Arthur Rudolph, 89, the former German rocket scientist who helped put Americans on the moon but left the United States after being accused of Nazi war crimes, died in exile Jan. 1.
Mr. Rudolph, who recently was hospitalized for a heart condition, died at his home in Hamburg, Germany, a friend, retired defense specialist Hugh McInnish, told the Huntsville Times.
Mr. Rudolph left Germany at the end of World War II and became part of the team of scientists headed by Wernher von Braun who developed the U.S. space program in Cold War competition with the Soviet Union. He was granted U.S. citizenship in 1954.
At the Marshall Space Flight Center here, he was head of development of the Saturn V rocket that took man to the moon in 1969.
But in 1982, more than a decade after he retired, Mr. Rudolph was accused by the Justice Department of committing war crimes involving forced labor at a Nazi V-2 rocket factory.
He signed an agreement renouncing his U.S. citizenship and left the country rather than fight the charges. He tried to enter Canada in 1991 to visit his daughter but was excluded under laws barring anyone suspected of war crimes.
Jewish groups said Mr. Rudolph was responsible for a lack of air, light, food and medical attention for laborers from the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camp who were forced to work at the Mittelwerk rocket factory.
A Canadian immigration judge ruled that although it did not appear Mr. Rudolph was responsible for the policies of the rocket factory, there were grounds to believe that he knew slave labor was being used.
Mr. Rudolph testified he was unaware of any executions or mistreatment of workers at the plant. He claimed to have acted as an advocate for the slave laborers and said he helped them get extra rations.
"He always hoped he'd get his citizenship back and that the government would admit its accusations were wrong," said Walter Haeussermann, 81, a colleague of Mr. Rudolph's at Marshall. "It was his highest desire to get his name cleared."
Mr. Rudolph is survived by his wife, Martha, and a daughter who lives in California.