The Cold War is usually thought of in terms of fear, potential nuclear war, and espionage. While these were elements of the years between the end of World War II and the 1990s, the competition between the US and the USSR had some real benefits. Perhaps the best and most impressive accomplishments during this time resulted from the Space Race.
The Space Race was not something either side set out to win. Initially, the US and USSR were only interested in becoming militarily superior to each other. This competition started by accepting and overlooking the atrocities that the German scientists had enacted on their fellow men during World War II. The best German scientists were given another chance by both nations and many other countries.
There is even a joke about this time that depicts the two sides bragging that their German scientists were better than the other’s. The next few years revealed just why these scientists were often absorbed into other nations instead of standing trial with other Nazis.
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