Dr. Michael Neufeld

Dr. Michael J. Neufeld is chair of the Division of Space History for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1951, he received history degrees from the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia, before getting a Ph.D. in Modern European History from The Johns Hopkins University in 1984. After teaching at various universities in upstate New York, Dr. Neufeld came to the Museum in 1988 as the A. Verville Fellow, and held Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellowships in 1989-90. In 1990 Dr. Neufeld became a curator in the Museum's Aeronautics Division, where he remained until early 1999, specializing in World War II history and German World War II aircraft. After transferring to the Space History Division, he took over the collection of German World War II missiles, and from 2003-07 also curated the collection of Mercury and Gemini spacecraft and components. In fall 2001 he was a senior lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He was named chair of the Space History Division in January 2007.Dr. Neufeld has led, or contributed to, several Museum exhibits, including Air Power in World War II (two temporary exhibits on the P-47 fighter and on the German Ar 234 jet bomber) and a Gemini VII exhibit in Apollo to the Moon. He also was extensively involved in the creation of the Rockets and Missiles and Human Spaceflight sections of the new McDonnell Space Hangar at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The restoration and loan of German aircraft, rockets and missiles, and of U.S. Mercury and Gemini spacecraft have been a major part of his responsibilities at the Museum.In addition to authoring numerous scholarly articles, Dr. Neufeld has written three books: • The Skilled Metalworkers of Nuremberg: Craft and Class in the Industrial Revolution (Rutgers University Press, 1989) • The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era (The Free Press, 1995). This book was translated into German and has been awarded two prizes: the History Manuscript Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for 1995, and the Dexter Prize of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) for 1997. • Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War, a full-length biography (Knopf, 2007). He has also edited Yves Béon's Planet Dora: A Memoir of the Holocaust and the Origins of the Space Age (Westview Press, 1997), and is the co-editor, with Michael Berenbaum, of The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? (St. Martin’s, 2000; paperback, University Press of Kansas, 2003).

Broadcast 913 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Michael Neufeld was the guest for this Easter Sunday Space Show program. Dr. Neufeld is the chair of the Space History Division of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and author of the biography, "Von Braun: Dreamer of Space/Engineer of War." As today's program is on what would have been the 96th birthday of Von Braun, having a discussion on his life was most appropriate. We discussed Von Braun's Nazi past and Dr.Neufeld was clearing up myths and rumors, providing us with factual history regarding Von Braun.

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