Who ago of brown

who ago of brown at its desk in the marshal Space Flight center, in May 1964.

Who ago Magnus Maximilian baron von Braun (* 23. March 1912 in we seat, province floats; † 16. June 1977 in Alexandria, Virginia (the USA)), was German - an US-American rocket technician, pioneer and a vision acre of space travel.

Table of contents

childhood and training

of brown became in we seat, floats who ago (today: Wyrzysk, Poland) assecond of three sons of the Magnus of brown, born. Due to good achievements it knew the Abitur examination with 17 years around Easter 1930 prematurely at the Hermann Lietz school in Spiekeroog placing. Already as a young person he had experimented with rockets and onePaper over space travel writes. Starting from 1929 he worked together with Hermann Oberth to Berlin Reinickendorf, starting from 1932, promoted by walter Dornberger of the office for army weapon, to grief village at Berlin. It became thereby by the book the problem of driving onspace of the Slovenian astronomer and astrophysicist Herman Potočnik and the book considerably affects the rocket to the planet areas. From brown physics at the technical university and at the ETH Zurich studied Berlin starting from 1930. it attained a doctorate to 1934 inPhysics in Berlin over „constructional one, theoretical and experimental contributions to the problem of the liquid-fuel rocket “.


from 1937 to 1945 was who ago of brown a technical director of the army laboratory Peenemuende on the island Usedom. Here it ledamong other things the development of the aggregate 4, briefly A4 mentioned, a large rocket with Flüssigtreibstoff. Later she was built for retaliation weapon 2 “or V2 in series under the designation „. The technical innovation consisted of coupling high-thrust liquid engines with a gyroscope system. Soit succeeded for the first time to stabilize the flight path and control deviations automatically.

After burnout the A4 achieved three-way speed of sound. In the year 1942 a prototype exceeded a ceiling of more than 80 km, 1945 more than 120 km was for the first time reached. Forthe constantly improved achievement of the engines ensured in particular the development of suitable turbopumps, which pressed large quantities fuel fast into the combustion chamber.

politics and technology

1937 had become from brown member of the NSDAP and at the 1. May 1940 Member of the SS, in which it ascended up to the storm spell leader (according to armed forces rank major).

A source reports of a prison stay in March 1944, when of brown on operation Himmlers of the Gestapo was arrested. It betrayal became and“Accused, and it the death penalty threatened military force decomposition” as well as preparation to the escape to England. Only its special meaning in the V2 - program let it become released after intervention of Speer and Dornberger with Hitler again.

That who ago of Brauns personal goalswere directed toward space travel, goes among other things from drafts of the aggregates 9 to 12 with their astronauts - caps out. After the V2-Angriff on London to 8. He is to have said November 1944: “That should have never happened… We havethis rocket built to arrange in order to open the gate to other worlds - not around devastations on this earth. Is that to have been the fruit of our work? “

The contradictoryness of its person becomes nevertheless clear, if one holds oneself before eyes,that from brown in the military order worked who ago, at a weapon, which brought with unequalled range and speed a ton to explosive in the goal, and against which no defense gave it. Also in his later effect time in the USA placedit and was substantially involved in the development of atomic medium-range missiles like the talking clay/tone without hesitating into the service of the armament.

Dora central tract

A4-Fertigung in the central work 1945.

The series production of the V2 was very labor intensive and it became prisonersthe concentration camp Dora central tract assigned. Therefore this period of life is evaluated very critically by Brauns of many historians, since it could hardly reject a responsibility for this production. Others accuse at least Opportunismus to him .

Thus it demanded in a letter of 12.November of 1943 1,350 workers on, which always meant KZ-prisoners at that time. Some passengers of the concentration camp testified later besides it with the inspection of the working places to have seen. Brown explained however that he did not know anything from the misery of the forced laborers and fortheir employment was not responsible.

For the presence who ago of Brauns in the camp Dora central tract does not give it direct vouchers. However is appropriate its letter of 15. August 1944 at Albin Sawatzki forwards, that for planning and controlling of the V2-Fabrikation responsible person.This proves that from brown in the KZ beech forest selected prisoners. Also it reported impressions, which rest „heavily on the soul of each decent man “became in an interview of 1969 that the forced laborers were in a “pity-worthy condition”. After ownHe was ashamed of data at that time that such things were possible in Germany, even in view of the war situation.

In connection with the development of Dora central tract and the following manufacturing of the A4-Rakete together with other weapons came to official counting in the SS-documents approx.12,000 forced laborers around the life. The employment of the weapon demanded altogether approx. 8,000 victims, mainly in the civilian population. The V2 was thus the only weapon, whose production of more victims demanded than their employment.

V2-Einsatz and end of war

walter Dornberger, Harsh ore Axter, who ago of brown and Hans's lime tree mountain (v.l.) at the 3. May 1945, after they placed themselves to the US troops.

Altogether approximately three thousand V2-Raketen were used, approximately a third of it against London, just as many against Antwerp, as thoseAllied there their headquarters impacted. The remainder were misses. The explosive yield of all fired V2-Raketen together was hardly stronger than a only one middle bomb attack in the Second World War. The effect was psychological kind, because there was no remedy for this weapon; thosemilitary meaning was small.

At the 11. US troops the manufacturing plants in Bleicherode, the central work occupied April 1945. One hundred A4-Raketen were removed into the USA and formed there the basis of the US-American rocket program.

Few days before had themselves the rocket pioneersin order who ago set off from brown and general walter Dornberger after the south in hotels and barracks in the environment from upper bunting gau, in order to escape the Soviet Besatzern. After the occupation of Upper Bavaria by American troops the English-speaking brother contacted Magnus of brownthe Americans, on whose strategic interest in the German rocket know-how they could count firmly.

More than hundred rocket developers were shipped in the context „of the operation Overcast “ still 1945 into the USA. Also walter Dornberger of the office for army weapon found in the USAa new sphere of activity. From brown Alabama led a team of more than hundred developers for the US army in Huntsville. The Nazi past of the German technicians was ignored generous.

In the year 1947 travels who ago from brown to Germany, over to land hatto marry his cousin Maria von Quistorp. To 9. December 1948 is born its daughter iris Careen. 1949 enter the family of brown now officially into the USA.


von Braun vor einer Saturn-IB.
von Braun before a Saturn IB.

Of brownbecame now technical advisor of the US-American rocket program. Starting from 1950 he worked in Huntsville (Alabama) as a leader the talking clay/tone - development, an atomic medium-range missile of the US-Army.

Its daughter Margrit Cecile became to 8. May 1952 born.
1955 became from brown US American Citizen.

To 21. October 1959 it was transferred officially to NASA. A short while before there the decision was for the building of a large booster rocket, which later Saturn V pleases.

To 2. June 1960 came his son Peter Constantin to the world.In the same year from brown to the director marshal Space of the Flight center in Alabama was appointed, a position, which he had until 1970.

There it was relevant at the successful Mercury -, Gemini - and Apollo projects takes part. It ledthe development of the first stage of the Saturn V booster rocket, to 27. October 1961 the first time was ignited.

Before engines of the Saturn v.

Its largest success and fulfilment of dreams of many years however was the manned moon-landing in the year 1969. Its Russian colleague Sergei Koroljow, the father of Soviet space travel, could experience this event any longer - he had already died 1966.

Who ago deputy director of NASA was from 1970 to 1972 and sat down for a continuation to that from brownProjects, among them also for a manned Mars mission. Disappointed of the strong budget shortening by congress of US it left 1972 NASA and became vice-president of Fairchild, an air and space travel company.

To 31. December 1976 stepped who ago from browninto the retirement; to 16. June 1977 it died at cancer in Alexandria, Virginia.

Professor. Dr. Who ago from brown was Dr. phil., Dr. h. C. the following universities:

  • The University OF Alabama,
  • The University OF Tennesse RK Chattanooga,
  • University OFPittsburgh,
  • Saint Louis University,
  • technical University of Berlin (1963),
  • Canisius college, Buffalo,
  • Clark University of Worcester, measure.,
  • Adelphi college, New York
  • Pennsylvania Military college, Philadelphia (today: Widener University)

the public person

roll Disney and Wernher von Braun 1955.

ThatWho ago of brown in the USA rapidly large popularity attained, resulted also from its books and public appearances. Admits made it above all three television productions roll of Disney: One in space (1955), one and the Moon (1955) and Mars andBeyond (1957). In these by Ward Kimball realized Kurzfilmen arose from brown at the side of Disney and described his theories.

Its book the Mars project affected the Sciencefiction film the conquest of the universe (Conquest OF space produced by George Pal, 1955). And already 1960 became its life history under the title who ago by brown: I reach for the stars as US-German CO production with Curd Jürgens in the title part filmed.

When from brown constantly to a Koryphäe of US-American space travel ascended,in the public and on the television occasionally after his past in the third realm one asked. From brown thereby always a partial responsibility in the Second World War of itself dissociated itself from the national socialism, white in addition.

The American singer-songwriter Tom teacher dedicated to himsome scharfzüngige verses, which took the Opportunismus of Brauns on the grain [zit. in Eisfeld]:

Once the rockets acres UP,
who cares where they come down,
“That's emergency my department”,
says who ago of brown.

After the successful Apollo moon-landings pursued who ago ofBrown far with much energy long-range plans, up to the manned Mars flight. At NASA and also in the American public he encountered thereby however not only enthusiasm. An editor of „Reader´s Digest “commentated: „Who ago of brown would like todearest far moneys spend like a drunk sailor “ [zit. in Eisfeld].

writings (selection)

  • constructional one, theoretical and experimental contributions to the problem of the liquid-fuel rocket. Thesis. Berlin, 1934
  • the Mars project. Study of a inter+planetary expedition. Frankfurt/Main1952
  • Across the space Frontier (dt. Station in space, 1953; then under the conquest of space, 1958)
  • together with Willy Ley, Fred L. Whipple: Conquest OF the Moon (dt. The conquest of the moon, 1954)
  • together withWilly Ley:The exploration OF Mars (dt. The study Mars, 1957)
  • together with Willy Ley et al.: Start into space. A book concerning rockets, satellites and. Spacecraft, 1958
  • roofridge Men ton the Moon (dt. First travelto the moon, 1961)
  • reaching for the stars. Sense and possibilities of the Weltraumfahrt. Munich 1962
  • space Frontier (dt. Manned space travel, 1968)
  • together with Frederick I. Ordway: The Rockets' talk Glare (dt. Rockets. From the fire arrow to the space transporter, 1979)


  • with the conquest of space are to be solved two problems: the force of gravity and the paper war. With the force of gravity we would have become finished. “
  • It is my job to be content never. “
  • Progressthe way of the primitive one is over the complicated to the simple one. “
  • I believe, space am today less dangerous than the roads of Berlin. “
  • Nothing looks as simple afterwards as a carried out utopia. “


  • Johannes Weyer: Who ago of brown. Rowohlts Monographien. Rowohlt, Reinbek with Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-499-50552-5
  • Rainer Eisfeld: Moon-addicted. Who ago of brown and the birth of space travel from the spirit of the Barbarei. Hamburg 2000
  • Ernst Stuhlinger and Frederick I.Ordway:Who ago of brown - departure into space. The biography. Bechtle, Esslingen and Munich 1992, ISBN 3-7628-0515-6
  • Michael J. New field: The rocket and the realm. Who ago of brown, Peenemuende and the beginning of the rocket age (OT: The Rocketand the realm). Henschel, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89487-325-6

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Peenemünder time

White of sand Missile rank and NASA

  • [1] NASA Kurzbiografie,English.
  • [2] NASA of brown story, English.
  • The rocket in the desert. A museum attendance at a really lost place in world history, where it began: the nuclear world age Frankfurter Rundschau: 23.3.2006, page 23


  > German to English > de.wikipedia.org (Machine translated into English)