Viewing page 3 of 16

00:04:33
00:08:39
00:04:33

Transcription: [00:04:33]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
We had instrumentation so that you could say

[00:04:36]
{SPEAKER name="Michael Neufeld"}
'until here everything was fine, from here on. Okay, what happened now?'.

[00:04:41]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And you started out with less, uhh, instrumentation and added more and more during the time of testing strictly on account of the experience which you gained.

[00:04:59]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mmhmm.

[00:05:01]
{SPEAKER name="Michael Neufeld"}
You were, umm, were you doing— were you assigned to Test Stand One for static engine tests of A4?

[00:05:11]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
No, that was 7—

[00:05:12]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mmmhmm.

[00:05:13]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
—Test Stand number 7.

[00:05:14]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
7— so 7, in addition to being the main launch area, was also a static test area?

[00:05:21]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
Yeah— [[Bell or Phone Ring]] —I was down in southern Germany because that plan didn't—

[00:05:28]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
—at Lehesten?

[00:05:30]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
No. Close to it, not too far from Salzburg.

[00:05:34]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And uhh,

[00:05:39]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
Obert's daughter worked there too.

[00:05:41]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And I was sent once in order to help out—

[00:05:50]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
Okay that I can give you later on in detail if you are interested —but anyhow, that plant was a lousy situation.

[00:05:57]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
One day there was an explosion, and Obert's daughter was killed in that explosion.

[00:06:04]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And von Braun told me— "Look, take a car, get Obert to the funeral".

[00:06:14]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And Obert was working in the middle of Germany, so we left Peenemünde early in the morning, got Obert in the middle of Germany. When I told Obert— Your daughter was killed.

[00:06:23]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
He said— Well, can I get my wife from Feucht? I said— Sure.

[00:06:28]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
So we drove to Feucht, and his wife and daughter came along in the truck.

[00:06:36]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And we came through Munich, that was midnight, and Munich was absolutely dark.

[00:06:42]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Was this about 1943?

[00:06:44]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
It was 1944.

[00:06:46]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
'44.

[00:06:47]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
'44.

[00:06:49]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And the question was— How do you come through Munich to the Autobahn on the other side?

[00:06:53]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mmhmm.

[00:06:54]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
And Obert, that's the reason why I tell you that story, said— Let me go out on the dashboard.

[00:07:01]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And he directed the driver according to the stars through Mu – through Munich[[Neufeld laughs]] - and we came to the Autobahn—

[00:07:12]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mhhmm.

{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
—without

[00:07:13]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
any difficulty, strictly

[00:07:17]
{SPEAKER name="Michael Neufeld"} [[laughs]]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"} [[laughs]]

[00:07:18]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
- according to the stars. Okay that was the story I wanted to tell you.

[00:07:20]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
About Obert.

[00:07:22]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Ummm -

[00:07:24]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
[[laughs]]

[00:07:25]
{SPEAKER name="Michael Neufeld"}
- While we are on the subject of Obert, did you meet him in 1942/43 at, uh, Peenemünde?

[00:07:32]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
I did not meet him at Peenemünde, that was the first time I met him

{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mhhmm.

[00:07:36]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
officially when his daughter was killed.

[00:07:39]
{SPEAKER name="Michael Neufeld"}
Mmhm.

[00:07:41]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
And he was not working at that time at Peenemünde.
He was working in the middle of Germany, somewhere on a solid rocket plant.

[00:07:48]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mhhmm, yeah, I gather he was not happy with his job at Peenemünde—

[00:07:51]
{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
No.

[00:07:51]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
—and went to find the solid propellant job.

{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
No, no not at all, and maybe I give you an explanation.


[00:07:57]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mhhmm.

{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
Which explains, umm, Obert. You know, Obert was absolutely convinced of himself.

[00:08:08]
{SPEAKER name="MICHAEL NEUFELD"}
Mhhmm.

{SPEAKER name="KARL HEIMBURG"}
And in designing the injector for the rockets, you know we had enormous difficulties.

[00:08:15]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And, we finally succeeded against the end of the war with an injector plate, which didn't explode after 2,3 seconds.

[00:08:24]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
And Obert didn't understand that. And they were trying to explain to him,

[00:08:32]
{SPEAKER name="Karl Heimberg"}
we need – we need to have finer holes, smaller holes than we have, but we do not have drills—

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.