Rudolf Nebel

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Relief , Berlin-Tegel Airport, in Berlin-Tegel
Special cancellation for the 70th birthday of Rudolf Nebel

Rudolf Nebel (born March 21, 1894 in Weißenburg in Bavaria , † September 18, 1978 in Düsseldorf ) was a rocket designer and founder of the world's first rocket airfield in Berlin . He is considered one of the founding fathers of space travel.


Nebel was a fighter pilot in the First World War . He developed powder rockets with a warhead. He mounted these “Nebelwerfer” under his fighter plane . According to his own statement, he shot down enemy planes with these powder rockets. He was then banned from using these missiles or developing them further. Nebel completed his studies at the Technical University in Munich , which had been interrupted by his participation in the First World War, in 1919 as a qualified engineer . He then became a senior engineer at Siemens . From 1923 to 1927 he was a partner in a fireworks factory in Pulsnitz , then worked again at Siemens & Halske and had been a freelance rocket researcher since 1930. In 1927, Johannes Winkler and others founded the Space Agency in Breslau . Nebel was added in 1929 when the association moved to Berlin . In the period that followed, many pioneers of rocket technology and space travel gathered there . Nebel was one of the pioneers of rocket technology, built the first liquid rocket together with Hermann Oberth in 1929 as a propaganda rocket for the film by director Fritz Lang Frau im Mond (book from his wife Thea von Harbou ) and in 1930 presented his first rocket engine at the Berlin Technical Institute . In the same year he founded the Tegel rocket airfield in Berlin-Reinickendorf , where he worked on important fundamentals of rocket technology with Klaus Riedel , Kurt Heinisch , Hans Hüter , Paul Ehmayr and Wernher von Braun , and was a co-founder of the international research company Panterra . Arrested in 1934 in connection with the Röhm Putsch and excluded from any rocket development for life. For his rocket development he was settled with 75,000 Reichsmarks, as he was considered politically unreliable. Wernher von Braun and others from Nebel's employees joined the Reichswehr and continued to develop missiles. Nebel founded an engineering office. In July 1944, at the mediation of Klaus Riedel, Nebel was commissioned by Mittelwerk GmbH in Nordhausen to support the assembly of the sensitive steering gear of unit 4 by an automatic worker .

After 1945 he devoted himself to lecturing, fought in vain for compensation and recognition and was a research associate at the Society for Space Research in Bad Godesberg from 1963 to 1965 . Nebel wrote, among other things, the book Rocket Flight from 1932. In 1972 his autobiography Die Narren von Tegel was published. A space pioneer tells . In addition, Rudolf Nebel had been active in the Corps Cisaria in Munich since his student days and remained a member there throughout his life.

A few years before his death he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class.

He died in 1978 at the age of 84 and was buried in the Weißenburger Südfriedhof .


A street was named after him in his birthplace Weißenburg. Also in Weißenburg, the state secondary school was to be renamed the Rudolf-Nebel-Realschule in 1969 , but this was not pursued by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture because schools were not allowed to be named after living personalities.

In the main hall of Berlin-Tegel Airport there is a relief portrait of Rudolf Nebel.



Web links

Commons : Rudolf Nebel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 125th birthday of Rudolf Nebel: Pioneer of rocket technology Deutschlandfunk
  2. ^ Rudolf Nebel: The fools of Tegel. P. 142.
  3. From automatic worker to industrial robot. HNF blog, March 7, 2016, accessed January 16, 2020 .
  4. ^ Manfred Bornemann : Secret Project Mittelbau. From the central oil depot of the German Reich to the largest rocket factory in World War II . Bernard & Graefe, 1994, ISBN 978-3-7637-5927-9 , pp. 113,148 (240 pp.).
  5. ^ The grave of Rudolf Nebel. In: Klaus Nerger, accessed on September 24, 2018 .
  6. 125th birthday of Rudolf Nebel: Pioneer of rocket technology Deutschlandfunk
  7. ^ The grave of Rudolf Nebel. In: Klaus Nerger, accessed on September 24, 2018 .
  8. ^ Art at Tegel Airport at, accessed on October 11, 2014.