Space artifact or Nazi weapon? Displaying the Smithsonian's V-2 missile, 1976-2011

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Creator: DeVorkin, David H

Form/Genre:

Date: 2011

Citation: Endeavour 35, No. 4 (Journal)

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Summary

Traces the display of the German V-2 rocket after World War II at the National Air and Space Museum. In its initial years of display, it is treated as a "true cross" of technological advance in the Space Age. Later, its construction is placed in the context of Nazi concentration camp labor and its purpose as an object of war. The authors discuss the role of controversial objects in museums in general terms, relating the V-2 missile case to the many objects that have been interpreted and reinterpreted at the National Museum to avoid, to provoke or to respond to controversy.

Subject

  • National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Dept. of Astronautics
  • National Air and Space Museum

Category

Smithsonian History Bibliography

Notes

Image is the installation of the V-2 rocket in the Space Hall in the new National Air and Space Museum building in 1976. Negative number 76-7010-16A, by Richard Farrar.

Contained within

Endeavour 35, No. 4 (Journal)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

2011

Topic

  • Controversies
  • Rockets (Ordnance)
  • Exhibitions
  • Rocketry
  • Rockets (Aeronautics)
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • V2 Rocket

Place

Germany

Physical description

Number of pages: 9; Page numbers : 187-195

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