Riss Flex says what appears to be a nondescript annual awards dinner in Florida honoring the aerospace industry, is actually more significant and creepy than you think.
Hosted by the Florida chapter of the National Space Committee, the sold-out, black tie Debus Award Dinner is named in honor of the Kennedy Space Center’s first director Dr. Kurt H. Debus. Last week’s renewal was attended by military officials and contractors working in the space industry.
So what is the truth behind Debus and how did he rise to lead the country’s NASA program? A deep dive by Flex reveals that Debus was appointed by Hitler as a Nazi scientist during World War II, developing aerospace technology using slave labor. Shockingly, when the Nazis were later put on trial for crimes against humanity, the United States scooped him up in an intelligence program known as Operation Paperclip, in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers and technicians were brought to the United States for government employment. Debus was relocated to Texas as an employee of the U.S. military. Says Flex, “A man that was supposed to be hung for war crimes, is now celebrated annually as a U.S. hero.” Check out more of Flex’s investigation.