WASHINGTON (Feb. 21)
A federal court has dismissed a suit filed by ex-Nazi scientist Arthur Rudolph seeking to invalidate a 9-year-old agreement in which Rudolph agreed to permanently leave the United States in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution for war crimes.
A federal judge in San Jose, Calif., dismissed the suit filed by Rudolph, a manager of a German V-2 missile production facility during World War II, the Department of Justice announced last week.
Rudolph, who sought to clear his name by filing the suit, argued that the 1983 agreement should be rescinded because it was made under duress and contained elements of fraud.
Rudolph, who had been employed by the U.S. Army and later by NASA as manager of the Saturn V rocket program, was also required to renounce his U.S. citizenship as part of the deal. Rudolph had become a naturalized citizen after the war.
At the time of the 1983 agreement, the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations, a special unit of the Criminal Division set up to deal with Nazi war crimes, was preparing charges against him.
U.S. District Judge James Ware dismissed on Feb. 9 Rudolph’s suit for lack of jurisdiction, and cited at length a Canadian court finding that Rudolph “as production director, admittedly called for, made use of, and directed forced labor by foreign prisoners in the production of the V-2 rocket at Mittelwerk in the years 1943-1945. The conditions under which the prisoners worked were indescribably brutal.”