Hitler and the Volkswagen
By Jawahar, 2nd year, Civil Engineering
Hitler – The Black Page of World History. Throughout history, he has been described as a dictator and an angry man. But, the reason why this world still remembers him today is not only the destruction he did, but also the achievements he made. In today’s world, can you believe that Volkswagen, the monster of the automobile industry, was initiated by Hitler?
Buying a car is still a dream come true for many middle class families. But it was Hitler who made their dream come true in 1936. Volkswagen was born out of Hitler’s desire that every German family should have a car in their home. At that time, even the average American family owned a car.
Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party and a dictator, did not like this. According to him, only the Germans should rule the world. He thought that their fame should spread all over the world. As such, he did not like this monstrous development of the United States. He wanted every German middle family to own a car; He thought it must be cheap enough for even a day labor to buy it with his one year’s salary.
At the same time, Hitler thought that it should have all the amenities of a luxury car. In May 28, 1937, Volkswagen was formed. A huge groundbreaking ceremony was held under the leadership of Hitler. Approximately 50,000 Germans attended the ceremony. All three types of models that were to be produced were put on display. The production team produced 30 cars as pilot production and shipped it to all the cities in Germany. The cars were very well received by the people.
Three lakh pre-orders piled up in a day or two. Because the car was subsidized by the government of a country, the price of that car was very low. In the United States, a standard car with basic amenities was priced at $500, while Volkswagen variants with the same features were priced at only $140.
But even in this he infiltrated his racist policy. Volkswagen’s old logo was similar to the Swastika of the Nazi. Two were responsible for the formation of the Volkswagen, one was Hitler and the other was Ferdinand Porsche. Porsche was a sports car engineer. He designed the prototype of a sports car. Its look was sporty, and its bonnet was curvy. Its shape reduced aerodynamic drag and gave the car high speed. Porsche is a genius engineer. Hitler was a great dictator. Hitler needed a good engineer for his project. At the same time, without Hitler’s support, Porsche could not have even imagined the Volkswagen project.
The car was named the KDF Wagon. It means, “Strength through joy”. No other car company has yet reached this peak. From 1937 to 2003, 23 million Volkswagen Beetle models have been sold all over the world. In 1937, 990 Reichsmarks was the total wage for 31 weeks of a German laborer.
This means that a middle-class family member can buy this car even if they save a year. The German government set up the Volkswagen factory at great expense. World War II began at a time when everything was going well. This affected the production of Volkswagen. They were unable to continue production because of the heavy losses and costs incurred in the war.
The German army also began to manufacture weapons, guns, bombs, warships, and artillery at the same Volkswagen plant. Once the war was won, the people were promised that car production would resume. In 1944, the U.S. Air Force dropped bombs on the Volkswagen Main Plant to quell German aggression.
Germany and Italy lost to the Allies. In 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan. Then, in September 1945, World War II officially ended with the surrender of Japan. Germany came under British rule. They started production of the discontinued Volkswagen car. For the convenience of local transport, nearly 20,000 ‘beetles’ were produced.
The KDF Wagon was nicknamed ‘The Beetle’ by Volkswagen because it looked like a Beetle. After this, the Beetle spread all over the world. This was because it was cheap, friendly and easy to maintain. Nearly 60 years later, Volkswagen ceased production of its Beetle. These cars are the most produced models in the world. To date, Volkswagen is number one in the automobile industry.
All the luxury car companies like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and Ducati that we look at are units of Volkswagen. From this we can know the astounding growth of Volkswagen. The root of it all was Hitler. Because, the seed was sown by Hitler.