valley...

 of Ohio submitted a motion calling for hearings to determine whether the OSI was "justified in its actions or violated the rights of Arthur Rudolph." The motion failed to receive any co-sponsors and was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law in June, with no further action taken. In July the Rudolphs entered Canada for a reunion with their daughter. Since the OSI had placed Rudolph on a watch list, he was detained and left Canada of his own accord. Ernst Zündel
Ernst Zündel
Ernst Christof Friedrich Zündel is a German Holocaust denier and pamphleteer who was jailed several times in Canada for publishing literature which "is likely to incite hatred against an identifiable group" and for being a threat to national security, in the United States for overstaying his visa,...

 and Paul Fromm attempted to support Rudolph with demonstrations. After Rudolph left, an immigration hearing was held in his absence; he was represented by Barbara Kulaszka
Barbara Kulaszka
Barbara Kulaszka is a Canadian lawyer known especially for her role in defending far-right figures.Kulaszka has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1980 and has practiced law since 1987. She acted with Doug Christie as co-counsel to Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel in the 1980s and...

, but Canadian authorities ruled that he could not return to Canada. Rudolph sued to regain his U.S. citizenship, but the case was dismissed in 1993.

In November 1996, Martha Rudolph wrote to Henry Hyde
Henry Hyde
Henry John Hyde , an American politician, was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 2007, representing the 6th District of Illinois, an area of Chicago's northwestern suburbs which included O'Hare International Airport...

, then chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
United States House Committee on the Judiciary
The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement...

. She stated that her husband had signed the agreement after coercion and duress by the OSI and that she was dismayed by the House resolutions to strip her husband of the DSM. Rudolph continued to be defended by Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

, Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. is an American political activist and founder of a network of political committees, parties, and publications known collectively as the LaRouche movement...

 and Friedwardt Winterberg
Friedwardt Winterberg
Friedwardt Winterberg is a German-American theoretical physicist and research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. With more than 260 publications and three books, he is known for his research in areas spanning general relativity, Planck scale physics, nuclear fusion, and plasmas...


Personal life

Arthur Rudolph married Martha Therese Kohls (b. July 5, 1905) on October 3, 1935 in Berlin. Rudolph and his wife retired to San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

 to be near their daughter. Soon after moving, he had a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 and a triple bypass
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Coronary artery bypass surgery, also coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve angina and reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease...

. Arthur Rudolph died in Hamburg on January 1, 1996 from heart failure.

External links

Transcripts of an interview of Rudolph on August 4, 1989 are available to researchers
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