More than 20,000 died making Hitler's deadly "Vengeance" weapon, the V2 ballistic missile - a rocket designed to kill civilians indiscriminately. The project's figurehead was the brilliant Werner von Braun. One man in particular wanted to capture Von Braun, American intelligence agent Robert Staver. In the end, Von Braun and over 1000 other scientists were smuggled out of Germany to America to work on top-secret projects from aviation to the moon landings. Their skills helped to secure the US military and scientific supremacy for decades. It seemed these ex-Nazis would never pay for their crimes as the hunted had become heroes...
One murderous policy defined the Third Reich, the cold-blooded murder of millions of European Jews. It was genocide of unequalled cruelty and ferocity. Keeping a watchful eye over it all was the Fuhrer's closest advisor, Martin Bormann, who liaised with Himmler to ensure the extermination was so ruthlessly efficient. In the last hours of the Third Reich he would escape Hitler's Reich Chancellery bunker and simply vanish. It was the start of an international manhunt that would last decades. In the end, Nazi Hunting's biggest mystery would only be solved when cutting-edge science was used on a skull found under Berlin's Lehrter Station...
August 1944: Nearly a hundred SAS launched a secret operation in Eastern France to help Patton's men reach The Rhine. By its conclusion, more than thirty were missing. In 1945, a mass grave was found containing the executed men. An SAS Investigation Team led by Major "Bill" Barkworth pieced together what had happened. The SAS had been pursued by special action Gestapo commandos and when Patton's men failed to advance, they were marooned. Barkworth also assisted Vera Atkins of the Special Operations Executive, investigating the disappearance of four agents at Natzweiler Concentration Camp. The women had been injected with carbolic acid and their bodies incinerated. At least one of them was still alive at the time...
December 1945: Soldiers led by feared SS tank commander Joachim Peiper herded a group of captured American serviceman into a Belgian field and opened fire, killing 82. Peiper was later arrested and following a dramatic show trial, sentenced to death. But controversy raged over the pre-trial interrogations with the accused SS alleging intimidation, violence and even sinister mock trials during his captivity. Was this justice? Many thought not. In the end, the Malmedy massacre would take more than thirty years to settle. By then, Peiper and forty-two of his men had walked free...
Kommandant Franz Stangl was one of the Nazi figureheads behind the Jewish death camps. Not until the 1960s did Simon Wiesenthal - the most famous Nazi Hunter and a concentration camp survivor himself - receive a tip off from an ex-Gestapo officer that led him to Brazil. With a Brazilian Senator acting as go-between, Wiesenthal discreetly prepared his evidence. Finally, Stangl was arrested, deported and sentenced to life imprisonment. Bringing Stangl to justice was one of Wiesenthal's greatest successes, fulfilling his goal of honouring the millions of Jews who did not survive.
Albert Speer was responsible for the exploitation of millions of slave labourers worked to death in his factories. After the war, Speer was pursued by Paul Nitze of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. He needed Speer's help to learn as much as possible about the effects of the Allies' strategic bombing campaign. Speer was astonishingly helpful - an exemplary collaborator, providing precious information that would help him escape the hangman's noose at The Nuremburg War Trials in 1946. After 20 years behind bars, he went on to become a media star and cultivated the image of the "Good" Nazi. But after his death, his true culpability came to light...
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